Reefing in light air - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-31-2011 Thread Starter
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Reefing in light air

A few days ago we were running with a Catalina 25 with the 150 fully extended.

Because of the run and the light air the 150 kept collapsing. It is on a roller so I just rolled it up to about 110 and it behaved very well after that.

While cruising of course the basic rule is if it feels good do it.

I was wondering if any racers would do something like this too.
IOW would the boat be faster with a small sail pulling consistently or a big sail collapsing regularly?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-31-2011
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most racers would be using a spinnaker in a run and would sail the best angle for their boat. that would be an angle that keeps the sails full at all times. most of the time racers do not sail dead down wind. the angles are more like 120 degrees to the wind and jibing several times on the way to the lee mark. with no spinnaker they might be sailing wing and wing and may use a wisker pole.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-31-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
While cruising of course the basic rule is if it feels good do it.
That's not just a cruising rule....it's a life rule!


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post #4 of 12 Old 07-31-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overbored View Post
most racers would be using a spinnaker in a run and would sail the best angle for their boat. that would be an angle that keeps the sails full at all times. most of the time racers do not sail dead down wind. the angles are more like 120 degrees to the wind and jibing several times on the way to the lee mark. with no spinnaker they might be sailing wing and wing and may use a wisker pole.
Of course makes total sense.
We do have some non-spin classes around here but I suspect you are right in that they would head up to keep boat speed.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-31-2011
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I've heard of some folks with Asymetric reefing the main so the spin is getting more wind. I would think reefing the main or dropping it would have been a faster option. As downwind, more SA forward is usually better. Then again, I have seen some reports where boats with gaff mains have out sailed a marconi rig down wind, same boat, same SA. BUT the marconi beat the gaff upwind! in the end, a good race none the less.

in general, as mentioned, better to wing on wing, or not sail direct down wind, at 120-160* would have been better than letting the sail collapse, which also wears out the sail sooner.

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-31-2011
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Likely you were not going faster.


What was your apparent wind angle ?
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-31-2011
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David, were you on a run with both sails on the same side? Not wing and wing?

I normally would just head up and come to a broad reach..and then gybe your way home.
Otherwise, the mainsail is blocking the genoa.

You could..drop the main, but I would just head up....to a broad reach and have both sails working

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-01-2011
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I raced a C25 for many years. Rolling up the jib in light air reduces sail area at a time when you need as much sail area as you can get. In light-to-moderate winds, I sailed wing-and-wing with a whisker pole extending the genoa to the maximum. Some handicapping systems limit the length of the whisker pole, and others do not. If you're just sailing casually, it doesn't matter, but if you're racing, you'll need to know whether the length of pole is limited by the handicapping system used in your venue. The fully extended whisker pole prevents the genoa from collapsing, and keeps it driving the boat downwind in light air.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
I raced a C25 for many years. Rolling up the jib in light air reduces sail area at a time when you need as much sail area as you can get. In light-to-moderate winds, I sailed wing-and-wing with a whisker pole extending the genoa to the maximum. ....
FWIW, another easy alternative for keep the genoa full without a pole is to sail by-the-lee, gybing if necessary so the genoa has a clear breeze. Not a good practice for a big breeze, but also not generally needed then anyway.

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post #10 of 12 Old 08-01-2011
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As long as the main is not blocking air to the genny (in which case reefing the main is a reasonable thing) you may find that the weight of jib sheets is a problem. Try removing the lazy sheet. If you sail in light airs often consider a set of light air (lightweight) sheets.

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