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Old 23-03-2012, 19:05   #16
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

I think Andrew's suggestion is good, and useful. I've hove to many times under main only, normally sheeted in to center. Using the option of sheeting the boom out at various angles gives the option of adjusting the rig to suit the individual boat and the conditions at hand, and can certainly inhibit the tendency to shift over to the opposite tack. I like this suggestion, thanks for making it.

Regards, Paul
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Old 23-03-2012, 21:51   #17
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

I don't know yet why one would wish to STOP for lunch ?? Sounds like stopping in Alameda for lunch LOL Im only kidding ! Connie and I always use the on deck seating for lunch if the weather permits. If not we eat in shifts, I suppose it's an Idea if ya wish, but we have never made enough sea miles in a day yet!! LOL so no stopping for lunch for us LOL Heck I won't even layto in a storm I keep sailing in what even direction is comfortable !!
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Old 23-03-2012, 23:12   #18
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

Thanks Paul for taking the trouble to pass that on.

I have noticed that sailing does seem to be one of those activities where those who are experienced enough to be well placed to assess new ideas, are generally no longer curious enough to put them to the test, either in their imaginations, or in practice.

Always nice to discover exceptions!

I would like to take the opportunity to point out just one element which may not be obvious: the quiescent heading of the vessel as described above, if conditions are at all dynamic, requires that the main boom is immobilised (ie sheeted aft AND prevented forrard) and that the sail be relatively flat via outhaul and luff tension (and of course, not topped up or scandalised).

No matter how heavy the boom and/or stiff the gooseneck axle, the hull will not respond sufficiently early to the relative windangle coming more on the bow, unless the preventer is rigged and tight.

Another thing that occurs to me, reviewing this thread: it may not be obvious that preventing the boom as far outboard as it can go, combined with rounding up hard, is the nearest a vessel under sail can get to a "hockey stop" (familiar to skiers, as well as on the rink). Something like a 90 degree, handbrake assisted skid-stop in a car, the sort of thing a good 'ol bootlegger might perform.

Some people find the prospect intimidating because of the unfamiliar direction of forces on the rig, but the magnitude of tension forces from the luff of the sail fed into the mast track are less than when closehauled in the same wind, and their direction (being more lateral) is well suited to being coped with by the diagonal shrouds.

Finally, I guess the answer to my other implied question in the OP, "Is this actually a new idea" seems to be "Possibly"
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Old 23-03-2012, 23:39   #19
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
I don't know yet why one would wish to STOP for lunch ??
Boy, am I ever wishing I'd never used the lunch example, in my list of reasons (other than heavy weather) it might be useful to stop comfortably and quietly without

a) anchoring
b) hauling down the main
c) (sometimes) hauling up a headsail
d) starting the engine
e) leaving anyone minding the helm or sailplan

For those of you the lunch idea doesn't work for, please just forget it!

For those who might be curious why someone else might find it worked for them: here's one scenario:

I've sailed a good deal in parts of the world where drowned glacial valleys make extensive inland waterways, with lots of interesting junctions and intersections.

Often anchoring is quite an operation, requiring multiple shorelines, not least because sometimes the bottom is ice-polished rock. In any case, suitable coves are often few and far between.

Every time a corner is reached, conditions are likely to change. Sometimes, the next channel or reach will have twenty or fifty times the fetch of the one you're leaving, if the wind is blowing along it. Not necessarily conducive to anything associated with food preparation or consumption, or their aftermath.

So it can make sense, if both a headland and lunchtime are fast approaching, to be able to leave the boat to tend to itself, put all hands to lunch prep (on an even keel so it happens more quickly again), sit comfortably and companionably together without boathandling distractions or sails flogging, then quickly clear away the clutter, stow the galley, and don the appropriate costume and armament to deal with the challenges of what lies around the bend.

I could give other, quite different examples, but I'm not actually trying to sell anybody the idea of lunch, just float the idea of a different way of configuring a boat.

Some people sail as if a boat were an automatic automobile, jammed in "Drive", but that doesn't have to be the case, and this, to my way of thinking, is just another option for selecting "Neutral"
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Old 23-03-2012, 23:42   #20
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

Respectfully, I am not convinced. It cannot be a new thing since neither beam reaching or luffing the main is new. Backwinding the main is not new either.

And to continue my gentle criticism, how is this different than slowly beam reaching, with bad flogging trim, under main alone? In the case of picking up a mooring or swimmer a slow beam reach is as good or better than stalled as there is headway to give steerage. And this slow beam reach can be stopped by heading up into your described de-powered or backwinded state.

If one is simply slowing for a meal or rest wouldn't it be better to be making some progress in your journey than none at all? One of the reaches, port or starboard, certainly contributes some to distance made good, no?

And...I would not want the main resting against the rig except in an emergency. Especially if it flogging some.

