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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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  #21  
Old 10-16-2008
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I'm just amazed SD isn't here chastising everyone for reviving a five-years-dead thread.

For me (and for a lot of people), their boats exhibit a very definite point of heel that I and others call the "slot" or the "rail" or "laying her down".

This is usually the point where a full hoist of No. 1 and unreefed main is pulling superbly (about 16-18 knots apparent in boats under 40 feet) and the heel is about 20 degrees. For my skinny '70s boat, it's about 22-24 degrees (yeah, I've checked). For my full keel steel cutter, it's 25-28 degrees, probably due to the staysail/yankee interaction and the greater relative boom length on the main.

Experiment confirms this "sweet spot" and a close review of hull shape, ballast ratio and other fairly esoteric elements of your particular boat's design parameters will tell the skipper where this spot is, and what its limits are in real conditions (sail set, wave action, gusts at mast top all play a role).

Every boat is different and every boat has a sweet spot where it is happy, the ride is steady and the sails look like drawings of ideal sails. The environment is ever changing, however, and the window in which a certain amount of sail will pull effectively without excessive heel is quite small on some boats. This is why "reef early, reef often" for the non-racer is the mantra: you can always shake out a reef, but you can't always take one or three in if it gets squirrelly.

Even racing on sad little Lake Ontario, I've seen dismastings, experienced nasty, dangerous broaches, and been present when they've brought the dead guy ashore from a crash gybe gone horribly wrong due to (maybe) having excessive sail up with insufficient boat beneath it.

Find your boat's limits. Your personal limits can be worked on later.
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  #22  
Old 10-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by US27inKS View Post
If you truly want to heel no more than the wife is happy with, just hand her the throttle (mainsheet) and teach her how to use it. She can play the main until she's happy, problem solved. I would bet my right arm that you will never get knocked down using this method.
I endorse this entirely. My wife helms and grinds, etc. by herself frequently, because she'll have to stand watch one day in the Big Blue. I have learned that she is a more conservative sailor than me, but that's fine when I'm off-watch!

Basically, if you don't like the way the boat is being sailed, sail the boat.
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  #23  
Old 10-16-2008
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Holy crap!! I never even looked at the OP date. Now we have a a dozen replies to a 5 year old question.
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2008
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Most round-bottomed hulls may be heeled safely well past the point when the leeward rail dips into the water, however it is not advantageous or even desirable to do so. Being basically cylindrical in shape, the weight of the keel will serve to pull them back towards upright even when it starts to see daylight.

Boats with very flat bottoms closely approximate a rectangle and, analogous to a shoebox, will reach a point where they are basically floating on their narrow side. If they tip over too far, the keel will serve to hold them in place upside down rather than acting to right the boat.

If you are new to sailing, chances are that you will find a 30 or 40 degree angle of heel to be a bit frightening, and if not you, then your wife almost definitely will. In truth, wehn you are heeled at 45 degrees it can easily seem that the boat is laying flat on its side.

Forty five degrees is a safe angle of heel for a monohull sailboat. 90 degrees is still safe on most boats.

It is more likely that the boat will have rounded up into the wind long before you approach that angle, as the rudder will be out of the water and you will not be able to steer.

Good Luck and enjoy !
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  #25  
Old 11-06-2008
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Question:

I am very new to sailing. I have a 27' boat that draws about 4'6. I try to take a conservative approach, since I do not have insurance and am working on getting skilled.

Is there any sort of "rule of thumb" for what angle you must pass before the boat can capsize? Or wind speed? Or wave size? I've had it out in 25k winds and didnt have any problems, but I definitely felt as though it would be possible to tip her over.
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Old 11-06-2008
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Valiente-

A thread on angle-of-heel really has no meaning for me... I sail a multihull. There is no heel, there is rightside up...and bad things happening...
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  #27  
Old 11-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernsmoke View Post
Question:

I am very new to sailing. I have a 27' boat that draws about 4'6. I try to take a conservative approach, since I do not have insurance and am working on getting skilled.
Probably a wise policy

Quote:
Originally Posted by southernsmoke View Post
Is there any sort of "rule of thumb" for what angle you must pass before the boat can capsize? Or wind speed? Or wave size?
None of which I'm aware. There are just too many variations in boat characteristics, etc., to have a rule-of-thumb, I should think.

That being said: It is my understanding that one is exceedingly unlikely to even broach a modern keel boat, much less capsize her, in anything less than extreme circumstances and/or with a spinnaker up. Consider: If you've a 4'6" (fin, I assume) keel on a 26' boat, probably half or better of the boat's weight is in that keel. So, the further you go over, the more that keel is trying to tip you back up. Also: The further you go over, the less force exerted on the sails, as they're less-and-less "square" to the wind. Finally: Go over far enough and you'll get (enough of the rudder) out of the water that you'll lose steerage and she'll simply round up into the wind and stand back up. (Or so I'm told. Never been even close to that, myself, yet.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by southernsmoke View Post
I've had it out in 25k winds and didnt have any problems, but I definitely felt as though it would be possible to tip her over.
Again: Assuming a modern keel boat: Not with a sail complement suited to crew and conditions.

Jim
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  #28  
Old 11-08-2008
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Well when you are sailing on beam's end (your deck edge is just awashed) you are at the point where you no longer have any more reserve buoyancy. Many sailboats do sail in like manner. but you are now at the extreme angle of heeling for your vessel.
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Old 11-08-2008
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Here's the link to US Sailings calculator for the Angle of Vanishing Stability:
Angle of Vanishing Stability
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  #30  
Old 11-14-2008
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Quote:
If you've a 4'6" (fin, I assume) keel on a 26' boat, probably half or better of the boat's weight is in that keel. So, the further you go over, the more that keel is trying to tip you back up. Also: The further you go over, the less force exerted on the sails, as they're less-and-less "square" to the wind. Finally: Go over far enough and you'll get (enough of the rudder) out of the water that you'll lose steerage and she'll simply round up into the wind and stand back up. (Or so I'm told. Never been even close to that, myself, yet.)
Furthest I've gotten is the toeboards in the water, but that was a little much for comfort until I get the hang of what I'm doing!

Thanks for the tips, gentlemen!
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