tacking in 2to 4ft waves - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-02-2006 Thread Starter
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tacking in 2to 4ft waves

Greetings from Plano, Tx,
Have any of you 26x's had trouble tacking in the above height waves?
am interested in a trip up the west shore of lake michigan in 2007,
My first sail on my 26x was on lake michigan , out of Millwakee, and had trouble tacking, had to jibe in order to change direction without the motor.
any reply is welcome .
pegleg
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-09-2006
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That's a problem if you don't have the rigging and sails trimed up correctly. I was sailing yesterday in 25-30 mph winds.. We reefed the mail and had the working jib up. Without the jib (jib balances the rudder) it's hard to tack. What I really needed was a "storm jib" because the working jib was too much sail. I've had another 26X (1995 to 2001) that had a storm jib that I used a great deal when the winds howled. I'm buying another for this boat.
Cheers, JR
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-09-2006 Thread Starter
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tacking 2-4ft waves

Thanks for the reply J,
Guess i'll have to get mopre tools of the sport to do a better job, am haveing a reef put in the main this week.
Where do you sailout of ?
Thats a pretty small motor you have, but if it does the job, ok.
Hot, humid in the dallas area, lake levels are down some 11 ft . and rain is a- 22inches from last yr .
fairwinds, pegleg
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-09-2006
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The 9.9 Yamaha does "just fine" in the rough seas... You look at "the big boats" , take my previous boat, a Catalina 30 (1988). Weights 12,800, with winged keel and bowsprit... It had a 15 hp Univeral in it.... Now take the 3,000 lb. Macgregor and anything above a trolling motor would be applicable.
The MacGregor offers me "moveability"... I plan to be in Door County soon, the "UP" (Houghton/ Hancock), and LOWISA (Lake of the Woods regetta) this summer... Only possible because I can trailer my MAC26X... Look for me "UnderSail" (in 24" letters on the side) with a wimpy motor and a smile on my face......
Cheers,
Jim
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-16-2006
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What size storm jib do you have for the 26X?
I just bought my boat and it came with only 2 jibs: Genoa and standard working jib. I'd like a number 1, a number 2 and a storm jib most likely.

Eric
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-11-2007
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Great, now we are getting spamed by viagra. What next?
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-11-2007
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I think it's hilarious that an erectile dysfunction remedy is being hawked on the Mac forum.

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sold the Nauticat
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-11-2007
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OK..you guys can feel free to raise your masts now!
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-07-2007
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The M26X will tack well if you balance the sails, as another poster mentioned. Raise the center board a bit until you can easily tack if sailing with just the main or if the wind is greater that 15-20kts.

Just remember that the Mac is very light with respect to its size (because it is a trailerable boat) so you have less momentum as you tack so waves or chop will slow the boat down quite fast. Turn smoothly but quickly and don't stall the rudders by turning too hard.

Backwinding the jib an instant (very short) will also help as will letting the main out some as you tack. Also try to tack on top of a wave. These techniques have worked well for me in 6-8 ft waves in 25-30kts of wind, just remember to reef properly and keep the boat balanced, powered up and level (no more than 15 deg of heel). You'll get easy tacks and no drama.

The boat will tack fine once you get the hang of it. An added benefit, once you are proficient at tacking the MAC you'll be able to tack anything!
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-09-2007
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When you tack a sailboat, the sails stop driving from the time they start to luff until the wind fills them on the opposite tack. That means the boat has to coast through the turn. If it doesn't have enough momentum to carry it all the way through the tack, it'll come up to the wind, and then fall back on the same tack.

When you try to tack while beating to windward, if a big wave slaps the bow, it can stop your forward momentum. Also, the wind on the hull slows your momentum. Also, a heavy boat will carry farther than a light boat. These factors are not a problem in moderate winds, but as the wave size and wind speed increase, they limit the boat's ability to coast far enough to get all the way through a tack.

Having the right sails for the conditions is a good start, but it will also help if you make sure you are making as much speed as possible before you start to tack. You need to put the helm over more aggressively than normally, so you get the bow across the wind before the boat loses it's momentum. When you start the tack, watch the jib, and don't release the working jibsheet until the jib is completely luffing, because, even after it starts to luff, it'll continue to provide some drive, and you need every little bit of drive you can get, to carry the boat through the tack. If the prop will stay in the water, start the engine, and you can use it to help the boat get across the wind, or you can just take the sails down and motor to shelter.

There's nothing wrong with jibing in those conditions. I've done it on my 35' boat in stormy conditions. If you're sailing toward a lee shore and you need to tack for sea room, you need to change course somehow, and you have to do what works.

But, the best practice is to avoid those conditions. An outboard powered coastal cruiser is designed for sailing in moderate conditions. When the conditions are so challenging that you're having trouble tacking, you're past the time when you should have found shelter. Coastal cruisers are characteristically light in weight, and big on windage, and they're inherently difficult to handle in big winds and seas. Sometimes you get caught out, but if that happens, find shelter as soon as possible.
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