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Old 05-03-2015, 22:33   #31
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

I think this is related... should I ease the main sheet and snug up the topping lift before reefing to release stress on the slugs?
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Old 05-03-2015, 23:10   #32
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Its what I do quite often.... you just need boat speed... the laws of physics aren't as smart as they think they are... you will be round before they know you are doing it.



Expect to break some stuff in the galley.



Make sure you are ready to haul in the mainsheet and drop the main muy pronto otherwise the biggest danger is you will shake the stick out of the boat.



So you are carrying a full main and its blowing 50+ knots and there is a sea running... dunno ... haven't tried that yet.. best to shorten sail early....otherwise it will serve you right.

Well you are describing what I expected, but on another thread I am getting a slightly more dramatic impression.

Likewise haven't tried it in a real blow yet so who knows. Not sure how well my dinghy and small cat sailing experience scales to bigger boats yet either.

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Old 05-03-2015, 23:25   #33
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

I've been caught a few times with heavy bullets coming down senos and hitting the yacht on the beam when just poking along on a beam reach with a fair bit of sail up ( enough for the conditions before the bullet... too much in the bullet.

Put the helm down and try and maintain course and you will get laid pretty flattish. Leave the helm be and she will round up by herself.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:01   #34
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
I think this is related... should I ease the main sheet and snug up the topping lift before reefing to release stress on the slugs?
(edit - Whoops got carried away and didn't answer your question) - Well, yes. Before releasing the main halyard you definitely should snug the topping lift.

There are many reefing systems. I have a two reef jiffy reefing system as per attached picture except my reffing lines are routed to the piano (coach roof clutches) - I also have a rod kicker (solid vang) so technically I shouldn't need to the topping lift.

So the second variable is crewed or not. Without crew I cheat and use engine and autopilot.

Uncrewed -
- Start engine, go head to wind, set autopilot - 45 seconds
- Release main sheet, release vang, snug topping lift, sheet in main, center traveller - 15 seconds
- Drop halyard until cringle is below ram's horn - 10 seconds
- Go to mast hook cringle on Ram's horn return to cockpit - 30 seconds
- Draw main halyard tight - 10 seconds
- Load reefing line on winch and secure reef - 15 seconds
- Release topping lift, tighten vang, drop traveller - 10 seconds
- Release Autopilot, bear away and trim sail - 15 seconds

Crewed
- Basically the same except faster. I run the roof and the mastman hooks the cringle. I reckon we can do it in less than a minute.

I should point out that I have a 150 furling Genoa. Before I get to main reffing the Genoa is at 100%. If I ever got "caught out" I would furl the Genoa up and I am sure could ride out 40 knots, while feeling like an idiot.

We've been in 45 knots with 50-80% Genoa and 1 reef.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:24   #35
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Maybe someone here should start a thread -- not me, 'cause I'm gonna be mostly absent from CF for a couple of days -- about visual clues to shorten sail.

We already have the roll cloud. I want to add the cloud with a black underside, and also, the sudden ripples on the water from the direction in which you're heading, whilst sailing down wind. i'm sure there are other clues for the observant mariner (and too bad if you're not observant), but maybe someone'd like to add some.....

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Old 06-03-2015, 02:47   #36
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

- Rapidly developing cumulus clouds - Don't forget to check your six frequently
- White caps in the distance
- Sudden shift in wind direction
- Sudden change in air temperature

Boats in the distance are broaching and shredding sails.

"Don't forget to check your six frequently" - We were headed back home west to east in the southwest monsoon (onshore wind) downwind, training run almost land to our port at 300 meters and were going pretty fast. We were congratulating ourselves for going 7.1 knots down a wave. I finally looked back and saw a big assed black cloud and some lightning in it about 3 miles out and closing fast.

We knew we wouldn't get home to the marina in time and even if we did, docking would suck. We reefed, close hauled (90* to the storm) and got almost to the edge of the storm. By the time it got to us it was starting to wane. We got some rain and some good wind but totally cool. After the storm passed/dissipated we were 4 miles out and dead calm, as it will do in Asia. Boring motor for almost an hour to the dock.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:55   #37
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Carsten B, when you are heaving to, do you ease the mainsheet and traveller?


