SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been sailing Catalina 27 and 30s for the last few years and thought I knew at least the basics of sailing. Apparently not.

I've been playing pickup crew on a Farr 395 the last few days as the main-sheet man.
So we are about to do my first jibe so I start hauling in the main.
Nope that's not what we do.
We let the main swing free and blow the traveler.
Then adjust the main with the traveler.
Oh and make sure you duck.

So I ask. Your running with 30 knots of wind and you want to jibe. What then? Answer: Same drill only it will be a little faster.
So I say what about breaking something like that fancy carbon fiber mast.
Apparently that's not a problem.

Sheesh, We jibed the 27 in about 15K, we were just a little sloppy and bent the boom in half.

So is this standard practice on this kind of boat, or our my guys just cowboys.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
993 Posts
Your guys are just cowboys... You shouldn't be breaking a boom in 15 knots of wind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,304 Posts
I tell you what even if you don't break the boom there are a bunch of weak links



main sheet block link

How they figure the 3000#+ strength is beyond me BUT i am sure changing a LOT of mine now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
Your "Race" way is not the best way.

First of all, letting the boom just "swing" through is not only very hard and potentially damaging to the equipment, it is dangerous because a fast moving boom can hurt, possibly very seriously, crew. Lot's of things are happening on a boat around the boom during a gybe, so while you maybe safe and know to duck, others may forget.

The captain of my race boat, and what I was taught in general sailing class, does this.

  1. The captain says get ready to gybe.
  2. I (main trimmer) move the traveler to center and lock both ways
  3. "Gybe Ho" is announced and as quick as I can, I pull the mainsheet in as the boat crosses over
  4. As soon as the sail catches the wind on the other side, I pay out the main as quickly as I can, in a controlled manner. I don't just let it run loose by it self, I keep tension on it so that the boom speed is minimized
  5. Once the boom is filled and safely away from the cockpit and the new course is established, I lock the main and move the traveler down to the leeward side and then readjust the sheet.

In light winds (<8 kts), the forces on the sail are weak enough that, after I center the traveler, I can grab the boom with my hand and walk it over without doing anything with the mainsheet. Once through, I then adjust the traveler.

DrB
 

·
baDumbumbum
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Oh, I dunno. Things are done a bit differently on performance boats, esp. planing hulls. Most of em just grab the mainsheet tackle & throw the boom across. Here's a Melges 24 practising jibes:


Standard procedure, I understand. Yes, it's hard on the rigging & boom, but it's fast. If the boat stays on plane, the stresses on the rig are less than if the boat is displacing. Boats like the M24 or the Farrs jibe often because they sail high angles downwind; presumably the designers took this into account and beefed up attachment points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, I dunno. Things are done a bit differently on performance boats, esp. planing hulls. Most of em just grab the main-sheet tackle & throw the boom across. Here's a Melges 24 practicing jibes:

Standard procedure, I understand. Yes, it's hard on the rigging & boom, but it's fast. If the boat stays on plane, the stresses on the rig are less than if the boat is displacing. Boats like the M24 or the Farrs jibe often because they sail high angles downwind; presumably the designers took this into account and beefed up attachment points.
I'm thinking you may be right. Several things:
1. The guy I'm sailing with is the owner, I doubt if he wants to break his boat.
2. Everything looks really beefy including the rod rigging, carbon mast, carbon boom etc.
3. He has been racing for 25 years
4. The design of the traveler is such that their is a automatic damping effect as the line attempts to run free through the traveler with the multi to one block system (I'm guessing about 4 to 1).
5. When I did jam it a couple of times and the traveler hung up at center the boat had so much weather helm it was not steerable.
6. This implies that with this boat and the amount of sail it carries there is no way you could center traveler, sheet in, sheet out then lee traveler quick enough to get control of the boat before you got a good course.
6. She carries a continuous main sheet with a winch on both sides. Once the boom is loaded it is really slow and really hard work to sheet it in. Trust me I know.

I had heard that performane boats were difference but I never expected that different. From a casual observer, which I was a couple weeks ago, they just look about the same as crusing but with a few more lines.

I knew something was up when I saw the guy pumping a hydraulic back-stay tensioner to 2,000 lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your guys are just cowboys... You shouldn't be breaking a boom in 15 knots of wind.

I our defense the Catalina 27 is supposed to have three attachement points to the boom. The PO had changed it to a single point and had pre-bent the boom an inch or so.

Our little quick jib just finished the job.
We rigged it properly on the new boom.

Lesson learned.
Never modify something on a production boat to make it less strong. The original designer has probably not over engineered anything.

I doubt if a anything we could have done in 15k or less of wind would have caused a bent boom if it was rigged properly.
 

