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Old 08-11-2005, 07:32   #1
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how close to the wind ?

i am curious to know how well different boats will point. we have a good assortment of boats on this forum, with different sail configurations. when going to weather, how high can you go ?

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Old 08-11-2005, 08:17   #2
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There is a variety of ways that this kind of question can get answered and frankly it usually does not have a specific accurate answer. For example, in moderate winds and flat water, for opitimum VMG my boat tacks through something just below 85 degrees based on its compass courses. The GPS tells me that with leeway that typically converts to something less than 90 degrees tack to tack over the bottom. This translates to a roughly 18 degrees apparent wind angle (I am basing this on my recollection that the tracking arms on my Windex are set at 36 degrees between the legs and I may be remembering the spacing incorrectly).

In higher winds and flat water I can point slightly higher, and in a chop the best VMG is achieved at a somewhere wider tacking angle. In light winds the tacking angle is generally wider in order to keep speed up. In light winds where boatspeed often equals true windspeeds, the tacking angle can be quite wide because of the apparent wind tends to be so far forward.

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Old 09-11-2005, 11:54   #3
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Had many race yachts over 20 years from Solings up to Swarbrick 97's and never got better than approx 30 degrees apparent (before this year) and we were pretty competent racers. So would love to hear how to improve and get 18 degrees apparent ..............

On 'glass like' flat water and 6 knots true but consistent wind we managed one night to maintain twix 25 and 27 degrees with a blade headsail and super flat main on our Hanse 461 this past summer. That's the 'highest' I've ever sailed at for a consistent period - and not sure I'd ever find the same conditions to repeat this.

All my degrees quoted are apparent wind from Raymarine ST60's -hope this helps

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Old 09-11-2005, 14:01   #4
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Jeff,

I wonder if the tracking arms on your windex aren't set at 36 degrees from the centerline, rather than from each other.

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Old 09-11-2005, 15:11   #5
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Mea culpa, I must say that as I was thinking about it I was not all that sure what the windex tracking arm angle was, and that was why I included the caviat in my post. I apologize, I must be mistaken about the angle.

When we had the mast down last year I carefully measured the angle that it had been set to before we took windex off the mast and made it slightly narrower than it had been when we put it back. I wrote thst angle in boat's log and so I will can see what I set it to. The number 36 degrees stuck in my head, but I have no idea if that is correct until I look at my log. I apologize if the 18 degree number mentioned above is misleading. It was not meant to be. (For what it is worth my Raymarine seems to be less accurate in reporting apparent wind angle than the windex, in that it reads very differently on each tack and gets particularly strange in waves.)

In any event, my core point in mentioning apparent wind angle should have been that app wind angles will vary so extremely that it is of no real value in comparing the relative windward performance from boat to boat. To use the Soling as a comparason, the Soling generally points at a similar angle to my boat, but in winds over about 6 knots my boat's significantly faster speed would make the apparent wind angle much narrower.

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Old 09-11-2005, 16:42   #6
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The purpose of my question was to try and get a sense of the range of capabilities in boats, especially newer production boats, to point. I read alot about newer designs, improved performance, and it is not tangible to me. Yeah - I wanted someone to tell me that Beneteau will do 35 degrees off in winds from 15 to 20 with moderate seas. I did know what to expect to hear from the Cats. It is, for me, a valid measure.
Being able to go to weather has advantages not connected to speed or course made good. In heavier winds, and higher seas, I have been taught to work slowly to weather, keep the nose into oncoming and work upwind without letting the boat pound, especially if I am also being set in the right direction. Other instrument tell me speed over ground and speed of the boat, but I currently have a Datamarine LX-360 (old) which displays apparent wind speed and apparent wind direction. Am I missing something ?

All my one design racing was in boats where instruments, any electronics, were no allowed by the rules, so we never really knew, but JOHN's statement that 30 is his best really surprised me - I would have thought higher.

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Old 09-11-2005, 16:43   #7
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Old 09-11-2005, 19:48   #8
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It seems to me that there have been really big inprovements in VMG over the bottom more than pointing angles. While new boats have a narrower sheeting angles, the reality seems to be that they do not point substantially higher than boats of 10-15 or so years ago. Where they make out is that the have significantly faster speeds through the water and significantly less leeway.

While cruising cats may have an ultimate speed advantage over a fast monohull reaching in higher windspeeds, I find that a fast modern monohull will have similar speeds, less leeway, and a way higher pointing angle than similar length multihull.

Apparent wind angles really tell you very little about how weatherly a boat actually is.

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Old 09-11-2005, 20:31   #9
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To gain some extra point in flat water you can crank the backstay to flatten the jib, ease the jib halyard to move the draft back and create a finer entry angle, unload the runner to bow the rig, and close the main leach to increase upwash angle.......maybe 30-32 degree but you'll sail with a very very very narrow groove. No power but point and speed if you can sail to the groove.
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:01   #10
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I can sail quite nicely at 0 degrees when I start the motor
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Old 10-11-2005, 02:44   #11
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Guys - please think about it.............

