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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #1
With a following sea of say 4' that wants to throw the stern around, what angle to the wind do y'all try to maintain to avoid an unintended jibe when sailing wing/wing? It seems I usually have to bear off considerably to make sure the wind stays on the right side of the mainsail and also to keep the jib from back-winding. Singlehanded, unless it's a long run, I don't want to have to mess with trying to set a whisker pole and then have to take it down later. I really like sailing with sails on opposite sides but it is certainly challenging to maintain. Do most try to avoid wing/wing altogether in conditions like this by simply jibing downwind?
 

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W/W is fun, but really only a good technique for manageable seas IMO. If you are being thrown around, its not fun. A preventer on the boom is smart either way. We only run W/W when winds are light and seas are tame (just did so this past weekend in the Bay) and the boom can be tossed over by hand. That takes some light wind on our boat, so I'm not too worried about a preventer in those conditions!

While I didn't use the whisker pole this past weekend, I'm going to make a concerted effort to use it more this season. It really is easier to use than I often have in my head at the time. Since we have roller furling, one can't really get in trouble. Just furl it up with the pole on and deal with it when you can.

I will admit, I would not want to be on deck in 4 ft seas, alone, dealing with the pole. But, it could certainly be done.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #3
The problem with getting up to the bow to rig the pole alone in a moderate wind/wave condition is in keeping the boat going straight. Even with the windvane working, the boat still yaws around enough to create a potential disaster. Getting very far from the wheel in those conditions is really not an option. At least I have not figured out a safe way yet. It may be that a double headsail for downwind sailing is the best solution so that there is no boom/jibe to deal with and the boat is being pulled and therefore less likely to broach. Last year I installed a inner forestay for a storm jib. Maybe a larger jib for that stay and a second pole would work out?
 

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With a following sea of say 4' that wants to throw the stern around, what angle to the wind do y'all try to maintain to avoid an unintended jibe when sailing wing/wing? It seems I usually have to bear off considerably to make sure the wind stays on the right side of the mainsail and also to keep the jib from back-winding. Singlehanded, unless it's a long run, I don't want to have to mess with trying to set a whisker pole and then have to take it down later. I really like sailing with sails on opposite sides but it is certainly challenging to maintain. Do most try to avoid wing/wing altogether in conditions like this by simply jibing downwind?
If you don't want to bother with setting a whisker pole, it's probably best not to bother to sail DDW... :)





The utility of jibing downwind with most displacement sailboats is vastly overrated. Aside from the fact there may often not be the sea room to do so, and can be a real PITA, on anything other than a sport-type boat it will almost always be slower in terms of VMG... Heading up on a sufficiently high sailing angle to keep the headsail full and drawing will rarely provide sufficient extra speed to make up for the additional distance sailed...

I really enjoy sailing wing & wing, and am always surprised how rarely I see other cruisers in my travels doing it. The key is making your pole and preventer easy to deploy, and stable... Some folks claim to be able to do so, but I just don't see how you can carry a headsail wing & wing in a seaway, at least for a prolonged period, without the use of a pole...
 

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The problem with getting up to the bow to rig the pole alone in a moderate wind/wave condition is in keeping the boat going straight. Even with the windvane working, the boat still yaws around enough to create a potential disaster. Getting very far from the wheel in those conditions is really not an option. At least I have not figured out a safe way yet. It may be that a double headsail for downwind sailing is the best solution so that there is no boom/jibe to deal with and the boat is being pulled and therefore less likely to broach. Last year I installed a inner forestay for a storm jib. Maybe a larger jib for that stay and a second pole would work out?
Yup, that can work very nicely, as well, and if your vane or autopilot is not up to keeping the boat going straight, might often be the preferred solution...





I have a shorter pole for my staysail, and although I've use that combination of poled-out genoa and staysail only rarely, it has worked quite nicely. I simply haven't had the occasion to do so much, so far...
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It's a great feeling to have the waves breaking under the stern, going dead downwind. I totally agree that jibing downwind is inefficient and very often not possible due to lack of adequate room. I've got to figure out how to get the whisker pole up without risking a jibe. Maybe by rolling in the jib, heading up and stalling for a bit, attaching the pole quickly and then falling off again, it can be accomplished. Rolling it back in, as Minnewaska noted is not a problem on the other end of the operation. I made up a good heavy fixed J length whisker pole a few years ago and rarely use it but will have to make a concerted effort to do so more often.
Nice pix as usual Jon.
 

