Single handed with too much wind - Page 2 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 04-23-2008
hphoen's Avatar
"Nevis Nice"
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 224
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
hphoen is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailbot View Post

...Also if I could get a sail down in a big blow, which sail should comedown first ?
By all means strike the jib first! The main can hold the boat into the wind. If you try to douse it with the jib still up, you'll be blown off downwind.

And on the topic of sailhandling without reefing...

Nolatom's suggestion to use a "fisherman's reef" is a good one. If you have a non-overlapping jib, sheet it in hard with both sheets until the clew is right at the mast. That spoils the air flowing over the main, which you can luff as needed in the gusts. You won't go fast, but you'll be in control.
__________________
Hud
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #12  
Old 04-23-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,565
Thanks: 3
Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Sailormon6 will become famous soon enough
Your question brought to mind the time it happened to me, when I began sailing. It really does happen to almost everyone, because inexperienced sailors can't or don't see the deteriorating conditions early enough to react in time, just as happened with you. But, now that it has happened to you, you'll be amazed at how fast your learning curve increases on that particular point.

The behavior of a sailboat, either gentle or violent, is directly related to the condition of the wind and seas, so you have to watch for changes in the condition of wind and seas all the time, and react to any changes early. We sailors are often reluctant to reef our sail when we see conditions start to deteriorate, because often, just before a storm, there's a calm. You almost feel foolish reefing your sails when there's hardly enough wind to move the boat. But, you have to reef your sails anyway, because the likelihood is that, when the leading edge of the front hits, you'll be hanging on to a heavily heeling boat. When the clouds darken, and begin to pile up high, reduce sail area before the big wind comes, because it almost certainly will come. Prepare for the worst. If it doesn't get that bad, count yourself lucky.

Rig your boat so that you can use either of two reefs, and then practice tucking in those reefs in light air conditions, so you'll be clear in your own mind as to how to do it. A lot of sailors suggest that you reef before you leave the dock, because it's easier. While that's true, I think it's bad advice, because, as you learned, you need to know how to reef the boat in adverse conditions, not just at the dock. Sometimes there isn't a dock available when the weather turns bad and you need to reef, so you should learn to reef efficiently while underway.

If you want to take a sail down first, it should be the jib. You can sail either down wind or to windward with a mainsail alone, especially with a lot of wind, but, in a hard blow, the wind is blowing too hard to use a big jib, and, you can't sail to windward at all with a small jib. But, most beginning sailors are rightly terrified of sailing with the mainsail in high winds, because of the risk of a hard gybe. To make you feel more comfortable with it, you need to learn how to gybe a mainsail in strong winds. After you learn how to do it, you'll feel safer and more at ease.

As the others have said, you did a great job. Once you found yourself in that situation, you instinctively did the right things. You relied on your wits, and they worked for you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #13  
Old 04-23-2008
chucklesR's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pasadena Md - Magothy side
Posts: 5,979
Thanks: 10
Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts
Rep Power: 10
chucklesR is a jewel in the rough chucklesR is a jewel in the rough chucklesR is a jewel in the rough
Assuming you have a hanked on jib so you can't just furl; and like most small boats neither halyard is led aft so you can't just drop from the cockpit - from your description you also have no reef points on your main and with some whitecaps you had a least a little chop.

The first thing to do (hindsight being 20/20) is to invest in some blocks and get your halyards led to the cockpit. It doesn't take much on a small boat and that way you at least have the option of pointing into the wind and dropping sail. If you can't do that learn how to tie a exploding knot so you can rip the loose end of the main and drop the sail even if in the cockpit
(Peter Suber, "Six Exploding Knots") exploding knots explained - exploding knots may not seaman like but neither is broaching.

Single handing, I would go with sailing under main only first simply because it's most likely more balanced alone and easier to handle on tacking/gybeing when alone. Practice in light air so you know how your boat will handle the increased weather helm.

In an emergency situation you can heave to, backwinding the jib so it's over the deck, explode the jib halyard and drop it into the deck. As soon as the jib is down you'll lose balance on your heave to state so be prepared to let go the main and let her luff.
I've only been caught out once in a similar situation with a buddy on his Catalina 22. We dropped the jib just like explained above, except I went forward inside and popped the forward hatch, grabbed the partially dropped jib and pulled it in below decks. I couldn't unhank it from the hatch, but by the time most of it was below decks crawling out the hatch and unhanking was a lot easier.
Meanwhile the Main was allowed to luff and flap.
Then we pushed out the boom, backed the main to bear off and sailed off to finish the race on main only, unreefed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #14  
Old 04-23-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Hubec is on a distinguished road
I don't think heaving-to is a very good solution here. Sure heaving-to lets you take your hands off the tiller, but it doesn't let you reduce sail, and it doesn't let you avoid a lee shore. It's great if you have no autopilot and you want to eat lunch - or batten down the hatches for a rough night offshore. Those aren't your requirements. You need to reduce sail singlehanded and get the boat moving where you want it.

If you're going to continue single handed I'd suggest retrofitting a furling headsail. That'll solve most of your problems, practicing reefing the main really quickly will solve the rest.

Singlehanding is one of the best ways to sail IMHO. You just need the systems & knowledge in place to allow you to do it safely.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #15  
Old 04-23-2008
sailortjk1's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Porter, IN
Posts: 4,647
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 11
sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about
Quote:
just before a storm, there's a calm.
This is very often the case, not always but very often.

