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Old 10-10-2012, 10:06   #301
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Tacking Down Wind

For the sake of the exercise, steering 15 off Dead Down Wind (165 vs. 180, bringing the wind over the quarter), will increase the distance sailed by only 3.53% or 3-1/2 miles over a 100 mile course. On our boat, in 10 knots of True Wind, under plain sail our VMG will increase from 4.33 knots to 4.45 knots, or by about 2.73%, admittedly less than the percentage increase in distance sailed. However, the increased time to cover 100 miles--about 23.28 hours--is only about 11 minutes more than the 23 hours required sailing DDW. Eleven minutes in 23 hours. In the mean time, however, the steering will be easier, the course attitude is "safer", and the yacht will be far more stable, hence easier on the crew.

Others can do the same caluculations if you have your Polars and, if not, you can use your GPS which, in most cases, displays VMG and arrival time at a waypoint as a comparative measure.

Unless one is traveling in a very restricted waterway, as a practical matter there's not much merit to running dead down wind.

FWIW...
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:26   #302
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
Oh, I think he just misspoke.
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How often you gybe does not affect the distance sailed. It's purely a function of how many degrees off your desired course you're sailing. How often you gybe only effects how many miles off the rhumb line you go on each tack, and that does not affect the number of miles sailed.
No he didn't. minaret just misread.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:28   #303
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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No he didn't. minaret just misread.

"How often you gybe only effects how many miles off the rhumb line you go on each tack, and that does not affect the number of miles sailed. "


Sounds to me like he's saying just what I mentioned, that gybing back and forth off the rhumb line does not increase number of miles sailed, as opposed to sailing DDW right on said rhumb line.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:36   #304
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Looks to me like he is saying that the number of times you gybe doesn't affect the number of miles you sail. He says nothing about sailing DDW. Only talking about short legs, long legs on the gybes.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:45   #305
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
"How often you gybe only effects how many miles off the rhumb line you go on each tack, and that does not affect the number of miles sailed. "


Sounds to me like he's saying just what I mentioned, that gybing back and forth off the rhumb line does not increase number of miles sailed, as opposed to sailing DDW right on said rhumb line.
If I can paraphrase Dockhead.

IF YOU GYBE, the distance covered is the same regardless of how many times you gybe.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:50   #306
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Re: Tacking Down Wind

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post

Unless one is traveling in a very restricted waterway, as a practical matter there's not much merit to running dead down wind.

FWIW...
Nice post - great illustration.

Of course, that is my thinking based on my experience.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:55   #307
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

These posts bring up a very interesting question- When is a point of sail, even though you can preform it, not recommended, or even dangerous. I was going DDW because I wanted to hug the Washington coast of the strait, which put me in a dangerous position. Now if I had gone 10 degrees North, and kept on gybing to stay out of the freighter lanes, would that have been a better way to attack the situation? Remember it was foggy and dark, so slow was not necessarily bad.
I think I would have been OK with the Jib and the Staysail....
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:04   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth
These posts bring up a very interesting question- When is a point of sail, even though you can preform it, not recommended, or even dangerous. I was going DDW because I wanted to hug the Washington coast of the strait, which put me in a dangerous position. Now if I had gone 10 degrees North, and kept on gybing to stay out of the freighter lanes, would that have been a better way to attack the situation? Remember it was foggy and dark, so slow was not necessarily bad.
I think I would have been OK with the Jib and the Staysail....
Too many variables to generalize.

In your case, you wanted to stay well away from shipping and the shore. You had a tired crew and needed to concentrate on navigation, radar, and a lookout. DDW with a preventer and a skilled helmsman was an excellent strategy.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:30   #309
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

I just realized that you were in an unusual wind for the Strait. Normally, when outbound, it is a beat; while inbound is downwind.

I tend to use the north side of the Strait on the trips around the Island, and broad reach and gybe when inbound. I have about a 5 mile window which will keep me out of the TSS. The southbound side is narrower. I have been outbound about 4 times. On 3 Swiftsures it was a beat, on a trip to Barkley Sound we were under power.

An autopilot set to sail a wind angle might have been a good strategy in your situation. The helm and navigator would have to pay close attention for wind shifts that would take you into shore or into the TSS. In heavy seas, I would hand steer a broad reach.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:34   #310
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Does no one read all the previous posts? We already said that DDW may be slower (in some boats), but it's less miles sailed with less stress on the gear. That's the whole point, less apparent wind for similar speed. And less work for crew and boat.
It's not that we didn't read the previous posts, it's that we didn't agree with them.

I understand that you feel that sailing fewer miles more slowly is less stressful on the boat. That may be so. Arguably, less time on a crossing is less stressful on a boat, and certainly less stressful on the crew.

Most sailors I know would love to get to their destination sooner. It may even make a crossing much safer if there is weather coming in. People are happy on high mile days and frustrated on low mile days.

We're not talking about crazy racers doing some sort of dangerous, stresful manoever to squeeze out an extra tenth of a knot. We're talking about going faster, on a safer (if you use your main) and more pleasant point of sail and doing a nice, easy gybe a couple times a day to kill the boredom.

