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Old 27-01-2012, 07:55   #16
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
The thing is , unlesss you have a constant wind from a constant direction it is very difficult to see the minute changes made by a tug here or yank there, if the tell tales look reasonable, why fiddle, just crack open a cold one, relax and enjoy the scenery.
That's actually an important point, discussed in another thread (about integrating autopilots with nav systems).

Sailing hard on the wind, you have to either fiddle constantly, or reconcile yourself to being far out of trim a lot of the time, or head off to the point where small adjustments are no longer so important.

If, however, you put your autopilot on "wind following mode", you can trim very carefully and leave it -- so have that beer and still make miles upwind.
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Old 27-01-2012, 07:57   #17
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

I will tweak if I have a boat to chase ,wife thinks im nuts. I used to race motorcycles on road courses so any time to boats meet its on. If they change course they don't want to play, but half the time they start to trim.
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Old 27-01-2012, 08:07   #18
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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I will tweak if I have a boat to chase ,wife thinks im nuts. I used to race motorcycles on road courses so any time to boats meet its on. If they change course they don't want to play, but half the time they start to trim.
Oh, who doesn't?

What do you call two sailboats on the same course? A race.

My tweaking is clumsy and inept, but with a cleanish bottom, I always win those duels, much to the chagrin of the expert sail trimmers on boats with a shorter waterline
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Old 27-01-2012, 08:10   #19
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I'll go one further. There are a surprising (to me, at least) number of sailboat owners out there who seem to hardly ever even pull the sails out--they just motor all the time. Never mind the number who haul the sails out and just let them hang there doing little or nothing.

Along those lines , when Im cruising offshore down the coast I see boats with all sails up and aflutter as they motor along in light wind. lmao maybe they like to look like theyre sailing or just dont give a crap about the unnecessary wear theyre putting on the sails.
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Old 27-01-2012, 08:56   #20
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

A friend recently complained that his autopilot was struggling to control the boat in a stiff breeze. I went out with him to help dial the pilot in, but discovered that his real problem was trim. I showed him how to trim the sails to reduce helm, and he was amazed at how well the autopilot suddenly worked. And even though we'd reduced boat speed a tad, we'd increased VMG because the boat was no longer snakeing through the water.

Trim isn't just about maximizing boat speed. You can trim to improve balance, comfort, helm, safety, and to protect gear.

Cruisers should learn how to depower sails by flattening them, how to introduce twist to maintain speed in fluky conditions, how to move the draft forward to increase pointing ability, and how to barber-haul the genoa in order to keep a clean leech when reaching. You should understand that you should trim differently to close-haul in 20 knots true in flat water than to close-haul in 20 knots true in chop. And you should learn how to shape the slot between main and genoa so that the two sails are working together rather than fighting each other when going to weather.

One of the reasons cruisers tend to be inept trimmers is that they hide under dodgers or inside enclosed cockpits. How are you going to determine what the wind is doing to your sails if you can't feel it? One of the main reasons I haven't caught the multihull bug is that most cruising cats are designed to turn sailing into an indoor sport. The reason racers take their dodgers down isn't because it slows the boat, but rather because it isolates them from the breeze.

I'm amazed at the number of cruisers who don't know to go traveler up and mainsheet out in light air, or in heavy air to go traveler down and mainsheet in. Also amazed at how many cruisers don't understand that moving the jibsheet fairleads forward increases leech tension, while moving the fairleads aft increases foot tension. And how many of us understand when one fairlead adjustment is preferred over the other?

One of the problems is that these skills tend not to be taught in the ASA/USS courses. Where does one go to learn what to do with a boom vang? Unfortunately, for most of us the only way to develop a sense of trim is on the race course.
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Old 27-01-2012, 09:32   #21
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IMHO sail trim is a classic case of the more you know, the more you also realize you don't know!

I hope to thumb a ride on some opb's this racing season to increase my knowledge of trim!

