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Old 27-01-2012, 20:54   #46
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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I have only sailed in the open ocean and cant sail for ****,

I used my GPS to get the best speed, Depending on the waves of course, I would only go so far, beam on to the waves,

A couple of points to the left or right on the Autopilot, Then check the speed on the GPS, It gave me the best speed, so I would leave it at that and just enjoyed the ride,

For me, slow and steady, I want to get there, So boat speed was between 4 and 8 Knots most of the way,

Coming in to land or up a river or creek, I would motor, also using the GPS,

I must get my daughter to teach me how to sail properly, She races half boats between Melbourne and Hobart,


Cheers,
Brian,
Do a few races with her and you will learn a lot. I assume you mean half-ton? That's probably a small enough boat. I did a lot of one design sailing in J-24's and I know a lot about sail trim as a result. That is really the best way to learn, IMO.
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Old 27-01-2012, 21:02   #47
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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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.
You are spot on. I once took the helm of a 44 footer beam reaching in about 15+ knots of wind with a full main and genoa up. I immediately felt severe weather helm and asked for more outhaul on the main and an adjustment of the genoa lead. People looked at me like I was nuts.
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Old 27-01-2012, 21:04   #48
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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Originally Posted by speedoo View Post
Do a few races with her and you will learn a lot. I assume you mean half-ton? That's probably a small enough boat. I did a lot of one design sailing in J-24's and I know a lot about sail trim as a result. That is really the best way to learn, IMO.
OK, well I thought he meant monohulls; Mr B being a multi man!
So what is a half boat then Mr B?
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Old 27-01-2012, 21:31   #49
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

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OK, well I thought he meant monohulls; Mr B being a multi man!
So what is a half boat then Mr B?
A very nice Mono hull of any lenght is a half boat,

Any single Mono is to me a half boat,

Its a joke Joice,

I drive a Multihull,

Cheers,
Brian,
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Old 27-01-2012, 21:34   #50
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails?

[QUOTE=Mr B;872637]A very nice Mono hull of any lenght is a half boat,

Any single Mono is to me a half boat,

Its a joke Joice,

I drive a Multihull,

My Daughter races a 38 footer Mono, Not hers, she is a crew member on it, They do very well,

Cheers,
Brian,
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Old 27-01-2012, 21:41   #51
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

Well we only sail for long distance, we allmost never day sail nor do we race. So we just set the sails for a comfy ride ! I don't mind bearing off a few degrees to get a boat that almost sails it's self ! My Idea of going from Cabo to Seattle against the normaly northers that blow down the coast is to bear off shore for 7 or 8 days and turn right and sail for a few days and ck the GPS against my star sites and set a good course for the straights. it works for me and my stuff lasts ! just an old sailors 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 27-01-2012, 21:48   #52
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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Originally Posted by Eleven View Post
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.
.
This encapsulates my attitude to trim. As Bash writes in an earlier post, trimming for reduced weather helm in strong winds and better performance in light winds. I'm not trimming for speed, I'm trimming so it "feels" right, not that I'm any good at it but it is fun and gives me a sense of accomplishment when the AP works in a good blow.
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Old 28-01-2012, 01:24   #53
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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.

Well said Bash! Learning about sail trim and what tweaking certain lines will do to a given sail, isn't that hard. There are innumerable good sailing books that discuss sail trim - get your head around what control line does what, go out in various wind strengths, change your point of sail and practice. Have a go! To keep it simple at first, sail in sheltered waters (flat water), get someone on the helm who can hold a steady course and point of sail while you play around with halyard tension, outhaul, traveller, cunningham, mainsheet, headsail car position, etc and simply look at the log. If your average speed goes up 1/2 knot, you did something right. If the (experienced) helmsperson says the helm feels more balanced, you did something right.

At the very least, for safety reasons, it is important to know how to de-power quickly for when that front or squall hits! Can you and your crew quickly and safely reef the main? And despite the ease of quickly furling the headsail, can you and the crew quickly and safely change a headsail whilst underway (say, douse the genny and hoist the jib)? Performing these tasks quickly and safely isn't just for racing crew - it is important for cruisers too!

Everyone can feel a boat getting over powered close hauled. But a common mistake is for sailors to have too much sail up downwind in strong wind because the apparent wind 'feels' light and the boat isn't slamming & groaning to windward. Old saying is very relevant to cruisers "look after the boat and she'll look after you!"

If you're too proud to go have a few lessons with an experienced instructor on correct and efficient sail trim, put your name down at the local yacht club for crewing on the mid week 'round the cans' twilight racing. You might learn very quickly and actually have some fun, and a few beers afterwards never goes astray
And if that doesn't take your fancy, get some books. One of the best books that explains sail trim (and everything else) very simply and concisely, is Sailing for Dummies by JJ & Peter Isler. I used to recommend this book to my students. Don't let the name fool you - even experienced sailors will get something out of this book! Once you start getting a better understanding of correct sail trim, you will be very pleased with yourself when you tweak a couple of lines and suddenly get another 1/2 or 3/4 knot of boat speed. And it's fun!
If you're having a lazy, relaxing cruise for the afternoon, who cares about another 3/4 knot. But if your cruising from Ventura, Panama or Mexico to the Marquesas (a roughly 3 week passage), then that extra 3/4 knot will make a big difference; it could knock 2 or 3 days off the passage!
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Old 28-01-2012, 02:31   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi

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!
Nick.
Argh, every time I bring up this subject, I get different advice I've heard a convincing negative argument against every single type of sail in existence:

1. Dacron. Lose their shape in the first month and maintain the same crappy shape for 15,000 miles
2. Hydranet. High cost of laminate with crappy shape of Dacron - worst of both worlds.
3. Laminate. Good shape for 7,500 miles then sudden, catastrophic failure. Expensive.
4. Load-path. Good shape for 5,000 miles then bang. But half price of laminate.

