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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > How to Point Better
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Thread: How to Point Better Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-29-2010 10:11 AM
Sailormon6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
I definitely will try easing and adding belly to both sails. Thanks, all, for the advice.
I think you're on the right track, now. Usually, when people are trying to make the boat point, they trim the sails too flat, and too close to the centerline. There's a sweet spot that you have to find, where the sails are generating the maximum amount of power with the most pointing ability. You need both power and pointing ability. You shouldn't give away too much of one in search of the other.
06-29-2010 09:30 AM
CBinRI
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
During a race last Saturday, we were trailing the pack (as usual) on an upwind leg of the course, so we had a good view of how the other boats were sailing. The course was around Hart Island, just east of City Island in western Long Island Sound. Virtually the entire fleet was able to sail to the north end of the course on a single tack. One or two other boats had to tack maybe once or twice; we had to tack nine times! Needless to say, DFL was ours for the taking!

We had the genoa (a 160) sheeted in so as to touch the forward shroud, then we'd ease a tad. The boat was aimed so that the telltales on both sides of the jib were streaming nicely, the uppers as well as the lowers. The telltales on the leech of the main were also streaming straight back, so I think she was trimmed properly. But we still need maybe 110 degrees to tack, and can only think about sailing less than 45 degrees off the wind. And maybe this is all she can do, as designed.

At the post-race raft-up, with a few coldies under our belts, one of our club members, the one who perpetually has a firm hold on 1st place, says, "There's lots of things you can do to make your boat point better." But I couldn't get any specifics out of him. Or at least, I don't remember any.

So I thought I'd throw it out to the message board. Any tips on how to make a cruiser go to weather better?

As always, TIA for any advice.
This strikes me as a bit odd. A Pearson 323 should be pointing better than that. The two must likely culprits are your sails and riggging. Maybe you ought to offer Mr. Know-it-all (the guy you spoke to after the race) a drink or three to come out for a daysail and give you his thoughts. Another alternative is to take a respected sailmaker out, as they tend to be very good and experienced sailors and might have some good tips (although I wouldn't recommend this alternative if you are not thinking about buying new sails).
06-29-2010 09:09 AM
jbondy We're a fat cruiser as well. In a couple of recent races in a bout 10 kts, we were showing a little more boat speed than a Catalina 36-2 when on a reach, comparable down wind. But she out-pointed us enough to beat us across the line. We won on corrected time, though. We only had two more tacks than her. In last week-end's race, in lighter air, we had 8 more tacks than she did, so we weren't even close.

I definitely will try easing and adding belly to both sails. Thanks, all, for the advice.
06-28-2010 05:04 PM
FarCry Bottom is clean, scratch that idea. Could you comment on boat speed? Granted you are not pointing as high as others but is your speed comparable? How much "extra" stuff do you have in the boat? Full water and fuel tanks etc.? A 1000' all chain rode and a monster storm anchor swinging off the bow? Occaisionally I'm amazed at how much crap gets stowed on my boat in lockers over time. I'm on a 31' and can really feel the difference of taking a few hundred pounds off the boat, especially weight out of the cockpit lockers. What about your crew weight? In light winds some boats actually point higher by moving human ballast to the low side in order to induce more heel. Have you tried to just ease everything off a bit to put in a little more belly/power into your sails? Although it seems counter to logic actually easing the outhaul and putting a little belly in my main actually helps with my boat's speed which then translates into a few more degrees of pointing. I've had good success with unconventional alterations of sail trim on my boat, a short fat cruiser, that would have horrible results on the small J boats that I race on. If you are running DFL anyway in your next race, that would be a good time to experiment with everything you can, halyards, vang, outhaul, cunningham, jib cars etc... You'll eventually find the combo she likes.
06-28-2010 03:37 PM
jbondy We clean the bottom every Spring, whether it needs it or not! The main is only a couple of years old, nothing high-tech, but not blown out. The jib was old when we bought her, 8 years ago. Doyle says it servicable, but the leech and foot were built to be sacrificial and need to be replaced.

I had a barber hauler on my Prindle 16' beach cat and thought about the idea of pulling the jib sheet in with such an arrangement. As things stand now, I don't think the jib would clear the spreader, but I need to get the jib recut this off-season and I could specify that. It would result in a smaller sail, and the PO said she came to life when he put the 160 on. I don't know what the sail was that he replaced, possibly a 135. Based on what he told me, I wouldn't want to go too small.

In light air, I pull the traveller to windward to keep the boom centered and always thought I benefited from that. But recent racing has shown that we drop back when I do, and keep better pace with the traveller centered. This has been in the 9 - 10 kt range. Maybe in 7 - 8 kts, I benefit from the windward position, but I'll have to try that in a race to really see.
06-28-2010 03:31 PM
JimsCAL
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Two questions on things you dont mention...is your main fully trimmed in (boom in the middle of the boat as a general guide...)
To further amplify on this comment, use the traveller and mainsheet to get the boom on centerline and the top batten (if a partial and not full) on centerline. This usually requires the traveller to be set to windward. Overtrimming the mainsheet will pull the leech to far to windward and you loose drive from the main.
06-28-2010 03:23 PM
FarCry All good points listed above. Is the bottom of your boat and rudder very clean. A crudded up hull can't point high despite quality well trimmed sails and a tuned rig. Assuming the bottom is clean are you able to at least match boat speed with other vessels in the fleet with a similar rating even though you can't point as high?
06-28-2010 12:00 PM
RichH "Do you have as narrow a sheeting angle as possible, usually provided by inside tracks ( a track located along the cabin sides...)
__________________"

Very Good point by sailing fool ....
the P323 has a 'wide body' and sheeting to the rail 'may' locate the clew of the jib/genoa to be 'outside' of the nominal "10° line" from the tack of the genoa away from the boats' Center line. You wont have 'inside genoa tracks' on a Shaw design P323 but you can use a 'barber hauler' ..... and such usage to precisely trim with a barber hauler is described in the "Are you at optimum trim?" article listed in my first post. ... but you will need a small enough area genoa so that its leech wont 'hang up' on the spreader when such is sheeted 'inside' the rail, or the genoa has to be recut (with sufficient 'leech hollow' so that the upper leech can easily pass IN FRONT of the spreader(s) when sheeted 'inside the rail'. -- Very common on most modern 'high end' racing boats.)
06-28-2010 11:13 AM
sailingfool
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
...
We had the genoa (a 160) sheeted in so as to touch the forward shroud, then we'd ease a tad. The boat was aimed so that the telltales on both sides of the jib were streaming nicely, the uppers as well as the lowers. The telltales on the leech of the main were also streaming straight back, so I think she was trimmed properly. But we still need maybe 110 degrees to tack, and can only think about sailing less than 45 degrees off the wind. And maybe this is all she can do, as designed.
...
Two questions on things you dont mention...is your main fully trimmed in (boom in the middle of the boat as a general guide...)
Do you have as narrow a sheeting angle as possible, usually provided by inside tracks ( a track located along the cabin sides...)
06-28-2010 11:06 AM
RichH BIG genoas are VERY inefficient for beating and require a LOT of 'slot' distance to optimize the airstream flow over the main. How to tell that the genoa is too big .... watch the leech tell tales and if the lee side leech tales are drooping = the flow at the leech is now 'separating' from the genoa at the leech. The main then cannot 'bootstrap' (velocity dumping) with the genoa properly ... and the whole sail combo 'fizzles'. Try using a smaller Genoa when you are racing, especially on windward/leeward courses.
You can 'peel' to a large genoa 'after' the windward mark if this is a 'no spinnaker' race.
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