Join Date: Jul 2001
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point
As described in our trip report (posted today under Chartering), our boat would not point worth a darn. We could not tack through less than 110 degrees. Actually, that was when conditions allowed for full sail (rare during this trip).
When we had the headsail partially furled, the shape was so horrible that I could barely tack through 125 degrees – that’s pathetic. Add the leeway in there and you are making very little distance upwind.
My observations and tactics (in random order): The sails appeared to be baggier than I would expect, especially the (slab reefing with partial battens) main, despite using halyard and outhaul tension. The genoa tracks were located adjacent to the cabin trunk. I adjusted the fairleads so that all three telltales broke at the same time. I trimmed the headsail (135%) first for maximum pointing, then trimmed the main. I used the traveler in various positions to maximize pointing.
We were towing a dink with the engine down since it would not secure in the up position. The keel was a shoal draft version and the bottom was quite fouled with soft growth. In a beam reach with >20 kt winds, our max GPS speed (non-functioning knotmeter) was 6.5 kts.
The leeward shrouds got quite loose with the heavier winds while beating, depending upon how much reefing we did. Most of the time, we were sailing in about 15-30 kt winds. At 15 kts, we carried full sail. At about 20 kts, we had a full genoa and one reef in the main. Above 25 kts, we had the headsail furled to about 80% and a double reef in the main.
So, with all that info, can anyone explain to me if our poor upwind performance should be a surprise? Thanks in advance.