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Old 18-12-2013, 04:42   #61
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
When I think about "broaching" I don't think about upwind sailing. While sailing upwind if you bury the rail excessively the boat rounds up, the sails luff, and the boat recovers. Then you'll probably take in a reef. It's no big deal. However, while sailing on a reach if you get overpowered, especially in seas or carrying a spinnaker, the boat can heel excessively, causing the boat to begin to round up, which increases the heeling moment. Before you know it, the boat can be heeled over radically - beyond 45 degrees - which means the rudder is stalled and totally ineffective. Yet because you're no where near head to wind, the sails aren't luffing, and once the boom hits the water you can't even ease the main. That's a broach: you've basically lost control of the boat, which lays on its side and yaws, eventually recovering but maybe after you're broken some gear or (worst case) lost someone overboard or taken on some water. There's no formulaic answer for avoiding this. To say, "don't exceed 30 degrees heel on a reach" doesn't help. You need to de-power by reefing in advance. Steer properly in waves, keeping the boat under the sails. Sail down in the puffs (the opposite of what you do when beating). Also, be ready to blow the vang - in addition to the mainsheet - in the event a broach begins to happen.
Just prior to broaching on a reach with a chute, turn the boat towards the chute. /bear off. You're pointing too high. That cures the broach. Now, make sure your rudder stays in the water, by backing off as necessary.


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