·
baDumbumbum
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
I'm thinking you may be right. Several things:
1. The guy I'm sailing with is the owner, I doubt if he wants to break his boat.
2. Everything looks really beefy including the rod rigging, carbon mast, carbon boom etc.
3. He has been racing for 25 years
4. The design of the traveler is such that their is a automatic damping effect as the line attempts to run free through the traveler with the multi to one block system (I'm guessing about 4 to 1).
5. When I did jam it a couple of times and the traveler hung up at center the boat had so much weather helm it was not steerable.
6. This implies that with this boat and the amount of sail it carries there is no way you could center traveler, sheet in, sheet out then lee traveler quick enough to get control of the boat before you got a good course.
6. She carries a continuous main sheet with a winch on both sides. Once the boom is loaded it is really slow and really hard work to sheet it in. Trust me I know.

I had heard that performane boats were difference but I never expected that different. From a casual observer, which I was a couple weeks ago, they just look about the same as crusing but with a few more lines.

I knew something was up when I saw the guy pumping a hydraulic back-stay tensioner to 2,000 lbs.
Exactly. Performance boats are often planing downwind, and they have thin, deep keels. Doubt they possess enuf directional stability to do the "sheet in to center, brew some tea, gently ease out main, drink another cuppa, set traveler" routine. They'd round up like thunder. They also have very high mechanical advantage mainsheets to deal with their sail area, so you'd have to reel in about fifty armloads of cordage every time you jibe. These boats are built to be flung around a bit.

Heh. Where I grew up, any jibe was considered reckless and ungentlemanly. No kidding -- even drifting home in 2 knots, it was forbidden to take the boat thru the bottom of the wind. People on shore smoking their pipes would judge you. Sailors TACK. We do NOT jibe. Then I got a windsurfer, and all bets were off!:D I used to practise duck jibes in front of the fogies, just to annoy them.
 

·
Grasshopper
Joined
·
908 Posts
I've never raced (I'm a cruiser), but I know a couple of people that used to race. When they were racing they had good paying jobs, which they said they needed to pay for their hobbie...and that included the continual maintenance of broken parts. I guess this subject boils down to 'How do you want to sail'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
I have raded modest sized multihulls abit, and what you describ is not so strange.

I can't speak to the Farr's.

We never broke anything in a jibe.

Downwind we would generally have a main and chute up, be going ~ 125% wind speed, and have a 90 degree jibe angle. The traveler is only down ~ 25% and the main is only slightly twisted. Apparent wind is ~ 55 degrees of the bow. The general procedure, up until the chute cames off, is:
* set the traveller for the new side to center and have someone on it.
* helm to weather.
* Ease spin sheet a bit. Tighten main sheet a bit.
* Eye of the wind: Get the chute across - inside jibe, so something like a very fast tack, since the apparent wind actually swings to dead ahead or goes to ~ zero; begin easing the main sheet and traveller the moment the boom comes across, but no real impact, because it was on-center on the lee side and the main sheet was in.
* Trim chute and set main sheet and traveller.
* Steer above true course for a few second to heat her up, and then bare off to ~ 135-140 True.

It is a very fast jibe. Too fast for the main to slam hard... unless something goes wrong or jams... which is why a cruiser shouldn't do it.

Different horses for different courses. I would do it that way on my Stiletto 27, but not on my PDQ.

(Raced, not raded!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
(W)reckless Gybing

Exactly. Performance boats are often planing downwind, and they have thin, deep keels. Doubt they possess enuf directional stability to do the "sheet in to center, brew some tea, gently ease out main, drink another cuppa, set traveler" routine. They'd round up like thunder. They also have very high mechanical advantage mainsheets to deal with their sail area, so you'd have to reel in about fifty armloads of cordage every time you jibe. These boats are built to be flung around a bit.
Maybe on a small planing boat like the Megles24, it's "OK" to throw the boom from one side to the other on the gybe maneuver, but that doesn't mean it is the best from a equipment and personal safety issue.

I have race crewed on a J105, J109, and a Etchells and each boats' captain wanted it done the way I described in my previous post. As far as the time to center the traveler pre gybe and then haul in and let out the sheet, less than three seconds to adjust the traveler (probably two) and about 4 seconds to haul in and let out the main and trim it. Hardly a lot of time. Most of the time I am either in time with the helmsman as far as making the turn and establishing the new heading or just behind him. I.e The mainsheet is far enough in that the main is centered as the helmsman has the boat pointing directly down wind. I am paying out the main quick enough that the sail fills in sync with the point of sail the boat is on. In heavier air, I may move the traveler from on all the way from on side to the other when the helmsman says prepare to gybe to minimize as much weather helm as possible as the the turn is made.

DrB
 

·
STARBOARD!!
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
One thing you might try or suggest is to sheet in as the boom gybes; then let it free just as it crosses midships. You don't grind it down; you just sheet it in quickly as it crosses. You gotta be fast on the sheet; and the helmsman has to turn slowly enough that the crew can sheet in before the boom crosses. In high wind it helps if the helmsman stalls the gybe by turning back to windward a bit just as the boom begins to cross (like when you try to prevent an accidental gybe) the boom will slow as it approaches midships then you continue the gybe by turning leeward again. So it will be a bit of an S-turn in the middle; then off on the opposite tack.