The angle you sail to windward has to be a function of the sheeting position of your headsail (as well as lots of other things).

But essentially the closer the headsail and main can be sheeted - the higher you could theoretically go - all provided the wind and wave conditions do not overcome the lesser power you have with those flatter sails.

Anyone can sheet a mainsail to the centre line or above - so the headsail sheeting angle is the one to think about.

I find it difficult to understand how a Soling (that has a very narrow sheeting angle on it's non-overlapping jib) cannot sail higher than a Farr Racer / Cruiser. Simply because of the differing sheeting positions of the relative headsails casued by sail size, deck layout, stays and rig position etc.

My personal experiences sailing both types of yachts in mixed club fleets have allowed me to experienced it from both yacht helms.

With tolerably good crew one year with a Soling, to a Farr 1020 the next, to a flat out JOG 30' racer the next.

There was no way anyone would get a Farr or any other bigger race boat at club level to outpoint the smaller race keelboats - even if those bigger boats got to the top mark first due to extra speed.

Even more recently, on our current Hanse 461 with a blade non overlapped headsail, we found we can definately sail higher than on our previous larger headsailed Grand Soleil 42.

The 42 was no slouch to windward (tall race rig and max deep keel) but its overlapping genoas were not cut as flat as our current jib, nor could thay be sheeted as far inboard as is possible on the Hanse.

Of course all the other factors do come into play on ponting - not least water / wind / hull / keel / crew - but all else being equal the narrower the headsail angle - the higher you'll go.

And the wider the headsail angle the lower you'll sail.

IMHO of course, it can't be any other way..............

Cheers

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Old 10-11-2005, 05:05   #12
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When you compare a non-overlapping jib to an overlapping genoa you need to look at the track angle. They may very well be the same for both sails. The tough geometry for a genoa to deal with is getting around the rig. Usually the upper spreaders create a clearance problem for the genoa so the sail needs a straight exit and maybe some hollow. Look at the games the ACC boats play bring the top of the genoa around the upper spreaders. Special attachments on the upper spreader to support the sail and keep it from hooking.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:28   #13
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John:

I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say about the relative pointing angles of a Farr 38 vs a Soling. Here is what I know. I have sailed along side of Solings in a pretty wide range of windspeeds and with both boats dialed in, the Solings are sailing at approximately the same course relative to the wind as the Farr 38. In other words we are typically sailing on parrallel course to each other in winds over 6 knots or so. At windspeeds over 6 knots or so, the Farr has more speed through the water and so would have a narrower apparent wind angle. To some extent this makes sense when you consider the narrower sheeting angle of the Farr.

The real limitation to pointing on the Farr seems to be its keel rather than its sail plan. I have some very flat cut, heavy air racing sails and when stuck with these sails up in lighter air I can trim these sails to the point so that the boat is sailing at rediculous angles relative to the wind, but I am not actually sailing over the bottom at as high an angle as I would be if I eased the sails and pointed down because at that point the flow over the relatively inefficient keel on the Farr 38 drops to the point that the boat is making so much leeway that the actual VMG drops dramatically especially when considering the drop in speed through the water.

I find that more modern boats like Tripp 38's, First 40.7 and First 37.7's can get away with pointing higher than my two decades older design while maintaining similar or greater speeds through the water.

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Old 10-11-2005, 05:55   #14
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Sailplan and keel...

I found the explanation on trim interesting, I've always tightened when pointing higher with natural limits coming from spreaders but admittedly never payed specific attention to the "closeness" of genoa and main other than avoiding chafing of the genoa on the spreader but will do that at the very next opportunity.

In my experience the main handicap for pointing is a shallow keel. I have a 2002 Bavaria 40 and sail in Croatia with hundreds of Bavarias around, so one sails oftentimes with comparable boats. By design the model is not racer and I tack definitely above 90 degrees with the shallow keel, while the (at least in Europe) more widely used regular keel seems to do it around or even a tick under 90... very annoying.

My usual crew is pretty experienced (racing on Lake Constance), when in Croatia random "match racing" ensues frequently when heading to the next marina along a boat of comparable design. Traditionally we outrun "opponents" on speed only to loose due to the angle up wind. After arrival in the marina our first question is usually about the opponent's keel and sure enough: Again "lost" to a deeper keel... Size does matter.
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:36   #15
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Jeff H - I get it and understand why your original response was to move away from pointing as a stand alone issue. In one design racing the issue is mute, and I was not thinking about racing of any sort - just performance in cruisers. Your later response explaining how newer boats sail "better" makes sense to me. This also made me realize that non racing tactics or methods for best getting from point A to point B, or working thru adverse conditions have changed as well. Somewhere in here is the advancement in design that now allows performance cruisers to have monster beams, but still sail to weather.

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