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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > How best to cope with shifty gusts while running?
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Thread: How best to cope with shifty gusts while running? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-20-2010 10:18 AM
sailingdog Nope... sailing is like that... can't avoid them...
10-20-2010 09:59 AM
deniseO30 I see I'm not alone in having "YEE HAW!" moments SD!
10-19-2010 04:32 PM
sailingdog Coming up into New Bedford Harbor the other day, I got hit by a gust that was about 30 knots according to the wind instruments... we were set for 15-20 knots of wind and had the full main and most of the 150% genny up. Ended up flying an ama two feet off the water for about 5-10 seconds... We had been doing 10 knots before the gust hit.. no idea how fast we got the boat moving during that gust as I was a bit busy with the helm and sheets.
10-19-2010 04:25 PM
deniseO30 Rick, I had a gust take my boat to starboard so hard I couldn't release the main sheet! I had just rolled in the genny to handkerchief size but I didn't have the sheets tied off. A gust took it back out full, a jib sheet got tangled, making the genny a balloon! The main was still close hauled! My boat heeled awaaaaay over, zipped across the river in just a few seconds. I nearly T-boned a friends Catalina 30 sitting on it's mooring, just as I finally released the main! My O DoomsDay righted herself and turned away just in time... with very little help from me! I don't think the whole incident took more then a minute to happen.

Gusts are not any fun when they are so strong it's dangerous.

when doing light air like 5-8 and gusts of about 8-10 tip the boat it can be fun.. over.. up... over... up...
10-19-2010 03:53 PM
TakeFive Thanks for all the comments. I don't have time to respond right now, but I'll reread and post follow-up questions later.

Before things get too far off the wrong tangent, please note that my boat has a fixed lead wing keel, as in "Catalina 250WK" in my signature.
10-19-2010 03:44 PM
zedboy Yeah thanks Rich

Guys like you are a huge resource for people like me whose limited experience has always stayed on the fair weather/easily controlled end of the spectrum.
10-19-2010 03:12 PM
T37Chef Nice posts RichH, thanks!
10-19-2010 03:02 PM
RichH In higher wind ranges there is usually no need to add twist as the 'gradient wind' is lessened (except for close to the water). Allowing the sail to 'twist' creates a more unstable sail shape with non uniform ability to control. Keeping the sails as flat and 'untwisted' as possible allows FAST and precise control with the sheet or traveller ... enabling one to rapidly and precisely react. When blading-out the luffing happens instantly 'all along the luff' - easy to control; in contrast, a twisted sail will have a progressive luff starting at the top panels and then progressing 'down' along the luff - too damn slow in gusts and will occasionally leave one 'underpowered' ..... at the exact wrong moment.
10-19-2010 02:43 PM
zedboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
For lightweight 'planing hull' boats - Easing off the vang allows the mains'l to grossly "power up" when you try to come come across the wind to 'feather up' ... as sometimes such gusts will have components of backing/veering/backing. etc. wind.... my technique (in lightweight 'planing' boats) is to keep the main a FLAT AS POSSIBLE and 'blade-out' when necessary rather than 'feathering up' ..... to keep the board/keel going in a 'straight line' as much as possible.
Hmm, yeah.

What could you do to keep the body of the sail flat but allow the leech to twist and dump air? Keep the vang tight and ease the sheet with the traveller all the way leeward?
10-19-2010 02:23 PM
RichH For lightweight 'planing hull' boats - Easing off the vang allows the mains'l to grossly "power up" when you try to come come across the wind to 'feather up' ... as sometimes such gusts will have components of backing/veering/backing. etc. wind.... my technique (in lightweight 'planing' boats) is to keep the main a FLAT AS POSSIBLE and 'blade-out' when necessary rather than 'feathering up' ..... to keep the board/keel going in a 'straight line' as much as possible.

If in a lightweight boat and when on a plane, if the boat starts to turn too fast you risk 'tripping over' the board/keel (going somewhat 'sideways') and that can cause a 'dumper'. Lessening the depth of the board/keel allows the boat to skid rather than broaching or 'tripping over the board/keel'.
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