SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
1985 Beneteau First 29
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been sailing about 30 some years but I am relatively new to full keel boats. I’m having trouble getting ours to tack. We have a Reliance 44. Is it just my trim? Any suggestions are welcome
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,061 Posts
Not familiar with that boat, but it looks like it has been fitted as a cutter or a ketch. @ 28,000 lbs. ?
How is yours rigged?

Generally speaking, speed helps. (momentum) Backwinding the headsail can also help get the bow through the wind. But I'll defer to those who have more experience with heavy full keel boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,589 Posts
Any long-keeled sailboat will tack. They all do.
They don't point that high, but they will certainly tack.
Their real strength is their stability when running off-wind.
I think perhaps you are attempting to tack in very light airs (?).
In stronger winds, bear-off to gain some extra speed and with about half-rudder, the ship will get through the eye of the wind and on to the other tack.
If the wind is very light, and you get "clapped in irons", don't be afraid to run the motor for a wee while to help a heavy ship. Whatever is easiest for you. Despite what the purists say, there are no rules on that one (unless you are racing).

Some 30 years on with a Union Polaris 36, with the same cutaway-forefoot keel design as your ship, I would have no other and I wouldn't part with that ship for love nor money.
Each to their own, but for me, the long-keel is king.

Rockter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
When you think abut it a fin keel boat and a full keel boat have different underwater shapes.
This means that they will behave differently.
As Tempest has said, full keeled boats track really well.
Fin keeled boats tack really well.
You will need speed so bear off get some speed and throw the helm over.
Let the foresail pull the bow across and don't let go of the weather sheet until the main starts to fill. and away you go.
Well, in theory at least.
Not so easy in very light winds.

gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,723 Posts
I know it's widely believed that backwinding the jib helps a full keel sailboat get across the eye of the wind, but I have never seen the sense of it. The wind can't get to the backside of the jib until the bow is already past the eye of the wind. So, if backwinding doesn't help the boat cross the eye of the wind, what does it do? For one thing, it creates drag and reduces the boats momentum, like putting on the brakes. For another thing, it reduces the amount of time the crew has to haul in the jibsheet and trim the sail on the new tack. Ordinarily, you can't start hauling in the jibsheet until the sail is past the eye of the wind, but when you backwind the jib, you don't release the backwinded sail until the boat has turned to its closehauled heading in relation to the wind. At that point, the boat is simply coasting on what little momentum it has left, instead of accelerating with the wind in its sail. So, backwinding has not helped the boat across the eye of the wind, it has reduced the boats momentum, and it has delayed you getting the sail driving on the new tack. I can't find a single benefit to backwinding a jib.

I agree with Rockter. I also think that full keel boats, by design, tend to want to go straight, rather than turn. By design, they are simply incapable of tacking in winds as light as fin keel boats. If there isn't enough wind to generate enough momentum for the boat to coast across the eye of the wind and turn to closehauled, backwinding the jib isn't going to help. This is simply a designed limitation of a full keel boat. Tacking in very light air is not one of its strong points. You have to understand the boat.
 

·
Registered
Herreshoff/Vaitses Meadowlark
Joined
·
170 Posts
I know it's widely believed that backwinding the jib helps a full keel sailboat get across the eye of the wind, but I have never seen the sense of it. The wind can't get to the backside of the jib until the bow is already past the eye of the wind.
What backing the jib does is to prevent the boat from being caught in irons - hung up with the bow pointing straight into the wind. A lot of boats will sit in irons quite happily and once there are stuck unresponsive until they gather enough sternway for the rudder to catch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,723 Posts
Ok, I'll give you that one instance where the boat has just enough momentum to come up into "irons," and no more, but after the boat has crossed the eye of the wind, all the detriments of backwinding come into play. My point is that many owners of full keel boats backwind their jib routinely, not just to avoid "irons," but with every tack, when it's neither necessary nor beneficial. If a full keel boat has enough momentum to get across the eye of the wind, there's no benefit to backwinding the jib. It's better to keep your momentum and get the jib over, get it trimmed and driving.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,061 Posts
It was not a routine maneuver on my old Bristol, rather a jdege says to help keep me out of irons only in certain situations. As I recall, once I knew the bow was going to get through the wind, I immediately released the jib and got it driving pretty quickly. Granted, I wasn't racing it, so if it fell off a little until I got it back to close hauled, I wasn't overly concerned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,798 Posts
I know it's widely believed that backwinding the jib helps a full keel sailboat get across the eye of the wind, but I have never seen the sense of it. The wind can't get to the backside of the jib until the bow is already past the eye of the wind. So, if backwinding doesn't help the boat cross the eye of the wind, what does it do? For one thing, it creates drag and reduces the boats momentum, like putting on the brakes. For another thing, it reduces the amount of time the crew has to haul in the jibsheet and trim the sail on the new tack. Ordinarily, you can't start hauling in the jibsheet until the sail is past the eye of the wind, but when you backwind the jib, you don't release the backwinded sail until the boat has turned to its closehauled heading in relation to the wind. At that point, the boat is simply coasting on what little momentum it has left, instead of accelerating with the wind in its sail. So, backwinding has not helped the boat across the eye of the wind, it has reduced the boats momentum, and it has delayed you getting the sail driving on the new tack. I can't find a single benefit to backwinding a jib.

