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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Turned Around - Yikes!
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-16-2012 01:37 PM
AdamLein
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
Traveler at center, and Boom WAY out
I don't think there's any more to it than this. Your rig is totally unbalanced this way.

The gust brought the wind aft, stalling your jib, and with no pressure on the main, and very little flow over the keel and rudder, that will spin your right around. Basically you were steering the boat with the sails.

Upwind in strong winds, everything needs to be tight. In an emergency, you can dump the mainsheet, but you can't sail that way continuously. In those conditions, I would have two reefs in the main.
10-16-2012 12:57 PM
zz4gta
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
Well... the wind was oscillating and gusting. I know it was reading 24-26 knots on the gauge going upwind. IF we were traveling at 3-4 knots, then perhaps it was only blowing at 20-21? But, the gust that took us downwind was large!

How many people did you have onboard?
2, my fiance and I... less than 330 pounds together!
Gotcha, with only 2 on board the boat is a little tricky to keep flat so reefing at 20 with gusts higher would help keep the boat under control.

Quote:
Cayuga, very unpredictable! There were whitecaps, something I don't like in the M25
The Merit does have a low freeboard and can be a wet ride, but I assure you it's a solid boat. You made a good choice by going with the #3 for your headsail. Carrying a full main downwind worked well, but maybe you should've reefed going upwind with only 2 onboard. If you had 5 on board w/ 4 guys on the rail, then you can carry a full main in 20+ pretty easily.

Quote:
backstay full on?
Nope, I kept letting it off when the wind died down to 15-18... probably about 1/2
Outhaul full on?
As full on as we can get it (cleat is way too small for the line)
Gotta go max backstay in 20. Heck even in 13-15 w/ the #1 you should have max on. I upgraded the purchase to mine to 24:1 on the backstay. Also I upped the outhaul to a 4:1. Works ok, but sometimes I want even more purchase on the outhaul. Something to think about in the future.

Quote:
Halyard/cunni full on?
No Cunni on the main
No worries on the cunni, but adding a little bit of main halyard would help keep the draft forward and flatten the main a bit, depowering it.

Quote:
Traveler at center, and Boom WAY out due to the gusts and not wanting to heel!
Quick rule of thumb, for typical triangle shaped mains like ours, playing the traveler usually works best. On big squaretop mains, or big roach mains, plaing the sheet in puffs works best. I usually set the sheet tension for average conditions and play the traveler in puffs.

Quote:
Where were the jib cars placed?
Pretty close to fully forward
Try moving them back one hole. On my #3 we carry the car all the way forward in most conditions, I've also drilled holes in between the factory holes to give myself more adjustment. Remember to add a bit of halyard on the headsail as well to help keep the draft forward.

Quote:
We have quite a bit of rake.
I’ve added a toggle onto my forestay that’s about 1.5” long to increase the forestay length. If you’ve checked it with a bucket on a string you’re probably good to go. I think most of us are running 30+ feet of forestay length. Some as much as 30’-6”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
Through the companionway, not just the lazarettes, and the angle of vanishing stability on them is something ridiculous, lime 95 degrees or something. U guys ever been in a broach or a bad knockdown on a merit 25?
We’ve wiped out but nothing that has got the spreaders wet. I’ve had water start to fill up the cockpit but it never got more than 6”-8” before the boat stood back up. These boats aren’t quite as tender as the J’s. The lazarettes don’t flood due to the coaming around the cockpit. In heavy weather, on any boat, you should have the boards in. Period. Three (3) Merit 25’s have done the single handed trans pac to Hawaii, and 2 sailed back on their own hulls. You can read one story here Merit 25 Home Page there were minimal modifications to the boat, but they did include a smaller companionway opening and a ‘box’ to reduce the volume in the cockpit. This one in particular was knocked down twice, under chute and under bare poles. Just exactly what do you plan on doing w/ this boat?
10-16-2012 01:11 AM
RichH
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
.....
1. Traveler at center, and Boom WAY out due to the gusts and not wanting to heel!
2 Where were the jib cars placed? Pretty close to fully forward

Hmmmm, as I step though this, I'm thinking that I made some mistakes!!!!
1. there is no way that a rope-vang can totally control a boom from lifting with the traveler on CL and the boom WAY out. This can cause the main to suddenly power-up via artificial BIG draft occurrences as when the boom lifts, even if the leech sections become 'open' due to the rise as the BIG draft then occurs at mid -cord. Typically in such conditions without the added down-support from the mainsheet on a dropped traveller, and especially if the gust has 'rotation' to it, this can happen. Better to 'blade-out' via the traveller and keep the main flat than to be vulnerable to a 'power-up' from a lifting boom.

2. Jib Cars forward will increase 'power-up' also as any release of jibsheet pressure will cause the leech to be the last section to 'unload', leaving the midcord sections vulnerable to 'power-up' and overall sail instability. A bit 'aft' of normal cars will allow a better 'blade out' either by slow jibsheet easing or helm/steerage.

If the leeches are the last to 'unload', the CE goes WAY aft!.



Question? when this windward broach (?) occurred, do you remember what the main and jib looked like immediately before the broach happened ..... a BIG "S" shape along the cord length of the sail?

FWIW, In lightweight ILYA scows, if the sails arent severely flattened, the leeches open/slack, and the boom isnt almost 'directly over' the traveller car such power-ups can result in a severe 'dunking' (sometimes to windward) when that "S" shape develops in the sails to warn of an immediate upcoming 'power-up'.
If this is the case for your boat suggest 'playing the traveller' to keep control of the main and to keep the boat on her feet; and, leave the mainsheet alone/cleated, except for 'emergencies'. Forget the mainsheet, play the traveller to keep the main 'bladed' and under control in the 'rolling gusties' .... and its 'faster' too.
10-15-2012 10:45 PM
peterchech
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

If speed was really slow, u also may have been a bit too close to the wind for the conditions. "Speed first, then pointing". But if its gusty its always hard to keep speed up in between puffs.

