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Old 17-10-2012, 19:05   #76
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

On a beam reach, with a surprise gust, an inexperienced person at the helm should be told to head up. But an experienced helmsman could anticipate the gust and fall off. The boat can safely carry more sail on a broad reach than a beam reach so you are no longer overpowered.
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:09   #77
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

I love this thread ! much over analyzing,like an anchor thread ,but I like it! after my weekend of racing in high wind conditions I did what I always do after a race, ANALYZE!! what we could have done better, even though we won, we could have done better
thinking back about those overpowering situations, screw fine adjustments!! be it right or wrong ,I dumped the main it got results fast! and we kept our course and stayed on our feet!!!!
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:15   #78
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

Good points Thumbs & exCal

Although I disagree with one point from the latter ... on the need to depower the genoa if you head down. Surely that's taken care of by it automatically blanketing behind the main?

I agree there's a problem if the person on the helm cannot be relied on to run deep off without gybing. That person should not be on the helm in gusty conditions, but if they are, I agree they should not be invited to bear away.

And any boat with such people on the helm should definitely have preventers in constant use - preferably of the type which allow the boom to be safely eased all the way to midships, under full load, with the main aback. Or an efficient boombrake.
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:18   #79
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

But it's not high wind conditions - it's 8-12 knots on a beam reach in flat water and wind came in for 10 seconds and the boat heeled. An opportunity to accelerate with proper trim, not a reason to start steering the boat all over the shop

Heading up from a beam reach will increase apparent wind and cause the boat to heel more - just what the inexperienced helm doesn't want.

An inexperienced helm heading down in a bit of a panic is not a happy place.
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:27   #80
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

On big boats cruising with inexperienced crew, many skippers will run off whenever there's the need to send people up to 'frontier land' (before the mast) to drop or change or raise a headsail, so it can be done without risking washing people off their feet, or being knocked overboard by the clew flogging.

However it's not just worth thinking about on big boats: Most boats will not dig their bows into green water when running deep, in anything less than a full-blown gale.

So if the wind increase is more than just a gust or a short squall, one option is to run off and reduce or clear the foretriangle, then head up and reef the main.
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:34   #81
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

Yes, "up in the lulls & down in the puffs" works well if you anticipate.

For those who find this theorizing a bit arcane, realize that this thread offers a lot of great concepts and tools for steering and trimming. It's hard to say "in this situation you should always do X,Y, and Z." You're the skipper, so you make the call based on the circumstances.
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:49   #82
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Good points Thumbs & exCal

Although I disagree with one point from the latter ... on the need to depower the genoa if you head down. Surely that's taken care of by it automatically blanketing behind the main?
My 150 is bigger than my mainsail - To blanket my genny I have to get to about 160+ - If I get "gusted" at 80-90* apparent I am not really interested in a 70* heading change to handle it.

But we can theorize about any specific instance.

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Yes, "up in the lulls & down in the puffs" works well if you anticipate.

For those who find this theorizing a bit arcane, realize that this thread offers a lot of great concepts and tools for steering and trimming. It's hard to say "in this situation you should always do X,Y, and Z." You're the skipper, so you make the call based on the circumstances.
Yup -I sense that point in every thread where the original conditions are put aside and a lot of what if's will start.

A lot of really great discussion on this thread - Many tactics and concepts discussed - adapting ideas and making them your own is key.

Cruising is not racing and I we have talked a lot about fully crewed boats and what happens. I am a little surprised some of the die hard cruisers haven't jumped in and said, "It doesn't relate or matter." (past experience)

Cruising and short handed tactics require an understanding of what can happen and decisions about where your controls are, experience of the two on the boat, decisions about shorting sails sooner (always a good option) and how you will depower quickly under various points of sail if needed.
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Old 17-10-2012, 19:57   #83
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

GOOD point!! I want to race WITH you guys not against you
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Old 17-10-2012, 20:08   #84
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

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GOOD point!! I want to race WITH you guys not against you
The funny thing is there are hundreds of thousands of bar discussions every day around the world about sail trimming but "all" sailboat races are lost on tactics... and starts...

You can trim for a 1/2 knot better boat speed, miss a wind shift and lose 10 boat lengths in a minute or two. Or be on the wrong side of the course in an adverse current, or not anticipate what a building thundercloud will do.

Tactics are way harder than trimming - LOL...

The thing is that at 15kts everyone can make boat speed so there should not really be an advantage. Now light wind sailing is different...
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Old 17-10-2012, 20:51   #85
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

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Cruising is not racing and I we have talked a lot about fully crewed boats and what happens. I am a little surprised some of the die hard cruisers haven't jumped in and said, "It doesn't relate or matter."
I wanted to bring this up. Most of my sail trim knowledge comes from racing. Now I am catamaran cruising. We get to do things racing that I would never try now. We sailed on the brink of control to go fast. We rounded up, got knocked down, shredded sails, exploded spinnakers. We got to be pretty good sailors. But a lot of cruising sailors who have never raced in their life can operate their boats with more comfort and safety than I can. I can just get there faster (sometimes). Some of the racing advice here should be ignored. You would never use vang sheeting on a cruising boat. But this advice is a valuable resource. And all of the advice here on comfort and safety is a valuable resource for the racers who want to go cruising (and the cruisers that want to go cruising). I like these topics about what you should do in a given situation, it's better than arguing about how great my Rocna is. But it really is the best anchor.......
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Old 17-10-2012, 21:03   #86
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

OK, here's a die hard cruiser (with a lot of racing years in another age) addressing the OP's situation of a tender boat and a tender and inexperienced wife.

