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Old 26-09-2016, 11:42   #121
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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In early Spring, we met on the causeway for burgers, grouper sandwiches and drinks at our old hangout. Strange the details that stay with you through the years. I remember our order and I remember it as a special occasion, but I can't recall why. Then sometime in the late 80s, the four of them sailed out of Tampa Bay. We never saw them again.
Sure love reading your posts Phillip.
I was inspired as a young-un by a guy who used to sail his Valiant 40 just about everywhere, he eschewed engine use, and a friend who had an engineless Cal 40. Keep those good ol' stories coming for us older farts.
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Old 26-09-2016, 12:00   #122
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pirate Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

You do have a way with words Phillip.. I stand in awe..
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Old 26-09-2016, 12:50   #123
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Thanks Don.

Glad you enjoy them. It's good to revisit the things that gave us this appreciation for sailing and a sense of community that perseveres no matter how long you are away from it. It's good to remember that those young and daring characters in those old stories are the old farts like us.

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Sure love reading your posts Phillip.
I was inspired as a young-un by a guy who used to sail his Valiant 40 just about everywhere, he eschewed engine use, and a friend who had an engineless Cal 40. Keep those good ol' stories coming for us older farts.
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Old 26-09-2016, 12:59   #124
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Thanks for the flowers, but seriously. Have a seat! I'm just reminiscing.

You describe yourself as 'lucky' rather than good. Give me good fortune and favor over skill any day. I know about people like you and I don't play cards with them!

OK, back to work for a while...

None of us are done yet.
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You do have a way with words Phillip.. I stand in awe..
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Old 26-09-2016, 14:42   #125
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Nice stories, Phillip (do you object to being called "Phil"?), I too have enjoyed them.

But back to the race-boat as cruising boat discussion. I'm firmly in that camp myself: our previous boat was an early IOR one-tonner, and our current home was designed by Jon Sayer, a successful designer of ULDB ocean racers. As Bill Lee famously said, "fast is fun" as well as a safety issue.

In support of the latter, consider the infamous "Queen's Birthday" storm of 1994. The only boat that left Opua on the fateful day and arrived in Tonga completely unscathed was Heart of Gold, a Schumaker (sp?) 50 sailed by Jim and Sue Corenman. They saw the wx deteriorating, clapped on more sail and beat the storm to Tonga where they sat in safety whilst the rest of the fleet was devastated. PErhaps that description of their passage is oversimplified, but it is a certain case where the modern race boat made it and the traditional cruising boats did not. It is not always true that "speed kills".

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Old 26-09-2016, 16:17   #126
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the complement. Glad they brought you a little entertainment. And no, Phil is fine. I had five elder brothers and learned to answer to just about anything.

Being newly in the market, the ocean racer as a liveaboard cruiser is an intriguing notion. There is nothing so reassuring to the 'recreational' sailor than the ability to outrun danger, whether in the form of an approaching gale or a fast moving supertanker.

On the other hand, as I get a little older and my stamina wanes a bit, the thought of beefier sail plans, water-tight bulkheads (and hatches) and sufficient HP has merit. That and heaving to in a nasty blow with a 30" drogue rigged to a Pardey Bridle as a backup to my storm sails.

Oh, but there is still the odd commercial vessel right? Nothing like taking your morning coffee to the helm after a night in irons, only to turn and see a 10 story Honda billboard crossing less than 20 meters off the bow. Yikes!

Honestly, there is a lot to weigh once the fear factor has been stuffed back in the hole from which it emerged. David is right when he said it's about risk management. That involves some careful thought, analysis and number crunching. One thing is certain though. Even if I have to settle for a little coastal cruiser for a season or two, I'll not remain at dock.

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Nice stories, Phillip (do you object to being called "Phil"?), I too have enjoyed them.

But back to the race-boat as cruising boat discussion. I'm firmly in that camp myself: our previous boat was an early IOR one-tonner, and our current home was designed by Jon Sayer, a successful designer of ULDB ocean racers. As Bill Lee famously said, "fast is fun" as well as a safety issue.

In support of the latter, consider the infamous "Queen's Birthday" storm of 1994. The only boat that left Opua on the fateful day and arrived in Tonga completely unscathed was Heart of Gold, a Schumaker (sp?) 50 sailed by Jim and Sue Corenman. They saw the wx deteriorating, clapped on more sail and beat the storm to Tonga where they sat in safety whilst the rest of the fleet was devastated. PErhaps that description of their passage is oversimplified, but it is a certain case where the modern race boat made it and the traditional cruising boats did not. It is not always true that "speed kills".