If this is correct, then for my taste 3 or 4 would be least bad. But again, advice I get is highly contradictory. I could buy a good used Porsche 911 for what a new suit of sails for my boat costs, so the price of a mistake will be high
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Old 28-01-2012, 04:15   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead

Argh, every time I bring up this subject, I get different advice I've heard a convincing negative argument against every single type of sail in existence:

1. Dacron. Lose their shape in the first month and maintain the same crappy shape for 15,000 miles
2. Hydranet. High cost of laminate with crappy shape of Dacron - worst of both worlds.
3. Laminate. Good shape for 7,500 miles then sudden, catastrophic failure. Expensive.
4. Load-path. Good shape for 5,000 miles then bang. But half price of laminate.

If this is correct, then for my taste 3 or 4 would be least bad. But again, advice I get is highly contradictory. I could buy a good used Porsche 911 for what a new suit of sails for my boat costs, so the price of a mistake will be high
2. Does have the high cost of a laminate, but I have not seen it lose shape like dacron. That can't really be true because Bainbridge is a serious company and has everything to lose. Don't believe they would put up a scam like that.

1. Bit strange order Dacron can hold shape longer when you use a heavier weight. This is an option for the main/mizzen. Full battens help too.

3. I did not have that sudden failure. I just had to fix the sails every time I wanted to hoist them. I sailed for years with delaminating sails

4. Never had those. Not really for cruisers I think.

You're in EU, right? Go talk to an Elvstrom sailmaker; discuss the Hydranet and Dacron options in combination with tri-radial cut with him.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 28-01-2012, 04:59   #56
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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2. Does have the high cost of a laminate, but I have not seen it lose shape like dacron. That can't really be true because Bainbridge is a serious company and has everything to lose. Don't believe they would put up a scam like that.

1. Bit strange order Dacron can hold shape longer when you use a heavier weight. This is an option for the main/mizzen. Full battens help too.

3. I did not have that sudden failure. I just had to fix the sails every time I wanted to hoist them. I sailed for years with delaminating sails

4. Never had those. Not really for cruisers I think.

You're in EU, right? Go talk to an Elvstrom sailmaker; discuss the Hydranet and Dacron options in combination with tri-radial cut with him.

ciao!
Nick.
OK, thanks for the tips!
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Old 28-01-2012, 05:03   #57
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
2. Does have the high cost of a laminate, but I have not seen it lose shape like dacron. That can't really be true because Bainbridge is a serious company and has everything to lose. Don't believe they would put up a scam like that.

1. Bit strange order Dacron can hold shape longer when you use a heavier weight. This is an option for the main/mizzen. Full battens help too.

3. I did not have that sudden failure. I just had to fix the sails every time I wanted to hoist them. I sailed for years with delaminating sails

4. Never had those. Not really for cruisers I think.

You're in EU, right? Go talk to an Elvstrom sailmaker; discuss the Hydranet and Dacron options in combination with tri-radial cut with him.

ciao!
Nick.
P.S. and my main sail is still in pretty decent shape (considering it's an inmast one ). So perhaps I will order a blade jib in load path (which is more and more being used for cruisers and getting a lot of praise) to use when working hard upwind and in 20+ knots, not to replace but as an alternative to my yankee jib, which is also not too bad after 7500 miles.

My existing sails are quite all right while reaching; I am really trying to improve upwind performance.
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Old 28-01-2012, 05:17   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead

P.S. and my main sail is still in pretty decent shape (considering it's an inmast one ). So perhaps I will order a blade jib in load path (which is more and more being used for cruisers and getting a lot of praise) to use when working hard upwind and in 20+ knots, not to replace but as an alternative to my yankee jib, which is also not too bad after 7500 miles.

My existing sails are quite all right while reaching; I am really trying to improve upwind performance.
Oh, hold on... in-mast furling... I don't know for sure but think that changes things. I know very little about how to make that work best, so you're better off with the sailmaker for advice

A laminate should survive longer when furled inside a mast instead of dropped on top the boom and covered with Sunbrella. While sailing, the laminate should be better with support from full battens. I don't even know if in-mast furling can be tri-radial cut but think it can.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 28-01-2012, 05:33   #59
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Re: Sailors don't know how to set sails ?

If someone were to ask me, what would be the most valuable lesson I
Learned to be a capable cruiser, I would say it would be the experance
Brought forward from my years of racing
When a boat is trimed proper, she glides throu the water with ease,
And the faster she sails ,the easier the motion becomes.. sounds corney
But when you trim for speed, the comfort will folow.
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Old 28-01-2012, 05:46   #60
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And the faster she sails ,the easier the motion becomes.. sounds corney
But when you trim for speed, the comfort will folow.
That's funny. I have been at this "speed equals comfort" ever since joining CF, but get ridiculed or ignored every time I bring it up. I'll hire you guys to do that from now on

In a nice breeze, sail a Laser for 1 minute upwind incl. tacking and most of audience can tell if the person knows sailing or not. Same for downwind with a gybe. Reaching is relatively easy in a Laser.

ciao!
Nick.
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