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Old 25-11-2014, 16:22   #16
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Why I am asking actually has to do with developing my heavy weather sail plan.

The boat is a shoal-draft production cruising version of a Philippe Briand designed racer from 1979 with a typical-of-the time IOR pinched stern and behaves as such. I don't see us making more than two crossings with the boat. Doubtless only one of them would be a coconut milk run, but I'll never say never to more.

Right now the boat is a blank slate as far as not having any spinnaker gear.

Putting a sheave in the mast for a topping lift gets me the option of setting a staysail with a wire or dyneema inner-stay, which I think could be a nice set-up for heavy weather that is also versatile considering what you can do with a symmetrical spinnaker.

The rig is an Isomat and I think I can get the part which is a weld-in casting from Rigrite. This costs me the sheave, plus the pole itself, pole car, pole up-down, cleats, sheets and guys, and snatch blocks. I have secondaries and will be adding cabin top halyard winches and I actually just scored a set of hand-me-down Dux halyards from a turboed fifty footer which is nice.

If I go that route I might as well put in the sheave with the forestay tang, which gets me a permanent inner forestay. Somehow the idea of a "permanent" stay to hang the staysail on appeals to me but who knows. In this case the bowsprit/asymmetrical starts looking nice as the option of flying a screacher or other light air sails could help to offset the boat's otherwise so-so light air performance.

I am just in the starting phase of planning a next summer project and sketched out a heavy weather sail plan which I attached below. I already have holes in my upper spreader bases to which I have drawn running backstays and not knowing otherwise I have the inner forestay attached there as well but maybe it should be a little lower on the mast? Not sure how that works.

At the bottom the inner forestay lands on the conveniently located aft bulkhead of the anchor locker so that the inner forestay ends up being parallel to the forestay. Not sure if that is coincidence or intentional.

I plan to get a servo-pendulum eventually but the boat has a tiller and I have had some good experience with sheet to tiller so would like to optimize that aspect on the short term. Twin head sails seem ideal for DDW sheet-to-tiller but I don't know how close you can reach and am not sure if I would be ever be doing enough DDW to justify a twin sail. Any thoughts on whether symmetrical or asymmetrical sails are better for sheet-to-tiller?
Heavy weather? Downwind?

Forget spinnakers!! Sail plan is not a problem DDW in heavy weather, if you have a roller furling headsail. Just let out however much of that is comfortable, and forget about it. This configuration is supremely stable, because the center of effort is far forward. Spinnaker?! Fuggedaboutit! That's not a heavy weather sail!
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Old 25-11-2014, 16:29   #17
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

No the spinnaker is not for heavy weather. I didn't say that it was. Did you read my post or just quote it?

But what I do in terms of a spinnaker affects how I set up my inner forestay or vice versa. Permanent or removable inner forestay? Symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnaker? Pole or bowsprit? Twin head sails? Sheet-to-tiller self-steering? I thought I made myself clear but I guess not. Sorry. My bad.

Being able to comfortably sail dead down wind is nice. Being able to successfully sail in heavy weather is nicer. I don't know if I would ever spend enough time sailing DDW to want to compromise on the heavy weather capability, but then again the topping lift as halyard for staysail with dyneema inner stay seems like it could work.

Seems like the main down side to that is it's gonna flog when you raise or lower it until the halyard tension is set for not setting it on a stay, which is something you are probably not doing on a light air day. Hence my inclination towards having a permanent inner forestay.

My experience with asymmetrical spinnakers is limited to a season of around-the-buoys racing and a couple of distance deliveries on a J-105. Seems like the way to go.

It also seems like tacking down wind usually provides better VMG in anything but heavy air, but if I was sure of myself I wouldn't be posting so thanks for any feedback.

Cheers
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Old 25-11-2014, 17:14   #18
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
No the spinnaker is not for heavy weather. I didn't say that it was. Did you read my post or just quote it?

But what I do in terms of a spinnaker affects how I set up my inner forestay or vice versa. Permanent or removable inner forestay? Symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnaker? Pole or bowsprit? Twin head sails? Sheet-to-tiller self-steering? I thought I made myself clear but I guess not. Sorry. My bad.

Being able to comfortably sail dead down wind is nice. Being able to successfully sail in heavy weather is nicer. I don't know if I would ever spend enough time sailing DDW to want to compromise on the heavy weather capability, but then again the topping lift as halyard for staysail with dyneema inner stay seems like it could work.

Seems like the main down side to that is it's gonna flog when you raise or lower it until the halyard tension is set for not setting it on a stay, which is something you are probably not doing on a light air day. Hence my inclination towards having a permanent inner forestay.

My experience with asymmetrical spinnakers is limited to a season of around-the-buoys racing and a couple of distance deliveries on a J-105. Seems like the way to go.

It also seems like tacking down wind usually provides better VMG in anything but heavy air, but if I was sure of myself I wouldn't be posting so thanks for any feedback.

Cheers
Sorry if I misunderstood you.

