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Old 12-08-2014, 06:33   #16
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

I am presently on passage just reaching the SE corner of Sweden. True wind as I write this is 28 knots on the nose. Today we tried staying close to land with just a bit of wind shadow, and motoring. I'm using 2800 RPM and it's working pretty well. The seas are just a bit flatter here and we are punching through ok, although fewer RPM was not quite working -- need just that bit of extra power to punch through. At 2500 RPM, for example, the bigger seas would take us aback, making our average speed much, much slower. At 2800 (as I discovered after experimentation) we punch through and keep momentum. Like this, the trip average is actually almost 5 knots, which I consider pretty satisfactory for these conditions.

Burning a lot of diesel fuel, however .

But we've got just 4.3 miles to go before we can turn around Utlangen and sail into Karlskrona, where I'll leave the boat while I go to London.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:38   #17
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigggwilly View Post
Perhaps a little bit late - but you can catch a direct train to Copenhagen airport from Kalmar, Karlskoroner or basically anywhere along the south Swedish coast. (Including Ystad).

I was caught in the exact same wind, except I was coming more from the north, Hallands Vadero, trying to make it to the top of Zealland. It wasn't fun, especially in my lil' 24 footer. A small consolation is that the girlfriend handled it much better than I could have hoped, with high spirits the whole time!
Ystad was my first backup -- just an hour by train to Copenhagen airport! But to get there I would have to get across Sweden's "Little Biscay" -- just not feasible in this wind and with the time I have. If I had time, I would make a long tack out to sea, then tack back, maybe to Bornholm, but I don't.

To CPH from Kalmar is nearly 4 hours; from Karlskrona it will be about 3. By train, that is.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:40   #18
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
My trick is a small, flat, high aspect, foresail plus engine.

You have already tried this and it seems to work for you too.

b.
We're doing it without sails today because we would have to crack off a bit, which would take us out into heavier seas. Our strategy today was to stay close to land and motor.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:44   #19
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Good advice from everbody, I usually start with just the main on a sloop or cutter reefed as appropriate, unless the staysail can be sheeted very tight without chafing somewhere. Sometimes just the corner of a roller furled sail, less than storm jib size, and both sheets tight to hold it near midships can help reduce pitching and give a tiny amount of drive and balance. If too much headsail is up it often backwinds the main, and makes it harder to point high enough.

Normally I have the main strapped right in and feather her right up, main starting to luff, maybe tacking through 45-70 degrees depending on conditions and the boat. But I hate it... Best of luck with the night passage, often helps on coastal stuff if the wind decouples.

We got caught on a bad lee shore as a kid on my folks gaff ketch, the only way we started to make progress was by playing the revs, backing off as the big sets came through, otherwise they would kick the offset prop out of the water, and she would pound severely and stop dead. Then increasing revs in the lulls in the sea state to make the most of every chance. At that time I hoped the morse cable didn't break!
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:51   #20
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Waterspout (or tornado?) spotted just now on passage.

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You can see how much stronger the wind is at altitude.

I've never seen a waterspout so tall before -- looks more like a tornado? Fortunately many miles from us.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:05   #21
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Had one chase us to 50m astern in Croatia last year, too busy to grab the camera unfortunately!
Wind swung from 20k north to 50 k south just beforehand and the yacht a couple of miles behind disappeared which luckily alerted us to drop sail and make haste for the fortunately closeby anchorage
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:23   #22
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Dockhead,

I found out this technique by accident. Bringing a J44 up from Cabo to Ca. Forecast was for NW winds 30-40. Had a bad crew on board so just wanted to get there. Had 250nms between Mag Bay and Turtle Bay. Thought I could make it most of the way before it came. Nope! 50nms north of Mag bay it came. 4am boat rounded up and hove to on stbd tack. Motion was fine so waited for daylight. Had a reefed main and half rolled jib. No motor! At daylight decided to ease the sheet ( sheeted to windward) and the boat just took off upwind! I used the sheet to throttle the speed of the boat as we started to hit 7 kts and we're launching and submarining. Settled it back to 6 kts and made 100nms up the rhumb line a day, for 2 days with no motor going to worry about! True the J44 is good upwind. Was steady 30-35kts on the nose. Weather guru said I would make NO northing at all!

