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  #11  
Old 06-25-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Freddie,

This article explains the whole enchilada better then I can: Helm Balance – Center of Effort, Lateral Resistance, Centerboard, Mast Rake - Waves « Jordan Yacht Brokerage

We often get weather helm on our sloop rigged Tartan 27 when racing. Besides easing the sails for a reach you can also play with your center board to move the center of effort aft or forward, as the linked article explains. With your yawl rigged T27 you have the added bonus of being able to drop the main altogether and sail jib n' jigger. I think you will find that flying only the jib and jigger that your boat will sail much more comfortably in higher winds - flatter, and yes, a bit slower.

You will figure out what combination of sails work best for you depending on the conditions. I'm glad to hear that you are out sailing on your old gal 'Destinada'.

Cheers.
Thanks Caleb,
I'll read this article thoroughly...
I've actually sailed jib n jigger on 20 knot winds just fine and actually enjoyed being able to run the two and still go 5-6 knots...I just got caught by surprise with way too much sail and my rookie thinking got the best of me...I had let out the main pretty good in order to spill wind and not heel as much when I was close hauled but I guess I had not let out enough when trying to switch to downwind...I will try this again when I'm out there and see what I get...

Next time it happens I will either reef the main to its 3rd reefing point or just completely take down main...

Thanks for the replies everyone!
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

I don't have a mizzen....

But, when I'm faced with this sort of thing, and it happens quite a bit because of the shape of my lake and prevailing winds...

As I turn off the wind, I ease out the main. When I'm strong on a broad, I ease the main until it luffs, then sheet it in just snug so it's tight and powered but not making me heel over. At this point, I'm spilling alot up top, so I'll bring in the vang just a bit, getting my heel over to 10-15 degrees....and cruising along nicely.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

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Originally Posted by Southcoasting View Post

I should have decided to either reef or just put down the main when I had noticed the whitecaps from a distance leaving the harbor and sail on reduced foresail and mizzen. Next time I will put down the main if I plan to broad reach on heavier winds...
You answered your own question really. The time to reef is when you FIRST think about it. Best advice I ever got. Putting at least one reef in the main would solved your problem.

I have never sailed a yawl but had a ketch for 7 years on an Atlantic circuit and the ability to drop the main and still have a balanced sail plan was valuable.

As others have said you could have reduced your weather helm by by easing your main sheet. This would have helped.

Racers talk about depowering the mainsail in this situation and getting a racer onboard with you one day in this sort of windspeed and getting them to play the sheet/traveller/vang/ [backstay tension if you have it] would be educational.

Me ** I would have dropped the main Extra Careful Jones }

Last edited by Faster; 06-26-2012 at 03:20 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Having limited experience on a ketch or yawl take my recomendation with a grain of salt...

Remember that a boat have a center of effort, typically centered on the forward 1/3 of the keel. This has little relation to the mast, but on a mast stepped boat they likely coincide. Any effort placed on the boat forward of this point wants to turn the boat off the wind, and any effort placed aft of it wants to turn the boat into the wind.

So here you were trying to come down, and couldn't because of the sails driving you back up. This is actually a good thing when going upwind since it keeps the rudder centered, and is what's called a well balanced boat. But as you realized when you want to turn down it prevents this from happening, so you need to ease the sails behind the center of effort (you can ignore the jib). The failure to do this has lead to many collisions around the race course.

What this COE also means is that when reefing you typically not only want to reduce the sail area, but also want to bring the force from the sails towards the Boat COE. This reduces the lever arm the sail is applying to the boat, and minimizes turning forces.

Because of this I would think you would want to reef the mizzen first, to the point of removing it, before taking down any of the main. Since by doing this you more the forces towards the center of the boat, instead of pushing them further aft.
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Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

The relationship between C of E and C of R will determine weather helm or not. but healing puts C of E to one side and C of R (keel) one the other. This makes your boat a one handled wheel barrow and may need a lot of rudder work. As I sail a Spray this is second hand information from owners of plastic boats and as I rarely race (unless we are going in the same direction) others may have more to say about extreme healing and weather helm.
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Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Quote:
Many port tack/starboard tack collisions occur because the mainsheet doesn't get released fast enough, and the helmsman's frantic efforts on the filler have little effect in changing course.
Sailingfool - Could you explain this one a bit more. Does the increased helm pressure cause the rudder to stall? If so, I would assume that the boat was already critically unbalanced b/f trying to fall off?
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

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Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
Sailingfool - Could you explain this one a bit more. Does the increased helm pressure cause the rudder to stall? If so, I would assume that the boat was already critically unbalanced b/f trying to fall off?
A boat sailing closehauled in a breeze may be well balanced or not, depends on various factors, generally you want to tune out excessive windward helm as the rudder drag slows the boat. With some boats you can't really do that.

But balanced (little helm) or not (lot of helm) when you try to head down without easing the mainsheet, the pressure on the main prevents the boat from changing course, as it is a stronger force, than the turning power provided by the rudder. The rudder certainly stalls...I believe this experience is true regardless of the size of foresail in use, mostly dependent on the amount of wind pressure.

When approaching a crossing boat, I always ensure that the mainsheet trimmer has the sheet uncleated and is alert to the developing situation, so the mainsheet runs out if the turn is needed.

FWIW, being involved in one T-bone as the young trimmer who didn't get the mainsheet uncleated quickly enough, is a lesson that lasts a lifetime...
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Old 07-07-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Unless there were some immediate circumstance(s) slowing you turn once the issues came upon you would have allowed for the time you needed to maintain grace. To me it sounds like the entire issue(s) could have been worked out more easily had you not been of the mind to having turn right NOW to the quadrant of your determination.
Its a heartbeat of sorts. Wind, sea, vessel. your frustration with your boat not obeying the helm misses too much in your own having been there. When a boat refuses to obey a helm order and she is in regular shape then forces beyond are at play. Unseen under currents?
Oh my,,,,I am running about the place thinking you know your vessel,,, DO YOU?
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Old 07-07-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Me personally in this particular instance I would have played with it. I would have run back up and down the same angles for as long as I could. I would have run them again and again and again until time ran out and or conditions ran out.
Funny thing the time thingie eh?
Nobody here can re-create, they can only make assumptions based on their own histories of a craft and conditions nowhere near what yours were.
They do the best the results are great because of the immense amounts of decades if not milleniums of experience here.
I personally would have turned the boat around and tried it again, and again, and again to see what it was I was missing in knowing how that boat handled in those conditions. Good bad or indifferent at least I would have known and that alone to me would have been worth the price is admission.
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Old 07-08-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Thank you all for the replies!

I have been sailing a few times since and know I have quite a bit to learn about balancing my sails/rudder/centerboard, etc.

I look forward to continue to learn and one day will be confident in knowing how to balance my boat based on condition...

I did manage to make it to Red Brook Harbor (about a 3 hours sail from our bay downwind with just ib n jigger) and anchored overnight...The way back we had to beat against wind and waves and took 4.5 hours this time with jib n mainsail, no mizzen...my mainsail was not performing to its potential as I could see it getting backwinded...I realized my mistake as I seen my mainsail was not pulled all the way to top, it was spilling much air, and my topping lift was too tight...but then thought that it not not heeling excessively as a result which was key in letting my wife and wife's friend be comfortable on the ride back so I just left it...

Wanted to get out today but had to visit family in New Hampshire...

Can't wait till next weekend though!
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