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Old 26-08-2015, 11:04   #1
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Light air problems

When sailing my Nonsuch 30 from the Virgin Islands to Florida I often had problems with light air. Sail and wishbone would bang from the wave action. I tried several preventer setups, but found nothing that worked. I am thinking about a very long whisker pole from back of boat to end of the wishbone. Has anyone also had this problem? and what did you do? I am getting ready to take the boat out to the Bahamas, and would like to have a fix before I depart.
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Old 26-08-2015, 11:11   #2
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Re: Light air problems

Take the wishbone off, then it's only the sail banging..

Seriously there's nothing else except lighter sailcloth to reduce this, that is of course IMHO.

PS. Maybe something. Lift a big water bladder up to the mast, fil it until the banging stops or comes more rare..
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Old 26-08-2015, 11:19   #3
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Re: Light air problems

I've had the same problem in very light air ( <5 k ) and a rolling swell. Not enough wind pressure to keep the sail full and the boom still against the momentum of the roll. Sometimes reeding the main helps. Sometimes not enough. If a preventer doesn't work that leaves me with the choice of dropping the sail ( and rolling uncomfortably but keeping the sail from flogging ) or sheeting it in flat for stability and putting up with the flogging and strain on the sail and rigging. Based on conditions I've chosen one or the other.

Hope someone else has a better solution.


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Old 26-08-2015, 11:24   #4
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Re: Light air problems

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I've had the same problem in very light air ( <5 k ) and a rolling swell. Not enough wind pressure to keep the sail full and the boom still against the momentum of the roll. Sometimes reeding the main helps. Sometimes not enough. If a preventer doesn't work that leaves me with the choice of dropping the sail ( and rolling uncomfortably but keeping the sail from flogging ) or sheeting it in flat for stability and putting up with the flogging and strain on the sail and rigging. Based on conditions I've chosen one or the other.

Hope someone else has a better solution.


S/V B'Shert

I furl the Genoa and Staysail, sheet the main flat and crank the iron Genoa.
In flat or almost flat water I can sail slowly in 5 or 6 kts of wind, but not if there is any real sea to speak of.
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Old 26-08-2015, 14:18   #5
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Re: Light air problems

Sdwcheney:

Try reefing down to your second reef. This should flatten the sail considerably, then, slightly over-trim for the situation, and lash the booms to the toerails. You need the preventers, because the wind strength is too feeble. When the breeze picks up again, you can shake out the reefs. Reefing will help quieten the slatting, as does the slight over-trimming.

Since you are content to sail slowly, I do not think you, personally, need to motorsail, unless you want to.

Best wishes for your next passage.

Ann
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Old 26-08-2015, 15:45   #6
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Re: Light air problems

The repeated filling and throwing a sail aback due to rolling in very light airs will cause more wear in a day than normal sailing in several months. Hard sheeting the Main, unless it is cut very flat, will accomplish nothing more than making the sail "snap" as the boat rolls. Such conditions are where very light air sails come into their own while the Main and Genoa's can be furled and saved for another day. A 1/2 or 3/4 Oz asymmetrical flying free, tacked at the stem (perhaps with a tack line lead through a turning block), and sheeted through a snatch block at the end of a prevented boom, wishbone or otherwise, will remain "asleep" and pull the boat quite handily even in the lightest of airs. BTDT...

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Old 26-08-2015, 16:01   #7
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Re: Light air problems

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
The repeated filling and throwing a sail aback due to rolling in very light airs will cause more wear in a day than normal sailing in several months. Hard sheeting the Main, unless it is cut very flat, will accomplish nothing more than making the sail "snap" as the boat rolls. Such conditions are where very light air sails come into their own while the Main and Genoa's can be furled and saved for another day. A 1/2 or 3/4 Oz asymmetrical flying free, tacked at the stem (perhaps with a tack line lead through a turning block), and sheeted through a snatch block at the end of a prevented boom, wishbone or otherwise, will remain "asleep" and pull the boat quite handily even in the lightest of airs. BTDT...

FWIW
I agree with the important point I bolded above about the wear and tear on the sail due to the banging back and forth.

In the same situation (very light air, mainsail banging as boat rolls in waves), I would do the following:

1. Change the point of sail (take a new course) to see if your new heading (and new position of the main) makes a difference. In short, do NOT just sail a rhumb line (autopilot or GPS heading programmed into an autopilot) to your destination, instead, go with the flow of the wind as much as possible and then tack when needed.

2. Change the sail I am using (douse the main, move to lightweight foresails if there is enough wind to fill them and keep them filled)

3. Fire up the motor and motorsail, with the main up, as you should then see the mainsail react to the wind (apparent wind as the boat moves forward). Adjust the main as needed.
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Old 27-08-2015, 03:30   #8
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Re: Light air problems

Nasty. Normally pull everything down if I can't stop the swells brutalising my sails. The racers use rolling to advantage, flapping the sails to go forward. http://www.northsails.co.nz/tabid/82...x?news_id=4943 I love the idea of a lightweight flat nylon main... But more $$$

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Old 27-08-2015, 06:02   #9
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Re: Light air problems

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
The racers use rolling to advantage, flapping the sails to go forward.
Until they get caught :
Without limiting the application of rule 42.1, these actions are
prohibited:
(a) pumping: repeated fanning of any sail either by pulling in and
releasing the sail or by vertical or athwartship body movement;
(b) rocking: repeated rolling of the boat, induced by
(1) body movement,
(2) repeated adjustment of the sails or centreboard, or
(3) steering;
(c) ooching: sudden forward body movement, stopped abruptly;
(d) sculling: repeated movement of the helm that is either forceful
or that propels the boat forward or prevents her from moving
astern;
(e) repeated tacks or gybes unrelated to changes in the wind or to
tactical considerations.

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Old 27-08-2015, 06:15   #10
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Re: Light air problems

Ahh, the flapper does it's work without breaking any of those rules.. The waves roll the boat, and the sail is just left loose, to flap from side to side and the apparent wind shifts. A very cunning lot, them racers.

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Old 27-08-2015, 06:37   #11
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Re: Light air problems

Guys,

The OP has a Nonsuch with only one sail I believe. The mast is at the bow (or nearly so). So his main and headsail are one and the same.

Reefing will help but then the rolling motion might get a bit worse. Turning to nearly a broad reach may be the best option unless that is completely away from your destination. Even then with 5 knot breeze you aren't going far. If you need to close on the destination then motorsail with a reef or two.
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