Jim
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Old 27-09-2016, 00:08   #127
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

* Clarification:

I know that 'heaving to' and falling off 'in irons' are the result of two different sailing maneuvers, but the end results are remarkably similar. I chose to use a little artistic license in my response above, knowing the intended parties would 'get my drift', as they say.

However, they are not the only ones reading these posts and I don't wish to mislead the uninitiated or give the wrong impression. So for the sake of clarity I offer the following, purloined directly from an online Glossary of Nautical terms.

Technically, 'In Irons' means, "When a sailing vessel has lost its forward momentum while heading into the wind, rendering it unable to steer."

The short version is that as you tighten sail and steer closer to the wind, you will eventually come to a point where your sails no longer gain any 'lift' from the wind. As the speed of the water diminishes across the keel and the rudder, the less effect turning the rudder has. Once your forward motion is stopped, you have no 'steerage' or control over the boat from the rudder.

Conversely 'Heaving to' or being 'Hove to' means, "Stopping a sailing vessel by lashing the helm in opposition to the sails. The vessel will gradually drift to leeward, the speed of the drift depending on the vessel's design."

Those keen of eye and wit will note that in both cases, forward motion and steerage of the yacht is lost. In the former it is a transient condition where the vessel eventually falls off the wind.

The latter case, 'heaving to', is a maneuver designed to balance the attitude of the vessel with the sails and perhaps a drogue, so that the bow remains approximately within 30-50 degree of the wind. The vessel would continue to back slowly and directly downwind of the 'slick' that it's wake creates, at about 1.5 to 2 knots for most modern cruising yachts.

The benefit to be derived from heaving to, is that the slick produced helps to reduce wave strikes to a vessel adrift in rough seas. The slick will most often trigger a wave to break before it reaches the vessel thereby dissipating the force of the wave, rather than let the wave break onto or over the vessel, potentially causing a disastrous roll, dismasting or worse.

I hope this helps.
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Old 27-09-2016, 00:46   #128
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

I have had both and can state that I much prefer have the mainsail halyard and reefing lines at the mast. My current setup has all lines aft and when I reef the main this typically happens

I lower the halyard to an estimated amount depending upon wind strength etc.
I go forward to attach the luff cringle to the rams horns and then find I haven't lowered the halyard enough which requires a visit back to the cockpit to adjust and hopefully getting it right this time. Sometimes it requires several revisits.

I lower the halyard too much so that the cringle fallls out of the rams horn by the time I get back to the cockpit to adjust the halyard tension.

Note even having the halyard marked it rarely goes right first time.

The other point is:

it is a lot quicker and easier raising the mainsail at the mast as you can use all your weight to raise the sail and the lack of friction from mast base blocks, deck organisers and rope clutches make this a lot easier than the non ergonomic position in the cockpit where your weight cannot even be used.

Being at the mast allows you to see if all is clear to raise the halyard without ripping out the batten pocket caught on the lazy jacks or the part of the sail caught on some obstruction.

I guess single line reefing will simplify some of the above but I believe there are problems with this system also and you still have the ergonomic and sight issues to contend with.

I am seriously considering moving my mainsail reefing lines to the mast but of course this will involve additional winches etc which is the only thing delaying my decision.

Totally agree with the article "Rigging Simplicity & The Con of Leading Lines Aft"

Andrew
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Old 27-09-2016, 04:30   #129
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your account and your considered opinion. I was wondering, would you mind sharing a little about your yacht? I went to your profile and there isn't much to go on. I'm going to take a wild stab at this and guess you sail something 15 meters or so in length. Is that close?

As this discussion progressed, there have been a number of contributors that posited smaller to medium sized sailing vessels might have more reason to remain in the cockpit in heavy weather circumstances and may benefit from reefing lines led aft. What say you?

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* SNIP *
Totally agree with the article "Rigging Simplicity & The Con of Leading Lines Aft"

Andrew
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Old 27-09-2016, 08:55   #130
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CareKnot View Post
* Clarification:

(...)

The benefit to be derived from heaving to, is that the slick produced helps to reduce wave strikes to a vessel adrift in rough seas. The slick will most often trigger a wave to break before it reaches the vessel thereby dissipating the force of the wave, rather than let the wave break onto or over the vessel, potentially causing a disastrous roll, dismasting or worse.

I hope this helps.
;-)

A clarification of the clarification:

Techniques and observations from old age, big, working vessels with specific hull shapes should only VERY carefully be translated to much smaller, frequently hydrodynamic-aly different, pleasure boats.

Also, note the vastly different proportion of the wave size and boat size in the cruising scenario, unless you are sailing a truly big boat. Then look up wave height frequency distribution charts.