I agree with Rockter. I also think that full keel boats, by design, tend to want to go straight, rather than turn. By design, they are simply incapable of tacking in winds as light as fin keel boats. If there isn't enough wind to generate enough momentum for the boat to coast across the eye of the wind and turn to closehauled, backwinding the jib isn't going to help. This is simply a designed limitation of a full keel boat. Tacking in very light air is not one of its strong points. You have to understand the boat.
I can't speak to how backing the genoa affects a full keel boat, but it is a very common technique for race boats which are much lighter and therefore carry far less momentum than the full keeler.

When you back the sail it acts like it is close-hauled, albeit over sheeted on the new tack, which does help pull the bow around. Backing the sail also serves another purpose; it loads up the sail on the new tack so when you cast the old sheet off the sail blows through the foretriangle quickly. That means less flogging and the sail can be trimmed in on the new tack much quicker, which continues to pull the bow around. When done right, Backing the sail through tacks requires less helm input to turn the boat, and the boat comes out of the tack faster than other methods.

The mistake many people make when sailing upwind is casting off the old sheet too soon, causing the sail to flog all the way through the tack. Not only does that flogging represent a huge amount of drag slowing the boat down, it also makes it far more difficult for the trimmer to get the sail across because they lose a lot of their power and speed fighting the jerking sheet. The result is that they have to grind more loaded sheet in on the new tack, which is exhausting. By minimizing the flogging the trimmer can get sail trimmed much tighter by hand before having to resort to grinding. The fact that the headsail is at least partially drawing coming out of the tack helps pull the bow the rest of the way through the tack.




Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
9,322 Posts
Nope. Once you are on a tack, you will have to sail a full keel boat all the way around the world to get back to the point where the sails filled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,723 Posts
People with full keel boats say they backwind the jib because their boat has a full keel. People with big, heavy fin keel boats say they backwind the jib because their boat is big and heavy. People with light displacement boats say they backwind the jib because their boat has a light displacement. I haven't seen any reason to think that any of them need to do it routinely. What they all need to do is to tack their boats efficiently.

When I want to see how the most skilled sailors handle their sails or steer a boat, I watch videos of the Americas Cup monohulls. The helmsman begins to turn the boat. The crew releases the working jibsheet when the jib stops driving. There's no backwinding. The jib flutters briefly. The sail crosses the eye of the wind. The helmsman stops the turn when the jib streams along the gunwale. The crew hauls in the many yards of jibsheet before the sail loads up. Finally, the helmsman bears off slightly, filling the sail. As the sail is loading, the crew grinds the jib in to it's final trim. There are no wasted motions and no wasted time. Backwinding the jib wastes some of the time that the crew needs to haul in yards of jibsheet. The time that is taken to backwind the jib is subtracted from the time needed to tail the jibsheet. You show me a person who backwinds the jib regularly and I'll show you a crew that is arm-weary and gasping for breath from hard grinding. The helmsman should steer with precision and the crew should do their jobs with precision, i.e. no wasted time and no wasted motions.

In tacking, the goal is to minimize the amount of time that the sails are not driving, from the time of the release until the time that they are in trim, closehauled, on the new side. When you minimize that time, you minimize the loss of speed and loss of momentum during the tack. You exit the tack going faster and pointing higher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,798 Posts
People with full keel boats say they backwind the jib because their boat has a full keel. People with big, heavy fin keel boats say they backwind the jib because their boat is big and heavy. People with light displacement boats say they backwind the jib because their boat has a light displacement. I haven't seen any reason to think that any of them need to do it routinely. What they all need to do is to tack their boats efficiently.

