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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > MacGregor > tacking in 2to 4ft waves
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-04-2009 07:08 PM
irayone Hi all I was looking to purchase a Macgregor 26 to sail around the channel Islands catalina etc. For the money and trailerability is this the best boat?
09-03-2007 02:16 AM
gregpecaut
High Seas

It's already been said about the boat being light and the seas stopping their forward motion, however, if you keep the jib sheeted in it will back wind and help bring the bow around. Also if you move some weight forward in the boat in these conditions it will come about better. I sail Lake Michigan all the time and we get some wind up here. As far as a storm jib goes, you can make a small one yourself. It will be flat, with very little drive, but you want it mostly for balance, not drive. I just used 3 yards of cotton canvas to make mine. Bought the hanks, put a good heavy hem around it and used the material I had cut off to double around the tack, head and clew. I did a button stitch around the holes where I put the grommets, then some sewing glue then the brass grommets. Same at where my 5 hanks went in. Cost about $70. It would be a lot less if you can find some used hanks. Adding some weight down low and forward will make her sail much better in these conditions. Just bring another cooler of beer along, and stick it up by the vee berth.
03-22-2007 05:36 PM
taandel I'll have to agree with risailor99 -- getting used to tacking a very light sailboat takes some practice and pesistance. I struggled with my '73 V224 the first season, read about how to set up standing rigging and tacking in the off season, then with some practice, got it down in season 2. In sailing with some friends on a 36 Catalina - I find is simple to tack in the bigger boat.
03-17-2007 11:06 PM
storywritr
tacking in choppy conditions

Everything you need to know has already been said above.
Reduced sail helps, and gybing is to be prefered when single handing, I"ve found.
In addition, prepare for wind lulls or reversals when the wind and waves get up to 3 or 4 feet. I always leave my motor down in such conditions, and when sailing in narrow channels, or heavy traffic, ready to get me out of trouble with the turn of a key. the motor also acts like a third rudder when the waves are on the quarter. When the ride gets too uncomfortable for you or crew, furl sail, turn the key and motor back, it's the prudent thing to do.
03-09-2007 09:24 AM
Sailormon6 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.
03-07-2007 01:41 PM
risailor99 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!
01-11-2007 10:38 AM
camaraderie OK..you guys can feel free to raise your masts now!
01-11-2007 09:29 AM
TrueBlue I think it's hilarious that an erectile dysfunction remedy is being hawked on the Mac forum.
01-11-2007 09:26 AM
sailortjk1 Great, now we are getting spamed by viagra. What next?
12-16-2006 01:27 AM
eric3a 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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