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post #11 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

"wearing ship". Oh has Alan Lewrie joined the thread. d-nm my eyes. my arse in a band box.

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post #12 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

Better not to comtemplate the term "upwind" without the term "mainsail" as part of the picture, for most boats. Lee helm is neither fun nor very useful.
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post #13 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
If the jib is too small, it's hard to tack. When most or all of the sail area is forward of the CLR, then when you tack, the jib pulls the bow to leeward, and it's very difficult to get the boat to sail to windward on the new tack. If the jib is about 130% or larger, the overlap provides some sail area aft of the CLR, and that part of the jib helps push the stern to leeward, which helps the boat come up to windward after tacking. So, sailing on a non-overlapping jib alone doesn't work very well, if you will have to tack the boat.
I think tacking a boat is entirely a question of momentum, regardless of your sail arrangement. When you start the tack you need enough momentum to carry the boat through the wind and onto the next tack. Creating and maintaining momentum when sailing under jib alone is more difficult than with a jib/main combination, as it is easier to stall just the jib and lose momentum. Whatever the size of the jib, if you have the boat closehauled and properly trimmed , so that she has reasonable speed, you will have the momentum to complete a tack. Under jib alone, establishing proper position and trim on the new tack also is more difficult, I find easing the jib and sailing down a bit until the boat is at speed, can be a useful strategy.

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Last edited by sailingfool; 12-13-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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post #14 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

In my boat at least, a mast-head sloop with a fin keel, sailing with head sail alone is a downwind exercise. It is impossible to sail higher than about 90' to the wind and therefore almost impossible to get enough speed to swing the head through the wind to make a tack. So a gybe it has to be. But why would you want to sail up wind with only the head sail?
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post #15 of 42 Old 12-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

On windy days, have heard try sailing on one sail, and then the other, soooooooo, tis what I tried. I'm thinking "in irons", is a better term than "hove-to", sorry. Running on 'head sail' only makes sense, I was just trying to see how she would handle, lesson learned. Thanks for the reply's.
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post #16 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

You'll probably find that your boat sails better on two small sails than with only one sail out.

The sail plan on the boat will help you determine how and when to reduce sail. On my boat I reef the main first. If I'm still overpowered I'll start rolling up headsail.

On a boat where the headsail is much larger than the main you may prefer to do it in the other order.

Using a single sail works a lot better downwind than upwind.

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post #17 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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Originally Posted by jimkyle99 View Post
In my boat at least, a mast-head sloop with a fin keel, sailing with head sail alone is a downwind exercise. It is impossible to sail higher than about 90' to the wind and therefore almost impossible to get enough speed to swing the head through the wind to make a tack. So a gybe it has to be. But why would you want to sail up wind with only the head sail?
No offense, but the difficulty sailing under a jib is likely your difficulty and not that of your boat. A boat sailing under just a jib handles differently (lee helm...) than when balanced with main and jib, and in particular sailing closehauled with just a jib requires more attention (and skill) than sailing with jib and main. Work on, practice and you'll get it.

If you are out in strong breeze conditions and want to go somewhere upwind, the fastest way to sail to that destination will be under jib alone. Throw in some sea conditions, and the ONLY way to get there may be under jib alone.

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Last edited by sailingfool; 12-13-2013 at 04:39 PM.
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post #18 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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No offense, but the difficulty sailing under a jib is likely your difficulty and not that of your boat.

No offence taken. I'll consider what you said and do some research. But I'm having trouble imagining the conditions where spilling reefed main and a jib is not a better balanced plan than jib alone. Like I said, more research needed.
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post #19 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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If you are out in strong breeze conditions and want to go somewhere upwind, the fastest way to sail to that destination will be under jib alone. Throw in some sea conditions, and the ONLY way to get there may be under jib alone.
Really? Could you explain this some more?

I don't have a lot of experience so maybe I was doing it wrong, but I did try going upwind once in a 39' Jeanneau charter boat during a SCA with just a partially furled jib and it did not go well at all. The boat had so much lee helm that to point into the wind at all I had to have the wheel almost to the stop. This was acting like a big brake and we went nowhere fast. The only way I could tack was to fall off to a broad reach to pick up enough speed.

I'm sure the shape of the jib was crummy, since we only had a little more than half of it out, but it seems like even with proper sail shape it wouldn't have worked well.

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post #20 of 42 Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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No offence taken. I'll consider what you said and do some research. But I'm having trouble imagining the conditions where spilling reefed main and a jib is not a better balanced plan than jib alone. Like I said, more research needed.
Most boats over 25 MPH or so, and a double-reefed main is better furled as you're luffing it anyway. So the break point is somewhere around there.

Now go down to your boat some afternoon for a few hours, and feel a 20-25 breeze on your face? Just unroll the 135% genoa and you're off. Now you would get a little better performance upwind, if you remove the main cover, raise the main, reef it...later to take the reef out, lower the main, put the cover back on...but why bother?

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Last edited by sailingfool; 12-13-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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