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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 07-17-2010
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what would you have done?

Hi everyone, not a newbie here, but not an experience sailor at all...have a Cat. 27, std rig. first season with it (had a 22 before).
So today something happened that I cant get a clear idea of what I should or could have done, so, maybe you guys have some suggestions.
My wife and I went out this morning, with winds of about 10kts, and few gust (though not strong by the time we left). Forecast was for that wind to stay the same until late today, so decided not to reef since we were going to be out for a few hours only. On our way out, on a close haul, the wind started to pick up, specially the gusts, getting stronger, and making us heel pretty nicely, the boat was taking it very well and we were controlling it very well too until...one of the gust stay with us for quite a long time, and we were heeling a lot (much more than what we are comfortable with, rail on water etc etc)...so the issue is this....even though I let the main out, I had the traveler all the way out, and even when we let the genny (140) out, we were still heeling, non stop, finally round it up, and off we went in a different tack with the genny reefed...my questions is, why we didn't stop heeling? the main was all the way out, what would you guys have done? (not looking for "reef before you leave, we always do it, seriously).
Thank you!
-Abraham

Last edited by cspaniel; 07-17-2010 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 07-17-2010
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When the wind blows, sailboats heel. You'll get used to it.
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Old 07-17-2010
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When the wind blows, sailboats heel. You'll get used to it.
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Old 07-17-2010
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no, come on, I meant to say I didnt have any more weapons to reduce "excessive" heeling, never happened before, and wanted to know maybe someone had any suggestions....I like heeling otherwise! and have become very cofortable with it...

Last edited by cspaniel; 07-17-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 07-17-2010
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I don't think it should be a question of reefing before you leave - rather you should have your reefing setup so you get a reef in underway very quickly. On my Niagara 35 I could get either the first or second reef, from the cockpit, in perhaps three minutes. Putting a couple of reefs in very quickly will kill that excessive heel and tendency to round up.
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Old 07-17-2010
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Once you get some experience, "burying the rail" will be de rigueur. At first, it does seem "excessive". But, if you feel uncomfortable, tuck in a reef; there's no "law" that says one can't sail around all day with a reefed main, even if no one else in sight has bothered to reef.

I will often reef the main and roll up a bit of the headsail if I'm sailing with kids and/or inexperienced adults. They feel better, and more in control; and I don't have to worry about anyone freaking out. Everyone still seems to have a good time.
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Old 07-17-2010
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I believe a working jib would have been more effective than a reef. Do you want to be in your comfort zone or one mile further at the end of the day? Slow down and enjoy the ride. Thom
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Old 07-17-2010
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something is strange

Quote:
Originally Posted by cspaniel View Post
even though I let the main out, I had the traveler all the way out, and even when we let the genny (140) out, we were still heeling, non stop, finally round it up, and off we went in a different tack with the genny reefed.
Something is wrong. What do you mean by 'I let the main out'? If you release the main sheet, so the boom is allowed to go out far enough to let the sail luff, and you do the same with the headsail, the boat should not heel at all. With both sails out, so that they luff (just flap back and forth), the boat should not heel. In fact, with the sails luffing, the boat CAN'T heel.

Are you sure you let the main SHEET out and not just lowered the traveler all the way? On some boats the traveler does not have much range, so you still need to ease the sheet to spill the wind. Same thing with the headsail. If you ease the sheet enough, the boat will not heel at all.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 07-17-2010
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Loosen almost every line that is tensioned, and the heeling should decrease: Loosen jib sheets, main sheet, traveller, and the vang if you have one. The exceptions are the jib's roller furler (tighten to reef), and the reefing line for the main.
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Old 07-17-2010
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thanks everyone for your responses.
Agree, a quick reef system is the way to go, I do have it, should have use it when it started to gust.

Barry, that is what kept me thinking about this, I did let the main sheet out, the boom was all the way out, and it did very little to reduce heel, after we let the jib sheet out, it did reduce the heel angle (after what it felt a lifetime!)...I guess with my little experience, this was the first time I got little or no reduction in the heeling angle after letting the main sheet out, while tying to keep my heading , (I think I left that part out in my first post)
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