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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > What went wrong while sailing downwind?
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Thread: What went wrong while sailing downwind? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-16-2012 12:17 PM
smurphny
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

It's not difficult to set up a preventer to control the main when you're DDW. Makes life a lot easier when boat is changing heading from following sea. Friction devices are also good although more difficult and expensive to set up.
05-16-2012 11:12 AM
nolatom
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

You've learned why dead-downwind is difficult, since you're constantly on the verge of a jibe if you get just a little too far "downwind" and too much by the lee.

I agree with the Laser comment above--I too prefer to keep the vang tighter downwind. easing it off allows the top of the main to get *too* loose, meaning there's too much twist and the top of the sail is so far out it's leveraging you to windward = 'death roll' once you get only slightly by the lee.

Easing the vang to depower the main works on a reach and above, but downwind makes the main a less stable force in terms of lateral stability.

Broad reaching and chicken-jibe will serve you well most of the time, save the sporty dead-runs til you're out of middle school.

That said, you "worked the problem", got in okay, asked the right questions, and learned from it.
05-16-2012 12:06 AM
DrB
Another Approach

Instead of Wing-N-Wing, drop the jib, as the OP did and just sail on the main. It's much easier to drop or furl a headsail than the main. If you want to leave it up, "block it" with main and sail deep but not DDW.

If it blowing, and we have both sails up and head down wind, we typically roll in the headsail and sail on the main. We almost always do this if there are just two of us as it is more work to steer and gybe two sails with two than if we have more crew, especially in a breeze.

DrB
05-15-2012 08:17 PM
CapnBilll
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

I'm not sure releasing the boomvang to depower in a shallow draft boat is good advice. I flipped a laser that way.

Going to a broad reach, I would have turned to starboard, (tacking the jib). to get both sails on same side and stop oscillation. Loosening the jibsheet would tend to force boat to turn into the wind, maybe not a bad thing, as then you are back in control.
05-15-2012 07:54 PM
fordo
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

Matt, if you're following this older post, if you can't reef, I would generally let the sail(jib) billow to depower downwind. If you tighten up you depower only on that point of sail. If you head up from a deep broad reach you will repower the sail, which may not be desirable, and if the wind shifts or the helmsman makes an error(unlikely, I know) you could backwind it which isn't fun at all
05-12-2012 05:53 PM
sea_hunter
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

Downwind sucks pretty much most of the time if it starts to blow and you're in a small shallow draft boat. Adjusting the vang(s) or lifting to let some air blow off before you make the tack works, but can be a little unnerving. In a pinch especially if you don't have reef points on the main is to sail directly downwind and furl the foresail, then apply your tack, making sure your lines are clear and the boom can swing. EG loosen or release the vang(s) and clear your track. Keeping in mind sail adjustments should be done when the hair on your neck begins to tickle, not when you see your cap and sunglasses blown overboard.
04-11-2012 11:28 PM
TQA
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

Do you have a means of reefing the mainsail. If yes, then you should have done that as soon as you realised the wind had risen beyond your comfort level.

One of the best pieces of advice I got early in my sailing days was " Reef the first time you think about it "

Like wise if you have a smaller jib change to that too.

It is always much easier to add sail area that to reduce it.
04-11-2012 11:07 PM
MarkSF
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

If you had the main to port, having the traveler to port would power the main up. To power the main down, you want to let the boom rise to spill air out of the main. This means having the traveler centered or to starboard (also known as a fishermans reef, works from beam reach downwards). This only works if the boomvang is loose also.
03-31-2012 01:36 AM
jackdale
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

Before answering your question - do you have a vang?

Easing the vang downwind will spill wind off the top part of the leech and depower the sail.
03-31-2012 12:35 AM
mxracer19
Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?

I do have the shoal draft ha...It can be a bit of a handull but its usually enjoyable. I think I draw something like 1.75' but in practicality its closer to 2'. Either way...its not much
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