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SV Skalliwag #141
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After doing the Salty Dawg Rally on a Beneteau 49 with in mast furling I am all of a sudden wondering if I don't understand getting the boat sail plan balanced in stiff winds foward of the beam. I've always thought that the wind on the headsail pushes the boat away from the wind and the wind on the main tends to swing the boat towards the wind. Do I have it backwards? On the Beneteau with the main furled to size of about a trisail and the headsail maybe double reefed the boat had awful weather helm with it wanting to turn into the wind.
 

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Have a look at the link below for an explanation of sail balance:


Caveat: I'm far from expert on sail trim, especially when it comes to OPBs, but that said.....

My guess I'd that the boat with the heavily reefed sail plan was over trimmed or she had too much headsail on. It sounds as if the jib was on a roller fuller, if so it could also be the jib was badly shaped when rolled up to the second reef.

When I put in the second reef on BR I often roll up the jib completely and roll out the staysail to get better balance on the helm. If you don't have a staysail it might be better to take the jib out of the equation altogether.

For some reason the link isn't being formatted properly.... Try this

"http://www.slideshare.net/galeforcesailing/sail-trim-and-balance-fundamental"
 

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I'm also no expert, but there are many factors effecting the sail balance. Not only the rig and the size of the sails, but the sail geometry - the center of effort in one boat will likely be different from another. And then - speaking as somebody with a shallow keel - the keel shape can have a major impact when pointing. As with everything in sailing, there are few absolutes: "The headsail pushes away from the wind" is true in some cases, not in others. It is the delicate balance of all of these forces which makes it such a challenge, and such fun!

BTW that slide pitch is one of the best I have seen, thank you.
 
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