Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-03-2015, 06:35   #1
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,939
Images: 1
How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

ON another thread, Iposted this video and it brings an interesting subject to mind. How can you douse your main in this kind of blow? Aside form just cutting it away.

I'm aware of a couple who sailed from Galapogus to Fiji with their sails full up in a heavy blow for a week, because they said they simply couldn't reef or get it down

I have single line reefing from the cockpit on my main (first two reefs) so I suppose I could just winch the damn thing down.

Any other suggestions? The couple I mentioned above noted they felt they could not round up (fear of a real knock-down)

__________________

__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 06:56   #2
Registered User
 
brownoarsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Round Bay, Severn River
Boat: Formerly Pearson 28-1, now just a sailing dinghy
Posts: 1,320
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

I guess the answer is to have a catboat rig, just let the sails rotate!


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
brownoarsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 07:05   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Astoria, NY
Boat: Sabre 38
Posts: 496
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Well, many (if not most) agree having a solid battcar system gives the least friction (at a price, of course). Between it, double line reefing, and a self tailing winch, I'd expect to get the main down in anything.

That's the plan at least.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Stephen

s/v Carpe Ventum
1983 Sabre 38
My Intro
fallingeggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 07:13   #4
Registered User
 
Wrong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,702
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

I can't play the video on my tablet, so I'm responding solely to the question as posed and rather than do 'double work' have copied in my response provided in another thread.

I have my halyards and reefing lines led through swivel, turning blocks and organizers to clutches. The arrangement introduces a fair amount of friction, but this is overcome with a two speed winch located on the cabin top, port side.

This arrangement enables me to handle everything safely from the cockpit. When sailing in ocean conditions, my wind vane">Aries wind vane is a reliable partner enabling me to leave the cockpit most anytime I choose.

Since South Pacific cruising entails mostly downwind sailing, I find myself frequently needing to reduce sail in order to control weather helm and forces on the vane that otherwise negatively affects its performance.

To reef when dailing 'DDW', I bring the mainsail admidship engaging both preventers very securely. In order to keep the leech from being blown forward into the shrouds, I slowly ease the main halyard while at the same time pulling in on the jiffy reef line run through a cringle in the leech. Alternately I pull in the reefing line tied to a reefing cringle in the mainsail luff. As a matter of habit I typically tie the reefing points which keeps the sail captive on the boom if I need to throw in another reef later on. This can be repeated until the mainsail is completely secured on the boom. Of course, keeping the mainsail leech directly into the wind is paramount in order to minimize effort and maintain control. My question for the OP is provided wave height and shape will not make doing so unsafe, why not heave to until conditions improve? Eliminating the mainsail is not in my view the right response.
__________________
Wrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 08:09   #5
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,939
Images: 1
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
I can't play the video on my tablet, so I'm responding solely to the question as posed and rather than do 'double work' have copied in my response provided in another thread.

I have my halyards and reefing lines led through swivel, turning blocks and organizers to clutches. The arrangement introduces a fair amount of friction, but this is overcome with a two speed winch located on the cabin top, port side.

This arrangement enables me to handle everything safely from the cockpit. When sailing in ocean conditions, my Aries wind vane is a reliable partner enabling me to leave the cockpit most anytime I choose.

Since South Pacific cruising entails mostly downwind sailing, I find myself frequently needing to reduce sail in order to control weather helm and forces on the vane that otherwise negatively affects its performance.

To reef when dailing 'DDW', I bring the mainsail admidship engaging both preventers very securely. In order to keep the leech from being blown forward into the shrouds, I slowly ease the main halyard while at the same time pulling in on the jiffy reef line run through a cringle in the leech. Alternately I pull in the reefing line tied to a reefing cringle in the mainsail luff. As a matter of habit I typically tie the reefing points which keeps the sail captive on the boom if I need to throw in another reef later on. This can be repeated until the mainsail is completely secured on the boom. Of course, keeping the mainsail leech directly into the wind is paramount in order to minimize effort and maintain control. My question for the OP is provided wave height and shape will not make doing so unsafe, why not heave to until conditions improve? Eliminating the mainsail is not in my view the right response.
I can only agee with heaving to, my boat however (fin keel - spade rudder) sdoesn't heave to unless the mainsail is at least double reefed.

I wonder how you're going to get the boom (and sail) amidships in a very heavy blow - that will take a lot of muscle power. Certainly on my boat with a 46 sq meter main - it is a difficult chore indeed - and I've not tried it in 50+ knots (and I hope never to have to)
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 08:55   #6
Registered User
 
Wrong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,702
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I can only agee with heaving to, my boat however (fin keel - spade rudder) sdoesn't heave to unless the mainsail is at least double reefed.

I wonder how you're going to get the boom (and sail) amidships in a very heavy blow - that will take a lot of muscle power. Certainly on my boat with a 46 sq meter main - it is a difficult chore indeed - and I've not tried it in 50+ knots (and I hope never to have to)
What's missing in this whole scenario was an early response to changing conditions. You know the saying about when to reef - when you first think about it.