While I have some merit 25 sailors here, i was wondering, what are the down flooding angles on it? I have read that its basically an improved j/24, and j/24's are known for flooding in a 90 degree knockdown. Through the companionway, not just the lazarettes, and the angle of vanishing stability on them is something ridiculous, lime 95 degrees or something. U guys ever been in a broach or a bad knockdown on a merit 25? (Having been in two of these this year already while racing I am pretty concerned about this, and I am considering a merit for my next boat)
10-15-2012 09:11 PM
Merit25lovers
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

Oh, also...
We have quite a bit of rake. I tie a bucket of water to the main halyard, and it doesn't even touch the mast. Not to mention that I need tangs on the backstay tensioner, as it is almost impossible to connect when the forestay is fully out...
10-15-2012 09:08 PM
Merit25lovers
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

Quote:
How accurate is your wind assessment? Did you guess at 28 kts?
How many people did you have onboard?What lake? I'm not sure you had any real swells, maybe some chop, but nothing big. Unless you were on lake Ontario.

Lots of things going on here.
How old are your sails and what are they made of?
Was the backstay full on?
Outhaul full on?
Halyard/cunni full on?
Traveler 3/4 down with a tight leech on the main?
Where were the jib cars placed?
How accurate is your wind assessment? Did you guess at 28 kts?
Well... the wind was oscillating and gusting. I know it was reading 24-26 knots on the gauge going upwind. IF we were traveling at 3-4 knots, then perhaps it was only blowing at 20-21? But, the gust that took us downwind was large!

How many people did you have onboard?
2, my fiance and I... less than 330 pounds together!

What lake? I'm not sure you had any real swells, maybe some chop, but nothing big. Unless you were on lake Ontario.
Cayuga, very unpredictable! There were whitecaps, something I don't like in the M25

Lots of things going on here.
How old are your sails and what are they made of?

100% jib (although I think it is smaller, the specs with the boat claimed 100%) - Dacron (cloth like), main - Mylar quilt cut, boat is a 1984, not sure how old the sails are...

Was the backstay full on?
Nope, I kept letting it off when the wind died down to 15-18... probably about 1/2

Outhaul full on?
As full on as we can get it (cleat is way too small for the line)

Halyard/cunni full on?
No Cunni on the main

Traveler 3/4 down with a tight leech on the main?
Traveler at center, and Boom WAY out due to the gusts and not wanting to heel!

Where were the jib cars placed?
Pretty close to fully forward

Hmmmm, as I step though this, I'm thinking that I made some mistakes!!!!
10-15-2012 04:41 PM
zz4gta
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

How accurate is your wind assessment? Did you guess at 28 kts?
How many people did you have onboard?
What lake? I'm not sure you had any real swells, maybe some chop, but nothing big. Unless you were on lake Ontario.

Lots of things going on here.
How old are your sails and what are they made of?
Was the backstay full on?
Outhaul full on?
Halyard/cunni full on?
Traveler 3/4 down with a tight leech on the main?
Where were the jib cars placed?

VERY IMPORTANT: How much rake are you running? The Merit 25 is a deck stepped mast with inline spreaders. So the backstay DIRECTLY EFFECTS headstay sag. Merits like a lot of rake to be able to point well but it's a good idea to take some of this out for heavy air sailing. This moves the CE forward to eliminate excessive weather helm.

The "auto tack" which you described is due to backwinding the jib in breeze. A puff rounds you up into the wind and if you turn a little more.... PRESTO! you tack w/o wanting to. It happens very fast on that boat.

Rudder cavitation isn't normally a huge issue. If you're using more than 5* of rudder, you're going slow anyway (well before cavitation happens). Rudder should be very close to straight on that boat when it's balanced. If you can't get it settled down, REEF. We reef with full crew around 25 kts sustained and that's with 3-4 guys on the rail. With just two in the cockpit, reefing at 20 isn't a bad idea.

For future reference, upwind we change out to the #3 at 15 sustained depending on wave state and crew weight. Then you're good to go to 25 with full crew. Reef will get you to 30-33 maybe, then you need a #4. The 4 will actually be usefull from 30+ so no need to wait for it to start nukin. After 35 hit your second reef. All these wind speeds will drop if you don't have 4 guys on the rail. The boat likes to sail flat, like most boats.

Shoot me an email and I can send you a simple tuning guide. If you have any other questions just let me know. I've raced the boat in 35-40, and even though it wasn't fun, you can still get to where you want to go safely. Great boats.

Trevor
Merit 25 #764
10-15-2012 03:30 PM
CalebD
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

What lake do you sail on that is near Newark Valley,NY. lake Cayuga?

You should really try reefing for conditions like that. Shorten both sails so it is balanced and your boat should actually go faster then with more sail up. It will also sail flatter and be much easier to steer.

Too bad the season is practically over. Some of the best winds are in the fall and the water is still relatively warm.
10-15-2012 03:03 PM
Barquito
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

I'm confused. Did you gybe or round-up? A lot of boats develop more weather helm as they heel. If too much then the rudder looses lift, and the boat heads into the wind. If you where going upwind, became overpowered, and the bow fell OFF the wind, then you probably developed lee helm. Maybe with the jib set, and the main luffing, the boat wanted to fall off rather than head up.
10-15-2012 02:46 PM
chucklesR
Re: Turned Around - Yikes!

Reef, and in for upwind - boom in tight, traveler controls heel - not a luffing main and flailing boom.
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