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Old 11-10-2013, 08:14   #31
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Re: Depowering sails

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
Someone said raise the traveler and someone said lower it.

If the wind picks up and the boat starts to heel excessively you can dump the traveller to bring the boat back up on it's feet.

In lighter air you power up the main by raising the traveller and easing the mainsheet.

I guess you could travel up a little and ease the mainsheet a lot in heavy air to luff the main (which is in essence what the OP did here) but it's not the most efficient way.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:35   #32
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Re: Depowering sails

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Originally Posted by Rick01541 View Post
Adjusting backstay tension applies to masthead rigs as well as fractional rigs if it is setup with backstay adjustment. Tensioning the backstay on a masthead rig bends the mast and flattens the mainsail. This along with flattening the foot of the sail with the outhaul depowers the mainsail. The next step in depowering the mainsail is to reef.
It depends on the boat. If you have a deck stepped mast and no forward lowers or a babystay you are not going to bend the mast. You have to have something to keep the middle of the mast from moving aft to bend the mast on a masthead rig.

Tightening the backstay on a masthead rig does reduce the catenary on the forestay which allows you to point higher and flattens the sail.




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Originally Posted by Neo View Post
All good advice, but I find it helpful to also understand what was going wrong.

I don't think that in this case reefing the main (although it is the right thing to do) would have reduced the weather helm.

I am a beginner but this is what I see:

He was well healed on a beam/broad reach with the main luffing and tremendous weather helm (the wheel was all the way leeward).

I think he was probably a little past a beam reach and the boat was so healed over (due to the genoa being all out, and maybe over trimmed) that the shape of the wetted hull had him heading up. And the fact that the rudder was almost horizontal made in difficult to correct. Sort of like rounding up and broaching with the spinnaker out.

Of course he should have been reefed and had much less genoa out, I just think it might be helpful for the OP to also understand the dynamics at play.

Like I said, I am a beginner, does this make sense?
When heeled well over the assymetrical shape of the hull in the water is one reason. Another is that the sails are to leeward of the boat, so the CE is to leeward of the CLR, the sails are pulling forward not from where the drag of the boat is but off to the side making the boat round up.

I've been on a reach overpowered with just my jib up and had massive weather helm.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:50   #33
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Re: Depowering sails

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post

When heeled well over the assymetrical shape of the hull in the water is one reason. Another is that the sails are to leeward of the boat, so the CE is to leeward of the CLR, the sails are pulling forward not from where the drag of the boat is but off to the side making the boat round up.

I've been on a reach overpowered with just my jib up and had massive weather helm.
I see, thanks.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:59   #34
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Re: Depowering sails

One problem the OP will have is that a 135% jib, furled down to 100% or so, has a very poor and "baggy" shape. If you plan to regularly sail in the slot in summer, I recommend getting a 100% or even 83% jib.

For sailing in SF bay, I put the 83% on in May, and take it down in September (swapped it out a couple of weeks ago). It is cut for high winds, made in a high modulus dacron, and is well reinforced.

A typical 135% isn't even made in thick enough fabric for the wind strengths in the slot.
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