Originally Posted by Klaus_S
it is of course a technique that works, if you do it with the right timing:
You sail from A to B with wind from ahead.
On the first tack you have the tide running from left to right.
In the middle of your way you have slack water. Then you tack.
On the second half of your way the tide runs from right to left.
Take a pencil and draw it. Tide on lee bow is shorter.
Klaus, this is what I think the old timers meant when they used the term "lee bowing the tide". For the adage "keep the current close your lee bow" to work when tacking to reach a destination
(ie to give the shortest time taken), I see that very limited criteria need to apply:
- The destination
must be directly into the ground wind (equal time needs to be spent on both tacks)
- The current must exactly cancel out for the journey
- The cross current is not roughly between the ground wind and your heading close hauled (then you keep the current on the windward bow).
Otherwise, the rule
of "keep the current on the lee bow" may work in some portions of a journey when tacking to a destination with a variable cross current, but it is not something that can be blindly followed.
I think the correct strategy when tacking to a destination with a cross current is to use your CTS as your basis and be on port tack as much as needed when the current is between 0 and 180 from the ground wind (use the greatest amount of current if not all of it is needed) and on starboard tack when it is 180 to 360 (again choose the greatest amount if not all the time is needed on this tack). You will see your scenario fits into this.
Removing the terms "lee" and "bow" completely eliminates the confusion surrounding why this strategy works and it fits when current comes from absolutely any direction relative to the ground wind.
(PS: As far as I can gather this is probably why the myth of the "lee bow effect arose" where it is claimed that pinching to put the current on your lee bow is beneficial)