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Old 05-03-2019, 01:15   #1
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A question for our Antipodean cousins

I have a question which I cannot seem to find an answer to but have a theory about. Lot's of my sailing friends and colleagues and including myself, notice that our boats seem to sail better on Starboard tack than on Port tack when close hauled. I have a theory that it may be due to the Coriolis effect causing a difference between wind at the surface and wind above the surface. Do you folk in Australia/ New Zealand experience a similar effect but reversed, ie better performance on Port tack? Before folk start pouring scorn on my comments and questioning whether we have our boats set up properly, I certainly pay very close attention to ensuring my mast is vertical and rigged correctly and I also have a full set of instruments to monitor my sailing performance. Those folk that don't notice it, don't have full instrumentation so probably are unaware of the difference.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:39   #2
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Having observed many tests on this subject, we have determined that most boats in the southern hemisphere also perform better on a starboard tack. This is because we have right of way and have less eyes / weight below, less crew movement to leeward and a less twitchy crew in a crowded waterway.
but hey it could also be the planet rotating
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:55   #3
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Hi 2020, I usually sail single handed so none of those points really make a difference to me - and I also have to look out for other boats, even on Starboard - there are a lot of less than fully competent sailors out on the water in the Solent! ;-)
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:25   #4
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pirate Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Its obvious..
Sailing is a sport for the wealthy , therefore it is difficult to show enthusiasm when leaning toward the proletariat side of the sport.. a reflection of life.. ?
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:25   #5
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

I noticed too that one tack is faster then the other. But I've always contributed it to the weight distribution down in the hull. Fuel/water tanks on one side.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:07   #6
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

I sailed my boat from Dublin to Darwin, and I can tell you.....






....that I have know idea about this whatsoever.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:01   #7
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Just throwing out possible baloney, but weather helm effecting one tack more than the other?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:29   #8
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martkimwat View Post
I have a question which I cannot seem to find an answer to but have a theory about. Lot's of my sailing friends and colleagues and including myself, notice that our boats seem to sail better on Starboard tack than on Port tack when close hauled. I have a theory that it may be due to the Coriolis effect causing a difference between wind at the surface and wind above the surface. Do you folk in Australia/ New Zealand experience a similar effect but reversed, ie better performance on Port tack? Before folk start pouring scorn on my comments and questioning whether we have our boats set up properly, I certainly pay very close attention to ensuring my mast is vertical and rigged correctly and I also have a full set of instruments to monitor my sailing performance. Those folk that don't notice it, don't have full instrumentation so probably are unaware of the difference.
I can't wait to read all the answers to this question.

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Old 05-03-2019, 09:56   #9
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Indeed Coriolis.

That a ( main-) sail needs twist is common knowledge. Less well known is that the amount of twist differs on port- and starboardtack.
This is caused by the effect of Coriolis on the wind. Creating a 'true wind shift'. The effect is more outspoken on higher altitudes, and
contrary on Northern and Southern hemispheres.

In theory every sailboat favours on the Northern hemisphere the starboard tack twist is
similar on both tacks and when other factors as hull symmetry and weightdistribution etc. are ruled out.

An article which explains this in detail is found at: http://www.oceansail.co.uk/Articles/Win ... ticle.html
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:34   #10
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

You mean starboard and port aren't reversed below the equator, well I'll be damned, or in places where they drive on the wrong side of the road?
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:44   #11
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
I noticed too that one tack is faster then the other. But I've always contributed it to the weight distribution down in the hull. Fuel/water tanks on one side.
+1 My water tank and outboard are both on the same side. That's been my assumption as well. But I think the creative answers are more fun.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:53   #12
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Close hauled, broad reaching or running, port vs starboard tack would all be a combination of vessel course and wind direction. You could theoretically be sailing in any of these conditions in any direction.

The only impact would be the wind direction in relation to a high or low pressure system.

This question reads like a troll.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:37   #13
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

I used to have a sabot like that, don't remember the fast tack anymore. I do however 'member, after being on the 'memberry diet for almost week, my chagrin at taking that boat in partial trade for a perfectly good Coronado 15 when it's centerboard trunk was about 5/8" out of line with the rest of the boat. I suppose I should have gotten a survey or test sailed it, but we were living 4 miles up a dirt road about 35 miles from a launch ramp and we were just excited about getting rid of the Coronado you know. I guess I could've had a better eye too. I am going to look at a free 30 foot steel lifeboat as soon as the rain lets up. But that is because we live now at 8 foot above sea level, about 2 blocks from salt water and about 20 miles from the Cascadia fault line. Seems beefier than the Cape Dory 25 we keep on a trailer for the tsunami they predict for us.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:20   #14
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Sailing instruments may reveal the result but not the cause. Alignment and plumb of keel and rudder, symmetry of these surfaces, as well as the trueness of the hull itself and weight distribution are the answers.
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Old 05-03-2019, 13:54   #15
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Re: A question for our Antipodean cousins

Is the helmsman left or right handed ? / Len
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