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Old 16-12-2015, 23:27   #1
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Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Hi All
Returning to my mooring, the last 3 nm's is always hard to wind in 20 kts. My boat is 30ft, 3.5 tone sloop. She travels well to wind but I wonder if I could be doing better. The set up....., pointing as high as possible, some minor back winding in the top third of the main, traveller hard to windward, main sheet hard on, vang firm, out haul hard, down haul hard, very healed over, ie gunnel awash, and more weather helm than desirable but making 6 knots in the right direction. Occasional uncontrolled rounding up in big gusts. If I ease the main and hold the course it begins to flog. If I dump the traveller, same thing.
Should I drop a few degrees off the wind and add a tack later or stay close hauled? Is there a better way to set the sail when sailing as close as you can go to windward? I have to say I'm pretty happy with 6 knts but the rig is pretty loaded up and the first mate is a little uncomfortable with the heal but getting better all the time. Thanks for your thoughts


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Old 17-12-2015, 00:12   #2
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

I know it is only 20knots... but have you tried putting a reef in and seeing if you get the same speed, but less heel, and thus less weather-helm?
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Old 17-12-2015, 00:54   #3
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Agree with sharpey, you may be losing some VMG/CMG to leeway.

Maybe stand the boat back up and see what happens. Even it you drop to 5 knots you may get there sooner by eliminating a tack or two. And the ride will be more comfortable for you both.

I only drag the rail while day sailing just for fun. For cruising I reef to keep the rail up about a foot above the surface. Both ways yield the same speed on my boat, within a half knot or so.
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Old 17-12-2015, 03:52   #4
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

no question about this. tuck in that first reef. You'll heel a lot less, make less leeway and surprise! you even make more speed.

If you are rounding up - you are carrying too much sail
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Old 17-12-2015, 04:11   #5
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
no question about this. tuck in that first reef. You'll heel a lot less, make less leeway and surprise! you even make more speed.

If you are rounding up - you are carrying too much sail
^^^ and the two above it!!!
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Old 17-12-2015, 04:19   #6
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyJo View Post
Hi All
Returning to my mooring, the last 3 nm's is always hard to wind in 20 kts. My boat is 30ft, 3.5 tone sloop. She travels well to wind but I wonder if I could be doing better. The set up....., pointing as high as possible, some minor back winding in the top third of the main, traveller hard to windward, main sheet hard on, vang firm, out haul hard, down haul hard, very healed over, ie gunnel awash, and more weather helm than desirable but making 6 knots in the right direction. Occasional uncontrolled rounding up in big gusts. If I ease the main and hold the course it begins to flog. If I dump the traveller, same thing.
Should I drop a few degrees off the wind and add a tack later or stay close hauled? Is there a better way to set the sail when sailing as close as you can go to windward? I have to say I'm pretty happy with 6 knts but the rig is pretty loaded up and the first mate is a little uncomfortable with the heal but getting better all the time. Thanks for your thoughts

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I agree with previous posters, that a reef would be a good idea. She just sounds overpressed. But also I am slightly concerned about the "traveller hard to windward, mainsheet hard on" idea… if the main is being brought in beyond the centreline of the vessel you are likely causing it to be inefficient, and increasing leeway and drag in the keel. The whole approach seems a little "everything hard cranked on". The idea is to get the ideal mainsail shape… not just crank everything down and hope for the best (I really don't mean to say that this is what you are doing but everything hard on without thinking about sail shape is a bit like that), and if your traveller is fairly wide, the main may be being effectively barberhauled to windward, which will be braking her, to some extent.
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Old 17-12-2015, 04:52   #7
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

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some minor back winding in the top third of the main
Maybe you could roll in some of that jib if you have roller furling down to maybe 100%

Then just pinch up to the mooring and forget about the speed since you have induced so much weather helm anyway as to cut the speed down a bit

OR

Ease the traveler, fall off a bit, and go for speed then try to steer up whenever possible between wind gusts. (watch the water ahead) Once you get the speed up, you may find that you are pointing higher....
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Old 17-12-2015, 05:29   #8
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Also, if you could rake the mast aft a bit that will help ......

And do you have any prebend in your mast?

If not, you could crank in some prebend (on your forward lowers) to make your sail flatter reducing power and go with the things you are already doing

Racers crank in more mast prebend for heavier wind days and ease it off for lighter winds
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Old 17-12-2015, 05:55   #9
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

I agree with using the first reef as others have recommended. But not furling the genoa as someone suggested.. Partly furled headsails do not perform well to windward.

I would reverse your traveler technique. Have it all the way to leeward. Then use the mainsheet to trim. . You will need the Vang, Cunningham, Foot and Back Stay on hard to flatten the main as much as possible. It seems you have that covered however.

But defs try the different sheeting angle first. If that doesnt work, add the first reef.

oh oh, the other option is a smaller headsail of course. Say going from a number 2 Genny to a number 1 Jib.
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Old 17-12-2015, 06:31   #10
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Drop a wpt at your mooring then sail by your gps to this wpt. This helps to quick guess which adjustments work and which only seem to work. Note any current will affect how much this may help.

I noticed various boats like different trim. Generally no-no's are too much heel, too little speed and over-trimmed sails. Try to get speed as speed gives lift to the keel. Try to get max forward drive (I found tall and flat sails better at this job, if it is windy).

Experiment then experiment some more.

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Old 17-12-2015, 07:02   #11
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Sailing to windward, what's that?
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Old 17-12-2015, 07:36   #12
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
Partly furled headsails do not perform well to windward.
That was the point of rolling it up.....to decrease it's performance

This along with the mast prebend which will flatten the main more than he already has it, he may be able to pinch up to the mooring

Otherwise travel out a bit, fall off and go for speed if that doesn't work..................
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:25   #13
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Not to disagree with anything posted, but sail trim theory is fun, so I'll contribute ... I agree that pressing your lee rail in the water is costing you speed, and making the ride more uncomfortable to boot. Heel is usually a factor of main, more than foresail, so ease up on that. If you do not want to go to the trouble of reefing at the end of your day, try inducing some top twist (half a reef?) by letting up on the downward boom pressure (your vang and main sheet) and allow the top to twist to leeward. By the way, when the sheet is fully engaged (anytime the boom is over your hull), that vang is not doing anything anyhow but stressing the captain and the rig -- leave it loose. Don't reef your genoa -- it will not have a good shape and it's probably not causing the heeling. As a last point, have a sail with someone at your club that races regularly. Going hard to windward is what usually begins every race. Racers would love to tune your boat for this condition -- it's what they do.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:50   #14
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

Is "downhaul" synonymous with Foreguy and/or Cunningham or is it something different?
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:55   #15
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Re: Going hard to wind, main sail trim.

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Is "downhaul" synonymous with Foreguy and/or Cunningham or is it something different?
It's synonymous with Cunningham.

Used to tighten the luff of the mainsail

On racing beachcats, we had 8 to 1 downhaul. We tightened the luff as much as possible on windy days along with more mast prebend to flatten the main. Some folks also raked their masts further back, and some didn't
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