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Old 01-12-2012, 13:15   #1
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Heeling

Yesterday was my first time sailing single handed, well first time sailing ever.
It all went well and i quite like it when it was heeling over and getting good boat speed, but if it heeled over too much for me I'd be letting out the main sheet and dumping some wind out of it.
So i was wondering how much heeling is too much can you get into trouble will it tip over or something or was i just wimping out for no good reason... which is kind of what I'm hoping.
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:31   #2
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Re: heeling

What kind of boat is it? If it's a Hobie beach cat, and you're heeled 60 degrees, then you're in trouble

If it's a decent keelboat, then you want to try to avoid heeling more than 30 degrees or so; reef as necessary. More than that, and weather helm will start to build up and things will turn nasty. Not dangerous, really, if the boat's up to it, but not pleasant or efficient.
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:31   #3
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Re: heeling

Philross,

You did not say what kind of boat you were sailing, so its pretty hard to tell you how much heel is ok.

On most keel boats when the toe rail is in the water that is to much heeling.
Keel boats are pretty much self righting. Meaning the more they heel the more wind they release and want to go vertical again.
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:36   #4
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Re: heeling

a narrow older design like a contessa 26 pretty much lives with the rail down. a more modern more beamy boat is overpowered at that point. you'll get to know your particular boat and when ot reef.
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:42   #5
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Re: heeling

Oh yes its a single hull keel boat 22ft and about 6ft beam
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:49   #6
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Re: heeling

Get yours and your crews weight out on the weather rail and sail it as flat as you can. At 22 feet your boat is very sensitive to where your crews weight is located. Your keel and beam percentage wise has less of an effect on its righting moment as that of a larger boat, which depend on beam and keel much more for righting moment.

So by getting your crew as far out on the weather rail as you can, you will maximize the boats righting moment which will get you the most speed, except when you are sailing far off the wind (down wind or with the wind on the quarter).
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:28   #7
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Re: heeling

Your greatest speed will often be with some amount of heel rather than completely flat, it depends on the hull shape of your boat. Heeling may increase your boat's effective waterline length, and therefore increase the maximum speed possible. You need to know your boat to know how much heel is optimum.

By the way, you can shift your weight more effectively with the use of a tiller extension when you are helming.
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:45   #8
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Re: heeling in Darjeeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philross View Post
...Was i just wimping out for no good reason... which is kind of what I'm hoping.
Welcome to the forum fhil. I think you were wimping out.

Wussy.
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:00   #9
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Re: Heeling

Unless you're concrned with the best speed feel free to lay it down flat and balance it like walking the tight rope just for sport!
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Old 01-12-2012, 23:29   #10
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Re: Heeling

Lots of good information here but don't equate heeling to speed. If your wind is abeam or just a little abaft the beam heeling will definitely slow you down and your boat will want to turn up into the wind and give you lots of weather helm. Most modern designs sail better and faster with less heel. 15 degrees or so max. Heeling can be fun when going to weather but, again, don't equate it to speed.

Good luck in finding your slot.

kind regards,
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Old 01-12-2012, 23:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Get yours and your crews weight out on the weather rail and sail it as flat as you can. At 22 feet your boat is very sensitive to where your crews weight is located. Your keel and beam percentage wise has less of an effect on its righting moment as that of a larger boat, which depend on beam and keel much more for righting moment.

So by getting your crew as far out on the weather rail as you can, you will maximize the boats righting moment which will get you the most speed, except when you are sailing far off the wind (down wind or with the wind on the quarter).
No crew
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:21   #12
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Re: Heeling

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Philross.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:32   #13
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pirate Re: Heeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Philross.
Wot Gord just said,,,
As to the heeling... I'd say you've to much sail up for the conditions... but then I'm somewhat parsimonious when it comes to wear and tear...
You can be burying your rails with all sail up doing around 6kts... but try reefing in a bit and you'll likely still be doing near 6kts and with less heel..
At 22ft your 1st reef should go in around 15kts unless your just into trashing the boat and washing your side decks...
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:31   #14
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As a general rule, most smaller boats handle 15-20 degrees of heel well, after that they are off their lines and the rudder may even be mostly out of the water, meaning that you are losing control.

However, the only way to really learn how much heel is 20 degrees is to have an inclinometer, which can be hard to locate on a smaller craft. So that brings us back to rudder control. If you are fighting the rudder consistently, it is time to reef. If you have the sails balanced, but are fighting the rudder on a heel, it is time to let the mainsheet out. If you are consistently heeled over more than you are comfortable with, it is time to reef, even if no one else is. This is especially true if you are near racers, who probably have crew known as rail meat.

You should be able to look up your boat's righting ability. In theory, my boat can right itself from 120 degrees - hopefully with one of us still hanging on in the cockpit. I don't want to try that theory out, but the first time we put the rail in the water I nearly cried and now that I know what it takes to capsize, I feel more confident.

You will get used to heel with practice. Then you will have to remember that if you take guests out, they may not be used to it. Also, on if your boat is small enough or crew to be part of the ballast, those guests will need to know to move around and you will need to be able to tell them where. In light winds, you might want more crew on the leeward side, it helps the sails keep their shape.
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