Every old salt will tell you that the way to go from Victoria to Hawaii is to sail south almost to San Francisco before heading West. Why? It's much faster and more pleasant to avoid the North Pacific High and sail where there's wind. Seems exactly analagous to sailing the angles (gybing) downwind.

You don't put less stress on the boat and crew by spending a month creeping along on the rhumb line to Hawaii, and I don't think you do so by sailing DDW either, unless the wind is high enough to drive you to hull speed DDW or you're in confined waters.
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Old 10-10-2012, 13:22   #311
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Here are the tracks of this year's Vic Maui race.

Vic Maui 2012 - Powered by Yellowbrick Tracking

Look carefully and you will see lots of gybes.

I did a return. After an upwind slog, we eventually picked up the westerlies and broad reached and gybed our way home.

Here are the tracks home. I was on Turicum. If you look carefully at 132 W you will see us head southerly a bit to maintain a broad reach, before getting a predictable wind shift which carried us home.

Vic Maui 2012 Return - Powered by Yellowbrick Tracking
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Old 10-10-2012, 13:53   #312
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
It's not that we didn't read the previous posts, it's that we didn't agree with them.

I understand that you feel that sailing fewer miles more slowly is less stressful on the boat. That may be so. Arguably, less time on a crossing is less stressful on a boat, and certainly less stressful on the crew.

Most sailors I know would love to get to their destination sooner. It may even make a crossing much safer if there is weather coming in. People are happy on high mile days and frustrated on low mile days.

We're not talking about crazy racers doing some sort of dangerous, stresful manoever to squeeze out an extra tenth of a knot. We're talking about going faster, on a safer (if you use your main) and more pleasant point of sail and doing a nice, easy gybe a couple times a day to kill the boredom.

Every old salt will tell you that the way to go from Victoria to Hawaii is to sail south almost to San Francisco before heading West. Why? It's much faster and more pleasant to avoid the North Pacific High and sail where there's wind. Seems exactly analagous to sailing the angles (gybing) downwind.

You don't put less stress on the boat and crew by spending a month creeping along on the rhumb line to Hawaii, and I don't think you do so by sailing DDW either, unless the wind is high enough to drive you to hull speed DDW or you're in confined waters.
i think the confusion here is about the initial argument and that was about gybing down wind WITHOUT USING A POLE,not about sailing dead down wind.
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Old 10-10-2012, 21:32   #313
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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i think the confusion here is about the initial argument and that was about gybing down wind WITHOUT USING A POLE,not about sailing dead down wind.
Can you expand on your statement? Are you saying that sailing DDW with a jib poled to windward (wing in wing) is faster than broad reaching or gybing? Or something else?
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Old 10-10-2012, 23:53   #314
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Can you expand on your statement? Are you saying that sailing DDW with a jib poled to windward (wing in wing) is faster than broad reaching or gybing? Or something else?
as far as i understand the argument went as this.
assuming where you want to go is 2500 miles away and dead down wind,on a tradewind passage.

rebel heart advocated,sailing downwind with just a single headsail,as it was safer having no pole up,and no main up,and heading more or less in the right direction..

others advocated gybing downwind on a broad reach,with no pole up,but with head sail and mainsail up and heading 25-60 degrees off the ddw course.

my self and minaret advocated twin headsails,with a pole out to windward and a mainsail sailing within 10-15 degrees of the downwind course and using windshifts to your advantage,to get optimum speed from this rig on a 20 day passage.(carrying potentially a third more sail area than the other combinations)

another scenario would be heading directly ddw to the objective with twin poles,and twin headsails,but no main at all.

i know what works for me!
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:19   #315
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
as far as i understand the argument went as this.
assuming where you want to go is 2500 miles away and dead down wind,on a tradewind passage.

rebel heart advocated,sailing downwind with just a single headsail,as it was safer having no pole up,and no main up,and heading more or less in the right direction..

others advocated gybing downwind on a broad reach,with no pole up,but with head sail and mainsail up and heading 25-60 degrees off the ddw course.

my self and minaret advocated twin headsails,with a pole out to windward and a mainsail sailing within 10-15 degrees of the downwind course and using windshifts to your advantage,to get optimum speed from this rig on a 20 day passage.(carrying potentially a third more sail area than the other combinations)

another scenario would be heading directly ddw to the objective with twin poles,and twin headsails,but no main at all.

i know what works for me!
How to sail dead down wind:

1. Sailing DDW with just a jib and no pole--you will rock and roll like crazy on a mono--been there done that

2. Reaching with main and jib on the same side--you will go faster, but get there slower, plus you have the problem of the jib collapsing and refilling on the waves, with resultant chafe--BTDT

3. Sailing with main and poled out jib, 15 degrees off DDW--faster than 1 or 2, less rolling than 1, but you need to watch out for accidental gybes due to autopilot, wind shifts, waves. You should also deep reef the main for the night, and take it down in heavy weather --done RTW like this

4 Sailing near DDW using twin headsails, no main, and a pole on the windward side--as fast or faster than 3, happier autopilot, no chance of accidental gybes, less rolling than 1-3 if you pick your course to line up with the prevailing waves, easy one-man operation to increase or decrease sail area during squalls--AWESOME! (16 days from Grand Canaria to St Lucia)
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