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Old 07-08-2010, 23:07   #16
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If you're making ~80% of hullspeed and the weather even has the slightest chance of building, drop canvas. The boat will only go so fast.
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Old 07-08-2010, 23:41   #17
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closehauling........

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Hmmm. I'd never sail under foresail only in a blow. Maybe when it's light and the main misbehaves. Foresail only removes too many options from the table and is destabilizing.

Maybe the divergence in opinions here is from racing light boats vs. chunder beasts.

I'd roll up the headsail all the way somewhere between the second and third reefs. The rolled up genoa is enough drag by itself. I want to be able to sail out of a situation. (Like fish on! or a reef) Flying foresail only is hobbling the girl. With the main you can turn every direction, stop, crawl upwind, whatever. Genoa only has SundaySailor written all over it.
FYI-Mine is a converted racer.
If I see heavy weather coming up I'll drop the main completely and sail by genoa alone, running the G/jib sheet traveller far aft (balances out the boat) and reef up to prevent too much heeling. If a gust hits me I can head-up into the wind to reduce COE then back off again to pick it back up when it blows by.

When I get my solent stay set up I'll probably have more balance but this system has worked well for me for just day sailing here in the Sound. Between the Islands here we get sudden turbulence which makes for frustrating situations. Sail up, sail down , sail up, sail down. After awhile alternative (unconventional) sailing becomes more desirable.

If I'm mostly on a reach or before the wind I do prefer the main.
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Old 07-08-2010, 23:59   #18
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We put the first reef in the main at 23 knots. Second reef in if over 27 once we see 30s the main is down. We are a cutter ketch so we have all kinds of things we can do with the sail plan. We have been doing a lot of equatorial sailing so here you get conditions from a wonderful 10-15 then sudden squall that might jump to 25-40 knots for a short while. We have learned that if it stays under 25 we are ok hence the 23 knot mark. We have been caught trying to put that first reef in and found we go all the way to dropping the main. If the wind is real strong we some times have the back of the main hanging up on the lazy jacks with the pressure on the full battons, but can usually get everything down by tugging on the reef lines. We very seldom go into wind when reefing as then we have four sails trying to flog. I do wish at times that I had Batcars but even with out them we seem to be able to handle everything.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:01   #19
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Personally, I always reef the main first. First reef in main at 15-18kts, second at 22-25 then start rolling up the Genoa.

Reason - main gives you control and heeling problems when overpowered and is the more difficult to reef.

As others have said - if you think you may need to reef, just do it - don't wait. You will sail more safely and comfortably.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:52   #20
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I reefed my Mirage 25 with the wind over 20 on a dowind leg by coming up to a broad reach until the main luffed a bit,then dropped the halyard and pulled the luff down to the reef point.Then I pulled in the clew reef line and rehoisted the main.The boat sailed much better and we passed 2 boats who didn't reef.

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:07   #21
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OK, we are all having fun talking about what should have been done to avoid the situation, but lets say for a minute that we were in the situation described.

I have a furling foresail, so instead of sheeting down hard, I would start by completely furling the Genoa, then turn to wind and drop the main. He did mention he had an engine and I am assuming he dropped the sheet line in the water trying to sheet it down hard. Using the engine, I won't stall heading to windward.

Now I return to my down wind run with just the staysail or a mere corner of the Genoa.

George
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:30   #22
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I am a little confused about the reluctance to run under jib or grnny alone. For one the genny is not on a boom that can crash jibe for two it can be reefed on most boats very easily from the cockpit. Most boats can sail up to a beam reach under genny alone. Thanks for all of the advice although I can't say I am any less confused.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:31   #23
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Clearly, strategies for sailing in heavy winds depend on your boat, your crew, and your experience.

IMHO, on a cruising boat your roller-furling genoa (only) is your friend in heavy weather, because:

1. Many boats sail very well -- including close reaching to windward -- with just a headsail. They balance pretty well, too.

2. The genoa can be rolled up to any desired area, and still do a decent job of propelling the boat.

3. The desired sail area can be set from the cockpit....no need to go forward on a wet and slippery deck.

4. Downwind, the genoa is terrific...it acts like a wind vane and keeps the bow heading in the right direction.

5. As conditions change, it's easy to change the amount of sail in use.

6. For single-handing, the genoa-only strategy works really well.

For me -- on my 42' sloop as well as on practically every other boat I've sailed on or taught sailing on, ranging from 23 - 60 footers, the strategy as the wind increases is:

1. reef the main, and do it early; maybe roll in a bit of genoa, too;

2. double- or triple-reef the main, and roll in some more genoa, too;

3. drop the main, and adjust the genoa to present wind and sea conditions;

4. adjust the genoa as needed, until the wind drops enough to raise the main again.

There are situations where I'd skip #1 and #2 and just drop the main.

Last time I came back to the Virgins from the Leeward Islands we had 35-50 knots in Christmas Winds...all the way across the Anegada Passage. The genoa-only strategy worked very well, as it did when we left Maine a few years back in 35-knot winds.

This will make you a believer:

In a good sailing breeze...15-18 knots or so....try sailing on a close reach with full sail, and note your speed. Now, stay on the same course and roll in the genoa, so that you're sailing with just the main. Note your (very large) drop in speed.