How to rig for downwind sailing could fill volumes. You will have to decide yourself the best way to do it.

Concerning inner forestays -- you can't really turn a sloop into a cutter without major surgery, so if you're starting out with a sloop, better to leave it that way. Cutters have a lot of advantages for water sailing">blue water sailing -- the staysail always rigged and ready for reaching or use as a storm jib is wonderful, and the high clew yankee headsail you can get away with (you can sweep the deck with the staysail) is easier to trim and tack, and you can see better under it.

So probably a removable inner forestay on a Hyfield lever with running backs is the way to go; hanked on staysail and storm jib.

For dead downwind sailing there are a million possibilities and you will have to decide for yourself. The two outstanding approaches as far as I can tell for shorthanded crews on long downwind passages are the twizzle rig, and the parasailor modified spinnaker. A normal spinnaker is generally too much brain damage for a short handed crew; an assymetrical better, but many people swear by a cruising Code 0 as a universal light wind and downwind sail, if you can only carry one. Everyone I know who starts out with a variety of downwind sails ends up actually using only the Code 0. That includes our own Evans Starzinger, who has given me a lot of good advice on the subject.

Strictly speaking you don't have to have a pole, but a pole will extend the wind angle range of a cruising Code 0 (or an assym) out to DDW, so highly recommended.

Yes, for all of these variants you will need to get the tack of the sail out clear of the pulpit, so you will need some kind of sprit.

I am just going through all this myself, and this winter will fit my boat with a carbon spin pole, a retractable bowsprit, and a cruising Code 0 on a furler. I already fit the track and other hardware for the pole when I rerigged two years ago.

But your mileage will vary, so it pays to read all the great volume of stuff on this topic in the archives, and decide for yourself. The parasailor is apparently also an awesome device, albeit very expensive.

Concerning broad reaching and gybing vs. sailing DDW -- that depends on the boat, the rig, and the crew. On my boat, we just go DDW if the destination is DDW. If there's not quite enough wind to power up the sail plan, we are not too proud to put the motor on. YMMV
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Old 25-11-2014, 18:46   #19
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

We were fortunate to meet an owner of a sistership and tour his boat prior to our purchase. Savvy guy with a bit of experience I believe having made the trip to Bermuda on occasion and as far north as Nova Scotia. I've attached a couple picks of his rig. He seemed quite fond of it.

Been meaning to give him a call and pick his brain since he is a real person I know in real life but I figured I'd pick yawls brains first to see what you had to say.

Trying to get downhill in light air in my mind means tacking downwind which I don't mind doing. That said, I also have never really had a problem sailing deep with a choked down chicken shoot that was over sheeted slightly when it was windy except for the rolling part.

Sometimes it is nice to go deep with a big kite though and using the topping lift to set a staysail/storm jib whatever you want to call it seems like worth looking at but I don't have any experience doing it.

For what's required, seems like setting up a for a symmetrical spinnaker seems more expensive and inherently more complex which is one reason steering me towards an asymmetrical set-up.

As far as the whole cutter smutter business, what's in a name? When I look at the heavy weather sail plan I sketched up I don't see where anything has happened to the center of effort except that it has moved down. Isn't that the point?

With the mast as far forward as it is I trend to feel like it is mostly a main-driven boat as it is. The boat is also quite tender in my mind. I figure getting a 110% or 120% on the headstay and then staysail either on a furler or hanks ready to go to hopefully be used to shorten sail readily. Like maybe the first thing I might do is get rid of the headsail first before reefing. Not sure, just a thought.

Like I said I have to ask my friend of the low down on his rig to get the details. We went over a lot of stuff in a short period of time but from what I recall he was quite pleased with it.
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Old 25-11-2014, 19:17   #20
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Why not run two headsails on the furler? Plastimo is one such company that makes a dual track foil setup. Installed this on our boat this year, have never used as such yet, but seemed like a cool idea. Cruising World just ran an article on it this month and they explained how to keep both jibs up at the same time when reaching, etc (which I never thought of- I always assumed you would rig the other jib when you needed to)

BTW- usually wing on wing up to now- need to get back to work at times, and we need to get where we need to get!
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Old 25-11-2014, 19:24   #21
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

I have read in John Letcher's book about using twin headsails and sheet-to-tiller self steering. Seems pretty sweet. I am not sure how high you can sail. Would be very interested to hear anyone's firsthand experience.

My problems with it are having to have two poles. I assume you go up with the twins on a jib halyard and then use either of your two spinnaker halyards as topping lifts. Or are they not needed? It's been a while since I used a whisker pole. Having two poles with twins seems like one way to work around getting downhill and having a permanent forestay

Can you put the poles on a ring on the mast? Or do you need a car?
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Old 25-11-2014, 19:51   #22
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

I occasionally run twin headsails. We are set up for twin poles, but sometimes I just use one pole, and run the other headsail sheet through a snatch block tied to the end of the boom. I put a deep reef in the main, and if the wind is light or the seas lumpy I hold the boom out with a preventer. This is a wonderfully stable configuration.