In fact the 'slick' is not known to 'trigger' anything and waves are known to break in line and outwardly - talk to any surfer for more detail on how this works.

If the waves are big enough and breaking, so that you assume one of the breakers could roll your boat, you should NOT heave too. Unless you like to play the Russian roulette with odds and nature.

My clarification applies to small sailing boats.

Big sunny hug from our sunny outpost,
b.
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Old 27-09-2016, 09:10   #131
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Can someone with single line reefing, that works well, please post some shots of how it is led?
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Old 27-09-2016, 11:34   #132
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

As I've said, if you're having problems raising and reefing the main sail with lines led aft, you haven't set it up properly.

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[I]I have had both and can state that I much prefer have the mainsail halyard and reefing lines at the mast. My current setup has all lines aft and when I reef the main this typically happens

YOU DON'T HAVE ALL THE REEFING LINES LED AFT. You forgot the tack reefing lines.

I lower the halyard to an estimated amount depending upon wind strength etc.
I go forward to attach the luff cringle to the rams horns and then find I haven't lowered the halyard enough which requires a visit back to the cockpit to adjust and hopefully getting it right this time. Sometimes it requires several revisits.

I lower the halyard too much so that the cringle fallls out of the rams horn by the time I get back to the cockpit to adjust the halyard tension.

Note even having the halyard marked it rarely goes right first time.


With a double line reefing system there is a tack reefing line that pulls the tack down from the cockpit. No going forward to hook the tack into a reefing horn. To reef you release the halyard to a marked spot, pull down the tack with the tack reefing line and then use the winch to tension the luff. Takes maybe 30 seconds at the outside.

The other point is:

it is a lot quicker and easier raising the mainsail at the mast as you can use all your weight to raise the sail and the lack of friction from mast base blocks, deck organisers and rope clutches make this a lot easier than the non ergonomic position in the cockpit where your weight cannot even be used.


Raising the main is somewhat easier from the mast. Yes you can use body weight to help but it doesn't help all that much. On my boat, can raise the sail almost as far by hand from the cockpit as I can from the mast. In both instances, have to use a winch to get the sail up the last few feet. Maybe takes a minute longer to raise the sail from the cockpit rather than at the mast. If I have crew, can hoist the sail as far as possible from the mast while someone tails from the cockpit but it's very little savings in time to raise the sail. In any case, it's a one time iteration. Do it once at the beginning of the sail and done with it.

Being at the mast allows you to see if all is clear to raise the halyard without ripping out the batten pocket caught on the lazy jacks or the part of the sail caught on some obstruction.

Raising the sail from the cockpit, can see the entire sail if there is a hang up. But guess what, if the sail is rigged properly, there is nothing for the sail to hang up on. The sail goes up without a hitch 100% of the time.

Anyone who leaves there lazy jacks deployed while raising the main is asking for problems. Unless the boat is religiously kept heading directly into the wind, the LJ's WILL hook a batten. Way to great a chance of a hang up to even attempt it. Stow them at the mast till you need them. Doubt if you'd be able to rip out a batten on a hung up LJ in any case and would have to be really obtuse to try.

I guess single line reefing will simplify some of the above but I believe there are problems with this system also and you still have the ergonomic and sight issues to contend with.

My limited experience with single line reefing hasn't been positive. Too many 90 or 180 degree turns of the line without blocks so friction is high and tails way too long. May work on smaller boats but not on mine if for no other reason than the 3rd reef line would be 70' long. A whole bunch of line to pull in at one time

Totally agree with the article "Rigging Simplicity & The Con of Leading Lines Aft"
Andrew
Totally disagree with that article. For one thing, now that I've gotten rid of the wheel and gone to a tiller, can steer with the tiller between my legs or one foot while I handle raising the main or reefing it. Some say having all those lines in the cockpit is a problem. On our boat have sheet, in this case halyard and reefing line, bags on the cabin sides. Lines go in the bag, neat and out of the way. No risk to life and limb hanging onto a bucking boom reefing a violently slatting sail fighting 30mph plus winds and 10' plus seas.

FWIW, reefing from the cockpit has nothing to do with going forward to inspect the boat. You can still go forward every 5 minutes if you want. You just don't have to do a potentially dangerous bit of work on deck that is best done by someone with four arms.
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Old 27-09-2016, 11:40   #133
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Throughout this entire thread, I have been beating the same drum; that there are very few one-size-fits-all propositions when it comes to sailing. Different things apply differently to different boats of different sizes with different crews of different sizes and composition, etc., ad nausium. Then I go and make a dunder-headed generalization like that.

I stand corrected, er, and clarified! Thanks Barney.

