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Old 18-05-2017, 12:44   #1
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To Windward

My lake boat is not great to windward, and predictably, the harder it blows, the better it gets into wind.

That being said, for blue-water, it'd be great to hear about the ones that wind-up, and how big a deal (directionally) you think that is: if I'm on my boat in light wind, I'm not going to get where I want to go: blue-water, this has to be huge, no?

Bill
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Old 18-05-2017, 14:20   #2
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Re: To Windward

Most extended cruising is not done to windward quite purposefully. To give a couple of examples, the most common circumnavigation, via Panama and Red Sea is done downwind in the trades. The Red Sea part is generally to windward at the season when people are going this way and it is a tough experience. When people want to go from Chesapeake Bay to the Virgins or St Martin they generally do not take the shortest course since it would get them into the trade winds when they were still downwind from their destination. Instead, they head mostly east until they reach their target longitude and then head due south so they are reaching in the trades instead. This is often called I65 since you go to 65E before turning. It is quite a bit further but a much more pleasant trip (usually!). A decent cruising boat should be able to make good progress to windward but it is a slow and uncomfortable trip. Remember that distances can be long. Doing a beer can race with mile long windward legs is one thing; going to a destination that is 1200 miles to windward is quite another.
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Old 18-05-2017, 14:44   #3
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Re: To Windward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
My lake boat is not great to windward, and predictably, the harder it blows, the better it gets into wind.
Generally the harder it blows, the worse a boat goes to windward. Waves start to pick up and they slow the boat down, plus the boat makes more leeway.

Quote:
That being said, for blue-water, it'd be great to hear about the ones that wind-up, and how big a deal (directionally) you think that is: if I'm on my boat in light wind, I'm not going to get where I want to go: blue-water, this has to be huge, no?

Bill
You mean like this?



Or do you mean furling sails?
A furled headsail is much less efficient than a smaller non-furled sail and reduces a boat's pointing ability.

There is little difference in windward performance between a furled mainsail and a reefed one.
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Old 18-05-2017, 14:58   #4
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Re: To Windward

I have never liked sailing to windward on the ocean, but on lakes, I don't mind it at all.

In all my sailboats, if it is important to go to windward and point really high, I motorsail.

I sailed downwind around the world. If I had to do the sail upwind, I would have never left the dock.
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Old 18-05-2017, 15:07   #5
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Re: To Windward

Deduct 5 degrees for every 5 knots of wind ... so they say.

You want long narrow entry. Flared bows and voluminous fore sections stop you dead in any serious seas.

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Old 18-05-2017, 15:49   #6
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Re: To Windward

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Deduct 5 degrees for every 5 knots of wind ... so they say.

You want long narrow entry. Flared bows and voluminous fore sections stop you dead in any serious seas.

b.
This is exactly correct. My first two boats had flared clipper bows, and they were just awful to weather. Basically, you could pretty much forget about making progress against stronger winds in a typical ocean sea.

Narrow is good. My current boat, and the last one were quite fine forward (Rocket Science takes it to a bit of an extreme, granted), and they perform much, much better.

Sure, the foredeck's wet, but we've learned to back off the throttle, so to speak, before doing any work up there.

I'll take a wet deck over a stopped boat any day.

If you're asking about furling sails, there is a penalty with the headsail, for sure. A foam/rope luff helps, but shape inevitably suffers when reefed.
If you were anticipating frequent upwind sailing, something like a 100% blade jib will pay dividends.

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Old 18-05-2017, 19:52   #7
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Re: To Windward

Wow... the things you learn if you ask questions. Downwind or reaching make sense... I may have been writting too much into the "technological breakthrough" (a sloop with a triangle sail) that allowed sailors of old to point into wind(ish). The sentence phrase "wind-up," was meant to read "into the wind." So... once you've been sailing the ocean for a while, I assume the seasonal wind changes translate into human patterns, where your life is made easier if you "catch that ride," or be left with harder choices for not listening to mother natures suggestions; folks generally head the same way around the same time for a reason?

I imagine a liveaboard looking for a comfortable fat beamy home hates to think about windward anything then... "motorsailing" was mentioned as the trump card.

Bill
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Old 18-05-2017, 20:44   #8
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Re: To Windward

Bill, if you get a boat with a full, flared bow, even motorsailing won't be a very speedy experience. Yes, you might make some miles to weather, but it'll be a slow prospect in any case.

The truth is that hardly any sailboats have enough engine power to effectively make a lot of speed toward your destination trying to motorsail into very windy conditions offshore. And, a boat which is designed with a fat bow will do even worse.

Honestly, when you're cruising, it's actually pretty rare (or, it can be pretty rare with planning)to find yourself in a situation where you'll have a long windward slog. Sure, it happens. But, a little bit of patience and waiting for the right weather is really the way to go.

