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Old 24-12-2013, 07:56   #1
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Headsail Leach Flutter

Hi Everyone,

The leach on my staysail and jib flutter when beating. On my last boat I could fix this tightening the sheet or the leach line, but in this case both are already way tight. I'm still learning this boat and am not sure what else to do? Maybe take a look at this video and tell me if there's anything obvious I am doing wrong: Video

In that moment, we were beating into ~20 knots with a double reefed main, partially furled jib, and hanked on staysail set. A batten had popped out of the main, so ignore that.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

Matt
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Old 24-12-2013, 08:16   #2
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Re: Headsail leach flutter

Could be a blown sail. Move the genoa lead forward. Maybe that will help.
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Old 24-12-2013, 08:41   #3
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Re: Headsail leach flutter

That's terrible. . . .not good for the sail or the sailing.

Unfortunately you don't really show us much of the sail. what I am seeing is a partially furled genoa and a staysail - is that correct?

Have you moved the genoa car forward as you furled it? If not, I would suggest that is probably the cause.

It looks like perhaps you have +20% of it rolled - is that about right? Do you have a foam or rope luff in the genoa to help the shape as you roll it?

Otherwise, how old is the sail and how old is the brown uv covering?

From what little I can see that does not look like a very efficient upwind sail combination (slot is very small and the two sails don't look like they are sheeting to the same leach curve). I personally would try one sail or the other.
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Old 24-12-2013, 09:27   #4
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Re: Headsail leach flutter

Here's a better video, of just the staysail, beating into ~18 knots, fluttering by itself with the sheet tight enough that the clew was touching the shroud.

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Yes, the first video shows a partially roller furled jib sheeted in too tightly to the staysail. It is rolled in about 20% and doesn't have a foam luff -- I didn't think of that. My last roller furling jib had one.

I don't have a video of it, but the jib also flutters when not partially furled and beating in ~20 knots. That was the next little island hop -- I ditched the main and staysail and just beat with the jib, and that was much faster. I do love these short Caribbean island hops for learning the boat.

Both sails are ~13 or 14 years old. But have not been used much, as far as I can tell.

I am new to 'cutter' (my last boat had a solent, and so we only ran one headsail at a time except when running downwind with double headsails). Do folks generally just use one headsail on a cutter when hard on the wind?

Thank you!
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Old 24-12-2013, 10:54   #5
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

A pretty cat ketch sailing past us in the rain, beating into ~20 knots, with our staysail fluttering...

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Old 24-12-2013, 11:25   #6
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

You need to play with the track position. Try moving it forward first then back until the flogging is reduced. Keep in mind moving it forward will power it up some. The foam would help. It also could just be the cut and weight of the sail that doesn't work well rolled up. At that point, just main and staysail would be an alternative.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:01   #7
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
A pretty cat ketch sailing past us in the rain, beating into ~20 knots, with our staysail fluttering...
Ouch . . . He just sailed right by you . . . .I would shoot myself.

The flutter in that one looks like it should be controllable with the leach cord . . . Have you tried pulling on it . . . . very hard? Does it have a small tackle on it . . . It should probably have/need a 4:1 tackle to get the necessary pull.

I can't tell about the location of the car . . . Are the telltales breaking at the same time top to bottom (in which case the car location is right) or is the top one breaking way before the lower ones (in which case the car should go forward).

The leach of the sail might simply be stretched out. 14 years is not young. The fact that cat ketch sailed by you like that suggests either the sail shape is terrible or your bottom is very dirty (or both).

Upwind . . . Usually only one headsail at a time is best. Getting two sails sheeted so they actually work together upwind is difficult (possible but difficult). The distance between your two headstays looks short, and it's even more true then. The staysail usually really starts to add to the genoa as you crack off a bit to a close reach.
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Old 24-12-2013, 14:49   #8
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

Ouch is right!

Did you fall off just for the pic or does your mono sail like a cat?
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Old 24-12-2013, 16:31   #9
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

I Would Try Moving Your Car Forward. Sail Clew Looks To be Well In Front Of Mast. Either Sail Cut Poorly Or You Dont Have Good Angle On Line To Pull Shape Of Sail Towards deck.
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Old 26-12-2013, 07:07   #10
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

your car is too far aft!!!!
the sail is sheeted way too tight and not providing any power......it has no shape.
also in a 48 foot boat with only 20 kts of wind, why are you sailing with a double reefed main AND a partially furled jib ?
may want to reconsider your sail selection then that cat ketch may not come storming by like you are standing still!
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Old 26-12-2013, 12:14   #11
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Thanks Evans, I will try pulling on the leach line way way hard. On my previous 40' boat, a sharp tug was all it needed, and you are right, this is probably something that scales up with the larger boat. There's no built in block and tackle on the leach line

The bottom is super clean.

Yes, it was emasculating to be so roundly beaten by a cat ketch. They even pointed higher.

The staysail car is all the way forward. I'll play with moving the jib car forward, and try a snatch block on the staysail sheet to see if the staysail is just cut wrong for the boat. Or maybe the pendant on the tack could be a little longer, to raise the sail and effectively move the car forward.

I'm still playing around with sail combinations and learning the boat. I am looking forward to knowing this boat as well as my last, when I could skip the experimentation and go straight to settling her into the best groove. So far I've been very pleased with how she reaches and runs, but haven't figured out beating yet. In the video with the double reefed main, the wind was slackening as we sailed away from a tall headland (the volcano on the North end of St Vincent), so I was unrolling the jib as we slowed down. Now I know to just drop the staysail and go straight to the full jib.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 26-12-2013, 13:24   #12
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

msponer,

About those 13-14 yr. old sails. They may well have lost their shape by now. Especially the genoa. Or have been inferiorly made. (I remember a genoa we had that had a terrible hook in the leach, and tightening the leech line made it even worse.)

If playing around with the pennant and sheet leads and trying harder with the leech line don't produce the desired results, you might ask around amongst your friends to see whether there is a sailmaker one can trust to look over your sails and see if they need modification to extend their lives, or (gasp!) replacement. I know new sails are a big bullet to bite, but they can surely do wonders for the boat's performance. Jim used to say that he'd be ashamed to be embayed in this day and age, so I sure hope you can find the windward groove you're looking for.

Ann
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Old 26-12-2013, 14:40   #13
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Re: Headsail Leach Flutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post

Yes, it was emasculating to be so roundly beaten by a cat ketch. They even pointed higher.

!
What is the boat - you may have said but I missed it?

On the main reef . . . the rounded foot is nice for reaching and light air . . . but you should try to get it tighter/flatter for breezy upwind . . .sometimes you have to move the clew reef line attachment point aft on the boom to do that.

Have you tried sheeting (especially the stay sail) inside the shrouds for upwind? It's a bit of a hassle when you bear off (you need an 'inside' and an 'outside' sheet), but sometimes it can help quite a bit (but I will admit usually with lower stretch sails than you have). We do that on Hawk, and switch the sheeting to outside when broader than 50 degrees.

what sort of prop do you have - fixed or feathering? That's another thing that does actually make a difference upwind.

A bit to Anne's point . . . There is a racing sailmaker's saying "nothing goes upwind like money"
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Old 26-12-2013, 15:08   #14
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I think that's a cat schooner... In addition to all the other comments it is possible that you could be pointing a little too high. What kind of keel do you have? What does the sail do when you fall off 5 degrees?

If you are used to a deep fin and now into a longer keel config with shallower draft on the new boat you may be discovering why deep fins win races.
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Old 26-12-2013, 15:12   #15
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Looks like a schooner but could be angle of the shot... Freedom 44?
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