Heavy weather: mainsail removal - SailNet Community
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 03-24-2008 Thread Starter
Once known as Hartley18
 
Classic30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 45
Thanked 65 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 9
   
Dock
Heavy weather: mainsail removal

We spent Easter taking friends out on on Port Phillip bay in sometimes nice, sometimes rather nasty weather. The barometer was up and down like a yo-yo the entire weekend - and under storm jib and fully-reefed main at hull speed the boat was manageable but only just..

At one stage, we ran back to St Kilda Marina from the top end of the bay on a broad reach with a front right behind us. Exciting stuff, but it did occur to me a couple of times that we might still have had too much sail up (particularly with guests on board who had never been silaing before) but wasn't sure exactly how to quietly dowse the main downwind without scaring the s$%@ out of them!

Without re-opening a discussion here a while back, I suppose the the options were:

a) Haul 'round to windward with sails flapping.. and noise and flying sheets everywhere? Nah, that's not it.

b) Pull the main in and haul it down with brute force, but, on our boat, hauling the main in with the wind "abaft the beam" makes the helm feel really strange indeed!!. ..Not to mention increasing the risk of an accidental gybe during the operation.

Is there a better way?

-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Classic30 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 03-24-2008
On the hard
 
CharlieCobra's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
Posts: 3,503
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 11
   
Nope, reef before it gets bad or round up into the wind and put up with the noise. Dousing offwind can cause damage to sail, tracks etc.
CharlieCobra is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 9 Old 03-24-2008
Telstar 28
 
sailingdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 14
         
Unless you've got a unstayed mast, listen to Charlie...

Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 9 Old 03-24-2008
ASA and PSIA Instructor
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,555
Thanks: 7
Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 16
 
You only need to head up enough so the main is not pressed against your rigging, typically as long as the wind is a bit aforward of the beam and you should be able to drop the main. Trim the jib so it is pulling properly. The main obviously will luff loadly but you should be able to get it down in 20-30 seconds, them trim the boom in and run off...

Certified...in several regards...
sailingfool is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 9 Old 03-24-2008 Thread Starter
Once known as Hartley18
 
Classic30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 45
Thanked 65 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 9
   
Dock
Thanks for the replies guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
You only need to head up enough so the main is not pressed against your rigging, typically as long as the wind is a bit aforward of the beam and you should be able to drop the main. Trim the jib so it is pulling properly. The main obviously will luff loadly but you should be able to get it down in 20-30 seconds, them trim the boom in and run off...
SF, this does sound like a plan - there's only one thing wrong with it:

Rather large waves that were safely on the quarter whilst screaming downwind are now broadside on and with the boat madly rolling in the trough (without the stabilising force of the main) standing on the cabin-top to get the main down can be a bruising experience.

EDIT: "Trim the jib" - maybe that's the key I've been missing.. Is that likely to be enough to stop the boat rolling like a mad thing??

-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Classic30 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 9 Old 03-25-2008
Here .. Pull this
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,031
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
If the wind is making up, the only really safe way to douse the main is with the boat headed directly into the wind. If you try to do it off the wind the sail will catch the wind and you run the risk of getting it caught on the rigging.

If a batten gets stuck behind a spreader, you could have a difficult situation to deal with. If there are any little barbs on your shrouds, you run the risk of rips and tears.

If you keep the boat heading directly into the wind, and if you sheet the boom in dead center, the sail will not flap excessively. The noise and turbulence come when the boat is off the wind slightly or the boom is allowed to flop around.
Sailormann is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 9 Old 03-25-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
What you need to do is heave-to, drop the main, and return to running downwind.

While running, watch for a wave to break to windward. Turn up into the wind where the wave broke. Set the helm hard a lee, sheet in the main, but leave the storm jib sheeted. With the jib back winded and the helm hard over (hove-to), drop the main. Then, while looking out for breaking waves that could hit you abeam, ease the helm and continue sailing.
VikingSailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 9 Old 03-25-2008
Senior Member
 
Ilenart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Australia
Posts: 515
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
 
Hartley18, I know what you mean by Port Phillip Bay being nasty. I used to sail a Laser out of Black Rock YC and later crewed on a 25ft racing yacht & you get all four seasons in one day . With the shallow water you get a short chop that can be interesting.

My brother used to have a Hartley 16 and from memory the sails were small enough to use brute force to handle. I wonder whether your option B might work. Alternatively have you thought of furling the jib as a first option and then run with the main only?
Ilenart is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 9 Old 03-25-2008
Senior Member
 
Valiente's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,491
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
I concur with the general advice...head to wind OR if you have a good person on the helm, "feather" or luff the jib and let off the main sheet to relieve tension. Basically, you're trying to find a spot just above close-hauled, so you are crabbing forward at about a knot. This is only if you don't want to switch on the engine (or don't have an engine). Head to wind is best, because a gust 10 degrees off could fill the main at just the wrong point.

I've had to do this a few times, and practice makes perfect.

The main only idea is doable depending on conditions and course. From beam to broad reach, it's the equivalent of taking in a reef, really, and if I'm just tooling around in light air, sometimes I'll just put the main up and pretend it's a Nonsuch!
Valiente is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Balance of Hull and Sails Steve Colgate Learning to Sail Articles 0 05-25-2000 08:00 PM
The Balance of Hull and Sails Steve Colgate Seamanship Articles 0 05-25-2000 08:00 PM
The Balance of Hull and Sails Steve Colgate Buying a Boat Articles 0 05-25-2000 08:00 PM
How to Sail with Weather Bob Rice Seamanship Articles 0 04-21-1999 08:00 PM
Gathering and Using Weather Information Michael Carr Seamanship Articles 0 03-31-1997 07:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome