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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 07-21-2012
O'Day 272 - "Pana-Sea-A"
 
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Reducing leeway

I've been sailing my O'Day 272 for a couple of years, and notice that I have a a lot of leeway when close-hauled. Any advice on how to reduce this. It makes sailing upwind almost pointless...
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Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

A few quick possibilities.. Are you heeling too much? It's better to reduce sail and sail flatter and faster. Are you pinching too much, thus losing speed and increasing leeway?
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Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

Maybe when you have too much leeway fall of some to build more speed and get more lift out of you keel, then slowly start pointing again.
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Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

The usual prime cause of excess leeway (skidding off to leeward) is due to a too loose forestay - causes the jib/genoa to go draft aft, overdrafted, hooked up leech and the CE operating sometimes many feet to leeward of the boats centerline. Your forestay should be at about 15+% wire tension to match what the sailmaker cut from the luff to match the expected sag in the wire at 15% tension .... any sag greater than what you get with 15% is going to adversely affect 'skid' .... and most helmsmen will erroneously blame 'weather helm'.

Here's how to check and set forestay/backstay tension by visualizing sail SHAPE: http://www.ftp.tognews.com/GoogleFil...f%20Hollow.pdf

Secondly,
If you have excessive weather helm, the boat will 'mush along' dragging its rudder almost sideways (rudder at much greater than 5° and the slip wake coming off the stern at a visible angle) and that too will cause excess leeway due to the extreme drag on the rudder. Excess 'actual' weather helm typically is due to poor mainsail SHAPE caused by improperly raising a dacron mainsail. Check this out to correct for excess so-called weather helm due to BAD mainsail shape by improperly raising it: http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com...d.php?t=120970

Do you sail into Worton Creek often? If so, you can stop by (Green Pt. Landing Marina) and I can do a quick 'visual' to help get you started if you prefer. A well set up and sail shaped 272 should be able to 'point like a banshee'.
pointyendfirst and skygazer like this.

Last edited by RichH; 07-21-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 07-22-2012
O'Day 272 - "Pana-Sea-A"
 
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Re: Reducing leeway

Thanks everyone. I think that I do carry too much headsail many times, so I will watch that from now on.

RichH, as it happens, I keep my boat right next door. I may need to study what you sent further, but also may take you up on your kind offer.
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

I should add that I don't generally have much problem with weather helm; adjusting the traveler usually helps that.
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

At the risk of sounding like a Cassandra, is these the lines of the boat we're talking about?

O'DAY 272 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

If so, do you have enough keel here to avoid sideslip? You draw under 3 feet, which seems kinda short-legged to me. Heel her, and much of that is shadowed behind turn of the leeward bilge.

I would have expected another foot of keel here, wings or not or, absent wings, then a centerboard that drops down for upwind work. It hurts me to say this about a Ray Hunt (office) design, since I grew up in 110s.

I would like to be wrong about this, and I've never sailed one. But that's what it looks like to me

Last edited by nolatom; 07-22-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
At the risk of sounding like a Cassandra, is these the lines of the boat we're talking about?

O'DAY 272 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

If so, do you have enough keel here to avoid sideslip? You draw under 3 feet, which seems kinda short-legged to me. Heel her, and much of that is shadowed behind turn of the leeward bilge.

I would have expected another foot of keel here, wings or not or, absent wings, then a centerboard that drops down for upwind work. It hurts me to say this about a Ray Hunt (office) design, since I grew up in 110s.

I would like to be wrong about this, and I've never sailed one. But that's what it looks like to me
Yeah, but it's a wing keel. With the wings sticking out, I'm not sure that the shadowing effect you're talking about, would happen.
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Reducing leeway

Call me Cassandra too then as I'm with nolatom. The Oday 272 is a shoal draft boat, albeit with a winged keel. Shoal draft (like most other options with boats) is a compromise which makes sense for the skinny water of the Chessy. The trade off is that you are less likely to scrape the bottom but once you start heeling the boat over there is less and less keel showing to give resistance to leeway. Keep the boat on it's feet and the keel will provide resistance to leeway. This means reducing sail area by reefing and furling.

I have sailed on an O'Day 272 on the LI Sound. The winged keel did save us from a sad fate. We became grounded on an ebb tide and could not get the boat off. Winged keels are notoriously difficult to get un-grounded. The 8' of tidal range went out and the boat was left standing on the beach on her winged keel, like a ballerina in toe shoes. Hours later the tide came back and we floated off with only the skipper's pride slightly damaged (not my boat).

Edit to add: We wrote a song about this incident called: "High and Dry".
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Last edited by CalebD; 07-22-2012 at 06:31 PM.
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