Good luck on your trip! Bashing not fun!
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:57   #23
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Dockhead,

With your mast height (over 18m) you unfortunately can't use the eastern channel into Karlskrona, so you'll be sailing a few extra nm. Coming into Karlskrona from that direction, be absolutely sure to respect the buoyage. Between Kungsholm and Dronningsholm, the swedish built a wall about 1 meter under the surface of the water (to force enemy warships into the deeper channel where they could blow them to bits with cannon from Kungsholm).

The navigatible channel is a couple of hundred meters wide so no problem . just make sure you respect the buoys.

You'll find lots of room in the marina. The facilities are at the far end of the harbour from the guest slips, so you'll end up walking a bit.

There is a fish restaurant in the marina - take my advice and do NOT patronize it. There is another one right by the guest slips - that's ok
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:50   #24
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Dockhead,

With your mast height (over 18m) you unfortunately can't use the eastern channel into Karlskrona, so you'll be sailing a few extra nm. Coming into Karlskrona from that direction, be absolutely sure to respect the buoyage. Between Kungsholm and Dronningsholm, the swedish built a wall about 1 meter under the surface of the water (to force enemy warships into the deeper channel where they could blow them to bits with cannon from Kungsholm).

The navigatible channel is a couple of hundred meters wide so no problem . just make sure you respect the buoys.

You'll find lots of room in the marina. The facilities are at the far end of the harbour from the guest slips, so you'll end up walking a bit.

There is a fish restaurant in the marina - take my advice and do NOT patronize it. There is another one right by the guest slips - that's ok
Thanks for all that!

Yes, we had to slog around Utlangan -- another 5 miles upwind!

The wind just increased all day long, and was over 30 by the time we got to Utlangan. I expected that when we turned the corner, the torture would finally be over, but nooooo -- beam to the seas, we got tossed around, green water in the cockpit. At least we had a nice downwind sail into the harbor, all the way to within a cable of the dock!

50 miles of this, in 10 hours, so exactly 5 knots average. I think in terms of time that's quite ok, but I'm afraid we burned a ton of that sweet Russian diesel fuel I was hoping would last until Helgoland
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:09   #25
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
You (unfortunately) have all the correct answers in your post.

#1 don't motor directly into decent size waves - waste of time. You can motor directly into the wind if there is no fetch/waves.
#2 with waves do motor with mainsail up at shallow angle (22 degrees on Hawk is usually about optimal). Just slightly different than in your post . . . . I use more mainsail and no jib/staysail. I feather out the mainsail to the desired heel angle - which Yanmar suggests is under 15 degrees, which is more heel than I suspect you are using. Make the mainsail as flat as you can - pull in outhaul.
#3 sailing into waves you need to use more (sail) power (with resulting more heel) than you usually do to punch thru them. Once going down the uruagray coast we needed to make significant progress into 30kts (to get to harbour before a 55kt front came thru). We usually have a double reef in by 25kts (true) but needed full main to punch into this sea (25-30 degrees of heel). What is optimal here will depend a bit on your keel.
#4 I second the 'go at night' suggestion, because often the winds are less (because of land heating/cooling). That is a proven/usual option for instance going west in the beagle canal when there is often 30kt's westerly during the day but 5-10kts less at night.
I find this discussion to be fascinating. I've always been totally confused that people say that they can point higher using the engine. The engine will increase boat speed, meaning you have to actually bear off to stay in trim, not the other way around.

I guess the answer to my confusion is that you're not trying to keep the sails in trim. You're just using the sail to stabilize the boat and maybe getting a bit of drive from it while you're at it.

