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Old 27-08-2014, 02:44   #1
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You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet...

...in case the leeward bow starts really plunging, and another crew has ahold of the mainsheet.

Suddenly, leeward bow plunges deeply, and the boat slows dramatically in a huge surge of spray, as the stern begins to lift. Which line would you release first to dump the most air the quickest? Mainsheet or jib sheet, and why?

What other maneuver, if any, should the skipper attempt, in order to recover from this dangerous situation? Three of us have disagreed, so we thought we would bring the question to the board. I will post our answers, also. Thx in advance.
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Old 27-08-2014, 04:07   #2
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

If it really a close reach, the answer is pretty clear - dump mainsail and turn up.

If it is a broader reach, then you are in what is called "the death zone" where both turning up and down are bad and where de powering the main may not work (at least fast enough), so you are left with dumping the jib.

Then on a deep reach, you turn off and dump the jib.
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Old 27-08-2014, 04:49   #3
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
If it really a close reach, the answer is pretty clear - dump mainsail and turn up.

If it is a broader reach, then you are in what is called "the death zone" where both turning up and down are bad and where de powering the main may not work (at least fast enough), so you are left with dumping the jib.

Then on a deep reach, you turn off and dump the jib.
I agree with Evans, except I'd modify "dump mainsail and turn up" to dump mainsail then dump the jib. Turning up increases apparent wind on the jib.
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Old 27-08-2014, 05:20   #4
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

The submerged bow become the resistance pivot point, and the remainder of the boat tries to rotate around this point into a jibe. What then ?

Had this happen often when I sailed Tornado cats.
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Old 27-08-2014, 05:41   #5
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

I sailed a Nacra for a few seasons, close reach - it's the jib, then main if the hull doesn't lift,

as stated above with reference to the pivot point and death zone - you don't go there! Ease early because once that leeward hull digs she rotates and fills the main and once the boom is on the shroud you are in the hands of the gods !

Ps. Never sailed a tri, so this is arm chair stuff !



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Old 27-08-2014, 06:20   #6
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

Keep in mind the OP specified "close reach". No jibe, just a stuffed lee bow with threat of capsize sideways.
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Old 27-08-2014, 06:21   #7
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

Yes, dump the jib (actually, dump both if possible). If you are on a close reach, the safety zone is into the wind and dumping the main with the jib set will discourage turning that way (lee helm and pressure on the submerged bow). Dumping the jib will help weather helm the boat around into the wind.

Edit: I just read SFT's interpretation of the situation as a stalled sideways capsize, and not as a death zone potential, like I interpreted it. If one is trying to avoid a stalled sideways capsize, then one needs to dump sail area and the main is the first to go. If one is trying to prevent sailing down into a death zone, then the jib is the first to go.

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Old 27-08-2014, 06:35   #8
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

First, if you are really on a close reach, you turn up, then release the jib. (or do it simultaneously like you would on a smaller catamaran) The main will help turn you even more into the wind at this point.

If you have misinterpreted the situation and you are more on a broad reach, the above maneuvers will probably flip/pitchpole the boat if it has a lot of sail area as compared to weight.
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Old 27-08-2014, 07:41   #9
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

(I wrote this in the morning and had to rush out and didnt post)

Jib first. All the pressure is on the jib Pulling/pushing it into the water.
Let boom go on main, then drop the sail......
Weather helm the best you can.
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Old 27-08-2014, 09:11   #10
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

Not a multi-huller but if the mast is not stayed and the rig is way powered the main sheet is holding the mast back.

Dumping the main without dumping the jib could result in disaster for the rig.

if you are going fast and the crew is not in the right place (well back) and you poke a hull your best option may be to let it go over.
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Old 27-08-2014, 10:38   #11
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You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sh...

This tells a story


4 Sep 2011 - Uploaded by picsbybrian
... of photographs I took of the 80th Round the Island Yacht race June 2011. The Dragonfly 28 ...


Edit : sorry the link is disabled , copy and paste the URL
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Old 27-08-2014, 10:59   #12
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

Unless the jib is a very large overlapping genoa, dumping it will not depower things--dump the main.
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Old 27-08-2014, 11:12   #13
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofsmit View Post
This tells a story


4 Sep 2011 - Uploaded by picsbybrian
... of photographs I took of the 80th Round the Island Yacht race June 2011. The Dragonfly 28 ...


Edit : sorry the link is disabled , copy and paste the URL
Not really a close reach, the tri was flying a chute during a race in a heavy seaway.
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Old 27-08-2014, 11:36   #14
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Re: You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sheet.

First, we have a nomenclature issue. To some a very close reach might be with a chute, with the apparent wind forward of the beam (No Escape). That is an apparent wind based definition. Others (most multihull sailors) define a close reach as just below full and by, true wind substantially forward of the beam. The first course for which we crack the sheets just a little. Fast multihullers use this "true wind" view because the apparent wind never goes behind the beam except for a few seconds mid-jibe (and some tack down wind--my last cat did--And I considered the apparent wind 50 degrees off the bow/true wind 135 a broad reach).

a. Reef earlier. Particularly below the line of death (wind aft of the beam), there may be no answer and even professional crews dump. On a large tri this is going to be expensive and potentially life threatening. Reef earlier. (beach cats/tris--go for it!!)

b. On a very close reach on a very fast cat, the correct answer is all of them. There is NO REASON they should not all be ready to fly in a few seconds, with a man on each sheet. If you can not place a man on each sheet, see "a."

c. Heading up--perhaps slowly--is often a part of the strategy, because the wind is increased and you are going to want to come up to get the main down.

d. Bearing off is generally the first reflex on a broad reach, but at some point it doesn't solve the problem; if the jib is fully blanketed and you are still over powered, blowing the sheet is not going to solve the problem.

d. If bearing off is the strategy on a deep reach, do NOT ease the main at the same time; that only increases projected area.

e. If the buried bow has cause a pivot (probable) you are looking at a very fast angle of attack change, release everything.

f. Though releasing the jib is one "right answer," if the jib is very small that main is the big engine. It may be more important to dump the main AND traveler than the jib. Additionally, if the main and traveler are dumped, a small jib very nicely closes the slot completely, depowering the main. So it really depends on the size and position of the jib.

g. The worst thing you can do is release the jib a little; all it does is get full and open the slot.

Perhaps the most important thing is for the crew to be well-secured to work stations. Often they fail to release sails because they are thrown across the cockpit by the rapid deceleration. This is a problem on beach cats too. They should braced in place and have the sheet tails in hand. Tails should NOT be in the self tailers, but around the drum with no more than 3 turns, and into a cam cleat.

As for risk to the mast dumping the main; this is a normal thing for fast multies and is not a risk. The mast is stayed differently from a mono and the traveler gives much better boom control. Not an issue.

----

When sailing fast cats I always like the crew to have either beach cat or skiff experience. There isn't time to think this through or for tentative actions. In the video, for example, the chute should have been flogging already in the first photo, or collapsed with the boat dead down wind. No hesitation or waiting for the skipper to give directions.
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:11   #15
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You are sailing a tri very fast on a close reach. A crewman holds the jib sh...

Well done tom, nice to see your points of sale !

I was trying to point out how the critical point of axis is reached and when the gods take over, no man or beast will recover


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