When I want to see how the most skilled sailors handle their sails or steer a boat, I watch videos of the Americas Cup monohulls. The helmsman begins to turn the boat. The crew releases the working jibsheet when the jib stops driving. There's no backwinding. The jib flutters briefly. The sail crosses the eye of the wind. The helmsman stops the turn when the jib streams along the gunwale. The crew hauls in the many yards of jibsheet before the sail loads up. Finally, the helmsman bears off slightly, filling the sail. As the sail is loading, the crew grinds the jib in to it's final trim. There are no wasted motions and no wasted time. Backwinding the jib wastes some of the time that the crew needs to haul in yards of jibsheet. The time that is taken to backwind the jib is subtracted from the time needed to tail the jibsheet. You show me a person who backwinds the jib regularly and I'll show you a crew that is arm-weary and gasping for breath from hard grinding. The helmsman should steer with precision and the crew should do their jobs with precision, i.e. no wasted time and no wasted motions.

In tacking, the goal is to minimize the amount of time that the sails are not driving, from the time of the release until the time that they are in trim, closehauled, on the new side. When you minimize that time, you minimize the loss of speed and loss of momentum during the tack. You exit the tack going faster and pointing higher.
My description above describes why we delay the release until the jib backs. We do not keep it backwinded for more than a second because race boats don't typically have trouble steering through the wind. I could see a big heavy full keeler delaying the release a little bit longer to pull the bow around. The main reason we do it is to "snap" the headsail through the fore triangle quickly.

I can assure you that a premature release will tire out the trimmer/grinder much faster than a late release.

Here is an excerpt from a North Sails article on tacking:

The Release

When the genoa is backed halfway across the foredeck, ease out one arm length before spinning the remaining wraps off the winch. The sheet should be flaked in advance. Make sure it runs.




Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
5,567 Posts
Of course they tack. I own a true full keel, cutter. She tacks fine, but like all keel boats (fin included) she needs enough momentum to carry her past the centre of wind.

I've never heard of backwinding the foresail as a technique. Seems unnecessary to me. One thing we do do in light airs is quickly furl the foresail in a bit to assist with it passing through the slot. In very light airs she can hang there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I’ve been sailing about 30 some years but I am relatively new to full keel boats. I’m having trouble getting ours to tack. We have a Reliance 44. Is it just my trim? Any suggestions are welcome
Matt . . . I have an R44 ketch and it tacks easily. Are you aware of the R44 owners group of FB? If you are in Deltaville, I am not too far from you on the Corrotoman. Drop me a message and perhaps we can have occasion to meet.
 

·
One of None
Hunter 34
Joined
·
8,921 Posts
I have no idea how America's Cup racing can compare to fool keels
(Yes I spelled it that way intentionally)
Think in terms of slug vs. Grasshopper turtle versus hare...
Until full keel boats are in the element they are designed for; open deep water with unrelenting prevailing winds not: like what the coastal sailor has to deal with, tacking every few minutes & even more on a river.

And these are the boats. People starting out are fooled into thinking they're going to be wonderful boats than they realize most of their sailing is not where the boat was designed to go... what whoa! I see lots and lots of full Keel boats in Marinas clubs and yards neglected forgotten even though they are beautiful boats...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Beyond some weather

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I believe they tack well. They tend to prefer longhaul though. Eg holding course and behaving when gifted a broach. Hence their strength is holding true and snaking a steady course whilst being waved at.

We had a fore keelson cut 3/4 keel.
We get 4 foot wind chop. Doesn't grow any bigger but at about 20 knots she's about 4 foot. 35 knot, 50 knot, top gets blown off and height remains steady.
Light wind tack we'd need to hold jib to late.
5 knots or more was plenty enough for us to get around.
Waves stuffed us though. No problems holding course relatively dry but when coming around in 20+ knots if jib/Genoa wasn't held on sheet cleat until at least about 20 degrees past tack, vessel being so attracted to true and with knock off of momentum would simple start coming back again. Your vessel much heavier than a race boat, hoping you just punch though those tacks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I’ve been sailing about 30 some years but I am relatively new to full keel boats. I’m having trouble getting ours to tack. We have a Reliance 44. Is it just my trim? Any suggestions are welcome
I do not profess to be any sort of expert on sailing (I will even turn a motor on to tack if feeling lazy) however these are my thoughts on tacking long keel yachts.
Sails stall during a tack. So momentum is needed to turn the yacht while the sails are stalled. I minimise the time sails are stalled by bringing the sails as close to the centre line as possible, before starting the tack. I have found this particularly important for the main and in my case mizzen as well. The booms must be centre or beyond to tack easily. If you have a cutter rig and furlers then reducing the foresail area is also helpful. If you find yourself stalled in the eye of the wind, don't give up because many yachts will back up and can be turned onto the new tack while backing.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top