Depowering sails - when reefed main and smallest jib aren't enough, what next? - 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
  #1  
Old 04-13-2011
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Stearmandriver is on a distinguished road
Depowering sails - when reefed main and smallest jib aren't enough, what next?

Hi all,

Great forum you have here. My father and I are teaching ourselves (well, being taught by lots of books) aboard a C27 in Puget Sound (well, we haven't actually left Sinclair Inlet yet ). We've already found much useful info in here.

I have a question I was hoping folks could chime in on though: like the subject says, what comes next when a reefed main and the smallest headsail you have are still overpowered? Obviously we have to drop a sail, but I'm wondering which one is recommended and why?

I'm guessing it may depend on the point of sail? I don't think this particular boat will point very well at ALL with just the jib up; even with a reefed main and the 110 jib, lee helm is pronounced when near the wind, and tacking is almost difficult. (Guess we have to get the roller furler working so we can "reef" the jib and rebalance things... or get a smaller jib lol).

SO: drop the main or drop the jib? One or the other depending on point of sail, or always stick with one or the other regardless of wind direction? And why?

Lastly, less you think we're getting far over our heads too quickly - when I say the reefed-main-and-small-jib sailplan is "overpowered", I mean that for our purposes. I'm sure most of you would be comfortable sailing the boat rigged that way, in the 15-20kt max winds we're trying to hold ourselves to. We haven't dipped a rail in the water yet. But we've typically got two admirals on board who wouldn't dig that at all, and we're just trying to be conservative as we learn.

Thanks much for all input, and feel free to harshly criticize me if I'm missing a basic tenet here.

Joe
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 04-13-2011
Grendler's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Grendler is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stearmandriver View Post
Hi all,

I have a question I was hoping folks could chime in on though: like the subject says, what comes next when a reefed main and the smallest headsail you have are still overpowered? Obviously we have to drop a sail, but I'm wondering which one is recommended and why?

SO: drop the main or drop the jib? One or the other depending on point of sail, or always stick with one or the other regardless of wind direction? And why?

Joe
Sailing downwind (>130deg off) on modern boats e.g Beneteau 47, Bavaria 49 in winds above 25-30kt I usually do without the main. I reduce the genoa area to maintain the log speed of max 8 kt (GPS shows up to 10kt).

Sailing upwind in those conditions is minimum jib (even 30sq ft) just to keep the balance and deeply reefed main.


My general rule of reducing the sails:

1. Keep heeling reasonable.
Reduce both sails appropriately to avoid more than 25-30 degrees heel.

2. Keep the boat self-steering (balanced between lee and windward) by trimming both sails and balancing sail area. Jib/forward sails generally have a lee effect and the main/mizzen windward effect.

Waves affect that balance of course. Seaworthy boat should stay, in my opinion, balanced on course (almost no work needed at helm) on 4-5ft waves.

Hope it gives some insight.

Grendler
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 04-13-2011
Ilenart's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Australia
Posts: 507
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
Ilenart is on a distinguished road
If I'm heading downwind and getting overpowered I would generally drop the main and rely on a partially furled genoa, or a smaller jib flying off a inner forestay. Most yachts would be better balanced heading downwind with a jib / genoa.

For reaching I would generally drop the jib / genoa and rely on a reefed main.

For heading upwind it really depends on the yacht. To make meaningful progress to weather a lot of yachts would require a balanced rig ie the main and jib areas are proportionally reduced as you reef. However you really need to get out in windy conditions and work out what works best for your yacht.

Ilenart

Last edited by Ilenart; 04-13-2011 at 05:47 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 04-13-2011
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 14,604
Thanks: 67
Thanked 178 Times in 174 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
I suspect that a C27 will go to weather better with just a jib than with just a main, however you'll need to be vigilant because you'll likely have lee helm. Off the wind we generally used main only as it's a much more stable sail. If it's too windy to gybe comfortably then we would 'chicken gybe'.. ie go the long way around in a 270 degree 'tack'.

I think part of the solution to your issue, though, is getting used to the idea of heeling and realizing that 15 degrees or more is quite normal, esp in a bit of breeze.

Keep practicing.. you'll get there!
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 04-13-2011
Pamlicotraveler's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Creedmoor NC
Posts: 554
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Pamlicotraveler is on a distinguished road
If downwind you could of course go with just the small jib in most wind. To weather I agree that you need some main to balance the boat.
__________________
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things y%^&*.....oh never mind. 90% of the people on sailing forums already use that as their signature! I'm not a conformist.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 04-13-2011
RichH's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,743
Thanks: 9
Thanked 63 Times in 56 Posts
Rep Power: 15
RichH will become famous soon enough
Along with all the other good posts, when reefed and still overpowered when going upwind open the traveller on the mainsail but not too much so that the boat does not develop a lee helm. Use the traveller to 'spill' wind (especially in gusts) and to keep the helm pressure correct -- very slight 'weather helm' so that the boat 'rounds up slowly' when overpowered. Use and constantly adjust the traveller to keep the boat at an equal heel angle --- if possible.