Simply dousing the main may achieve a better result. Most boats will lie beam-to and drift downwind slower and quieter than with a sail up.
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Old 24-03-2012, 00:56   #21
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

Daddle

Your reservations remind me of the perils of conventional wisdom. For example

Most people "know" that potatoes will not boil evenly unless they are covered with water. Provided the lid is on, this turns out to be completely untrue. But most people will go so far as to swear that (unlike your objections, which are theoretical) they have proved the conventional wisdom true in practice.

The main does not flog in practice, if flattened as described, but I freely acknowledge that in theory, anyone would expect it to.

(In practice it is generally soft but quiescent, alternating between periods of being winded and backwinded.)

The elements are not new but the combination (together with helm alee) obviously is to everyone contributing here. I struggle to think of any possible sailing manoeuvre which is not a combination of elements which are not novel.
Even sailing backwards, goosewinged, is arrived at by a succession of non-novel steps.

Your suggestion that slowing is better than stopping is, I freely admit, usually the case.

While I can nevertheless think of numerous counterexamples in addition to the one above, I don't see any point advancing them because I think most people, in their sailing style and mindset, would be firmly and durably in your camp.

Those who are not will be able to think of their own examples better than I.
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Old 24-03-2012, 01:57   #22
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
...the perils of conventional wisdom....potatoes will not boil evenly...main does not flog....alternating between periods of being winded and backwinded
That would be what we call flogging the sails. If conditions are calm it will be quiet. If breezy it will be as expensive as it is noisy.

My remarks are not theoretical. I am confident I've had boats in every conceivable state of trim and helm while moving forward, backwards and sideways. Good, bad, racing and otherwise.

What you have described is lying ahull while flogging sail.
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Old 24-03-2012, 02:02   #23
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

"What you have described is lying ahull while flogging sail."

.... sigh .... (gallic shrug)
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Old 01-04-2012, 15:56   #24
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

Flogging happens when a soft sail is presented substantially lined up with the flow, with the clew free to move sideways (across the flow) to some extent - the distance need not be great.

At one limit of clew movement, the sail will develop lift, which will throw the clew to the opposite limit. The sail will then develop lift in the opposite direction, throwing the clew back to where it began.

This alternation is very rapid and can be extremely violent, as we all know; it's not unheard of for foredeck crew on a big sailing vessel to be knocked unconscious by the clew + shackle of a flogging headsail.

If the clew is fixed in 3D space, as I have repeatedly specified in this thread (eg the boom or pole is vanged and guyed), flogging simply cannot happen.

However: If there is too much sail area for the strength of breeze, and/or there is not sufficient leech tension, there will be shivering of the leech. If the whole sail has too much draft*, this may travel into the body of the sail. If the sail is hard, crackly racing material, this will be noisy and ultimately expensive.
(* this can hard to avoid with a rig with lots of prebend. The bend lies fore and aft, and with the boom squared off, there may be insufficient membrane tension to pull the masthead to leeward to remove the belly from the sail profile)
Solution: avoid these settings.

When I talked of "alternating between periods of being winded and backwinded" I was indeed speaking of an alternation due to changes in the angle of attack of the mainsail, either side of zero, due to rhythmical oscillations. However these oscillations are not of the clew position, as in flogging, but of the heading of the entire vessel.

Flogging is like a terrier shaking a live rat; what I was describing is more like a terrier shaking a dead seal.
The alternations might be one or two per minute (more or less depending on size and underwater profile of vessel, and variability of conditions).
Provided the mainsail area is in proportion to the breeze, the transition is comparable in violence to the backwinding which happens to the main from oversheeting an overlapping headsail. In other words, if you weren't watching, you wouldn't necessarily know anything was happening.

Nobody with access to a sailing craft needs to take my word for whether it will behave in the way I suggest it might. Here's how to confirm or refute:

1) Furl or drop the headsail
2) Flatten the mainsail with luff, leech and foot tension
3) Ease the mainsheet fully on a beam reach and keep the vang on
4) Set up the preventer (THIS STEP IS ESSENTIAL)
5) Harden the mainsheet against the preventer
6) Drop the tiller to leeward and keep it there (or wind the wheel to weather and apply the brake)

Watch, consider, reflect (and, for our benefit, post your findings)

By all means try this in too much wind for the area of the main, if you're blessed with an enquiring mind; I think you'll be surprised that the shivering of the sail is not as severe as might be expected.

Please also feel free to try it when conditions would lead you to expect severe rolling: I'm confident it will be less than you would expect, and nothing like as severe as lying ahull (which implies bare poles).

It takes a lot of energy to roll a rig to windward when it's attached to a substantial sail area, there's plenty of viscous drag, for one thing. But there must be other factors, which I do not pretend to understand. Luckily, this is not a faith-based manoeuvre; unlike a placebo remedy, the yacht's behaviour reflects what you do, not what you believe.
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Old 01-04-2012, 16:31   #25
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

I'll give it a shot, but then I'm a newbe.

How do boats that only have 1 sail, (main), Heave-to?

