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Old 19-06-2018, 16:05   #1
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Is it my boat or me?

I have a 1979 US 305. It has a lot of windage (not sure if this is the right term but she sits high out of water). I was sailing in about 15 knots of wind on a beam reach and I could not get her to turn downwind (wheel steering). She would turn into the wind but the wind on the hull seemed to keep her going on a beam reach. I tried letting the boom out until the main luffed a bit, still no, so I tried letting the jib out a bit. Still no turning. Am I doing something wrong or is it just the way the boat is? Any and all advice would be great! I have sailed for 8 years and had this boat for the past two. It does not handle anything like my ex-Catalina 27.
Thanks
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Old 19-06-2018, 16:11   #2
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Were you heeling too much for the rudder to stop functioning properly? If so, reef.
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Old 19-06-2018, 18:12   #3
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

If you picture the mast as the center of your boat, you can tell which sail (jib or main) is forcing your boat to turn. As toobig says, start by reefing your main, your new boat balances differently than your old.
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Old 19-06-2018, 18:13   #4
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Is the jib a large genoa? Under the right conditions we can get significant weather helm from the genoa alone. It's counterintuitive, but letting it out a little can make it worse (adds shape to the sail, which adds power, which increases drive but also weather helm).

Next time, with the main eased as you had it, try tightening the genny. If that fails, I guess just let it out a lot, when it luffs you should be able to turn any which way.
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Old 19-06-2018, 19:27   #5
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Also are you trying to turn into or away from the wind? If you’re turning into the wind you need some speed or you’ll stop turning before you get all the way around.
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Old 19-06-2018, 20:04   #6
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

What you describe is a common problem with many cat boats particularly when wind pipes up. the balance of rig and weak rudder action are the problem. I suspect the balance of your rig and keel is such that you need to reef main early much like a cat boat. The other remedy is to deepen your rudder or add area to it that is not lost when heeling. Boats with centerboards also need to take their position into account.
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Old 19-06-2018, 21:40   #7
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKA-None View Post
Also are you trying to turn into or away from the wind? If you’re turning into the wind you need some speed or you’ll stop turning before you get all the way around.
Away from the wind thx
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Old 19-06-2018, 21:43   #8
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

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Originally Posted by goat View Post
If you picture the mast as the center of your boat, you can tell which sail (jib or main) is forcing your boat to turn. As toobig says, start by reefing your main, your new boat balances differently than your old.
Reefing looks like a common answer. Gonna go out next windy day reefed and see if it works!
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Old 19-06-2018, 22:31   #9
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

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Reefing looks like a common answer. Gonna go out next windy day reefed and see if it works!
Yes, whatever the exact nature of the problem, reefing should solve it.
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Old 20-06-2018, 09:48   #10
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

If issue with weather helm using Genny is counterintuitive. You should have lee helm.

Is your mast raked too far Aft?
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Old 20-06-2018, 11:05   #11
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Just to answer your other question: The amount of space from water line to deck is called Freeboard. Windage is 'The sum of those parts of a boat other than sails that catch the wind', so it includes mast, rigging, fixtures, deckhouse, etc. as well as the boat's freeboard.
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Old 20-06-2018, 11:35   #12
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

I've found that a dirty fouled bottom, prop or rudder can negatively affect steering.
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Old 20-06-2018, 11:57   #13
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Two thoughts:

1. Easing your mainsheet so that the sail luffs is a pretty good simulation of how the boat would sail with a reef in the main. I can't imagine that you'll come up with different results.

2. Next time, make sure the rudder is actually turned a sufficient number of degrees to be effective when bearing off. I can imagine that perhaps your rudder stops (cable or other means of keeping your rudder from turning too far) could have been caught up somehow, or perhaps something shifted in the lazarette and kept the quadrant from turning as far as it is intended to turn.

An easy test would be to flop over onto the other tack and see if you have the same issue when bearing off.

Cheers,

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Old 20-06-2018, 12:08   #14
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Make sure you have some speed, not stalled. I've seen lots of boats sailing sideways, sails over sheeted on a reach.

Ease out the main. Make the main luff. Backwind the main. Push the boom out if you need too.

If you have a small jib, leave it sheeted in. The wind force on the jib forward of the centre of the boat will help turn downwind. But if its a big genoa with a large overlap (aft of the mast), then this might be the cause of the trouble to begin with. If thats the case, then you just have too much jib out for the conditions. Roll some up.

I live on Lake Ontario. At the west end of this great lake is toronto. Lots of money, no wind. So all the boats there have huge overlapping jibs... 150, 170, or all the way to the cockpit even. I live at the west end of the lake, Kingston. We have lots of wind here. Too much, most of the time. Small craft warning more often than not. Those Toronto boats come up here with their big sails set and show us their keels. They sheet in hard (on any point of sail) heel way over, and slide sideways down the waves. I like to take a reef early, and sail the boat standing up, under control, and make good speed in the direction my bow is pointing.

Rant over.
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Old 20-06-2018, 12:13   #15
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Re: Is it my boat or me?

Maybe try this:

On a reach, lock the wheel with the rudder amidship. Now steer with the sails. If the sails are trimmed and balanced, the boat should go straight for a long long time. Steering with the sails is a fun exercise. Everyone should do it once in a while.

Another exercise is to steer with your weight. Moving your weight around the boat affects the heel, and hence the drag of the keel. Weight to leeward heads you up, wieght to windward and you bear off.
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