Originally Posted by ozskipper
I am no physics professor, but since when has sailing downwind put less load on a sail compared to having the sail affectively in irons?
When you sail down far enough (like 150-170 degrees) to have the main blanket the foresail, at which point you can furl in.
It's easier on the gear
, however, to heave to or as I suggested, point to the angle of stalling, get the thing rolled, and then fall off with reefed main and more control.
I do admit it's easy to be an armchair admiral on this. Heavy air sail handling takes practice and co-ordinating. I actually prefer to get off the helm
in such situations so I can use my strength to douse sail, rather than fighting a compromised helm
that will stay problematic until the pressure is off.