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  #1  
Old 12-27-2007
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tacking instead of gybing?

more than once i've seen people advise against gybing in strong winds, and yet i've always found it a lot smoother and easier than tacking as there is very little wind in the main when the sheet is pulled in. where is the mistake here?
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Old 12-27-2007
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The reason it is often recommended that one tack, instead of gybe, in high winds has to do with the shock loads that can occur when you gybe. If you gybe too quickly, the mainsail loads up very quickly—the boom swings over very quickly and the shock loading can be very high, even with a boom brake. By tacking, the sail loads up gradually—as you turn the boat through the wind and then head down.

On some boats, you'll see the boats do much the opposite, since they're not able to tack in high winds, so they gybe through 270˚ instead of tacking. On old square riggers, this was called wearing ship IIRC.
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Old 12-27-2007
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jibing is perfectly acceptable for me depending on wind speed. it all amounts to how much power you are dealing with. the load on the sail and the sheet can be substantial. if the boom swings over too fast the forces can do damage to boat or person. also the windward side quickly becomes the leeward side and if the heel is too great and unexpected, it can quickly knock people off balance. another thing is that it is difficult to quickly depower a mainsail when sailing with the wind if needed. the stronger the wind, the more the potential for difficulties.
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We routinely "chicken gybe", ie, tack through 270 in winds above say, 25 knots. An underpowered mainsheet can make gybing in those conditions difficult to control, with the resulting slam of the main causing a round up, at best, or failure or damage to the sail at worst.

Even with adequate purchase, the amount of line that needs to be handled can lead to loss of control of the main. A boom brake (unusual) or a ratchet block on the mainsheet can help tremendously here, but there are still the shock loads to consider.

Tacking in this manner is noisier and slower but there is no risk of losing control of the mainsail. It's a legitimate maneouver when the conditions call for it.
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Boombrakes are a good idea on boats that are singlehanded a lot. I have a Dutchman installed on my boat.
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if i have the sheet hard, the boom does swing over, but less than a metre, and ass into the wind, there really isn't that much wind in it. i suppose if you got hit by a quartering wave that knocked you sideways you would load the sail really fast, but nothing like say an accidental gybe when you have miles of sheet out.

I've also found that by keeping it sheeted in while running, the trim is so off that there is less chance of a rodeo, and you can take the time to figger out what's the next best thing not to do. it's when i come about that things start going bang and crash from below. when you are pointing high is when you have maximum heel and velocity, and when things seem like they are likely to go south fast.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
if i have the sheet hard, the boom does swing over, but less than a metre, and ass into the wind, there really isn't that much wind in it.
True, but in a real breeze the work, effort and time required to bring the boom to midships can be considerable. And, as you say, if the boat slews on a wave, then you are oversheeted and primed for a knockdown/roundup

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Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
.....when you are pointing high is when you have maximum heel and velocity, and when things seem like they are likely to go south fast.
With regard to things stowed below, also true, but one of our routines pre setting sail is to secure everything so that things don't go flying in the event of a sudden gust or wave. As a liveaboard boat I imagine this would be a bigger chore since there may be more 'stuff' laying around. But that just makes that kind of secure stowage more important. We jam pillows into shelving to retain the contents, put things low so that they have nowhere to go, ensure that all lockers are indeed latched, etc etc. It only takes a few times to get to know what you need to remember.

Liveaboard friends related a tale where, having recently installed a microwave (paying careful attention to firmly fixing it in place) the next time they caught a gust there was a horrific crash below and the sound of broken glass. Expecting to see the MW laying on the sole, all they saw was the oven door swinging open. The glass turntable had launched itself across the cabin and shattered. The next day there was a hasp on the oven door... live and learn.
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Old 12-28-2007
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Generally, seamanship is all about knowing the right things to do in the existing conditions, and doing those things at the right time. Gybing is a basic maneuver that everyone should be able to do safely. The key to gybing safely is to haul in the mainsheet as much as you can, before starting to gybe, so that the boom doesn't come crashing over with lethal force when the wind takes the other side of the sail. If you're concerned that you might get knocked by a quartering wave during the gybe, and that the boat might slew sideways, then you've probably already made a mistake in not reefing your mainsail far enough. If you have the right amount of sail area for the conditions, you should be able to gybe reasonably safely. When you can no longer do that, it's time to change your storm tactics.
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Hoffa, I am going to be 100% hoinest with you on this, so take it as that.

If you're posting this question, it means you're not sure of yourself, your skills, your boat, the conditions and what to do when all come toghether...sorry but its what I feel from reading your posts...

maybe you should read/get more lessons/get some experienced crew with you, go out a learn instead of "probing around".

I mean, if at this stage you ask that question, maybe you shouldn't be sailing alone or with someone less experienced than you...maybe even sailing isn't for you....it looks like you go thru pain and suffering everytime you sail, so why do you insist??

If everytime you sail we get informed you were scared/affraid/inconsistent/dared your life/got hit by 20knot winds/ and it shows thru your posta you were on the edge of your limits and skills, please, seek some help...

I have on many occasions read your posts and thought (ans I am being honest), you will end up killing or injuring yourself...or worse, injuring or risking someone elses life...

Run with scissors in your hands, but do it alone, don't drag others into it...sailing is not like runing with scissoprs, but can bite back at you, when you least expect...please please, get some more training...

Do us all a favour, go get some lessons, get some classes, do something to improve your skills, that is what you need, do not post here, asking what if...what to do..., there is limited knowledge we can give you....we're all arm chair sailors...

This is starting to sound to me like masochism...you're affraid of sailing but insist in doing it....

If you're not affraid of sailing, then quit posting as if sailing was a God given torture to you....

Its supposed to be fun, and enjoyable thing....maybe you are in the wrong "metier"...

Sorry for the honesty, at least I am not lying to you giving you false kudos....many do that, I don't.

many do what you do, and don't complain.

Your question sounds like a Pilot that took off and asked if he should land with the wheels down....by the time you solo, you should know what to do with the wheels

Alex

Last edited by Giulietta; 12-28-2007 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 12-28-2007
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I have to agree here. You have a 36 footer? Go racing as crew with someone who races a decent boat in the 35-40 foot range and who has a good reputation for teaching their crew and not taking unreasonable risks...racing itself having more inherent risks than most cruising.

What you learn racing...and at someone else's expense...will teach you a great deal about the forces in play on any boat of a similar size and type. I can't tell for sure if your generally depressive posts are based in a problem with attitude or simple lack of experience, but you sail in an area known for big seas and plenty of complicated currents, so you have to know more than most. Get that experience on an ocean racer, and you'll learn the proper techniques for cruising.

The best thing I ever did, lacking any kind of sailing background, is to do five seasons of club racing in all kinds of conditions. I learned all sorts of tricks, tactics and techniques, and I didn't have time to be scared. And I wasn't spending money!
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