Even some of the more notorious slogs, like from the Mona Passage to Antigua or nearby islands, can be accomplished in pretty calm conditions if you just wait long enough.

For our part, we really detest sailing upwind in strong conditions for extended periods, and we will wait for the right conditions to make a fast, comfortable passage.

This is one reason my wife is still doing this with me after all these years...

So, in summary, I would not put windward ability as the top priority for my boat, assuming you're looking at cruising in a relatively conventional manner. Of course, you still do have to be able to get off of a lee shore when things go south! So, it's still an issue, but it's not a big priority for most, I don't think.

TJ
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Old 18-05-2017, 23:28   #9
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Re: To Windward

Micronesia, and the Marianas in particular, is a bit different from other regions, in that the prevailing trades are always NE - E. Although the primary season of April-May sees more eastward trades, our archipelago is North-South, so you will always be sailing to windward at some point, often for days at a stretch.

Sailing to windward is therefore SOP for us and wind abeam a seasonal treat.
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Old 19-05-2017, 02:54   #10
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Re: To Windward

It'll be diffiucult to get an accurate response on a forum like this, since most including myself up until last season, sail cruising boats using blown out, old sails. Yachts really need to be judged in their windward sailing ability with a new set of sails, it makes a HUGE difference.

The new jibs arrived just today, can't wait to try them out next month. The new mainsail last season made a stunning difference.
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Old 19-05-2017, 07:22   #11
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Re: To Windward

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Bill, if you get a boat with a full, flared bow, even motorsailing won't be a very speedy experience. Yes, you might make some miles to weather, but it'll be a slow prospect in any case.

The truth is that hardly any sailboats have enough engine power to effectively make a lot of speed toward your destination trying to motorsail into very windy conditions offshore. And, a boat which is designed with a fat bow will do even worse.

Honestly, when you're cruising, it's actually pretty rare (or, it can be pretty rare with planning)to find yourself in a situation where you'll have a long windward slog. Sure, it happens. But, a little bit of patience and waiting for the right weather is really the way to go.

Even some of the more notorious slogs, like from the Mona Passage to Antigua or nearby islands, can be accomplished in pretty calm conditions if you just wait long enough.

For our part, we really detest sailing upwind in strong conditions for extended periods, and we will wait for the right conditions to make a fast, comfortable passage.

This is one reason my wife is still doing this with me after all these years...

So, in summary, I would not put windward ability as the top priority for my boat, assuming you're looking at cruising in a relatively conventional manner. Of course, you still do have to be able to get off of a lee shore when things go south! So, it's still an issue, but it's not a big priority for most, I don't think.

TJ


Great to have this understanding now...
Thank you!
Bill
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Old 19-05-2017, 07:27   #12
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Re: To Windward

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
It'll be diffiucult to get an accurate response on a forum like this, since most including myself up until last season, sail cruising boats using blown out, old sails. Yachts really need to be judged in their windward sailing ability with a new set of sails, it makes a HUGE difference.

The new jibs arrived just today, can't wait to try them out next month. The new mainsail last season made a stunning difference.


Thank you for adding to my understanding.
Do you know ow a "blade jib," differs from other types of jibs... one comment read "100% blade jib"? I'm familiar with 110/ 150% type enlargements. But "blade"?
B
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Old 19-05-2017, 09:04   #13
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Re: To Windward

No sorry, I don't know much about the new blade jibs.
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Old 19-05-2017, 10:15   #14
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Re: To Windward

I wouldn't discount windward ability too casually... There are certainly times when the ability to sail close to the wind will make a big difference.

Example, leaving Hawaii for the mainland: For the first few days you are typically sailing as close to the wind as you can, with the tradewinds and seas well-forward of the beam. If you can't hold a course to windward, you end up heading towards Japan. Yes, after a few days (or a week) the wind clocks and any boat will eventually be sailing on a deep reach or run to the east (where you want to go), but without that early windward ability you can end up sailing a lot farther than you would like.

Also, while beating into heavy wind can be tiresome in any boat, good and properly-trimmed sails will always make things better. In extremely light air it can also be near-impossible to sail into the wind, even in calm seas. With a foul hull you just sit there, or at best go slowly downwind. With a clean hull and minimum junk on the deck you have a much better chance of being able to sail in your preferred direction.

So sailing performance is always a good thing. You have to decide how much effort and money you want to throw at it, but knowing how to trim your sails and helm the boat is free and well worth learning.
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Old 19-05-2017, 15:01   #15
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Re: To Windward

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Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
Thank you for adding to my understanding.
Do you know ow a "blade jib," differs from other types of jibs... one comment read "100% blade jib"? I'm familiar with 110/ 150% type enlargements. But "blade"?
B
Blade jibs are just jibs that are smaller than Genoas i.e. non overlapping.

So a 100% blade jib is the largest that you can get. Any more and it becomes a genoa jib.
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