As the wind builds - and it's normally the case that wind strength increases incrementally rather than all at once - a mainsail should be progressively reefed. So, you should never be in a position where you're wrestling with fully deployed main in 50+ knots...
__________________
Wrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 08:56   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Fairport Harbor, Ohio
Boat: Dickerson Ketch 37'
Posts: 9
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Safe sailing would recommend doing this before the winds get out of control. Better safe than sorry!!
__________________
Davidjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 09:20   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 65
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

I have standard at-the-mast double-line reefing. I loosen the main halyard and winch-in the reefing-pennant in an attempt to stop the sail bagging onto the stays. The luff then seems to travel down the track quite easily. I have taken the sail down in this way in a force 9 or above.

I know people with single line reefing who are also able to reef DDW.

However, I would never sail actually Dead-Down-Wind in a blow because the following waves will slew you around and almost certainly lead to a crash-jibe. Then your sail will come down on its own accord. Along with the mast and boom!
__________________
Nadezhda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 09:58   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oviedo Florida
Boat: 55 fleming
Posts: 102
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

For the cruising sailor the time to reef is when you first think about it. It is a good policy to put in a reef before dark bringing the head of the main down to the spreaders.
__________________
wesevans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 10:06   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Arnold MD
Boat: Cape Dory 300 MS 30'
Posts: 22
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

No less a sailor that Carleton Mitchell, three-time winner of the Newport-Bermuda race in his 37-foot S&S centerboard yawl Finisterre, Said "The main is the last sail to come down on my boat" when talking about the 1960 Race in which seven boats were dismasted. You've got to head up to unload the sail and bring the boom near the centerline while you reef. Do it before the blow - don't wait! If you can't handle ocean weather, you shouldn't be out there.
__________________
Captain Fred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 10:13   #11
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Yes, heave-to if sea conditions permit. Sheet in the main as you go around, just enough to keep it from flogging. For some reason, the backed headsail counteracts the forces on the main, and you will not go over ilke you will if you attempt to sail.

This is a huge advantage of in-mast furling for ocean sailing, because you can reef while the sail is loaded up.

Obviously the first answer is don't get caught out like that in the first place.

Sailing downwind in strong, squally weather, I certainly do NOT do as the racer above suggested -- the main goes away first. Sail with rolled up headsail alone -- much more stable, and much easier and safer to vary sail area -- even if you have in-mast furling.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 10:20   #12
Registered User
 
Wrong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,702
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, heave-to if sea conditions permit. Sheet in the main as you go around, just enough to keep it from flogging. For some reason, the backed headsail counteracts the forces on the main, and you will not go over ilke you will if you attempt to sail.

This is a huge advantage of in-mast furling for ocean sailing, because you can reef while the sail is loaded up.

Obviously the first answer is don't get caught out like that in the first place.

Sailing downwind in strong, squally weather, I certainly do NOT do as the racer above suggested -- the main goes away first. Sail with rolled up headsail alone -- much more stable, and much easier and safer to vary sail area -- even if you have in-mast furling.
And, if conditions warrant heaving to after you've dispensed with the mainsail...?
__________________
Wrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 10:22   #13
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,939
Images: 1
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Very obviously you reef at the first sign of approaching bad weather. And I have the habit of reefing very early (i'm in no hurry).

Having said that - the question was:

assuming you get caught, for whatever reason (squalls etc can sneak up on you at night) how can you douse your mainsail if going DDW?

Let's face it - we all say (and think) we're careful sailors - but Sh*t happens to everyone at some time or another.
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 10:24   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 65
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Only if you have replaced it with a tri-sail http://www.cruisersforum.com/images/.../whistling.gif
__________________
Nadezhda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 11:10   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
northwestsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Kenai, AK
Boat: Meta Dalu 47
Posts: 277
Images: 10
Send a message via AIM to northwestsailor Send a message via Skype™ to northwestsailor
Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Two things related to downwind reefing and striking:

1) we have installed a Strong track https://www.tidesmarine.com/sailtrack which greatly facilitates raising and striking a mainsail especially a large one. With the strong track I can usually raise the sail solo without the need for the winch. This was just not possible before the installation due to fiction alone.

2) I usually install a downhaul line from the boom gooseneck through the 3rd reef cringle back down to another winch on the mast. This allows fantastic reef and striking control when you need it most i.e. not headed into the wind. No matter what the main is coming down whether you need to just drop to the next reefing point or a full strike.

Of course reefing early and heading into the wind is most ideal but not always easy with a short crew seaway etc.
__________________

__________________
Victor Raymond
S/V Rajah Laut
1988 Meta Dalu 47

completion by Peter Smith
northwestsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine theway Seamanship & Boat Handling 54 08-03-2015 14:09
Boats that can Handle a Blow? Tia Bu Monohull Sailboats 54 30-04-2013 01:23
furling main sail mast into normal main usage? andreavanduyn General Sailing Forum 9 20-02-2009 09:52
furling main sail mast into normal main usage? andreavanduyn General Sailing Forum 1 10-02-2009 09:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:51.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.