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Thread: Trying to improve in 2 areas: puffs/gusts & gybing Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-20-2008 05:15 PM
sailingdog of course, if the boat only has a pin stop traveler.... easing it can be a royal PITA.
05-20-2008 04:56 PM
NOLAsailing If you're fairly consistently overpowered, then harden up the halyard, cunnigham, outhaul, and backstay. As the puffs come in, ease the traveler, not the mainsheet. When we race in breeze, the main trimmer is constantly adjusting the traveler to keep the boat on her feet. You can do the same cruising. If the traveler is dumped and you're on your ear, consider reefing while cruising. If racing, try working the mainsheet before reefing.

As for gybing, head dead downwind, rapidly pull in the mainsheet while the boom comes over as you make the turn, and ease as the sail fills on the new gybe.
05-20-2008 03:59 PM
An additional idea

Since you're looking to race regularly, check the web sites of the major sail lofts. North, for instance, has pretty extensive sail and tuning tips.

05-20-2008 02:13 PM
merlin2375 Thanks for the posts guys. Chuckles, I had an instructor some time ago who was always pressing me to use sail controls to make adjustments before resorting to the tiller. He argued it was more efficient instead of using the rudder which can slow the boat down. His argument made sense to me but like anything else, maybe it was just an opinion.

I'll be racing every week on these boats so I am hoping to learn a lot that way
05-20-2008 02:04 PM
sailingdog I'd agree that if you're sailing close hauled, that heading up to ease the pressure on the sails makes some sense, since you'll reduce pressure on the sails and gain a bit of distance towards your goal.

While depowering a multihull is very similar, as Chuckles points out, a multihull often needs more power to punch through chop and such, since it doesn't have the inertia to do so.
05-20-2008 01:52 PM
chucklesR Merlin,

In curiosity, upwind when puffed you say you ease the sheet first, then head up if that isn't enough.
I work that backwards - head up (because that helps me get where I'm going, and immediately reduces heel.
I only dump the main if for some reason I can't head up.
Other comments;

I've found the traveller to be my #1 tool for reducing average heel (not puff's, just constant). Keeping the boat as upright as possible lets me keep the top of my sail in the best wind and keeps weather helm at bay.

Tight flat sheets are better working to wind in heavy winds, fuller sheets for lighter winds, outhaul, cunningham, vang and halyard all have parts to play. I do the outhaul last because I need to maintain power to tack, speed is not normally an issue on my boat but power is (multihull's are different). If you sail in chop you'll want the power over speed also.
The only time I adjust my backstay is when flying my screacher in light air, for a fuller shape I'll ease it, or tighten it to point higher, otherwise it stays set for my main keeping draft working for me to provide power not speed.
I use the traveller to correct twist, as I don't have a vang - I've considered them and decided not to install one as I have enough going on with dual centerboards and such.
Gybing is all about the boat, I've never worked a Soling so have not one word of useful advice except watch your frigging head.
I sail broad reaches rather than dead down wind, it's faster (and safer) for me by a long shot.
Crew for someone in your club and ask questions.
05-20-2008 01:34 PM
Plumper I agree with tightening the mainhalyard (moves the draft forward and flattens the sail), tightening the cunningham (does the same thing), tightening the outhaul (decreases draft in the lower part of the sailsail), and tensioning the backstay (bends the center of the mast forward flattening the main and tightens the jibstay), but I don't agree with tightening the vang. In strong winds you want the sail to twist off at the top to minimize the heeling force. To do that you ease the vang, depowering the top of the sail and lessening the heeling force. With the vang tight, easing the sheet doesn't have the same effect as when the vang is loose. Easing the sheet with the vang loose lifts the boom and twists the head of the main off, depowering the main sail.
05-20-2008 01:19 PM
sailingdog Basically, if you tighten/tension the main halyard, cunningham, outhaul and backstay tensioner, you will flatten the mainsail. The backstay tensioner will also tend to flatten the jib or genoa as well. All of this will help depower the boat quite a bit. Ease the boomvang and tighten the boom brake (if you've got one).

The heavier the winds, the more tension the boombrake line will generally need... this doesn't de-power the sail, but does de-power the boom when you accidentally gybe the boat.

Easing the traveler to windward will help too.
05-20-2008 12:50 PM
merlin2375 Sailingdog:

I trust ya! Ok yes, it does have an outhaul. Just thought about it and looked it up:

So let's say I'm overpowered in the gusts what should I do with each of these and why? I tried to fill in what I know (some of it is a guess as to why to do it)

main halyard
I don't know on this one. Assuming the sail is already reefed. Should I tighten the main halyard until it's extremely tight to help keep the sail flat?


Let the boomvang entirely loose?

Tighten outhaul?

backstay tensioner

Let the traveler go all the way to its maximum to keep the boom as far away as possible from the center of the boat

Thanks a bunch, that's good advice. I've already had one of those round ups last year, that was fun but once is enough I'll have to keep practiing
05-20-2008 12:27 PM
sailingdog Trust has an outhaul..
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