There are numerous very good reads on the topic of heavy weather sailing and I am not an author of any of them. I'll pick my words more carefully in the future.

That said, I did read from a couple of sources that the slight upwelling in the wake of a hove to vessel has been observed to cause a wave to break to the left and right angles of that upwelling, much as how the bottom shape near a beach can influence a shore break. However, the larger the wave is in proportions to boats and beaches, the less it is affected by such things and the more those things are affected by the waves. Does that sound about right?

That is something that this old surfer has personally observed. So a great big wet smooch from our wet and soggy coast (scattered thunderstorms today mate)!


Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
;-)

A clarification of the clarification:

Techniques and observations from old age, big, working vessels with specific hull shapes should only VERY carefully be translated to much smaller, frequently hydrodynamic-aly different, pleasure boats.

Also, note the vastly different proportion of the wave size and boat size in the cruising scenario, unless you are sailing a truly big boat. Then look up wave height frequency distribution charts.

In fact the 'slick' is not known to 'trigger' anything and waves are known to break in line and outwardly - talk to any surfer for more detail on how this works.

If the waves are big enough and breaking, so that you assume one of the breakers could roll your boat, you should NOT heave too. Unless you like to play the Russian roulette with odds and nature.

My clarification applies to small sailing boats.

Big sunny hug from our sunny outpost,
b.
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Old 27-09-2016, 13:52   #134
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Why do you guys go forward to attach the tack? I simply lower the sail, tension the tack reef line, tension the clew reef line. Done. Off course, I too have the reef horns and can place the grommet there but this is can be left to be done at any time.

The only thing I cannot do right now is to go to reef point 2 immediately from No 1 - only because we have old school 'high' slugs gate.

Normally, nothing needs getting done at the mast for reef No 1.

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Old 27-09-2016, 14:33   #135
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by CareKnot View Post

(...)

That said, I did read from a couple of sources that the slight upwelling in the wake of a hove to vessel has been observed to cause a wave to break to the left and right angles of that upwelling, much as how the bottom shape near a beach can influence a shore break. However, the larger the wave is in proportions to boats and beaches, the less it is affected by such things and the more those things are affected by the waves. Does that sound about right?

That is something that this old surfer has personally observed. So a great big wet smooch from our wet and soggy coast (scattered thunderstorms today mate)!
Yes. I too have read interesting things about heaving to and 'slicks' and other phenomena. My first observation is that some books, interesting and valuable reads otherwise, are collections of opinions and stories rather than first hand reports from people who actually went thru all the storms. At times personal and reported accounts are given in the same book. This is to some extent the case with Adlard Coles book and with the Dashews book. (I am big fan of the Dashews here.)

If you read an account of an owner who has a boat similar to yours, if the conditions are similar, you may make the right storm tactic decision then. If you have read all the accounts though and then try to deploy a trick that worked for a different boat in different conditions ... well.

Then there are books where people tell you their own and actual storm experiences. Some give advice. This is so with the Pardeys. I have nil doubt what the Pardeys say works with this specific design (boats similar to a BCC) in conditions similar to the conditions they sailed (some very bad conditions).

Having sailed thru few very bad gales and fewer storms (nothing special though - wind never much in excess of 64 knots and waves no taller than 36 ft) I can only talk about our experiences in a relative conservative hull (full keel, stern hung rudder, light and small boat) and the techniques we deployed: (towing warps, looped warps, drogues, heaving to, laying ahull, fore-reaching).

Hove to, you would have to press me real hard to hear I could see any 'slick' or that the boat stayed comfortably between (???) 30 and 50 degrees. Yes, if the wind is unusually high and the waves are less than say 20 ft and not breaking, the boat will lay comfortably at 50 to 70 degrees maybe. Once the waves are up, the waves will blanket some wind so the boat will completely loose the pressure on the sails and rigging in the troughs while getting somewhat overpowered at the crests. Now the angle will open up - say 40 to 80 degrees.

If some of the waves break, if they are anything beyond plain vanilla enhanced trades, sooner or later one of the breakers will hit you exactly when the boat is most vulnerable - beam on. And that's that, and if you are lucky you just get scared and wet and lose some equipment. And you start thinking very very fast about what else they said in those books on the ALTERNATIVE storm survival tactics.

This is just my experience. Small (26'), full keel, light boat. Heaving to is GREAT in strong winds, non-breaking waves. It is a suicidal method in any serious seas where some serious waves are breaking.

If you cannot run, fore-reach. KEEP ON GOING.

Wait, what was it we were talking about? Arghh, yes, lines in the cockpit vs. lines at the mast.

;-)

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