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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.
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Thread: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-30-2014 08:42 AM
bblument
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Shift the crew weight. I have done that on several race boats, sometimes when sailing to weather in really light air we get the crew to leeward.
Thanks, Jackdale. I never even thought about that, obviously. The combined weight of crew on my boat (my wife and I) is shy of 300 pounds, and we haven't noticed much effect when sailing upwind. I bet you're right, though.....shifting to one side or the other when the boat is DDW in light wind may make a bit of difference. We'll try it next time!

Barry
09-30-2014 06:57 AM
Don0190
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lydanynom View Post
Am I the only one who thinks this?
no
09-30-2014 01:26 AM
jackdale
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblument View Post
but you can't control whether a boat heels to windward or leeward on DDW, can you? Help...

Thanks!

Barry
Shift the crew weight. I have done that on several race boats, sometimes when sailing to weather in really light air we get the crew to leeward.
09-30-2014 12:44 AM
bblument
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

I'll re-awake this zombie thread, too... hate to see it die because it has so many good tips in it, especially for relatively new sailors like my wife and I.

I still much prefer sailing into the wind; everything seems so much more obvious. While downwind sailing is quieter.. almost eerily so.. I don't find it relaxing because I tend to concentrate SO much on steering to avoid an unintentional gybe. That, and when the wind is fairly strong (above 10 knots) our boat rolls or corkscrews pretty good, making controlling the tiller fairly hard work; my miniscule wife can't hang on to it. (Pearson 26 w/ working jib)

We've tried wing-on-wing in fairly light air, but don't have a whisker pole so we're not getting as much out of the headsail as we could, I guess.

In this thread, a couple posters have mentioned that they "heel the boat to windward" when sailing DDW. How do you heel a boat when going direct downwind? Doesn't the boat always heel to the lee no matter what? I understand how to control heel angle by easing or sheeting in sails or heading up or bearing off... but you can't control whether a boat heels to windward or leeward DDW, can you? Help...

Thanks!

Barry
07-30-2014 08:18 PM
AlaskaMC
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Zombie post but I do have to comment on this one.

When I first started I felt exactly as you felt about downwind vs upwind sailing. I was on a lake, it is warm, just sailing to be sailing, etc. All these things + my inexperience made beating much more fun.

Now, fast forward and our boat is on Prince William Sound. The weather is much more difficult, winds can be much higher, your wet all the time, and you are generally trying to get somewhere. All these things + my increased experience have lead me to LOVE downwind sailing or broad reaching. Less wet, wind, cold and you can almost sail right at your intended destination.

Don't get me wrong. I still love a good beat, but the combination of "why" I am sailing now, and "how" I am sailing now has led to this change in perception. I mean it is kinda cool to have it all quiet in the cockpit, not much apparent wind and look down and be making 5 knots. Peaceful.
06-30-2014 10:28 PM
Classic30
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
CAM,

We are probably a 3 hr drive south from the BC/US border. If sailing, a LONG day! Some of them stinker boats could probably get here in half a day.....still less than a car. BP is about an hour north of me via auto, 2-3 via my boat at 5-6 knots in a semi reasonable straight line....

Marty
Sounds do-able.. although I'd rather visit Canada than deal with US customs.

Anyways will touch base with you further down the track, Marty.. to give you plenty of time to repel boarders (and no warning at all for that other guy).
06-30-2014 09:31 PM
blt2ski
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

CAM,

We are probably a 3 hr drive south from the BC/US border. If sailing, a LONG day! Some of them stinker boats could probably get here in half a day.....still less than a car. BP is about an hour north of me via auto, 2-3 via my boat at 5-6 knots in a semi reasonable straight line....

Marty
06-30-2014 09:06 PM
Classic30
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
If you can get your boat up here in the next day or two, there are some 20-30 knot winds predicted in the straight of juan de fuca, even 10-25 here in the main part of the southern salish sea.....should make your boat move some I'd reckon. With something called a gps coordinate, not really sure what what of them is, or at least a real paper chart, I should be able to find the home of the WILD or is that WILEY BP and maybe we can talk him into going out and entertaining us with that stringed thingy he plays.......no need to ruin my hearing any more with his singing........did I really type that?

Marty
HA!

Actually, Marty, a very good friend of mine lives in Sechelt, BC, with his lovely wife and their 2 kids and we've been planning to visit them for a year or so now. If that's the same area that both your kind self AND the rare and endangered stringed-instrument playing BP is to be found (I didn't see that mentioned on the tourist brochure! Woo-hoo!! I'm excited already!) , I might have to stick it on our holiday schedule for next summer (early June 2015). Whadayathink??

..and my parents are leaving here in a few days for a cruise with friends on the "Maple Leaf"..
06-30-2014 11:57 AM
blt2ski
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

If you can get your boat up here in the next day or two, there are some 20-30 knot winds predicted in the straight of juan de fuca, even 10-25 here in the main part of the southern salish sea.....should make your boat move some I'd reckon. With something called a gps coordinate, not really sure what what of them is, or at least a real paper chart, I should be able to find the home of the WILD or is that WILEY BP and maybe we can talk him into going out and entertaining us with that stringed thingy he plays.......no need to ruin my hearing any more with his singing........did I really type that?

Marty
06-30-2014 02:26 AM
Classic30
Re: Sailing downwind is much harder than sailing upwind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
You know, if you if you would get rid of that OOOOOOOOLD woody boat you have, you might figure out what apparent wind really is!LOLOLOL

Then again, if you did that, those old woodies moght go bye bye.....that would be bad too! hmmmmmmmm

decisions and disCUSSions to follow!

Marty
ROTFLOL!! Marty, as usual you are so RIGHT!

If ever you are over this way, you and me need to go for a sail (or more likely a "sit" if the wind isn't blowing at least 10kts...)
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