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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Closer to the wind question
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Thread: Closer to the wind question Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-12-2014 03:56 AM
rgscpat
Re: Closer to the wind question

It's harder when you're singlehanding or have green crew, but getting the timing down right on your tacks and bringing the sheets over quickly and smoothly after you've got the boat starting to tack can really help reduce the workload of grinding in the new windward sheet, as well as help the boat come up to speed faster on the new tack and lose less speed in the tack. If you're singlehanding a tiller boat, you might be able to use shock cord to make a tiller tamer that will let you let go of the tiller for a few seconds to take care of the sheets and winches.
02-09-2014 01:53 PM
-OvO-
Re: Closer to the wind question

The key to all kinds of mechanical devices is knowing which ones are big and strong and which are light and fragile -- and then using the appropriate-sized tools and appropriate forces on each. And knowing when brute force is just making things worse, so try applying other tactics.

I say this having broken off the heads of quite a few bolts and being forced to drill out and tap new threads to repair
02-09-2014 12:34 PM
L124C
Re: Closer to the wind question

I doubt you are ever going to sail closer than "30 degrees" off the wind. Some boats only do 45.
It's a good idea to take the time to sail under main only then jib on all points of sail to see how your boat performs under each. For example, some boats won't tack with jib only. Good to know if you get in a bind sometime. Oh, and turn the GPS off until you learn to sail. Pay attention to the conditions and the boat using your senses, not the gadgets!
02-07-2014 10:00 PM
Sailormon6
Re: Closer to the wind question

Trust the person who designed the boat. He knew the loads that the rig would have to withstand, and specified the cable and hardware that was adequate to do the job. Likewise, trust the person who designed and constructed the sails. He reinforced them with enough layers of sailcloth at the crucial points so that you could tension the sails as much as necessary without hurting them. It always amazes me to see the tremendous loads we put on sails and rig, without damaging them. Usually the only weak point is the boat owner. If he maintains the sails and rig, repairing and replacing them as necessary, the likelihood of a major equipment failure is very small.
02-07-2014 08:54 PM
Faster
Re: Closer to the wind question

One day when you're at the boat with someone, put them in a bosun's chair and try to winch them a few feet up the rig.. just as deadweight.. A 180 pounder is HARD to crank up without their helping themselves.. the rig and the rigging can easily handle that load and then some.

It will put a bit more perspective on how much 'load' you're putting on things when you're sailing.

Sounds like you're making headway.. keep at it!!
02-07-2014 08:40 PM
rbyham
Re: Closer to the wind question

Thanks all... Lots of good help here. I think one of the biggest learning points at this stage is getting over fear of cranking down on rig. Tightening down on halyards and jib sheets hits a point where everything feels real hard leaving me nervous both in terms of popping rigging and being overwhelmed. I have no idea where are breaking points to for standing or running rigging so I tend to just take a conservative approach. I guess a question like that reveals how much a rookie I am... :-)
02-04-2014 10:04 AM
Sailormon6
Re: Closer to the wind question

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
I am sure it will be a whole different day in 10-15. :-)
It sounds like you were in the groove.

Generally, the difference in sail trim, between 6-8 and 10-15, is that, at the higher wind speeds, you'll want to trim the jib even a bit flatter. That means a bit more tension on the jib sheet. It also means that, when you raise the jib, you should slightly increase the halyard tension. In strong winds, you will need a winch handle to help you trim the sails as tight as they need to be.

Also, whenever you flatten the jib, you should think as well about flattening the mainsail, because it is also probably becoming overpowered. The mainsail can be flattened by increasing the tension on the halyard or cunningham, and by increasing the tension on the outhaul. There are also other devices that can be used to shape the sails, but you can learn how to use them after you have learned the basics.

It helps to keep the big picture in mind. In all but light winds, the genoa and mainsail are capable of producing more power than the boat can use efficiently. Your objective is to maximize their power in lighter winds, and to progressively reduce their power in stronger winds. You increase their power by making their shape more full, and you reduce their power by making them flatter and by reducing their size.

Finally, keep in mind that the sails don't operate independently of each other. You always want to balance the amount of power generated by the jib against the amount of power generated by the main sail. If you depower one, you should generally depower the other. If you don't, and have too much power being generated by one or the other, then the boat will tend to pull one way or the other, and you will have to use more tiller pressure to hold your course. Whenever you feel tiller pressure, the rudder is acting like a brake, slowing the boat. By balancing the pressures between the main sail and jib, you can reduce that tiller pressure to a minimum.
02-04-2014 09:39 AM
knuterikt
Re: Closer to the wind question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisingCouple View Post
With the Iron Spinnaker zero degrees off the wind is no problem. That's usually the best option in a narrow channel.
Wondering why sailboat skippers need to call for a tow when the engine is not working

To rbyham:
Keep sailing, ask and learn
02-04-2014 07:47 AM
bobperry
Re: Closer to the wind question

6:
Nope. Sorry. I have done far too much racing to think 6" of the spreader is hard on the wind. I wopuld only do that if I was looking for some power to punch through waves and not pointing angle.

Ham:
Racing is really the only way to learn how to get the most out of your boat. Congtrats on the experiment.
02-04-2014 04:05 AM
SchockT
Re: Closer to the wind question

That's great! It sounds like you are on the right track. Getting the sails as flat as possible will be increasingly important as the breeze picks up. Don't be afraid to grind on halyard as it gets windier. If you don't already have them, putting telltales on the lower, middle and upper sections of your headsail a foot or so back from the luff. They will tell you alot about what is going on with your trim and with your helming as well.
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