Evans, I don't understand what you mean by "feather out" the mainsail. It sounds like I want to put the sail on the centerline, double reefed and as flat as possible, then bear off just enough that I get my 15 degrees of heel. Is that what you mean?

Do you actually get drive from the sail pointed that high up into the wind? I can't imagine my jib doing anything but flog that high up into the wind, but I have a full batten main, so I can definitely pinch high with that sail.
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Old 12-08-2014, 17:32   #26
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

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Evans, I don't understand what you mean by "feather out" the mainsail. It sounds like I want to put the sail on the centerline, double reefed and as flat as possible, then bear off just enough that I get my 15 degrees of heel. Is that what you mean?

often simply on centerline made flat, but I can think of two cases when I actually ease the trav/'feather' the main out a bit off centerline. (1) is if the waves are such that I need to point broader than about 25 degrees to get the boat moving. In which case, in strong winds, I may need to feather the main off to maintain the desired heel angle. (2) Usually, for me at least, there is a favored and unfavored tack toward the destination either because it is offset from the wind direction or because the waves are not all in alignment with the wind, or because navigationally you have to make some turns around rocks/marks. You may even be able to point at the destination on the favored tack at some point with the motor but can't under sail (because of the waves stopping you and leeway), in which case you may need/want to ease/'feather' the trav a bit on that tack.


Do you actually get drive from the sail pointed that high up into the wind?

You bear off until you do get some drive. You will see a big jump in the speedo when you do. How far off you have to go will depend a lot on the sail condition and keel. Low 20's do it for Hawk, but remember her (flat water) sailing polar optimal angle is 27 which is quite a bit higher than most cruising boats.

At least as I do this . . . I am still 'sailing' the boat and getting drive from the sail and trimming the sail. It is not just to damp down rolling - if it were I would use the trysail for that, which I do when motoring in no wind/big swell offshore.



I can't imagine my jib doing anything but flog that high up into the wind, but I have a full batten main, so I can definitely pinch high with that sail.

Agreed. I don't use any jib doing this both because it will not point as high but also because it makes for more work when tacking
......
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:52   #27
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Motorsailing? Luxury!

I had to do the red sea without diesel as we had used the lot coming up the gulf of aden. That was 7 days on the nose. Against the current.
Then, last year, 14 days upwind, solo, key West to St Martin, again I used my fuel positioning so most of it was just plugging into it. 14 days. Lol against the current.


Now do you wanna know my secret?? ?? ?? There ain't one. You just have to plug into it and keep on plugging.

It'll make a man out of you



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Old 12-08-2014, 19:09   #28
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Wow, Mark, as if we couldn't guess that there is no secret.

Since many folks who post here are sailers, we certainly do know you can beat into the wind and we know it is a hard slog. Unfortunately, for some folks who have limited time for their annual cruises or who have to make a passage so as to get back to their much loved desk jobs, making distance in a set period of time has to occur. Just one of the realities for folks who are not free of the bonds of wage/salary slavery. It doesn't mean we don't know how to do it or that we don't want to do it - it's just something we gotta do now and then so we can make the next port against contrary winds.
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Old 12-08-2014, 21:37   #29
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

Here's a pic from today's earth.nullschool.net for your area. Doesn't look like fun. Good luck.
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Old 13-08-2014, 01:47   #30
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Re: Making Progress Upwind in Strong Conditions

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....Agreed. I don't use any jib doing this both because it will not point as high but also because it makes for more work when tacking
If I use a scrap of jib I use both sheets, and pretty much centre it, so for tacking it really is self tending, sometimes I ease one side slightly if the wind free's or if I need more drive. Watch for chafe on the sheets if they end up over the shrouds, and drag the cars forward on a low cut sail.

It can help slightly, as much by reducing the pitching, and weather helm as any extra drive. and it also can stop the forestay pumping. but to be honest I mostly just use the main on it's own as Evans does.
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