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So, the other day (my buddy helping me) and we're sailing on a port "beam" point of sail, 20 mph winds, 150 Genoa and full main (30 ft. ODay). We decide to put the head sail down because we were going to stop for lunch. After turning the boat windward and putting into irons, my buddy, dealing with a flapping head sail asks, "is there really no easier way to to this?".

So, my question is, "is there any better way to raise or lower a sail when i decent winds"? That day the sail was flapping so hard I thought it was either going to beat him to death or throw him in the water!!

Thanks,
 

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One of None
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Nice choice of boat! I had a Oday 30 with roller furling.

RIG A LINE THAT You can use as a down haul which is basically a line that pulls the head sail down, but you have to be mindful that you never let halyards (uphaul) go slack.
 

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One of None
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I know I wrote it so I guess you didn't read it lol.
RIG A DOWN HAUL
I don't have a roller furling;so, any other ideas? Wish I did, but, too tight for now to spend the money!
 

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One of None
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If you head up into the wind, but just a bit off it to port or stbd. you can release the halyard and quickly head to the bow and pull the sail down without getting beaten badly by the flapping sail. That also allows the mainsail to continue to fill a bit and allow you control the boat. You just need to get the load off the genny and be enough into the wind so that it drops onto the deck and not in the water.
 

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One of None
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It can be a little confusing because, you do not ever want to lose the end of the jib halyard while also keeping the jib sheets under control, so the foot of the headsail isn't flailing all over the deck.
 

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You could also Try Heaving-to ( Tack the boat but leave the head-sail back-winded, ease the main a little and put the helm over) Once you've stopped the boat and settled in, Then loosen the halyard and pull the sail down. You should end up with a pretty stable platform to work on. With a 150, I'd just be careful of chafe on the shrouds and spreader when you backwind. You could ease the sheet a little to move the leach forward so the sail is not on the spreader. With the Genoa Back-winded the other advantage is that it's easier to keep it out of the water, as most of it should come down on the deck.

I had a spare Halyard wrap around my furling gear last season and had to pull down my head sail to get home. I was alone, so just I hove-to and it made the job much easier.
 

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You could also Try Heaving-to ( Tack the boat but leave the head-sail back-winded, ease the main a little and put the helm over) Once you've stopped the boat and settled in, Then loosen the halyard and pull the sail down.
You can also heave-to to park the boat for lunch. The boat is not really parked it is still sailing but slowly and in a more stable hands off way.
 

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S/V Wyndwitch - Morgan 24
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Good advice offered, but if your gonna be sailing in 20+ find yourself a high cut jib that doesn't reach much past your mast...If that 150 has life left in it it won't on repetition of that event. You'll find your boat handles better too. Most folks overdrive their boats without knowing it and come home exhausted or a bit scared That Oday is a nice boat enjoy learning from it.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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I'm not surprised you wanted to reduce sail, especially if 20 mph ( about 17 knots) was the underlying wind and the gusts were 25 to 35 mph.

The first question to my mind is why you had a 150% headsail still up in that windspeed?
Was this windspeed not forecast by say 9am on the morning of your sail?
Willyweather has an excellent web based forecast that includes, in graphical form, windspeed, tide, temperature, and rain probability.
Generally you would change the sail before you got so out of it's range, especially if it is a reasonably reliable sea breeze or is otherwise forecast.
Also you can often reef the mainsail first depending on the sailing characteristics of your boat and how the reefing is rigged, but reefing the main is often a two or three person job unless the rigging has been adapted for singlehanded reefing.

If you are sailing in an area subject to afternoon sea breezes but start sailing in the morning and are going to stop for lunch, you might want to change down headsails at lunchtime before the seabreeze hits. Or just change down half an hour before the seabreeze is due, or as it starts to fill in, rather than waiting till it gets to 20 mph.

Unless you are racing and trying to get the last ounce of performance, life is easier if you are set up early for the expected conditions.

If you don't have multiple headsails, you might be able to get a reefing point put in your headsail so you can reduce its area by lowering it a say 3 feet (1 metre) and moving the jib cars forward to get an appropriate sheeting angle, but headsails with reefing points are not common.
Probably easier to pick up a second hand sail of appropriate size.
Normally I wouldn't want to go without a headsail completely but keep the main at full size as the main will be trying to round the boat up into the wind if there is no counterbalance from the force on a headsail.
 

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Move as close to wind as you can, the sails should be still working, bu not enough to move the boat. Someone can release the halyard and move to the head of the boat to lower the genova. He will not be affected by the flapping sail. As he lowers the sail turn the boat 180 degrees to wind.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I'm not surprised you wanted to reduce sail, especially if 20 mph ( about 17 knots) was the underlying wind and the gusts were 25 to 35 mph.