We do this to ease the work on the crew to grind in the main; works well because you don't need to grind the mainsheet in and on my boat with mid-boom sheeting and a cabin-roof winch it is difficult to center. The above method takes -most- of the work out of it and helps protect the hardware from the shock loads of an un-controlled gybe. It does take practice of both crew and helmsman to get it correct; so first try it in lighter winds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In heavier air, I may move the traveler from on all the way from on side to the other when the helmsman says prepare to gybe to minimize as much weather helm as possible as the the turn is made.

DrB
I'm thinking that this Farr 395 must be a different beast.
We were in 20 knots of wind with the asim spin up.
We were leaned over significantly.
The traveler was all the way to leeward. There was no way I was going to pull it to windwind as long as it was loaded.
The only thing I could do that was useful was to try to take up the slack on the old windward, new leeward traveler line as fast as I could so it would not jam the traveler part way over.
I doubt if I had a whole second to do that.
I guess what you are saying is that the helmsman was making the turn too fast. If that is the case the helmsman was the owner so I guess I have to do it his way.
 

·
Aeolus II
Joined
·
670 Posts
I think you were lucky...

Lucky you didn't bring down the whole rig! Without considering that the mid-boom rig was improperly rigged (one point NOT 3 as the MFG uses) AND a previously bent boom, I would have NOT considered that maneuver on my '81 Catalina 27. When I raced on a friend's boat many years ago we had a rock star that would come help us. He explained that when you race all out you do maneuvers that you just don't do under normal circumstances. A Crash Gybes is such maneuver.
 

·
baDumbumbum
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Maybe on a small planing boat like the Megles24, it's "OK" to throw the boom from one side to the other on the gybe maneuver, but that doesn't mean it is the best from a equipment and personal safety issue.

I have race crewed on a J105, J109, and a Etchells and each boats' captain wanted it done the way I described in my previous post. As far as the time to center the traveler pre gybe and then haul in and let out the sheet, less than three seconds to adjust the traveler (probably two) and about 4 seconds to haul in and let out the main and trim it. Hardly a lot of time.
A fast One Design sportboat may jibe a total of eight times in a windward/leeward race. Your 'safe' jibe takes only seven seconds longer than the 'cowboys'? And oh yeah, your boat falls off plane while the others keep flying? The rest of the fleet is rolling up sails and drinking beers by the time you cross the line. If you watch the M24 vid, notice the frequent crossings and close quarters manuevers; these are typical of short course, W/L, OD races when the boats have high closing speeds and aggressive skippers. It's "crash jibe" or "crash, dude." The best performance-boat racers in the world do it; I will defer to their knowledge of their boats and crew; who am I to judge them as rash no-nothings who care not for safety or the well-being of their noble craft? Just because I wouldn't crash-jibe my SJ21 in 20 knots don't mean Farr40s ought to be bound by the same conservatism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
I our defense the Catalina 27 is supposed to have three attachement points to the boom. The PO had changed it to a single point and had pre-bent the boom an inch or so.

Our little quick jib just finished the job.
We rigged it properly on the new boom.

Lesson learned.
Never modify something on a production boat to make it less strong. The original designer has probably not over engineered anything.

I doubt if a anything we could have done in 15k or less of wind would have caused a bent boom if it was rigged properly.
Yep, your boom was just waiting to break! And having a midboom sheeting arrangement multiplies the forces on the boom. Another good thing about end of boom sheeting!

I will "second" the comment about staying on a plane. And regardless of type hull, but esp. w/ a planing hull, you want to gybe when the boat is moving the fastest. That lowers the apparent wind and lowers the forces on the boat. Yet another reason for having a windicator instrument.

Nice thing about smaller boats is you can often control the boom by grabbing the entire bunch of line in the mainsheet tackle and leaning/pulling on it to keep it from slamming over. Your body weight acts like a shock absorber. Of course every boat is different and this is all highly subjective depending on your weight, strength, sail area and wind speed. But it IS yet another way of safely gybing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
There are no absolute rules in sailing. The wind will blow, the water is wet and if there is a large flat surface the wind and the water will exert force on it.

What works for one boat/crew may or may not work for another, and we all have different standards of safety and performance.

Take what you have learnt from the racing boat and apply the things that seem sensible to you, to your own method of sailing, tempered of course, by the abilities of your craft.

Good Luck ! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This weekend I'm slated to be pit crew on the Stamford to Block Island and back race (168 Miles). So I'm about to find out what it's like in a real race.
Although these guys consider this just a warm up race for the ones later this season.

I'm expecting to learn something.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top