All the learned talk of sail shaping, airfoil control via a bunch of strings, having the six man crew jump about doing good stuff... well, that hasn't done this chap a lot of good. He is nearly singlehanding, and on a boat not well set up for that activity. He needs a simple approach to the problem

So, OP, here's a suggestion for you. Next time you are out and there is a bit of breeze, simulate the situation by deliberately being a bit overpowered whilst reaching. then, let go of the tiller (wheel?) and see what happens! Likely the boat will round up to or past head to wind, the sails will flog for a while and the boat will slow to a stop. If it has "tacked", ie, the bow has gone through the wind, as I said in an earlier post, you are hove to in a nice stable condition. You can then furl the headsail or reef the main at your leisure. The sail flogging, while noisy, won't do any harm if it's only for a few seconds or a minute. If the boat hasn't "tacked" you may end up in irons and start to make sternway. As any dinghy sailor knows, if you reverse the helm a bit she will fall off again on the same tack as before, but with very little boatspeed and way undersheeted sails... again a good time to start furling the genoa or reefing the main... going slowly and at perhaps 45 degrees apparent.

The big difference here is that you do it deliberately and with a bit of warning to the wife. Tell her what is going to happen (more or less) so that it doesn't scare her so much. With luck, once she has gone through this exercise she will understand the situation better, and realize that the world isn't ending just yet.

Thus prepared should the gust powered roundup recur, she won't panic and you can start working on a more elegant way of dealing with the situation.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 18-10-2012, 01:08   #87
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

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So, OP, here's a suggestion for you. Next time you are out and there is a bit of breeze, simulate the situation by deliberately being a bit overpowered whilst reaching. then, let go of the tiller (wheel?) and see what happens! Likely the boat will round up to or past head to wind, the sails will flog for a while and the boat will slow to a stop.
This is great and reminds me of my early aerobatic lessons. The airplane (at beginner level) like 99% of cruising boats is inherently "stable"

My aero instructor basically said - "If you screw up, close the throttle, let go the stick and wait for the airplane to do something you recognize."

We can't ignore, however, that the spouse was steering and is the tender one.

People who have not been on (keelboats) boats at the edge really can't determine where the edge is. I'd suggest going out with an experienced crew, find a squall or thunderstorm and get knocked down at least once in yoursailing career.

Our sailing area is just under the approach path to Changi airport. We have literally been knocked flat, spreaders in the water, by wing vortices. Everyone let' go, the boat rounded up and then stood up head to wind.
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:00   #88
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

Ok I race and I cruise. I am surprised how many people are advising to let go of the tiller. That could be dangerous and you want to keep control. As others have noted you could auto tack and that could lead to a bad situation. On my boat the jib will backwind and push the bow over forcing the auto tack so that's not a good idea.


Since most "scary gusts" are felt close to the wind so will address that first:


At the helm, whenever we start to get over powered, I feather up into wind and use the gust as a lift. If it continues obviously your emergency measure is to ease/release the main sheet/traveler. In racing we commonly work the traveler but when I am cruising I usually just secure it to center and play the main sheet. I have a mast head rig and most of the heeling is from the main. Other things have also been mentioned. Make sure your main is is flat as possible in gusty conditions. If it's not ALL the way up it will bag and produce excessive heel. Outhauls, vang, back stay and cunningham should be tight.

If I am off the wind and I get blasted, I will sheet out the main and run down until I can get organized. This happened to my wife and I last year during a midnight wine cruise. It was a leisurely 7 knots, we were relaxing, and then I saw gust wind patterns building on the south side of the lake. There wasn't really time to do anything but to start to run off and sheet out the main from the reach we were on. All of a sudden we were dealing with 20 to 30 on our C-25. Once we were running down wind I had time to roll up the 135 and get things under control. The main was old and it got ripped but otherwise we were unscathed.

The final thing I must mention is that it is extremely rare for a big gust to come without notice. You have to be situationally aware at all times. You will see the patterns on the water before it gets to you giving you time to get prepared. Maybe it's because I race casually on "B" fleet boats, but we are always looking at wind patterns looking for puffs. You can even help relax the wife by letting her know. "Honey there's a good puff coming but I got this."

The approaches above I would also use single handing. The most important approach is to make your wife comfortable that you have things under control. Otherwise you'll end up with more single handing.
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:26   #89
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

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At the helm, whenever we start to get over powered, I feather up into wind and use the gust as a lift. If it continues obviously your emergency measure is to ease/release the main sheet/traveler.
This is absolutely the way to go. You can often feather up in a gust without any significant loss of VMG. The trick is to start feathering up before the boat begins to heel.
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Old 18-10-2012, 17:00   #90
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Re: Rounding Up... Other Tactics & Questions

The last two posts make valid points but I don't think Jim was advocating letting go as a tactic, so much as a learning exercise.

I would add one thing, which to him would be second nature but possibly not evident to everyone who might read this:

If you get put about, onto the other tack, there is one action you need to take to remain hove-to on that new tack: move the helm so the rudder is now substantially parallel to the headsail, from the viewpoint of a hypothetical God or near equivalent.
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