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Riding Sail

7896 Views 24 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  chip
Chris Parker forecasted 20 gusting 25 yesterday, so thought I'd try the riding sail here in Big Majors Spot in the Bahamas. I recorded the true and the apparent wind, both speed and direction. I also put a dynamometer on the anchor snubber to monitor the pull on the anchor. The riding sail was set on the backstay and sheeted to the port staysail lead block then back to a cabin top winch. The triangular sail is about 6'-6" along the backstay and 7'-6" on its foot. The water was almost calm in this protected spot.

Here are the recordings:

I put the riding sail up at about the 45 minute mark, had some trouble with the hoist until the 40 minute mark, then all was well.

The riding sail cut the swing in relation to the wind from +/- 30 degrees to +/- 15 degrees, and maybe half of that was due to the true wind variation.

The force on the anchor did not seem to change much, but I had to stand on the bow to read the dynamometer dial, and I quickly tired of doing that. The average force was perhaps 80 lbf and the maximum (the gauge has a tell tale) was 195 lbf.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
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Dear Bill,

It is wonderful to get some real data on this topic. It comes at a good time for me as I was just now reading an article on the Morgans Cloud website in which a writer documents his various "solutions" to the problem of sailing about at anchor. His latest iteration is a small drogue (18" mouth reinforced with wire) fastened onto the anchor chain just about where their 30' snubber attaches -- so that the drogue stays in the water when the chain is pulled tight in strong winds. He says it almost totally eliminated sailing around. Worth a read and worthwhile subscribing for lots of great articles on and by knowledgable bluewater cruisers.

I think I may do both!

PSC 37 Kenlanu
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