As in any sailing maneuver there are probably boats that work one way or another. The common method of heaving-to using headsail, is probably because most boats are rigged simularly, and have simular headsail, mainsail balance.
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:28   #26
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

There are lots of reasons to keep a heading and lose speed in confined waters. I get that the diff here is that the main is to be held aback instead of swinging free when the boat inevitably rounds up and this will slow her at the same time it endeavours to turn her back to leeward . This could mitigate the tendency to flog,because the period where the boom is swinging free will be reduced.
Keeping the boom and sail to leeward will maybe act as a weights inertia against rolling, rather as trollers like to splay their long poles even when the stabilizers aren't in the water.
That's theory. but I'll try it, even though the results from my jibless, shroudless,battened and technically boomless boat might be skewed.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:40   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup
:

1) Furl or drop the headsail
2) Flatten the mainsail with luff, leech and foot tension
3) Ease the mainsheet fully on a beam reach and keep the vang on
4) Set up the preventer (THIS STEP IS ESSENTIAL)
5) Harden the mainsheet against the preventer
6) Drop the tiller to leeward and keep it there (or wind the wheel to weather and apply the brake)

Watch, consider, reflect (and, for our benefit, post your findings)

By all means try this in too much wind for the area of the main, if you're blessed with an enquiring mind; I think you'll be surprised that the shivering of the sail is not as severe as might be expected.

.
Andrew - appreciate your patience and have no doubt what you are describing is useful to you and your boat.

I cannot imagine how my boat will not

- accelerate on a beam reach
- head to wind due to rudder angle
- possibly tack, violently roll with a backwinded main and maybe tack back due to main backwinding, while all kinds of stress gets imparted to my preventer system.

The only alternate is the boat heads to wind, the sail flogs, falls off and then accelerates and heads to wind again in a sort of oscillation

If you say it balances on some point of sail (close reach?) then fine. However I still cant visualize why this is any better than setting up a broad reach and lashing the tiller or wheel for a bit.

I am always up for trying new things and may do so if I am out on the water with some time to spend.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:43   #28
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
...

How do boats that only have 1 sail, (main), Heave-to? ...
A pertinent and penetrating question. Given that the mast is inevitably further forward on main-only boats, they're less resistant to being put about when hove-to with the main sheeted amidships than a sloop or cutter. Accordingly it makes sense to fix the boom position further outboard.

A related question is this: how to heave-to when deprived of a rudder?

I was in this situation some years ago when the dagger rudder broke at the entrance to a harbour in a broach, on a 23' yacht I was crewing on.

As we were in a congested shipping lane, anchoring was not an attractive proposition.

I explained the 'main-only, boom outboard' method to the skipper (who mercifully did not possess a mind like a steel trap, sprung shut) and it worked immediately and admirably.

It stabilised the heading enough to make is safe for me to go over the stern on a line. I was able -- not without a struggle -- to realign the blade sufficiently for him to withdraw it back up into the dagger scabbard. It was glass over timber, and the glass on one side was still intact and acting like a hinge.
Retracting it splinted it well enough that we were able to get to sheltered waters under reduced sail.

On a bigger vessel with twin dagger rudders, this method would be a good way of keeping the boat under control while swapping a single blade to the new leeward side, when making long boards offshore with one blade damaged.

And on any sailing vessel, it's worth thinking about trying this to buy some improvement to heading stability should the steering jam.
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Old 18-06-2012, 05:56   #29
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

I just stumbled across something which helped me understand a possible reason why some posters to this thread had such a visceral (verging on scathing) reaction to the notion of stopping en route.

It might be a cultural thing.

Dave Barry wrote about it in his usual hyperbolic but incisive way:

"Family travel has been an American tradition ever since the days when hardy pioneer families crossed the Great Plains in oxen-drawn covered wagons, braving harsh weather, hostile Native Americans, unforgiving terrain, scarce food, and-worst of all-the constant whining coming from the back seat:

''Are we there yet?''

''Hey! These plains aren't so great!''

''Mom, Ezra is making hostile gestures at those Native Americans!''

(etc) ...

Yes, it was brutally hard, but those brave pioneers kept going, day after day, month after month, never stopping, and do you know why? Because Dad was driving, that's why. When Dad is driving, he never stops for anything. This is part of the Guy Code of Conduct.

A lot of those early pioneer dads, when they got to California, drove their wagons directly into the Pacific Ocean and would probably have continued to Japan if it weren't for shark damage to the oxen."

(Just as well Dave Barry is not a sailor!)

And furthermore I've just remembered Bill Bryson describing much the same syndrome, having to pee in a jar as a young family member on long trips because stopping was unmanly and not to be contemplated.

I guess to anyone raised with this headlong, implacable sense of purposeful travel, the idea of taking breaks would be incomprehensible.
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Old 18-06-2012, 06:00   #30
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Re: Heaving To Under Main Only

While I'm posting to this thread, did anyone get around to trying my suggested experiment, quoted above by Ex-Calif?
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