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It's a great feeling to have the waves breaking under the stern, going dead downwind. I totally agree that jibing downwind is inefficient and very often not possible due to lack of adequate room. I've got to figure out how to get the whisker pole up without risking a jibe. Maybe by rolling in the jib, heading up and stalling for a bit, attaching the pole quickly and then falling off again, it can be accomplished. Rolling it back in, as Minnewaska noted is not a problem on the other end of the operation. I made up a good heavy fixed J length whisker pole a few years ago and rarely use it but will have to make a concerted effort to do so more often.
Nice pix as usual Jon.
Well, that bolded part probably explains your problem right there :)

On larger boats, singlehanded, in a breeze and in a seaway, I don't know how anyone sets the pole WITHOUT the jib already furled... Get the pole stabilized and positioned with a pole/topping life, and a foreguy and afterguy, then unfurl the headsail... Easy as pie... :)

Some people try to get away without rigging a foreguy and afterguy because it's a bit more work, but in anything other than a drifter, I think it's really the key to the whole operation... Kretschmer's video for Forespar is a good one, but I'm very surprised they omitted a reference to the value of fore and aft stabilization of the pole with the use of guys... In any sort of breeze, no way I'd set a pole on a boat like a Tartan 4400 without them...

 

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Sailing wing and wing requires that you steer fairly accurately. If you steer a little too far one way, you'll gybe, and if you steer a little too far the other way, the jib will get backwinded and collapse. You have to steer within a much narrower range of accuracy than on other points of sail, and that requires concentration, and even more so in a seaway, with chop. In chop, the boom is not only more liable to gybe if it's backwinded, but it might also swing over the centerline just because of the rolling motion of the boat. If you're in light winds and smooth waters, you might be able to set a whisker pole singlehanded, but in stronger wind or in a chop, I prefer to run wing and wing without a pole. In stronger wind, the wind is usually strong enough to keep the sail flying without a pole, and you can usually keep it from collapsing and refilling repeatedly by trimming techniques.

If you have someone to steer the boat while you set the pole, then it's generally preferable to set the pole. If you are going to stay on the same heading for a long time, it's usually better to set the pole, because the pole will allow you a wider steering angle, and, over a long distance, that means you can be a little more relaxed in your steering.

It takes practice to get over the trepidation of sailing wing and wing, but it's worth the effort. It's a useful and beautiful point of sail.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #9
Sailing wing and wing requires that you steer fairly accurately. If you steer a little too far one way, you'll gybe, and if you steer a little too far the other way, the jib will get backwinded and collapse. You have to steer within a much narrower range of accuracy than on other points of sail, and that requires concentration, and even more so in a seaway, with chop. In chop, the boom is not only more liable to gybe if it's backwinded, but it might also swing over the centerline just because of the rolling motion of the boat. If you're in light winds and smooth waters, you might be able to set a whisker pole singlehanded, but in stronger wind or in a chop, I prefer to run wing and wing without a pole. In stronger wind, the wind is usually strong enough to keep the sail flying without a pole, and you can usually keep it from collapsing and refilling repeatedly by trimming techniques.

If you have someone to steer the boat while you set the pole, then it's generally preferable to set the pole. If you are going to stay on the same heading for a long time, it's usually better to set the pole, because the pole will allow you a wider steering angle, and, over a long distance, that means you can be a little more relaxed in your steering.

It takes practice to get over the trepidation of sailing wing and wing, but it's worth the effort. It's a useful and beautiful point of sail.
That's really the crux of most problems for singlehanders. Keeping the boat under control while handling sails is always an issue. On a run, apparent wind is reduced and so is the effectiveness of a windvane. Some kind of autohelm might help but we solar powered cruisers don't have a lot of amperage to use up. So, some sort of alternate strategy is necessary.

Jon's video is a nice description but I don't have the fancy track-mounted pole and almost never the benign conditions in the video:) Using a fore-aft guy would be a better rig than just the topping lift.