The first question to my mind is why you had a 150% headsail still up in that windspeed?
Was this windspeed not forecast by say 9am on the morning of your sail?
Willyweather has an excellent web based forecast that includes, in graphical form, windspeed, tide, temperature, and rain probability.
Generally you would change the sail before you got so out of it's range, especially if it is a reasonably reliable sea breeze or is otherwise forecast.
Also you can often reef the mainsail first depending on the sailing characteristics of your boat and how the reefing is rigged, but reefing the main is often a two or three person job unless the rigging has been adapted for singlehanded reefing.

If you are sailing in an area subject to afternoon sea breezes but start sailing in the morning and are going to stop for lunch, you might want to change down headsails at lunchtime before the seabreeze hits. Or just change down half an hour before the seabreeze is due, or as it starts to fill in, rather than waiting till it gets to 20 mph.

Unless you are racing and trying to get the last ounce of performance, life is easier if you are set up early for the expected conditions.

If you don't have multiple headsails, you might be able to get a reefing point put in your headsail so you can reduce its area by lowering it a say 3 feet (1 metre) and moving the jib cars forward to get an appropriate sheeting angle, but headsails with reefing points are not common.
Probably easier to pick up a second hand sail of appropriate size.
Normally I wouldn't want to go without a headsail completely but keep the main at full size as the main will be trying to round the boat up into the wind if there is no counterbalance from the force on a headsail.
All good points. Ummm, my Oday 30 sails very well with the full main with very strong winds. At 25 mph winds, with just the main, it sails great. Regarding the 150... that particular day I intended to use that sail under strong winds, mostly to see what the boat would do. I found out that it sails like a racing boat with those conditions (as you could imagine). I didn't lower the sail because I was worried - only because my helper didn't have enough wraps on the sheet and was getting tired of holding them since I wouldn't let him cleat them. Also a good time for lunch.

What I usually do, is put the boat as close to the wind as I can, and then, when it crosses over parallel drop the sail as quick as I can while it's over the boat. But on very strong winds, that fine line of exactly parallel (or, in Irons) is a very close point, so close in fact that it doesn't exist long enough to barely get the sail down. End result is getting beat to death by the sail while fighting it down.
 

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One of None
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Translation = y'all been trolled again! Roflmao
All good points. Ummm, my Oday 30 sails very well with the full main with very strong winds. At 25 mph winds, with just the main, it sails great. Regarding the 150... that particular day I intended to use that sail under strong winds, mostly to see what the boat would do. I found out that it sails like a racing boat with those conditions (as you could imagine). I didn't lower the sail because I was worried - only because my helper didn't have enough wraps on the sheet and was getting tired of holding them since I wouldn't let him cleat them.

What I usually do, is put the boat as close to the wind as I can, and then, when it crosses over parallel drop the sail as quick as I can while it's over the boat. But on very strong winds, that fine line of exactly parallel (or, in Irons) is a very close point, so close in fact that it doesn't exist long enough to barely get the sail down. End result is getting beat to death by the sail while fighting it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Translation = y'all been trolled again! Roflmao
Why would you say that? Everything I just said is truth. If you want a video of that day I can provide it, and since it's time and date stamped, you can verify winds. My boat does sail well with strong winds and just the main (very small main sail on the O'day 30 compared to others I've seen).
 

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One of None
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I had an O'Day 30, and I know the boat well you asked in the beginning like some kind of a newbie what to do about lowering a headsail, after everybody was helpful and gave you all kinds of very nice answers and helpful remarks you summed it up by basically nullifying everybody's response.
 

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Single handing a North Star 26 with a hank on jib, I've had my share of 'fun' on the fore deck in spirited conditions. Roller furling is definitely in my future, and in the mean time plans are under way for a downhaul as Denise mentioned.

My preference, when conditions have become squirrely, is to run down wind and put the jib in the lee of the main, keeping the head sheet tight. Raising / lowering the jib while into the wind is fine in light wind, but when the clew gets going, it will leave a mark.
 

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Barquito
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I agree with Phil. Lower your headsail while going down wind. The main not only blankets the genoa, but the relative wind that is flapping the sail around, is much lower ( 2X your boat speed lower compared to motoring into the wind at the same speed). If you are doing this single handed without a tiller pilot, check to see that your boat will round up as you take the genoa down. With a downhaul rigged, you may be able to do this from the cockpit.
 

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All good points. Ummm, my Oday 30 sails very well with the full main with very strong winds. At 25 mph winds, with just the main, it sails great. Regarding the 150... that particular day I intended to use that sail under strong winds, mostly to see what the boat would do. I found out that it sails like a racing boat with those conditions (as you could imagine). I didn't lower the sail because I was worried - only because my helper didn't have enough wraps on the sheet and was getting tired of holding them since I wouldn't let him cleat them.
150 up and your crew is holding the sheet and not cleating it!! Well I hope you learned something from this experience.

And as to sailing in strong winds, can you easily reef the main and do you have a small headsail (jib or #3)? The best way to sail comfortably and perform well on all points of sail is to reduce both the area of the main and the headsail. Just dropping one or the other is a poor compromise.
 
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