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Old 24-07-2015, 13:45   #1
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Tacking question

Hi Friends
I just earned my RYA Coastal Skipper
certificate, but almost didn't because of the following and would like some insight
The school boat was a HR35
Full Keel, 8 ton monster
When coming about the jib had to stay backed for two or three seconds
For the boat to make it across the wind and complete the tack.
On all other boats I've sailed
Once we let job go we always tried to get it set as quick as possible on the other side.
I blew more than a few tacks and almost didn't pass, hard to get my head
around backing the job for a few seconds.
So in short what's the story here?
Do all heavy full keel boats behave like this?
This boat also had an unbelievable amount of prop walk
Thanx
Neil
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Old 24-07-2015, 14:13   #2
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Re: Tacking question

Lots of factors at work here but it's pretty simple really. If you have sufficient momentum to make it through the tack without backing the jib then that's great. If you don't, then you might have to leave it backed for a bit to push the bow around. Even your full-keeled HR35 would have been fine if there had been a bit more breeze and you'd be going a little faster. Sometimes with big, heavy boats it's worth bearing off a touch just before the tack in order to build up a bit of speed.

If you're on the helm and you're worried about not making it through the tack, tell your crew to hold the sheet until you're happy you've made it. You will judge this based on how far through the wind your bow is and how fast you are going (read: how much steerage you have).

It's unlikely you want to sheet it in on the other tack 'as fast as possible' on this kind of boat. Here, your trimmer should be judging when to sheet in.

My boat is pretty slow to come through the wind and i often use a big 150% genoa in light airs. A light air tack goes something like this:

- Chuck the helm over
- Back the genoa if necessary to bring the bow through the wind
- Tell the trimmer when to cast off the old sheet
- Trimmer hauls the genoa over to the new side. While they're doing this i'm keeping the bow of the boat about 30 degrees off the wind for as long as i have steerage (this makes the trimmer's life easier).
- bear off until the genoa is drawing well.
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Old 24-07-2015, 14:29   #3
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Re: Tacking question

Each vessel operates somewhat differently, but backing the jib is a fairly common tactic for tacking on boats that for whatever reason might have difficulty getting through the wind.
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Old 24-07-2015, 14:39   #4
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Re: Tacking question

I always like to back the jib for a second or two, just to minimize the amount of jib flogging. Just long enough so that as soon as you release it, it blows to the other side to be sheeted in.


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Old 24-07-2015, 15:06   #5
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Re: Tacking question

Tacking in light breezes on our chubby little Formosa 30 usually involves:
bearing off
backing the jib
hurling a few invectives at Posideon
starting the Iron Genny

Hey, I've never claimed to be an America's Cup sailor.
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Old 24-07-2015, 15:11   #6
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Re: Tacking question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post
Lots of factors at work here but it's pretty simple really. If you have sufficient momentum to make it through the tack without backing the jib then that's great. If you don't, then you might have to leave it backed for a bit to push the bow around. Even your full-keeled HR35 would have been fine if there had been a bit more breeze and you'd be going a little faster. Sometimes with big, heavy boats it's worth bearing off a touch just before the tack in order to build up a bit of speed.

If you're on the helm and you're worried about not making it through the tack, tell your crew to hold the sheet until you're happy you've made it. You will judge this based on how far through the wind your bow is and how fast you are going (read: how much steerage you have).

It's unlikely you want to sheet it in on the other tack 'as fast as possible' on this kind of boat. Here, your trimmer should be judging when to sheet in.

My boat is pretty slow to come through the wind and i often use a big 150% genoa in light airs. A light air tack goes something like this:

- Chuck the helm over
- Back the genoa if necessary to bring the bow through the wind
- Tell the trimmer when to cast off the old sheet
- Trimmer hauls the genoa over to the new side. While they're doing this i'm keeping the bow of the boat about 30 degrees off the wind for as long as i have steerage (this makes the trimmer's life easier).
- bear off until the genoa is drawing well.


Good post!
Well written and clear!
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Old 25-07-2015, 09:29   #7
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Re: Tacking question

Thanx Friends
Good info,
Never handled a big heavy full keel
Boat before, very different and slow to tack. Wish I had known what I know now two weeks ago
What a great forum we have here
Cheers
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Old 25-07-2015, 19:14   #8
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Re: Tacking question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
Tacking in light breezes on our chubby little Formosa 30 usually involves:
bearing off
backing the jib
hurling a few invectives at Posideon
starting the Iron Genny

Hey, I've never claimed to be an America's Cup sailor.
^This is so true!

I had a Bristol 24 that was something like this, my Formosa 35 had that quality. We've yet to sail ( but soon ) our T42 and first cutter so I am curious as to how it tacks in light wind.

Generally the bearing off and gaining some good headway with a faster and harder helm to lee will do on many boats. Yes it looks a little ridiculous to some but it works.

Even the Rainbows we taught on at ASS would need that at time.
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Old 25-07-2015, 19:37   #9
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Re: Tacking question

I like to back wind the jib and at the same time draw up on the leeward sheet so that when I release the jib she snaps into shape on other side. This requires a bit of wind but makes for a nice tack. If you back wind the jib and don't prep the leeward sheet things can get a bit lazy on the tack...
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Old 25-07-2015, 20:26   #10
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Re: Tacking question

Have sailed a lot of miles on a Westsail 32 and Pearson 35. Have never really had an issue coming about unless there was virtually no way on and/or seas were steep. Just hard over on the helm and hold the jib sheet till it flogs then blow the sheet and make it up on the other tack. With the double headsail rig on the Westsail would blow the staysail sheet as soon as it flogged and haul in hard on the opposite tack sheet. Then would go back and take care of the yankee/genoa. Blowing the staysail sheet first allowed me to sheet it down on the opposite tack so it was drawing almost immediately after the bow was through the wind and usually didn't need further trimming if we were staying hard on the wind. Boat didn't have one of those stupid staysail booms, staysail was sheeted to tracks on the cabin top. Actually thinking about it, I sail almost exclusively with the self steering driving, set the vane up for the opposite tack and it brings the boat through the wind and gets us moving on the other tack while I handle the head sail(s).
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