Now, unroll the genoa, stay on course to windward, and drop the main. Note your (very small) drop in speed.

Most boats don't go to windward worth a damn with just the main. In fact, it's a good way to slow WAY down when, e.g., threading thru a crowded anchorage :-)

Bill
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:53   #24
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Hello all,
My first post.
Would an in-boom furler be worthwhile in all these scenarios?
I believe they can be reefed under load.
Have been told they are too inefficient. But, it is cruising, and would make life so much easier and safer - if it works.
Cheers
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:11   #25
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Jack,

I have a LeisureFurl furling boom on my 42' sloop. I love it. Easy to deploy and, if you're careful, to reef and douse.

However, you do have to de-power the main before raising or dousing, i.e., it can't really be done when under load. However, this is doable in fairly heavy weather if you take your time and do it in steps, de-powering the main in each step by, e.g., turning quickly nearly into the wind, then falling off again. This was the strategy we used in Maine as the wind built, until it was too much to handle with any but a very heavily reefed mainsail showing.

Another furling strategy I've used is to head downwind, sheet the boom in tight, and reef the main as conditions permit. This works pretty well if you're careful.

For the single-hander...as I often am....the in-boom furler is a godsend.

By the way, I don't find it "inefficient" at all. My North-built main has full battens and a large roach, and drives the boat as well as the slab-reefed main it replaced. Only complaint I have is that it's "too quiet", i.e., it doesn't flap about even when not properly trimmed :-)

Bill
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:17   #26
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thank you! I couldn't have said it better myself. As for the in boom furling I find that they do work pretty well until the sail gets worn out then it becomes very difficult to roll up.
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Clearly, strategies for sailing in heavy winds depend on your boat, your crew, and your experience.

IMHO, on a cruising boat your roller-furling genoa (only) is your friend in heavy weather, because:

1. Many boats sail very well -- including close reaching to windward -- with just a headsail. They balance pretty well, too.

2. The genoa can be rolled up to any desired area, and still do a decent job of propelling the boat.

3. The desired sail area can be set from the cockpit....no need to go forward on a wet and slippery deck.

4. Downwind, the genoa is terrific...it acts like a wind vane and keeps the bow heading in the right direction.

5. As conditions change, it's easy to change the amount of sail in use.

6. For single-handing, the genoa-only strategy works really well.

For me -- on my 42' sloop as well as on practically every other boat I've sailed on or taught sailing on, ranging from 23 - 60 footers, the strategy as the wind increases is:

1. reef the main, and do it early; maybe roll in a bit of genoa, too;

2. double- or triple-reef the main, and roll in some more genoa, too;

3. drop the main, and adjust the genoa to present wind and sea conditions;

4. adjust the genoa as needed, until the wind drops enough to raise the main again.

There are situations where I'd skip #1 and #2 and just drop the main.

Last time I came back to the Virgins from the Leeward Islands we had 35-50 knots in Christmas Winds...all the way across the Anegada Passage. The genoa-only strategy worked very well, as it did when we left Maine a few years back in 35-knot winds.

This will make you a believer:

In a good sailing breeze...15-18 knots or so....try sailing on a close reach with full sail, and note your speed. Now, stay on the same course and roll in the genoa, so that you're sailing with just the main. Note your (very large) drop in speed.

Now, unroll the genoa, stay on course to windward, and drop the main. Note your (very small) drop in speed.

Most boats don't go to windward worth a damn with just the main. In fact, it's a good way to slow WAY down when, e.g., threading thru a crowded anchorage :-)

Bill
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:34   #27
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Heaving-to imo is the easiest and safest way to reef in those conditions.

With a roller furling genoa, just roll it up until it's where you think you want it ( jib sized) Then head up into the wind and heave-to. Set your reefs or douse your main completely and then release the jib and fall off to your broad reach again.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:45   #28
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It can be done while sailing downhill as long as your rig is set up for it. In other words , are the reefing lines already in the sail. Assuming the track on the mast and the cars on the luff arent sticky you shouldnt really have a problem. Its something you should practice in light air first to iron out any problems. We can reef and shake out on my current boat at any point of sail. The previous boat had to be head to wind. So, having said all that, my disclaimer is.... " it is subjective somewhat".
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:53   #29
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A lot depends on your boat, sails, and crew.

Assuming you are on a cruising boat with a rollerfurling genoa, the best strategy is to oversheet the genoa, then head up until the main luffs (the oversheeted genoa means that the main will luff a lot earlier, before you have to turn into the waves and get drenched), then let go the main halyard and pull down the sail and turn back down wind. If it is blowing hard enough that the full genoa would overpower the boat, partially furl the genoa before you oversheet it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:11   #30
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Back to the original post: turning upwind with full main and some headsail out is asking for mayhem. What is a relatively quiet run, with calm wife, will turn into a wet noisy bash.

If you're cruising, and not just out on Sunday where you'll be motoring back to the marina, reef the main down twice and twirl up the headsail furler. Keep your options open. With a reefer main you can sail any direction. Under reefer headsail you are only going downwind. Those who think they are sailing to weather under headsail alone haven't yet noticed they are going sideways.

If it's just gone from 25 to 35 you should plan on 45 soon. No time for any furler to be anything but completely and securely wound up.
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