beating in light winds - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 43 Old 09-02-2008 Thread Starter
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beating in light winds

I am learning to sail on my own. I know that for beating, running the sails close hauled seem to allow for better pointing in general. A few days ago I was sailing in very light winds, and noticed I seemed to do a little better upwind when the main was sheeted out just a little (as in actually making a little headway, whereas making none when close hauled). The winds were 2 or 3 knots.

Is this right?

Eric
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post #2 of 43 Old 09-02-2008
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Relaxed sails (to a point ) power up more then tight ones
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post #3 of 43 Old 09-02-2008
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You do want to avoid over-sheeting in light air - it's easy to stall the sail. Raise the traveller and ease the mainsheet, allowing a bit more twist and a more open leech while keeping the boom near center. The mainsail leech telltales are key here. They should be streaming aft.

Ease the jib lead forward some to give a rounder, more powerful shape to the headsail and generally trim it a bit less than you might normally. While you may lose some pointing ability, at least, as you observed, you'll be moving better.

Ron

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post #4 of 43 Old 09-03-2008
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depends on the boat, what are you sailing?


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post #5 of 43 Old 09-03-2008 Thread Starter
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15 footer. There is no traveler and fixed jib sheet blocks. I have control over the main sheet, outhaul, and jib sheets. Oh and I guess boom vang too.

Eric

Last edited by AllThumbs; 09-03-2008 at 10:22 AM.
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post #6 of 43 Old 09-03-2008
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Don't forget halyard tension. In light wind, you want a little less than in stronger winds. Increasing halyard tension will help to flatten the sail in stronger winds. Tension the halyard with the sail luffing.

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post #7 of 43 Old 09-03-2008
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also easing the outhaul a bit helps.




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post #8 of 43 Old 09-03-2008
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Do you have a backstay as well that you can play with?

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post #9 of 43 Old 09-04-2008 Thread Starter
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No backstay. The mast has a forestay and two sidestays facing rearward slightly. I do have a boom topping lift (which, on another topic, interferes with the mainsail shape as the sail leach and battens "catch" on it with each tack. Sometimes passing past it, sometimes not).

Eric

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Last edited by AllThumbs; 09-04-2008 at 08:52 AM.
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post #10 of 43 Old 09-04-2008
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If the topping lift is interfering with mainsail shape and catching the battens, you need to ease it more.
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No backstay. The mast has a forestay and two sidestays facing rearward slightly. I do have a boom topping lift (which, on another topic, interferes with the mainsail shape as the sail leach and battens "catch" on it with each tack. Sometimes passing past it, sometimes not).

Eric



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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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