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Old 27-01-2012, 14:36   #31
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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Old 27-01-2012, 14:36   #32
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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 used to coach in a different "sport". There was an elete coaching clinic being given by an internation coach who asked the question of what makes perfect. The responce was practice. He said "NO, perfect practice makes perfect otherwise you are only practicing mistakes". So for many of us we buy a boat look at a few books without understanding them, work out some thing that sort of works and practice God fobid that someone should question the captains ablity

So OK lets crew on a racing boat but most of us only turn up after the skipper has set up the boat. What i would need to do to get the best oput of it would be to get there and help with the setup (note to self)
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Old 27-01-2012, 14:47   #33
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

How about those that do know, post up some tips, as Bash did, on how to trim, at least the basics. A bit of time passing on your knowledge to others could help somebody with extreme weather helm etc. Maybe even a thread just for it. Now someone will tell me there is one.

I am aware that you can you-tube or read books about it, but someone putting it in layman's language would mean more to a lot of folks, me included. Any takers?

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Old 27-01-2012, 14:48   #34
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

OK, I admit to trying to trim. Not for speed, I'm seldom going anywhere in particular, just for the sheer pleasure of finding a sweet spot that takes me in the right direction.
My old Prout once held 30 deg to appt. No idea why, best I ever got was 45, but just that once it wanted too.
Since then I try harder, but results are no better.
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Old 27-01-2012, 14:55   #35
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I love it!
i put two reefs in the main12years ago.....sailed mexico and now in south pacific....reefs still there....sti.. average 4-5 knots for entire trips....no surprises at 2 am.....no excessive heel of boat
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Old 27-01-2012, 16:21   #36
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

There are a few reasons for learning sail trim that is covered in every book I've ever read about sailing but especially in "Start Sailing Right!" which is a basic sailing book.

1. You'll get to where you are going faster without having to use fossil fuel as much.

2. You'll learn how and when to flatten sails and reef and when to shake the reef out.

3. You'll learn how to sail to weather and won't have to motor the whole way.

4. You'll learn how to sail your boat in light winds so you don't have to motor as much.

5. You'll learn how to sail when your engine dies.

6. You'll learn how to sail the boat flatter so that you don't scare your crew as much.
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Old 27-01-2012, 16:34   #37
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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There are a few reasons for learning sail trim that is covered in every book I've ever read about sailing but especially in "Start Sailing Right!" which is a basic sailing book.

1. You'll get to where you are going faster without having to use fossil fuel as much.

2. You'll learn how and when to flatten sails and reef and when to shake the reef out.

3. You'll learn how to sail to weather and won't have to motor the whole way.

4. You'll learn how to sail your boat in light winds so you don't have to motor as much.

5. You'll learn how to sail when your engine dies.

6. You'll learn how to sail the boat flatter so that you don't scare your crew as much.
7. you will get more miles out of your sails

8. you wont have to hide you head in shame as often
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Old 27-01-2012, 18:59   #38
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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Would it be fair to say that most sailors in fact do not know how to set sails correctly? I include myself in this.
I would agree, but then again with the poor trim we do get to some far off places, don't we.

I agree only because I raced before I cruised. So, to me, your statement is about right. Technically.

A poorly trimmed boat with a happy skipper is a way better proposition than a perfectly trimmed one with a control freak at the helm.

b.
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Old 27-01-2012, 19:11   #39
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

It's too hard to keep them perfect all the time. So whats a few tenths? If you need to get there faster then take a jet.
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Old 27-01-2012, 19:23   #40
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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i put two reefs in the main12years ago.....sailed mexico and now in south pacific....reefs still there....sti.. average 4-5 knots for entire trips....no surprises at 2 am.....no excessive heel of boat
I think that's just wonderful! If ye ever do need to rush somewhere, just shake out one of those reefs for a spell. Some take the High Road and some take the Low Road, but not everybody's goin to Loch Lomond!
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Old 27-01-2012, 19:38   #41
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

I set my sails according the the Gemini owners manual, If you can call it that.
Its quite good info and instruction for the Gemini sails for beginners.

