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Old 30-08-2016, 22:31   #1
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Running with swept back spreaders

How do you handle the mainsail when running downwind if you have swept back spreaders? Even letting the mainsail rest against the spreaders, the angle is still limited.

It seems you would need to rely on the headsail like a spinnaker or be limited to a broad reach. Can you do something like wing-on-wing without a whisker pole? (just using a 150% genoa?)
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:14   #2
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

We cannot, have to use a strong spinnaker pole to pole out the genoa (though in our case it's a 120). FYI, this is a fractional rig with swept back spreaders, more of a mainsail driven boat.

On some points of broad reaching, we can get an extra 1/2 to 1 knot by flying the staysail to leeward with the genoa poled out and the main prevented out as far as it will go, but as you say, limited by the spreaders.

Of course, can also rig the chute, ours is in a sock for easier handling for two.
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:30   #3
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

What Ann said. Plus there's the reality that few boats are fast sailing deep angles unless the wind's really up. Meaning that in reality, about 140 deg is about the deepest you'll go to make best VMG & boat speed on anything built since 1975 or so.
Otherwise play your jibing angles downwind in order to make best VMG. Even if you don't have polars for the boat. Besides, rough Polars are easy to put together anyway.

Past 90 deg a spinnaker Really helps, especially when flown with a staysail or jib. So they make up for some of what's lost due to the main not being able to be optimally trimmed due to the spreader rake.

Also, for best main trim, you may want it on the spreaders, but not so much that it wants to invert battens or segement itself into individual pockets via the spreaders. As even downwind, lift is a big component of a main's drive, so shape's important.

PS: Experiment with & record Staysail tack position, as proper placement will gain you another 1/2-3/4kt!
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:34   #4
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
How do you handle the mainsail when running downwind if you have swept back spreaders? Even letting the mainsail rest against the spreaders, the angle is still limited.

It seems you would need to rely on the headsail like a spinnaker or be limited to a broad reach. Can you do something like wing-on-wing without a whisker pole? (just using a 150% genoa?)
My boats fractional with swept spreaders as well. I do just as you say. I put the main in to the stays, bring it back in a little and whisker pole the 150 genoa wing on wing. I love it, I hit hull speed in a decent wind and the ride is nice.
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:34   #5
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

Yup, you're gybing downwind. Our spreaders are swept 26 degrees, and we are generally sailing at about 150 true. It's a bummer to have to gybe so much, and when we're sailing downwind with a group, we have a bit of a jealousy attack when we cross the boats with symmetrical chutes and mains out further than we can manage, since we're working quite a bit harder for no particular gain.

However, with most boats, this method doesn't carry a VMG penalty anyway, as your boat speed is higher than it would be sailing DDW.

You just have to work a bit more. It's good exercise anyway.

TJ
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:47   #6
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

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Yup, you're gybing downwind. Our spreaders are swept 26 degrees, and we are generally sailing at about 150 true. It's a bummer to have to gybe so much, and when we're sailing downwind with a group, we have a bit of a jealousy attack when we cross the boats with symmetrical chutes and mains out further than we can manage, since we're working quite a bit harder for no particular gain.

However, with most boats, this method doesn't carry a VMG penalty anyway, as your boat speed is higher than it would be sailing DDW.

You just have to work a bit more. It's good exercise anyway.

TJ
Heck, with your Polars, sailing deeper than 150 deg. = going backwards! Almost literally.
Just snag an old 12m kite that looks like a DD cup, & use that solo, for DDW work. One of the Dashew's boats did exactly that
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:54   #7
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

Well, what can I say?? Fast is fun.

Of course, when we're fully loaded up for cruising, the polars represent a bit of a fantasy anyway. We are pretty minimalist in how much stuff we load up on board, but there's a lot of weight you can't get away from (anchor/300' chain, dink, ob, spares, tools, etc).

On the recent transat, we had basically identical conditions at the start and the end, and the difference in surfing speeds was pretty remarkable. Planing doesn't really happen with the boat in cruising mode unless we carry a heck of a lot of sail.

We're not complaining, mind you! We still get from A to B in good time...

TJ
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Old 30-08-2016, 23:59   #8
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

[QUOTE=UNCIVILIZED;2201566]Heck, with your Polars, sailing deeper than 150 deg. = going backwards! Almost literally.

Well, we've been in some higher winds of late... It's less than that if it's not blowing hard, of course.

The kite thing's an interesting idea. Do you think that I could actually fly a symmetrical chute like that off of the sprit? Remember that we don't have a pole at all.

It could be a good cruising option if it would work. Sometimes sailing the hotter angles gets tiresome with just 2 of us if we have to gybe a lot, particularly with the asyms.

TJ
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Old 31-08-2016, 00:18   #9
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

OP Sorry for the drift:

I'd forgotten about the sprit thing, just "ass"uming a mast track. Oops. And my memory's asleep, so I'm guessing carbon spar? Ergo, no bolting on a mast track for a pole. What about laminating on a pad for a fixed butt end mount? Then it might be an option.
Otherwise, beg & plead with your sailmaker. And invest in staysail design heavily.
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Old 31-08-2016, 00:30   #10
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

Ok, we're out of here anyway, so back to your regularly scheduled thread...

We're pretty much ok with our downwind strategy anyway.

The rig is carbon, no pole, no track, and probably a very expensive retrofit. The pod could take a padeye, but the angle's wrong.

I asked Bieker about it, and he sort of gave a little chuckle and told me to learn how to sail the boat as she's designed and we'll be perfectly happy with how she sails DW. We've found this to be true over time. But, a lazy option would be nice sometimes...

Have a good day. TJ
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Old 31-08-2016, 03:45   #11
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

We quite often sail DDW, or very close to it. (Usually about 175' true) Goosewinged.


I run a preventer which pulls the boom down and holds the sail off the shrouds and spreaders fairly well. Headsail sheeted off the midships cleat.


It works OK, we usually can manage a little better than 50% TWS.
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Old 31-08-2016, 04:37   #12
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

Then again, you can always avoid all these fancy ideas by employing a square sail, which has been used for centuries, long before polled out jibs, spinnakers, chutes, twin jibs, etc., etc.
Bermudian sails are simply not designed for sailing down wind.
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Old 31-08-2016, 05:08   #13
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

I just put the sail on spreaders if needed.
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Old 31-08-2016, 06:19   #14
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
We quite often sail DDW, or very close to it. (Usually about 175' true) Goosewinged.


I run a preventer which pulls the boom down and holds the sail off the shrouds and spreaders fairly well. Headsail sheeted off the midships cleat.


It works OK, we usually can manage a little better than 50% TWS.
What he said. Our spreaders and shrouds are swept way back.

a. With a cat you have enough beam that a pole is not needed.

b. I've done speed polars, and in most conditions there is no or little difference between jibing down wind and DDW. However, in winds above 15 knots, DDW is MUCH smoother.

Of course, if the chute is up we jibe down wind. Best VMG is about 120 to 130 apparent, depending on wind an waves, which is pretty deep.



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Old 31-08-2016, 07:19   #15
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Re: Running with swept back spreaders

You trim it slightly more inboard. Vang tight. It is sub optimal for running though, try broad reaching instead.

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