Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-09-2018, 15:29   #31
Registered User
 
SVRocinante's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Where ever the wind blows - Currently in Maryland
Boat: Hanse, 400e - 40ft
Posts: 367
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Thanks again folks and yes, I think your’re correct Andrew.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elandra65 View Post
I think you are overthinking it and trying to oversimplify at the same time...
__________________

__________________
Carlos & Maria
S/V Rocinante
SVRocinante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 15:58   #32
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sydney, australia
Boat: 38 roberts ketch
Posts: 1,169
Images: 3
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

I'll accept that you are serious in asking this question but it would have been a more appropriate topic of discussion 60 years ago. Its ironic that the development of seriously efficient upwind sailing systems postdate the development of reliable mass market small marine diesel engines. Where the sailing rig is not as efficient on a cruising boat, using the engine to increase the upwind angle is pretty much common practice.
Personally, I prefer postponing travel until a favourable weather window is predicted – another modern innovation unavailable to the earlier sailor...
__________________

charliehows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 16:41   #33
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Caribbean live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 4,061
Images: 83
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

We don’t easily tack the big jib with multiple head stays so long tacks to the lay line or beyond. We also find motor sailing if diesel is not an issue increases our speed and improves our angle.

Mind the current might be stronger in-shore or where it is shallow. If a big wind shift is predicted try to take advantage
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 16:59   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Queensland, Australia
Boat: None at present--between vessels. Ex Piver Loadstar 12.5 metres
Posts: 848
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

I look to see if and when there is an expected wind shift and from which direction, and make sure you are in the optimum position to take advantage of it.

The other factor is current. Tack much further against the cross currents than you need to do when sailing with them.

That is my take--others may be more helpful. When simply sailing in a neutral sea with no expected change in wind, try to be on your Rhum line when the wind drops and you have to use the iron spinnaker. Obviously, the fewer tacks the better--but proximity to coasts, hazards, or shipping channels are all factors. I find that timing is everything.
Mike Banks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 19:46   #35
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 6,797
Images: 43
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

You've got plenty here but I would add that I always FEEL like I am making faster progress to my target when I tack more But, if my geometry is right, given a uniform sheet of air mass facing you and a uniform sea state 15 or 20 miles wide (which never happens but...) the number of tacks does not change the distance ya gotta travel. The cone is just to minimize the hassles if you get headed while too far out off the rhumb line. I'm always quibbling with myself over this too... 'cause I always seem to be going upwind, till it's time to go home...
...and tacks for my classic boat translate into a curvy zig-zag plot, not the sharp edged awesome VMG of those newfangled fin-keel, spade rudder, flat, long water line jobs!
not complaining though!
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 20:15   #36
Registered User
 
ilenart's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: West Australia
Boat: UFO 34
Posts: 52
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

I'm not familiar with the area you mention, however if there is any swell or waves that could determine a preferred tack. Having some twist in the main and jib and easing off a bit can also help to keep the yacht driving forward thru the waves.

Ilenart
ilenart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 20:17   #37
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,256
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailcrazy View Post
Depends on how much of a "purist" you want to be. We are cruisers, and going to wind is just not that much fun! Every season we leave our marina in Puerto Rico, and head towards the BVI/USVI.....40+ nm straight east into the trades (which are almost always easterly!) IF we can sail it....we do, but if the wind is within 30-35 degrees of our course...it's Iron Wind time! Taking the seas head on is better than taking them at 40 degrees off the bow, the shortest distance is a straight line, and we make better SOG motoring than tacking back and forth; and, we want to arrrive in daylight! It's not that we can't slog on, but we much prefer to get through the slogging as quickly as we can.
I imagine it is different boats, but if the wind is blowing, we are always MUCH LESS comfortable heading straight into the seas under power. I'd rather do ANYTHING else. Slower VMG too. We are faster to destination and much more comfortable at 50 degrees TWA.

I have sailed many boats that I would never want to be sailing upwind on. They pound and hobbyhorse, jump all over, and just generally give a miserable ride.
billknny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 20:31   #38
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,919
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Looks like the OP has a Hanse, they often have the selftacking jibs, if so tacking on every minor header can really help VMG. A 5 degree knock means (if I have my logic right) a 10 degree improvement in heading when you tack, which correlates to a huge improvement in VMG. Gradual persistant shifts are much harder to get right.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 20:35   #39
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 6,797
Images: 43
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I imagine it is different boats, but if the wind is blowing, we are always MUCH LESS comfortable heading straight into the seas under power. I'd rather do ANYTHING else. Slower VMG too. We are faster to destination and much more comfortable at 50 degrees TWA.

I have sailed many boats that I would never want to be sailing upwind on. They pound and hobbyhorse, jump all over, and just generally give a miserable ride.
Yeah I was kinda surprised by that too. I also prefer NOT to take the seas head-on, whether the engine is running or not. Heading off, with the main up, probably reefed, and not heeling more than 10 degrees or so but stabilized, with the engine powering too, is very comfortable to my sensibilities...
...slamming upwind for a while will also disabuse one of any fanciful notions of sleeping before the mast... no matter how nice the v-berth looks in the pictures
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2018, 04:07   #40
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dana Point, Ca.
Boat: olsen / ericson 34
Posts: 319
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

The wind gods know were you are planning on going, and enjoy presenting her wind gift to you on your bow, having you tack to your destination.

We just keep in simple, we hold the most favorable tack toward our destination or rhumb line the longest. The unfavorable tack toward that goal, we make a shorter tack.

As to the time it takes to come about , is not going to be a big deal, especially if you have two people on board . Erica and myself, and both of us are well seasoned and it just takes a few seconds to come about and trim in.