Frank
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Old 27-01-2012, 10:59   #22
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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Trim isn't just about maximizing boat speed. You can trim to improve balance, comfort, helm, safety, and to protect gear.
Excellent point, worth repeating and remembering.
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Old 27-01-2012, 11:33   #23
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
A friend recently complained that his autopilot was struggling to control the boat in a stiff breeze. I went out with him to help dial the pilot in, but discovered that his real problem was trim. I showed him how to trim the sails to reduce helm, and he was amazed at how well the autopilot suddenly worked. And even though we'd reduced boat speed a tad, we'd increased VMG because the boat was no longer snakeing through the water.

Trim isn't just about maximizing boat speed. You can trim to improve balance, comfort, helm, safety, and to protect gear.

Cruisers should learn how to depower sails by flattening them, how to introduce twist to maintain speed in fluky conditions, how to move the draft forward to increase pointing ability, and how to barber-haul the genoa in order to keep a clean leech when reaching. You should understand that you should trim differently to close-haul in 20 knots true in flat water than to close-haul in 20 knots true in chop. And you should learn how to shape the slot between main and genoa so that the two sails are working together rather than fighting each other when going to weather.

One of the reasons cruisers tend to be inept trimmers is that they hide under dodgers or inside enclosed cockpits. How are you going to determine what the wind is doing to your sails if you can't feel it? One of the main reasons I haven't caught the multihull bug is that most cruising cats are designed to turn sailing into an indoor sport. The reason racers take their dodgers down isn't because it slows the boat, but rather because it isolates them from the breeze.

I'm amazed at the number of cruisers who don't know to go traveler up and mainsheet out in light air, or in heavy air to go traveler down and mainsheet in. Also amazed at how many cruisers don't understand that moving the jibsheet fairleads forward increases leech tension, while moving the fairleads aft increases foot tension. And how many of us understand when one fairlead adjustment is preferred over the other?

One of the problems is that these skills tend not to be taught in the ASA/USS courses. Where does one go to learn what to do with a boom vang? Unfortunately, for most of us the only way to develop a sense of trim is on the race course.
I'll bet the OP was looking for a response like this, I know I was, thanks. Could you post more for us "drivers" to get the most in comfort and VMG?
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Old 27-01-2012, 13:35   #24
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

This is another thread that points to the plus side of taking a basic sailing course to learn sail trim and to go out in a club race to learn the finer points of sail trim.

kind regards,
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Old 27-01-2012, 13:56   #25
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

my boat will be passed by any and all comers, so why should i have to worry abut trying to gain any advantage when boat is doing as she was designed to do ???? even if i were interested in not being passed, i will be, and by everyone on the sea......rofl

but i DO know how to get best out of sails should i be sailing a boat that is able to fly.....
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Old 27-01-2012, 14:03   #26
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

Its been years now, but J-World used to offer excellent sailing and racing courses of a week duration.
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Old 27-01-2012, 14:04   #27
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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Its been years now, but J-World used to offer excellent sailing and racing courses of a week duration.
who needs more lessons?? i think practice is a better method....


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Old 27-01-2012, 14:17   #28
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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who needs more lessons?? i think practice is a better method....


I wasn't implying that anybody needed lessons. Just as a general information statement, I thought the courses I had were exceptional and would recommend J-world as a good school. As a disclaimer, I took the classes in 1982 (Key West) and 1981(Newport RI). I hope those are still offered, but I don't know for sure. I agree that practice makes perfect.(?) Aye!
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Old 27-01-2012, 14:26   #29
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

I spent years sailing on a large reservoir. Due to the shape of the lake and the way the wind swirls there were oxbows you could not get around if you did not know how to trim your sails pretty well. I was bad at first (lost my first beercan by 2 miles on a 5 mile course), but got much better of necessity. A serious racer would still consider me ignorant.

When I started sailing on Galveston Bay I was amazed that most sailors could not sail at all. Including long time boat owners that sail regularly. I realized it was because there is no reason you need to learn. You can sail the bay for 10 years and reach the whole time. If you are more interested in Relaxing and Beer Drinking, huddle under your bimini, and never race you will never need to learn.

For sure I am glad I learned on the Lake. Made me a much better sailor.
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Old 27-01-2012, 14:32   #30
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

MODERATOR - PLEASE DELETE THIS THREAD.
I've got enough boats passing me already.
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