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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-29-2010 03:04 PM
sidmon Saltineil, looking back at what Shaw said about the P-303:

"The design parameters were laid down as follows: 1) A really big boat in the 30 foot range that sails at low angles of heel, has a shallow draft, and excellent sailing qualities across a wide range of wind conditions. 2) An easily driven boat that can be handled easily by a couple or a young family- an efficient boat for experienced or inexperienced sailors alike."

This is not a boat that likes to sail with a rail buried. I've found that shortening sail above the mid teens reduces that weather helm you note, and also drives the boat as well without the leeway that sets up with larger angles of heel.

As for the foam luff, I've ordered one in a new 135 genoa which should be delivered in a few weeks. I expect it to help retain sail shape when I roll it in a little to keep the boat standingup.

As for the weather helm, the original manual for the boat says the mast is tepped with a rake. You may want to think about reducing it some if the weather helm is excessive.
08-24-2010 07:38 AM
JimsCAL Neil:

With heavy weather helm and heeling 25+ degrees, you definitely need to do something. The foam luff should help retaining genny shape as you reef. I'd try rolling it in a bit under those conditions and see the effects. Weather helm can usually be reduced with the main, but if you are overpowered, it may not be enough. Don't be afraid to have the main luff a bit under those conditions if it reduces weather helm. If it doesn't, then reefing the genny a bit is worth a try.

08-23-2010 09:21 PM
SaltiNeil When I ordered new sails, I was talked into a 150 genoa with a foam luff, which presumably retains the proper shape when furled. I am now wondering after the 25 degree heels, if it is too much in anything but light winds. With 10-12 knots of wind I would think that reefing the main is not necessary, but perhaps furling the genoa might help it get back on her feet. The genoa cars are pretty far back as it is, and when I released the main it immediately luffed, so it must be the genny. Tell tales looked good at this setting while going 5 knots within the no sail zone but weather helm was substantial. So if the sails are flat and everything else looks good, should I furl a bit to get more upright?
08-23-2010 04:02 PM
killarney_sailor Jeff, I wonder if the boat your questioner is referring to is a Glibert 30? They were interesting-looking boats but did not sell very well as they were a bit pricey. The questioner also mentions 65* tacking angles. If this is 65* each side of the wind there is a definite problem. If it is 65* in total that would be highly impressive in a cruising boat.
08-22-2010 04:24 PM
JimsCAL Sounds like you learned at lot! Generally if you are heeled over 25+ degrees consistently, you are overpowered. Most boats sail better when they are "on their feet" and not heeling so much. Learn how to depower in stronger winds by flattening sails, dropping the traveller, moving the genoa car, reducing sail area, etc. Makes for a more comfortable and faster ride.

Do you have telltales on the genny and main? If not, put some on. Will make a big difference in being able the trim the sails to the conditions and point of sail.
08-22-2010 01:51 PM
SaltiNeil Hello Rich,

Back from a week of sailing around Narragansett Bay (RI) with a lot of practice going upwind. Of course everything you said improved the upwind performance incredibly with both the ability to point closer to the wind and the gain in speed. I now have good speed even inside the "no sail" zone of the windex. We had much practice in moderate and light winds.

As you recommended I tightened the main halyard, tightened the outhaul, brought the genoa cars back and flattened the genoa. I haven't tested the tune of the backstay but it seems balanced after slowly going into the wind when I let go of the wheel.

In moderate winds of 10-12 knots we achieved a speed of 5 knots on a very close haul which surprised me to no end. We had the boom over the centerline, the genoa car aft and the 150% genoa flat and about 4-6 inches off the spreader bar. We were zooming even though we were heeling about 25 degrees and sometimes hit 30 degrees. We would lose speed if I tried to level her out by easing the mainsheet so I kept it there and hung on. Is such a heel normal in those conditions?

In light winds of about 6 knots, we made about 2.5 to 3 knots headway upwind, little heel with the same settings, although I couldn't flatten out the genny as much as I would have liked since it would rub on the spreader bar.

The compass difference between the port and starboard tacks was around 100 degrees (except against the current). In the past, before these corrections, the difference between the tacks was 160 degrees! It was like going backwards.

I still have much to fine tune but you set me on the right course and it is much appreciated.

08-13-2010 11:20 AM
RichH Salti -
The 303 usually has a woven dacron mainsail with a boltrope (3 strand dacron rope in a sleeve at the luff).
Most sailors dont 'raise' such sails properly .... you need to raise and THEN apply additional strain to the luff to additionally stretch-out that boltrope so that the sail can take its 'designed shape'. If you dont do this the poor shape will cause a LOT of 'weather helm'.

Next time out, raise the main and then apply additional halyard tension by 1" for every 11 ft. of luff length (about an extra 3" for a P303).

Then, Put the boat onto a hard beat at 12-15kts and let go of the wheel. If the boat keeps a straight course or falls off to leeward ... then slightly ease the halyard until the boat 'slowly' heads up to weather. If the boat 'heads up' aggressively, add more main halyard tension and/or THEN consider to take some rake out of the mast.

A boat that is dragging its rudder sideways through the water isnt going to 'point' (may be skidding off to leeward) and is going to be 'cranky', etc.

The 303 has DEEP bilges and not much relative exposed keel surface area. If you heel a lot .... that keel is going to start to slip to leeward. Usually better to keep such a boat 'standing more upright' when beating. Watch how the wake is coming off the stern .... shouldnt be more than about 5 off from the boats centerline.

08-13-2010 09:51 AM
SaltiNeil Thanks Rich I will definitely read those articles. The backstay turnbuckle is at its maximum right now but I don't have a gauge to measure it. There is noticeable rake so I assume I am at the best I can do for that. The weather helm for the Pearson 303 is well documented and mine seems to fit in what others describe so I will concentrate on sail shape (new sails) and learning how to read the telltales.

Again thanks so much for the help.
08-12-2010 10:12 AM
RichH You cant change the shape of the hull; but, you CAN change the shape of the sails — to accomplish better pointing, faster sailing, more power, etc. etc. etc.
Pointing ability also includes proper SHAPE of the sails and proper shaping can be accomplished by the usage of tell-tales.

One of the *very best* series of articles ever written on tell-tales can be found at: ----> magazine articles ---->

---> A sequential series of 4 articles:
Checking Trim on the Wind, November 1973
Achieving Proper Balance, December 1973
Sailing to Windward, January 1974
Are You at Optimum Trim?, March 1974

Before you start with the above, TUNE YOUR RIG FIRST, as a sailboat with a too loose forestay (tension controlled by the backstay) will NEVER be able to point well. Aim for 15%+ backstay tension for sailing in 12-15kts of wind, etc. There are many internet 'articles' on rig tuning but be aware that the only 'valid' rig tune articles will be based on NUMBERS of % of rig tension - Youll need tension gage or equivalent --- or a good rigger who also races sailboats.
The reason for this is that a sailmaker when designing a jib/genoa EXPECTS that the forestay will be about 15%+ tension and if the actual forestay tension is less than that, the foresail wont be able to take on the DESIGNED shape and you get: so-called 'weather helm', boat skidding off to leeward, s-l-o-w boat and boat that aggressively heels but cant point !!!!!!
08-12-2010 10:05 AM
SaltiNeil Thanks Jim,

I have so much to learn. I have totally ignored the genoa car and the outhaul. The genoa as a result was quite full and rounded which I assume should be flat instead, like the main. I am going sailing for a week next week and will try it out. Thanks so much.
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