I have a large asym chute, a "Flasher" as well for downwind but getting that thing out of control singlehanded is scary! I still need more practice with it to try setting/dousing it in a good amount of wind. So far I've only deployed it with someone at the wheel to keep the boat pointed. Broaching with the spinnaker can have much worse consequences than screwing up with a jib.
 

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If you have the room, turn into a beam(ish) reach under main alone. Lash the wheel/tiller and you should hold somewhere in that range. Go forward and attach the pole to the furled sail on the sheet. Return to cockpit, head DDW and unfurl the headsail.

If you have a choice, fall off to the beam on a starboard tack so you're more likely to be stand on. 😊

Depends on how squirrelly the seas are, whether I would want to go forward singlehanded to mess with this. I admittedly talk myself out of it double handed. I'm committed to make more use of our pole this season.
 
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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
That would probably work, especially with the windvane which is stable when the wind is on the beam. It will keep a solid heading if wind is abeam to give me enough time to rig up the pole. Like you, my whisker pole spends most of its time on the deck and I'd like to start utilizing it more if I can get a procedure down pat. Guess it all comes down to taking the time to practice. Point up, roll in jib, bear off, set vane at a beam or broad reach, go up and set pole using spin halyard as topping lift, unfurl (sails now on same side), fall off downwind, jibe main. Sound doable even in snotty conditions.
 

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Why jibe? Just fall off the beam to DDW, then unfurl the headsail on opposite side.
 

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When I run DDW wing and wing I'll put in a reef to make things more manageable. Don't seem to lose too much speed and the boat is easier to handle in the gusts. In lighter winds DDW with the monitor use the larger vane, it has a better feel for the lighter airs, if your balanced correctly the boat should do most of the steering with it's long keel. You may have to roll in your head sail a bit to get the proper balance.
 

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With a following sea of say 4' that wants to throw the stern around, what angle to the wind do y'all try to maintain to avoid an unintended jibe when sailing wing/wing?
I sail on a broad reach. It is safer, more comfortable and faster. The VMG is also probably higher.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #15
Why jibe? Just fall off the beam to DDW, then unfurl the headsail on opposite side.
I was just thinking it's easier to let the wind unfurl the sail while still on a reach in lighter winds than to have to drag it out with the sheet. If the wind is above 10 or so, that's not an issue and jibing more difficult, although I don't really have a problem doing a controlled jibe. My traveler is right behind the wheel so I can haul in and let it out while still at the wheel. Thinking about it, it must be a bit more difficult with a mid-boom/cabin top traveler if it requires getting up in front of the wheel.

Aeventyr60, the boat does track downwind well but even with the large vane on, if the apparent wind gets close to 0, the mechanism really has lost it's controlling component. No wind/no rudder.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #16
I sail on a broad reach. It is safer, more comfortable and faster. The VMG is also probably higher.
I wind up doing that more often than not but sometimes there is not a lot of sea room requiring a lot of short jibes. What does the data show about jibing downwind on broad reaches versus sailing on a dead run for a full displacement hull? It always seems to me that I need to head off too much to gain enough speed on a broad reach to make it better than just going ddw but I've never actually done a comparison.
 

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I wind up doing that more often than not but sometimes there is not a lot of sea room requiring a lot of short jibes. What does the data show about jibing downwind on broad reaches versus sailing on a dead run for a full displacement hull? It always seems to me that I need to head off too much to gain enough speed on a broad reach to make it better than just going ddw but I've never actually done a comparison.
As usual, "it depends", but it's pretty basic trigonometry...





As I mentioned earlier, matching your VMG sailing DDW by broad reaching at an angle of 45 degrees from DDW will be very difficult to achieve on most displacement hulled sailboats, sportboats flying sprit sails are of course best suited to this tactic...

As the graph above shows, if you're making 4 knots DDW, in heading up 45 degrees to a broad reach you're gonna have to sustain 5.7 knots to break even. VERY unlikely boats like yours and mine will see such an improvement in boatspeed by such a change in course, without resorting to making a drastic change in the sail being carried, such as setting an asymetrical, or similar... As a glance at the graph indicates, only in very light airs, or at speeds significantly below hull speed, are sufficient increases in boat speed by broad reaching likely to pay off...

