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Old 18-10-2015, 16:40   #46
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Re: How close to wind?

[QUOTE=Dockhead;1926267


The new sails and other mods have given a dramatic improvement in upwind performance, and the boat is in general very different now. She no longer sails fastest on a beam reach -- now (for some reason which I don't understand) she's much faster on a close reach, than on a beam reach, often a knot or even two. The other weird thing is that she now makes better VMG to windward when pinching a little -- that is, well after the point when speed starts to drop off. Before with the old baggy sails I had to crack well off to get up to windward at all -- about 37 AWA gave the best VMG. Now it seems to be about 28, although I'm sailing a knot faster at 32 (37 already feels like a close reach ). I don't understand this either, except perhaps it's because the new sails produce much less drag, so much less leeway, so closer angles become more effective and I don't need tons of speed to overcome leeway, as I did before.

You got exactly what you asked for from your sail maker. Your old sails were too "full" to point high but great when cracked off reaching. Your new ones are flatter so less power reaching. This is the great thing about having a local sail maker. Putting flat cut "racing" sails on my boat would just make it slower. Not enough power in them or a hull to take advantage of the narrower entry angle. Glad to hear you got closer to your goal. To bad it's such a pain to change the headsails on bigger boats. I have a "spring/fall" sail and a larger "summer" sail. But that doesn't always workout lol.
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Old 19-10-2015, 17:56   #47
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Re: How close to wind?

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Originally Posted by ctl411 View Post

You got exactly what you asked for from your sail maker. Your old sails were too "full" to point high but great when cracked off reaching. Your new ones are flatter so less power reaching. This is the great thing about having a local sail maker. Putting flat cut "racing" sails on my boat would just make it slower. Not enough power in them or a hull to take advantage of the narrower entry angle.
Maybe you're right. The sailmaker certainly understood what I was looking for, and I got it.

But I don't think I have less power reaching. I can make the new sails much fuller whenever I want. They have a far greater range of adjustment of the shape, than the old ones. I hardly used the vang with the old mainsail; now it is absolutely essential to play it -- it's become a primary control.


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Too bad it's such a pain to change the headsails on bigger boats. I have a "spring/fall" sail and a larger "summer" sail. But that doesn't always workout lol.
Hah, I know what you mean. I really terribly regret that I can't change the headsails easily. At the moment I'm very happy with the big one -- we've had marvelously calm, warm, pleasant weather here. But soon we will get real fall weather, and watch out in the English Channel when that starts. I'll desperately want the blade up, but without a couple of strapping guys to help -- no way is that happening.
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Old 20-10-2015, 05:54   #48
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Re: How close to wind?

Our fall has already started. We were out in snow showers last weekend.
My "blade" is the Yankee from my old cutter.
I have a crew shortage also, my foredeck are my 10 year old boy and girl.
It's good to hear real numbers people are getting, I will never reach yours or Hawks but gives me something to aim for lol.
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Old 21-10-2015, 09:15   #49
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Re: How close to wind?

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I hardly used the vang with the old mainsail; now it is absolutely essential to play it -- it's become a primary control.
.
Could you elaborate?

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Old 21-10-2015, 09:42   #50
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Re: How close to wind?

I think he is talking about "dumping" the vang when overpowered by a gust. Some race boats now even have a "panic" button on the floor by the helm. Boat goes into a broach step on the button and it frees up the weather helm.
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Old 21-10-2015, 09:56   #51
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Re: How close to wind?

My Hans Christian 38 was a real witch to weather. Had a tacking angle of about... oh... 160 degrees!
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Old 21-10-2015, 10:12   #52
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Re: How close to wind?

Congratulations on your new boat Martin! Malo's are awesome beauty!! In 2012, I have sailed from St-Lucia to Barbados. We have averaged 29 to 31 deg app.. Wind was 23-28 knots. Waves were pretty big but with a long period. It took us a bit less than 19 hours, under sail only. Auto-pilot all the way. We ended up near the northern tip of Barbados, our aim. No tack. Our sails are from UK Sails. Selden In-mast.
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Old 22-10-2015, 06:17   #53
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Re: How close to wind?

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Could you elaborate?

Sure. With the old sails -- which, by the way, were excellent, high quality, Dacron sails made by Hood -- there was not much varying the shape. They would have a fullish shape no matter what you did, and the vang didn't do much at all.

The new sails can be varied from nearly flat to fat-bellied and everything in between. So you are always reaching for that vang to make the sail fuller or flatter. The vang acts directly on leech tension -- the only sail control which does this. The sheet is much less useful than it used to be for that -- it now mostly acts on the angle of attack, with useful leech tension control using the sheet appearing only when the boom is near midships. Because the sail responds so much more crisply to the control input.

With the vang, I can make the new sail so flat that I can "put it to sleep" -- stall it, then feather it by slacking the sheet, and it stops making power altogether, like an airplane's feathered prop. Could never do that with the old one.
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Old 22-10-2015, 06:34   #54
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Re: How close to wind?

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I think he is talking about "dumping" the vang when overpowered by a gust. Some race boats now even have a "panic" button on the floor by the helm. Boat goes into a broach step on the button and it frees up the weather helm.
The vang tensions the leech directly, unlike the sheet, which hauls the boom inboard as well as tensioning the leech, but in varying proportions depending on the boom angle. So when the boom is outboard of the end of the traveller, hardening up the sheet will haul the boom inboard more than it adds leech tension, and more and more the further outboard the boom is. With the vang on, the sheet has less effect on leech tension (since that is already tensioned), and you can use it more for controlling angle of attack of the sail. Together with with the traveller, of course.

The traveller, analogous to the vang, acts directly on angle of attack without any effect on leech tension.

So with the new sails, I find myself making gross adjustments with the sheet, but then leaving the sheet alone, and using vang and traveller for adjustment of leech tension and angle of attack respectively.

Use the outhaul at the same time as the vang if you're making the sail fuller or flatter.

Leech tension is one element (together with outhaul tension) of sail fullness or flatness, but it also determines twist. If leech is tight, the sail doesn't twist as much. Slack the vang (or mainsheet if you're close-hauled), and the sail will twist off at the top.

So you don't have an unconstrained choice of full vs flat; you also have to consider twist, which can't be controlled independently.
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