When reefed, and especially with a mainsail made from woven dacron apply a lot of tension on the mainsail halyard .... will force the point of maximum craft in the main to move forward and will 'open' the leech .... so that the leech section of the sail becomes flat and with essentially no camber. If the halyard tension is not set with this additional tension, the sail when hit by a gust will 'power-up'; and the point of maximum draft will move aft causing more heeling.

How to properly raise a woven dacron mainsail: How to properly RAISE a woven dacron mainsail - SailboatOwners.com

Simple answer, have a sailmaker add a deeper (second) set of reef points into the mainsail

Last edited by RichH; 04-13-2011 at 10:15 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 04-13-2011
blt2ski's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6,655
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 17 Posts
Rep Power: 10
blt2ski will become famous soon enough
My boat is similar in size etc as your C27, I find a 110 in upper winds is just fine. In fact, we've sailed on race with a 140 only after the slugs on the main broke in winds in the lower 20's, no adverse helm. I find a reefed or full main only with my boat is harder to handle than a main only. I've gone from Edmonds to Kingston in 20 to 30 knot winds with a 110 only did fine! better than a main about the same Sq footage, or reefed. 110 is 230'ish on my boat, main 195.

Another I would like to point out. Last fall after 4-5 yrs of "THINKING" I had tuned the rig up, I sent a person up the mast, made sure all four spreaders were equal distance to the deck, the mast was centered at the top, and both levels of spreaders, and my weather helm was calmed considerably!

I've also toyed with getting a smaller ib in the 80% of foretriangle area too. If you do not have a 2nd reef, you may want to include that in the mod plans for the current main, or if older and blown out, have two with the new main. About $250-350 or so for a sail our sizes to add install a reef. North or Ullman in Seattle are great to work with.
__________________
She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 04-13-2011
smackdaddy's Avatar
Last Man Standing
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,950
Thanks: 80
Thanked 72 Times in 66 Posts
Rep Power: 8
smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
I sail a C27 with a hank-on 150 and 2-reef main (kind of). I'm honestly surprised to hear about your lee helm with both sails up. Even with the 150 in 25 knots I've never experienced significant lee helm on my boat. It's been great. And our C27 points like a mofo...we even out-pointed a Bene First 30! Check it!



I agree with the guys above on heading downwind using the jib only. That's worked well for us. But I've had great luck beating into big wind with just a reefed down main (no jib). Here's a pic from a day we were having 30+ with gusts to 40:



We were under double-reefed main only on a beam reach here, then beat up into it to our marina. We had to really work the mainsheet with the gusts, but we never experienced lee helm. Of course, I'm still learning too - so take this all with a grain of salt.

We're lucky in this regard because we sail on a lake. So we can pretty safely get out in big winds and see what happens. And that's the key - keep at it in slightly more challenging conditions each time. You learn a TON!

BTW - when you DO dip that rail...post it in the BFS thread!

Welcome to SN dude.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 04-13-2011 at 09:44 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 04-13-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 1,829
Thanks: 4
Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 10
nolatom will become famous soon enough
Excellent advice above.

Get your main as flat as you can--meaning haul in *really* hard on the jiffy reach outhaul/downhaul, and on the halyard too.

You'll need the vang downwind, but upwind ease it off so the sail luffs at the top first. Twist can help you here.

Same with the jib--slide the leads well back to open up the top, you'll still get pretty good drive from both sails, while easing the heeling forces some.

Beyond this, you'd need a storm trysail and storm jib, I guess, by which point most 27-footers (and especially their crews) would be much happier in port.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 04-13-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 107
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
imiloa is on a distinguished road
For smack

Smack,

From your pic it looks like your topping lift's a bit too tight. You might want to loosen that up a bit and you'll be able to flatten the main even more in those big winds you're so fond of.

Gary
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


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
Foot of main when reefed? jaschrumpf Learning to Sail 12 09-10-2010 12:39 PM
Main trim - depowering imiloa Seamanship & Navigation 7 12-12-2008 07:43 PM
Looking for used sails head and main for morgan 33 oi sailjim Morgan 5 04-15-2007 08:57 PM
Furling Main Sails Dking59 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 18 03-17-2004 04:23 PM
Depowering the sails and twist jbr Learning to Sail 22 02-21-2003 09:23 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:29 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.