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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am by no means a new sailor, but I am having trouble tacking my Jim Brown designed Windrider 16.

Today my brother and I took her out in 28 knot winds gusting to 40 knots. The boat was just a handful. We were reefed to about %50. There was no tacking this boat. We were jibing. But trimarans are weird, we did get one tack in. How does body weight work? The guy on the *windward tramp moves forward to initiate the tack?
 

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One of the most important things to remember when tying to tack a very light multihull is that the rudder can act as a barn door and take the way off the boat very quickly. My most successful tacking method was to fall off a bit, picking up speed and bringing the apparent wind forward. Then I put a very little helm on the boat and try to sheet in, if possible, without taking any way off.
At this point I try to get the boat to glide through the eye of the wind, backwinding the jib if needed. At no point do I apply any more helm than is absolutely necessary, until I have tacked.
Of course, the stronger the wind the bigger the seas, and it might seem counter intuitive to do the above. But the stronger the wind, the more acceleration a tri will have when falling off a tiny bit, if I don't present a barn door to my tack.
 
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Did you try to back into a tack. Try to tack then push the boom to back wind the sail and then reverse the rudder . The boat will go backwards and move thru the eye of the wind. Sheet in on the other tack. Used on a cat rig catamaran like the Prindle 15 in anything over 15 knots
 

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Did you try to back into a tack. Try to tack then push the boom to back wind the sail and then reverse the rudder . The boat will go backwards and move thru the eye of the wind. Sheet in on the other tack. Used on a cat rig catamaran like the Prindle 15 in front anything over 15 knots
If you can't get it to do it in forward, then do it in reverse, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did you try to back into a tack. Try to tack then push the boom to back wind the sail and then reverse the rudder . The boat will go backwards and move thru the eye of the wind. Sheet in on the other tack. Used on a cat rig catamaran like the Prindle 15 in anything over 15 knots
Good, thanks, the one successfull tack we had we backed down on it.
 

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Like others have said, its tough to tack a light multihull in a stiff breeze. Capta is right, that the best shot at completing a tack is to get up speed by falling off, then use the weather helm to carve the turn with the minimum amount of rudder that is necessary to make the tack. Of course the modifiers in that are the key. How much is enough and how much is too much. Most times I would end up head to wind, and the boat would start to slide backwards. The key there is to kick over the rudder as soon as you know that you are moving backwards and ease the mainsheet, then only bring the mainsail in slowly once you are well past a close hauled angle. Once the boat starts moving forward you can start to bring the mainsail in and steer back to a beat, The mainsail trim is critical to avoid swimming,

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Like others have said, its tough to tack a light multihull in a stiff breeze. Capta is right, that the best shot at completing a tack is to get up speed by falling off, then use the weather helm to carve the turn with the minimum amount of rudder that is necessary to make the tack. Of course the modifiers in that are the key. How much is enough and how much is too much. Most times I would end up head to wind, and the boat would start to slide backwards. The key there is to kick over the rudder as soon as you know that you are moving backwards and ease the mainsheet, then only bring the mainsail in slowly once you are well past a close hauled angle. Once the boat starts moving forward you can start to bring the mainsail in and steer back to a beat, The mainsail trim is critical to avoid swimming,

Jeff
It was lively sailing. There was no easing in to turns. St Lawrence river sailing in June is nuts in a small multi. Very high winds, strong currents, cold water.

I think Overboreds advice is about right. Come up stall, back up and reverse steer while the other guy bails.
 
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