Normally, if you heave to (backwind the foresail, allow the main to duck behind, and turn toward the wind, the main is depowered (so a reef shouldn't be necessary).


While I haven't sailed everything, I have sailed many, and I have yet to see a sloop rig that has to be reefed to heave to.
Yes , we do. Our boat does need a reefed main, otherwise we forereach, which is not bad, but it is not hove to.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:57   #38
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Maybe someone here should start a thread -- not me, 'cause I'm gonna be mostly absent from CF for a couple of days -- about visual clues to shorten sail.

We already have the roll cloud. I want to add the cloud with a black underside, and also, the sudden ripples on the water from the direction in which you're heading, whilst sailing down wind. i'm sure there are other clues for the observant mariner (and too bad if you're not observant), but maybe someone'd like to add some.....

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Old 06-03-2015, 07:11   #39
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Waves increasing in height and frequency without any readily apparent explanation. Swell either developing in previously calm conditions or increase in height from what has previously been experienced for a considerable length of time. Small cumulus clouds that typically precede the arrival of a front or squall. If they're behind odds favour the squall will miss you. Ahead? Maybe, maybe not. Over you? Look for evidence of a distant approaching squall or cumulus cloud mass. Plan accordingly.
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Old 06-03-2015, 17:31   #40
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

There is so much in this thread. To the initial question- sailing DDW the first sail go in my boat is always the main. Even if it is steady at 20knt in the rear. The main is wrapped. I have a rod in my arm because I didn't. So a run in heavy weather I always am working the jib and staysil.
If I was on the boat in the clip- I would have brought in the main, slowly but surely. On my boat it would have smartly brought it into the wind. And no crash. Then heave too.
I have been in a microburst that went from 15knts or so to over 60 in less than 30 seconds. I saw the coming whitewater and misting (spray) coming from about a half mile away. I had just enough time to get the kids in the cabin, close the hatch and we broached. (we were headed into the wind btw, the boat was overpowered and landed going downwind) Once the sails are in the water it is easy to get them down (the spreaders in the water too), and the boat popped up and the traumatized crew was on their way. Another experience that makes me stow the main early.
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Old 06-03-2015, 18:06   #41
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

On a small boat (like the one in the video) you just bear off and lower the main about 4 inches at a time. (reef 1, then reef 2, etc.)

On a big boat, you round up and reef her down/drop the sail.

I have also heard about the following: start the engine, keep on going ddw, pull the main tight and put the car off-center, reef very slowly. They said this could be done with full battens only.

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Old 06-03-2015, 23:38   #42
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Just a question to all of you. How long it takes to to reef your main from full to, let's say, to second reef? And have you done it at all (just get that rag down) when TSHTF as happened to newt in 30seconds, or in a minute?
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Old 06-03-2015, 23:41   #43
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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On a big boat, you round up and reef her down/drop the sail.
Hooray! That's what I thought, but people are telling me it can't be done. I am confused.

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Old 06-03-2015, 23:45   #44
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Just a question to all of you. How long it takes to to reef your main from full to, let's say, to second reef? And have you done it at all (just get that rag down) when TSHTF as happened to newt in 30seconds, or in a minute?
That's a piece of string question. I've pulled down to the first reef in about twenty seconds... once. Every other time something has fouled and it has taken longer. The longest was a good ten minutes. I was lucky the one time it really mattered I got it down quickly, maybe half a minute to get it to the point where the sail was actually capable doing work again, though there were still a few things to go back and tighten/make fast once the course was established and the autopilot was holding a heading.


Edit: Actually I think the weight of our boat really helps here, if I round up properly I get at least 15 seconds before the boat starts to swing off the wind again, so I can use the inertia to my advantage. Probably would not work in really rough conditions.

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Old 07-03-2015, 07:20   #45
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

I think it takes about 60'' to pull in the first reef, in emergency. Say from the moment we think it is emergency to the moment the reef is in.

BUT, in emergency, pulling in the first may not be enough, one may be forced to actually go right for Mr. 2nd.

On a big boat, it takes about 5 minutes if the crew are skilled and all gear co-ops.

In the most hard gust, whatever happens, do NOT let it flog. You lose control and the sail gets shredded.

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