You have to decide if you're going to use a twin-slot furler foil, and if so, will you rig it so both headsails furl (which means you have to hoist both sails at the same time so they can share the rotating head attachment). I usually don't bother, but then I have to drop the second sail before I can furl. Some people fly the second sail loose-luffed.
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:31   #23
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Be interesting to try the twin head sail rig on a cat...no poles needed....just blocks and guys.
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:46   #24
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

We often find we sail downwind. If winds are lighter we use the asymmetric and do broad reach tacks (jibes) ... nowadays we use a 120M2 Spinnaker up to 20 knots and anything over two genoas ... one tied off on the beam (In the video link below)! These work great dead downwind and used them days on end sailing directly from Cape Town to Brazil

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Old 26-11-2014, 05:47   #25
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Here's a picture of John Letcher's "Island Girl" with his twins rigs.

The sheets are lead back to turning blocks at either quarter and then forward to a pair of blocks lashed to the tiller before being cleated off on either side of the cockpit. Boat starts to head up, the sheet pulls the tiller driving the boat back down. Pretty cool. Almost the ultimate in KISS self steering.

Since you're driving down hill the twins can be made flat out of lighter weight cloth than you would need for a normal headsail.
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:50   #26
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Here's how the sheets are lead.
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Old 26-11-2014, 08:52   #27
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Did some reading about Parasailors. Kinda funny looking but interesting concept.

Found my way to an interesting read on the subject of downwind sailing in Ocean Navigator. The article references RTW veteran Magnus Olsson who points out that heavy displacement boats don't really benefit from tacking downwind the way that typically lighter racing boats do, which is where the bulk of my experience lies.

Downwind voyaging - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2013

Anybody have a polar diagram for their loaded up cruising boat? I'd be interested to see what they look like. I have limited experience with heavier boats like what I own now.
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Old 26-11-2014, 09:44   #28
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicknSue View Post
Why not run two headsails on the furler? Plastimo is one such company that makes a dual track foil setup. Installed this on our boat this year, have never used as such yet, but seemed like a cool idea. Cruising World just ran an article on it this month and they explained how to keep both jibs up at the same time when reaching, etc (which I never thought of- I always assumed you would rig the other jib when you needed to)

BTW- usually wing on wing up to now- need to get back to work at times, and we need to get where we need to get!
That's the "twizzle" rig -- but you need to add poles and an articulating joint to make it work right.
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Old 26-11-2014, 17:13   #29
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

To answer the OP's question, no one sails the South Pacific Milk Run without doing a lot of downwind sailing, and I've done it twice.

The facts put simply.

1.) Preventers are a must when a mainsail is part of the sail plan for downwind sailing. They are not only necessary to prevent accidental gybes, but the help to control movement of the mainsail from one side of the boat to the other when required. Preventers are also crucial to safely centering the mainsail on a downwind tack for the purpose of reefing or reducing mainsail area of exposure to wind by simply bringing the boom closer to the boat's centerline for the purpose of relieving pressure on an overworked wind, electric or human steering system.
2.) Which sail combination and how much sail is deployed must be appropriate to the wind strength and sea state. Your wind or electric steering systems are valuable indicators of when too much sail is deployed. If hand steering, you'll know from the level of effort necessary to control the boat, too. From my experience I believe wind steering is the best choice and wonder about the efficacy of 'self steering' systems and the probability I could rely on such a scheme to help me keep things under control when conditions are particularly challenging, but not yet bad enough to consider heaving to.
3.) Depending on the boat's size either a whisker pole or other appropriately sized pole should be used. A pole minimizes deformation of the headsail in response to passing swells, wave action and variable wind strength. Employing a whisker pole also enables one to control the angle of the sail leech in relation to the wind, moving the pole forward to facilitate sailing off the wind as it turns, all the while maintaining your course. Once the maximum angle no longer prevents backing the foresail, a port tack can be assumed or the sails changed to opposite sides to resume sailing downwind.
4.) Avoid complications and accidents by keeping sail combinations simple.
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Old 26-11-2014, 22:36   #30
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Re: Dead Down Wind?

Delancy, I dont think it has been mentioned yet, but on the average monohull the twin headsail set up will give you more rolling in DDW conditions, than will a prevented main, with a poled out jib. Something else to consider is if you have to turn and go up wind, you have 2 poles to deal with, 2 jibs, and no main. Good luck with that arrangement. If you have a single poled headsail with a prevented main, you only have to deal with one pole, loosen the preventer, and haul in the sheets. You might have to reef quickly, since it can be a real surprise to turn up wind and discover that the wind is a lot heavier than you realized. Just another suggestion, if you rig an inner forestay, make it removable, since you will probably only use it on passages, and it will be in the way for daysailing. I love DDW sailing, but if it were all DDW there would be too many boats out there cruising. Best of luck ______Grant.
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