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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  • 1 Post By sailingfool
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Old 09-07-2012
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wind on the nose

What is the best approach to designing a 4-5 hr route when you have the wind directly on the nose? closed reach and cheat?, or take advantage of the wind; beam reach and tack. And how do you decide how far to "go out of your way" when deciding to tack your way across. IE heading from Edgartown to Nantucket, Easterly wind wondering if we should have headed north for a while and then tacked back.
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Old 09-07-2012
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Re: wind on the nose

Close reach and don't cheat, especially on a longer passage. Pinching costs too much speed over the long haul. Rule of thumb is sail the longest tack first.
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Old 09-07-2012
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Re: wind on the nose

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Originally Posted by ambianceack View Post
What is the best approach to designing a 4-5 hr route when you have the wind directly on the nose? closed reach and cheat?, or take advantage of the wind; beam reach and tack. And how do you decide how far to "go out of your way" when deciding to tack your way across. IE heading from Edgartown to Nantucket, Easterly wind wondering if we should have headed north for a while and then tacked back.
Your question does not make much sense. If the wind is on the nose, you sail close-hauled...pretty much period. End of advice. Spend more time on one tack than another to avoid the Cape Poge and the various shoals, and to find favorable current. Given the scenario you describe, I would suspect the optimal course would have few choices.
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Old 09-07-2012
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Re: wind on the nose

.. like SF said..

We do this ALL the time. You sail as close to the wind as you can without pinching or slowing down, your exact angles will be dependent on the boat, sails/trim and your skills.

Reaching off and adding distance will not usually add enough speed to make up the difference.
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Re: wind on the nose

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Originally Posted by ambianceack View Post
What is the best approach to designing a 4-5 hr route when you have the wind directly on the nose? closed reach and cheat?, or take advantage of the wind; beam reach and tack. And how do you decide how far to "go out of your way" when deciding to tack your way across. IE heading from Edgartown to Nantucket, Easterly wind wondering if we should have headed north for a while and then tacked back.
It's going to take a while, to reach an upwind point, travelling beam reach and tacking. A long, long while.
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Old 09-07-2012
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Re: wind on the nose

Best way? Go ashore, have a good dinner and wait it out at the bar.
"Gentlemen don't sail to windward."

Second best way? Check your polars and tack at the best angle to make progress. If that pounds you too much, ease off as needed. But if you're reaching, good lord, you'd better go back to the bar because it is going to take forever to make any windward progress.
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Re: wind on the nose

Kinda depends on the seas, too. Pinch up a little more when it's calmer, but foot off a little when it's choppy, the seas will almost stop you if you don't.

Understand the basic point of sail around this this is in fact close-hauled, that is if you want to get there the same day. You can "crack off" (slightly ease) your sheets a little, but that's more to help you punch through the seas than it is to go faster.

That said, you crew will hate you, you made them spill the flour into the bilge.
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Old 09-07-2012
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Re: wind on the nose

And then there is motor sailing....

Lets face it, most of us are on some sort of schedule. Be it:
significant other can only take so many hours beating to windward in a cold wet chop
weather window
vacation schedule
making landfall by the light of day
making last call

If you love to sail and don't wear a watch, by all means beat to windward for weeks on end. Many of us wish we could!

Unfortunately, some of us have to get there, relax and get back. Those perfect sails are just icing on the cake.
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Old 09-12-2012
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Re: wind on the nose

You can stay on one tack until you reach the the layline (ie, get there on two tacks). However, there are probably other factors that will make you want to do shorter tacks: Shipping traffic, current, sea state, wind shifts, etc. Or, if you are in no hurry, set it and forget it.
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