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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

I just came across this post and apologies if I misread a reply, but the first an easiest way to reduce weather helm is to ease the main traveller. This will have a huge impact on your sail trim. A main sheet can be released but you may find the rudder unresponsive when on certain points. Traveller first, mainsheet and genny next.

Anyway I'm still learning after almost 5 decades which means to me, that there is a lot to learn and I am slow. [must have been poor teachers earlier on]

Club races will tune your abilities and get you to know your boat.

Go singlehanded - its also a great way to learn to manage everything.
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Saint Anna,

You may have missed that this is an older yawl. On a boat like this, if one wants to bear away that much in a stiff breeze, they first ease the mizzen sheet to roughly its final adjustment, then ease or release the main sheet, then play the genoa on the way down. The short travelers of that era do not have enough range of adjustment to accommodate that large of a change in the angle of attack, and mizzens did not have adjustable travelers.
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  #23  
Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
When in doubt, let it out.
"Toward the boom to avoid doom."

(for preventing a accidental gybe when the foresail starts to backfill)
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Saint Anna,

You may have missed that this is an older yawl. On a boat like this, if one wants to bear away that much in a stiff breeze, they first ease the mizzen sheet to roughly its final adjustment, then ease or release the main sheet, then play the genoa on the way down. The short travelers of that era do not have enough range of adjustment to accommodate that large of a change in the angle of attack, and mizzens did not have adjustable travelers.
Yeah I missed that it was a mizzen or a yawl. I'll read more carefully next time.

I have crewed on a yawl. My experience was a little different as the mizzen has far less effect than a mizzen on a ketch, but the ketches I have worked are gaff rigged. They had/have no main traveller but used a weather and leeward sheet system - [acts like a vang]

Righto then. thanks for that. I'll upgrade the spectacles.
cheers Jeff, have a great day

DC
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Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Switching from close reach to beam reach on 20 knot winds

The main issue sounds like simply too much mainsail. Things quickly cascade when wind overpowers helm balance. The angle and efficiency of the rudder is thrown all out of whack when the boat is heeled too far, causing extreme weather helm. The shape of the immersed part of the hull and the position of wind on the sails are all completely changed. I find that easing the main should always occur simultaneously with changes in course so as to try to keep the heel angle steady and avoid "bouncing" the heel angle up and down. If the boat can't be balanced after falling off or the main has to be eased so much as to luff, there's way too much sail up. It took me quite a while to learn that my boat handles SO much better when I'm more conservative in the amount of sail and reef early. Having the main up with much more than ten knots is inviting having to fight weather helm. Why fight it?

Also check your rigging tension, downhaul or vang tension, outhaul adjustment, halyard tension, and use of a cunningham to minimize weather helm by keeping the c/e forward. These things can really add up if not in tune.
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