On the Hallberg-Rassy sailing wing & wing that I pictured above, we were effortlessly making hull speed and above sailing DDW. No way would we have made broad reaching pay off with that boat, in that situation... Not to mention, the route we were sailing from the Mona Passage, between the DR and Turks and Caicos, and then thru the Mayaguana Passage and on up Exuma Sound, it just would have been an incredible PITA to manage with a shorthanded crew, and a freakin' aluminum pole that felt like it weighed 200 pounds, and having to use docklines as guys, etc... :) More importantly, sailing DDW allowed us to sail a course close to the Silver Bank, and stay clear of the busy shipping route between the DR and T & C, jibing downwind would have involved criss-crossing that route repeatedly... No thank you, dealing with the nightly squalls was action enough for me... :)

Or course, simply plugging in your destination waypoint to your GPS, and monitoring the change in VMG on different headings, makes this all very simple to determine in real time...

Now, the larger question is, why is this thread still in "General Discussion"? Shouldn't it be moved to "Seamanship & Navigation", where fewer people might be likely to notice it?

:))
 

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Murphy- If you still have the Monitor users guide it shows how to rig a small piece of elastic bungy cord material to keep the top part of the vane from flopping over and steering off course. Takes a bit of practice to make it work. In light airs with little input to the vane this helps tremendously.

Another note: Deep down wind I'll put in the third reef and advance the pole forward a bit, this is usually just about effective as sailing DDW.

Now who wants to discuss sailing the main in a bit of the lee?
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #19
As usual, "it depends", but it's pretty basic trigonometry...





As I mentioned earlier, matching your VMG sailing DDW by broad reaching at an angle of 45 degrees from DDW will be very difficult to achieve on most displacement hulled sailboats, sportboats flying sprit sails are of course best suited to this tactic...

As the graph above shows, if you're making 4 knots DDW, in heading up 45 degrees to a broad reach you're gonna have to sustain 5.7 knots to break even. VERY unlikely boats like yours and mine will see such an improvement in boatspeed by such a change in course, without resorting to making a drastic change in the sail being carried, such as setting an asymetrical, or similar... As a glance at the graph indicates, only in very light airs, or at speeds significantly below hull speed, are sufficient increases in boat speed by broad reaching likely to pay off...

On the Hallberg-Rassy sailing wing & wing that I pictured above, we were effortlessly making hull speed and above sailing DDW. No way would we have made broad reaching pay off with that boat, in that situation... Not to mention, the route we were sailing from the Mona Passage, between the DR and Turks and Caicos, and then thru the Mayaguana Passage and on up Exuma Sound, it just would have been an incredible PITA to manage with a shorthanded crew, and a freakin' aluminum pole that felt like it weighed 200 pounds, and having to use docklines as guys, etc... :) More importantly, sailing DDW allowed us to sail a course close to the Silver Bank, and stay clear of the busy shipping route between the DR and T & C, jibing downwind would have involved criss-crossing that route repeatedly... No thank you, dealing with the nightly squalls was action enough for me... :)

Or course, simply plugging in your destination waypoint to your GPS, and monitoring the change in VMG on different headings, makes this all very simple to determine in real time...

Now, the larger question is, why is this thread still in "General Discussion"? Shouldn't it be moved to "Seamanship & Navigation", where fewer people might be likely to notice it?

:))
That's what I've sensed in this kind of situation. The other thing is that as soon as the boat gets on a reach, you then need to deal more with surfing down the sides of waves and speeding up/slowing down and the side of the hull is much more exposed to breaking waves. To me it seems less exhausting to just let waves break under the boat if you can stay square to the wave faces.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter #20
Murphy- If you still have the Monitor users guide it shows how to rig a small piece of elastic bungy cord material to keep the top part of the vane from flopping over and steering off course. Takes a bit of practice to make it work. In light airs with little input to the vane this helps tremendously.

Another note: Deep down wind I'll put in the third reef and advance the pole forward a bit, this is usually just about effective as sailing DDW.

Now who wants to discuss sailing the main in a bit of the lee?
I have a Norvane unit but would like to hear about the bungy on your Monitor. Maybe I can do something similar. Light air on a run is definitely the most difficult job for my unit and I've heard it is a common problem with all of the servo designs. If the wing can't sense wind direction, the thing can't know what direction to point the boat.
 
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