Pointing upwind - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Racing
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  #1  
Old 08-22-2004
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cossym is on a distinguished road
Pointing upwind

If we make the assumption that the mainsail and headsail are trimmed appropriately, how do I determine what angle to point.

Should I go by the headsail telltales, can I sail with the windward telltales (on the headsail) just starting to flutter, or should they be streamlined.
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2004
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CaptnPea is on a distinguished road
Pointing upwind

Well it depends... like everything else..

Assuming sails are trimmed properly and everything is on the driver:

Driving to the tails is a good habit, especially when new to the boat, or your just getting started and gaining experience.

Driving to the point the the inners (windward) tails are lifting may be too high (pinching), but, it depends on conditions and where and when on the race course you are with respect to the competition. A little flutter as the boat rolls through waves usually is ok, constently lifting for extended periods is bad.

In smoother water you may be able to get away with a little pinching to make a mark you were a little early tacking for. Also, it may be better to pinch if your on a heavily favored tack, than to take a knock, and tack over to make a mark. But, this is only when your close to getting there, otherwise I try to avoid pintching it up.

In rougher seas you may really get hurt by not keeping them flat and keeping the power up.

A lot depends on the boat too... a lightweight sportster will deal with a little less power than a heavier boat.

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Old 08-24-2004
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Sailormon6 will become famous soon enough
Pointing upwind

I agree with CaptnPea that it depends on a lot of variables. When beating to windward, I steer to the telltales. When the windward telltale lifts, I bear off slightly. In a heavier boat or in lighter air or in choppier seas, I tend to bear off the wind an extra degree or two, to make sure that the sails are always driving even when the bow gets bumped by a wave. When reaching in steady winds, I usually steer to the reaching mark and constantly re-trim the sails with each shift, to sail the shortest distance at the highest speed. In variable winds, however, I will often steer high or low of the reaching mark, to take advantage of an expected wind shift or puff, traveling a slightly longer distance but at a higher average speed and in less time. When running downwind, I steer the course that will get to the leeward mark in the least amount of time. In a decent puff, I steer more downwind, often gybing the main to expose as much sail area as possible, and as the wind eases, I gybe back and steer more to a broad reach and start hunting for a puff.

I avoid pinching like the Plague. Occasionally Iíll pinch for a few seconds at a time, when Iím using a specific tactic that relies on the ability of the boat to coast briefly, such as steering a scalloping course or shooting a mark. I never try to fetch a windward mark by pinching. The more you pinch, the less likely you are to make it. If I find we are not quite fetching the mark, Iíll bear off a little further to increase speed, and then, when within about one boat length or less, steer the boat directly into the wind, letting the sails luff. The boat will usually coast far enough to windward so that you can steer around the mark and fill your sails as you do so. If Iím approaching the mark so far to leeward that I canít shoot the mark, then Iíll take two short tacks to get around it. Once you learn how to shoot the mark, youíll be less inclined to overstand the layline, because youíll feel confident that you can get around it without taking two tacks, in the event you misjudge it slightly or get headed at the last moment.
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Old 09-06-2004
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coondogger is on a distinguished road
Pointing upwind

Get ahold of Wally Ross'' book, "Sail Power". If anything is the definitive book on sail trim, this is it.
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Old 10-05-2004
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SandyNicholson is on a distinguished road
Pointing upwind

Hi Captn
Buy Sail Power by Wallace Ross. However through all my readings the best upwind methodology comes from Paul Elvestom. Set up the boat on her fastest inclination (angle of hee-15>17 degrees for modern boats) and keep the attitude of the headstay constant on the horizon. That''s up in the puffs and down in the lulls, practise driving blindfolded works extremely well also.
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