A couple of years ago my wife learned a hard lesson.
At the first hint of weather turning nasty, I would always prepare the boat for the worste. A couple of times they were near misses and nothing happened. My thoughts are better safe than sorry.

Next time out and I saw the weather turning, I again gave the word to prepare tha boat, which first means, clean up the cockpit of anything unnecessary, batten and close all hatches and ports, get the PFD's, and reduce sail.

Well she had been through the drill before and nothing happened.
So this time she decided she was going to wait untill she felt the rain.
We were in the proverbial calm before the storm. I looked to the horizon, maybe three to four miles, and you could actually see the front of the storm headed right for us. I rolled up the genny just as fast as I could! The main was still up when she hit. I rolled that part way up in winds gusting to about 40knots. And we rode it out. We call them micro bursts around here. They are very violent, blow through, are are over just as quick as they started.

My wife learned her lesson, prepare early.
She never second guesses me anymore.
__________________
Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #16  
Old 04-23-2008
ASA and PSIA Instructor
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,496
Thanks: 7
Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 15
sailingfool will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailbot View Post
Hi all gurus , Last time I was out single handed,in a 23 foot Crown Sloop, dumb but sometimes thats all u got.

I my guess the worst gusts were about 20 to 25 knots. (seeing whitecaps) I was unable to get my main and jib down in time and was trapped

I pointed the bow into the wind and just let the sails flap like crazy. I found the if I just got the bow to within apx. 5 degrees to the wind and both sails pulled in tightly I could keep them full and tame the insane flapping.

Does anyone know of a good way to ride out a big blow with both sails up and no reefing and no way to get em down in time ?

Also if I could get a sail down in a big blow, which sail should comedown first ?

Thanks everybody
Drop the main, in those winds you should be able to sail fine with just the jib. When starting out with winds in mid-20s, I'll often just unfurl the jib (a 125%) and sail with that. The boat handles a little differently, may have some lee helm, but is very manageable.
__________________
Certified...in several regards...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #17  
Old 04-23-2008
sailortjk1's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Porter, IN
Posts: 4,647
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 11
sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Drop the main, in those winds you should be able to sail fine with just the jib. When starting out with winds in mid-20s, I'll often just unfurl the jib (a 125%) and sail with that. The boat handles a little differently, may have some lee helm, but is very manageable.
I too find that the boat sails better under jib alone than main alone.
If you going to drop one and keep one up, I tend to drop the main first.
__________________
Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #18  
Old 04-23-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,565
Thanks: 3
Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Sailormon6 will become famous soon enough
Sailing on the jib alone in those conditions is OK as long as you don't have to tack, and as long as you aren't smashing into waves that are slowing the boat's speed. When almost all the sail area is forward of the center of lateral resistance of the keel, the jib is trying to pull the bow to leeward. As long as you have good boatspeed, the keel is able to resist that force, and the boat can sail to windward. The problem with the jib alone is that, when you tack, you lose a lot of boatspeed, and when you trim the jib without a mainsail to balance it, the jib pulls the bow off the wind. Also, your boat is much lighter in weight than some of the peoples' who are responding here, and it's speed will be affected more readily by waves and windage than theirs. Techniques that work fine for some people on their boats might not work as well on your boat .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #19  
Old 04-23-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Hubec is on a distinguished road
There are 2 problems with sailing with your jib alone in heavy weather;
  1. Depending on your boat, and your rig, and the wind it may be impossible to go to windward never mind tacking. - Being overpowered is bad, being driven on a lee shore is much worse.
  2. I suspect the "Jib alone" proponents have furling headsails. Unlike them, if you later decide to drop or reef your single sail you'll have to go all the way to the bows to do so.

Last edited by Hubec; 04-23-2008 at 01:50 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #20  
Old 04-23-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 1,921
Thanks: 8
Thanked 31 Times in 28 Posts
Rep Power: 10
nolatom will become famous soon enough
I think the overarching issue from the original post, and the responses, is searoom. If you have it, you can broad reach or run off, maybe with just jib alone and have a more comfortable ride and no bad consequences, except remaining in the squall (if that's what it is) a little longer.

If you don't have searoom, then the lee shore is your enemy and you have to figure a way to get upwind, or at least hold your own, even though overpowered. That's what I was trying to address in my earlier posts. Heaving-to may not do it, and jib alone may not do it either. You need a balanced sailplan to do it (main and jib), but if you're absolutely
overpowered even with the main completely aluff, then I think you have to keep the main, and lose the jib, otherwise the lee helm and inability to tack is going to kill you.

So a lot of this depends on the boat, the sailor, and the geography.

And let's not forget the anchor, gang, that may be the best solution if you have good holding ground, it's shallow enough to anchor, and aren't getting it done under sail.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wind Orientation Mark Matthews Learning to Sail Articles 0 03-06-2005 08:00 PM
Charging with Wind Power Kevin Jeffrey Cruising Articles 0 04-21-2003 09:00 PM
Understanding Apparent Wind Steve Colgate Learning to Sail Articles 0 11-10-2002 08:00 PM
Understanding Apparent Wind Steve Colgate Seamanship Articles 0 11-10-2002 08:00 PM
Understanding Apparent Wind Steve Colgate Racing Articles 0 11-10-2002 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:36 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.