Sailing continously 24/7 on Blue water for 5 weeks gave me plenty of time to play with the sails, and adjust the track on the Genoa, forwards and backwards
and using the GPS for speed adjustments,

The main was always out to the right of the boat, So I didnt play with it much,
In high winds I would pull it down to the first or second reef or pull it down completely.

As I was always beam on to the waves, The main made me lean too far over, Not good in an open ocean, I didnt want to get swamped, so I would pull it down in High winds,

My wind thingy packed it in, so I didnt have wind speed or hull speed, The boat speed wheel had a mollusc growing in it, so it didnt work either, and I wasnt going over the side in the middle of the ocean to fix it, I fixed it when I got to Bundaberg,

But a passing container ship said the wind speed at that time was force 6,

Watching other yachts sail near land and video's before I left to pick up my boat,

My sails were in about the same configuration as theirs, So I couldnt be too far of the mark with them, But I am a cruiser not a racer,

I didnt do too bad, I crossed 3 oceans successfully to get here,
And the boat was parked when I wrecked it,

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Old 27-01-2012, 19:47   #42
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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I will buy new laminate sails pretty soon for this reason, although my existing woven ones are still better than most in terms of shape.
Oh no, don't do that! Laminates cost big $$$ and go bad faster than the blionk of an eye. When you confront the sailmaker with the short lifespan, he will tell you: "yes but that particular material is not used anymore. We have much better materials now".

It does not matter when you confront him, 10 years ago, 9, 8 , 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 years or today, the answer is always the same and it's always true. They have a new laminate every year and they still delaminate oh so quickly.

For a cruiser who needs performance sails that hold shape longer, there is a better choice now: it's called HydraNet, made by Bainbridge IIRC. Available everywhere but sailmakers don't like it much because it takes a long long time until the customer needs a new sail again!

Hydranet is a woven dacron with dyneema threads forming a net within the dacron weave. It performs equal or really close to a laminate.

There's a type that is very suitable for radial cut sails too. Radial cut also doubles the service life of the sails.

My sails use three different weights of HydraNet cloth. For each weight, I have the largest panel in spare material aboard. This means I can fix almost any damage I get with the exact same material.

ciao!
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Old 27-01-2012, 20:13   #43
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

I must also confess that I find myself constantly learning about sail trim. Non the less we seem to make great speed, and to me it almost seems my boat does not want to be trimmed the way most books describe.
I continuously tweak and 'play' with the settings until I find what does it for maximum speed (so far we have 21 Knots on our Lagoon 440 and she is fully loaded).
It seems the 'looser' I sail, the better she goes ... was initially sailing her 'way too tight' ... on the lagoon 440 ... the genoa track car ... the closer to wind the further forward the car and obviously the more down wind, the further aft the car and eventually onto a 'barber hauler'(I initially had this the other way around as my hobie tiger racing days ... it was different).
Interestingly enough, I found on the downwind legs, the lagoon 440 sails faster with the traveller never out more than 3/4 distance, a slack main until the sail JUST wants to touch the rigging ... reef down sooner than later (is faster than traveller out all the way maintaining a fuller sail) ... this works for my boat weight to speed ratio. I am definately still learning!
Conclusion: different boats want a different sail trim ... it depends on where the weight sits and where one puts the power ..
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Old 27-01-2012, 20:39   #44
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

If one were to take this dangerous step of integrating electronics, it then becomes possible to use a polar diagram to check on trim and performance.

This can be done so far as to show a display showing just a percentage. If it is under 100% it means your trim is not optimal. A program like MaxSea can do this.

ciao!
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Old 27-01-2012, 20:47   #45
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

I like to think I'm pretty decent. I enjoy futzing with the sails to get it right, depending on how long I'm going to stay on a given point and how many hands I have available. Tacking back and forth in a harbor I don't sweat it that much. If you're going to be on a point of sail for a while, it's a little weird to not trim properly.
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