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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 12-13-2013
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Question sailing on 'headsail'

Do you 'gybe', or 'tack', when on only 'headsail', and why one or the other? Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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Originally Posted by AirborneSF View Post
Do you 'gybe', or 'tack', when on only 'headsail', and why one or the other? Thanks.
Both, just depends what I am doing, where I am going or what I am avoiding.......
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

Thanks, one of the reasons for asking is this past spring it seemed when 'tacking' you can almost end up 'hove-to', yes?????????????
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Old 12-13-2013
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sailing on 'headsail'

Depends in which way you're headed relative to the wind. When passing through the wind, headed upwind (into the wind), it's a tack. When passing through the wind headed downwind, it's a gybe.
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Old 12-13-2013
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

Its the same as if you have a main sail up.
Tack when the bow goes into the wind, gybe when the stern goes into the wind.

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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

With head sail alone, I can not tack. I have a full keel with cutaway forefoot.
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sailing on 'headsail'

By hove-to, I believe that you're meaning "in irons". Yes, that happens when you tack without enough forward momentum.

In super light air (e.g., < 1 kt) it can sometimes be more efficient to do an old square rigger move called "wearing ship" and gybe rather than tack. But that's an exception and not the norm.
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

Sailing under jib alone= Wanking.
Bringing the bow through the wind= Tack.
Bringing the stern through the wind= Gybe.
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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Sailing under jib alone= Wanking.
Really?!? Are you having us on?
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Re: sailing on 'headsail'

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.
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