In strong winds , we absolutely reef down, single or double reef. We roll in the jib to 110%, We also re-set the lazy sheet block, moving it forward before taking. After getting established on the new tack, we re set the now windward sheet block. Zero effort. Tension on the leach and foot of the jib are equal.

Also, to keep life easy, we run the traveler down just a bit, just before we come about, no hard pulling to reset it after tacking. We are sailing close to the boat's lines, and not on the side of the hull. Reefed down, speed is just great, and no or very little weather helm or rounding up and no excessive heel.

If we get a noticeable wind shift of several degrees, usually near land , that causes us to fall off from our rhumb line, or our destination, we come about. Of course land masses also can mean substantial wind shifts or lees with light air. We are ready for them and well get ready to come about .

If it is an unfavorable wind shift, we tack, if we get into a lee, with light or no wind, we tack. If we run out of air, or boat speed, due to land mass near our destination, we roll in the jib and motor.

Sometimes ( when motoring, ) with a steadying mainsail , we will haul the traveler up to back wind the main and keep it from luffing or flogging. If the wind comes back, we reset the traveler and roll out the jib and resume sailing.

So do what you gotta do, for the circumstances that mother nature has delt you. and that will vary with her whims.

On long passages, say 1000 miles along a coast line, to hold a rhumb line, or close to it, there are times , hopefully short, when we will sail with the main as a steadying sail, jib rolled in, with the bloody iron jenny banging away, so we can point higher to the wind and more toward our destination.

But , if we can sail, we flat sail.

As the other very knowledgeable posters have commented there are many factors involved in the decision as to when to tack.

We are all sailors, and we learn to work with mother nature, weather, currents, wind shifts, lees, sea states, land masses, etc.

On shorter 40 mile passages, we know that the wind will shift later in the afternoon, we will sail as best we can, so that when the wind shifts, we can come about and lay our destination in one tack at our best speed, on a close hauled or very close reach.

We have a sail boat because we like to sail. The less engine time the better. But, when circumstances warrant, we are happy to have that hunk of iron in the engine room available .
Lihuedooley77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2018, 14:07   #41
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Guilford, CT
Boat: Bristol 35.5 1978
Posts: 203
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Was just reading about how to get from here to there most efficiently in Bill Seifert's, "Offshore Sailing" (copyright 2002). So assuming sea state being equal along whichever track you take, which has already been debunked as unlikely, you can obtain a polar diagram (see attached) from US Sailing for your specific boat that is a graphic representation of the theoretical speed a sailboat should attain in different wind speeds and angles to the wind. So given the true wind direction, bearing to destination, and true wind speed you can determine the deviation from your course to arrive in the shortest time. Haven't contacted US sailing(and this book is 16yrs old) yet but will do and see what they provide based on genoa, propeller and spinnaker, etc..
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Polar diagram Example Offshore Sailing B Seifert 2002.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	409.5 KB
ID:	177096  
Hoodsail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2018, 14:08   #42
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 689
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

"Of course, as is usually the case, the wind is dead on my nose!"
"Nose" presumably meaning the direction you desire to head.
When the wind is dead against your destination, that is time to consider motoring instead of tacking through 100 degrees and incurring leeway. Particularly when the distance is not far as you have indicated. If the wind shifts away from dead on the nose then you can change back to sailing but on a tack that is not so far off the line to the destination.

Of course if the wind is inducing steep waves then bashing directly against such is not a fun option, better to modify your course so as to take them at an angle.
Montanan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2018, 14:53   #43
Registered User
 
SVRocinante's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Where ever the wind blows - Currently in Maryland
Boat: Hanse, 400e - 40ft
Posts: 367
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Thanks again folks - lots of great responses!

I’ve got to throw in an explicit Thank you to you Lihuedooley77.
Truly appreciate the level of detail and varied examples - Thank you!

regards,
__________________
Carlos & Maria
S/V Rocinante
SVRocinante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2018, 01:58   #44
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 52
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

You're on the wrong forum...sailboat racers have given this topic much more thought than any cruisers! (Joke)

Seriously, the Bible on this is Stuart Walker's Tactics of Small Boat Racing. The following essentials are relevant to dinghy racers, offshore racers...and cruisers wanting to get from A to B efficiently.

Firstly: given constant conditions and perfect ability to pick your "layline" i.e. the heading to the destination that you can "lay" given wind, tide and leeway...one tack is perfect.

Secondly ..conditions are changeable and only partly predictable, and we're fallible. So chuck firstly overboard and start again.

First, in the absence of external information "sail the long tack" (as many have said above). Choose the tack that takes you closest to the destination. Even if you start dead downwind, then as you set off on starboard you are "opening up" the angle so that port tack steadily becomes the "long tack". In other words, prefer to sail approximately in the middle of the diamond defined by your start, your destination, and your sailing angles...rather than "taking a flier" or banging the corner".

Why? Because if anything changes or you mess up your layline calculation, you ensure you are still sailing close-hauled. If you "overstand" or "overlay" your layline you will end up reaching into your destination and sailing frustrating extra distance.

Put another way...if there's a major windshift such that the whole trip is no longer a beat, you might as well be as geometrically close (in a straight line) to the destination as possible i.e. in the middle of the course not on the sides.

So that's if you have no weather or tidal prediction. It's entirely an exercise in managing the risk of a change in wind. You'll lose more from an adverse shift than you'll gain from a favourable shift, so you might as well stay in the middle where all shifts are favourable (a shift in either direction reduces the distance you have left to sail).

Now suppose you have some idea what the wind will do. Whether it's a geographic bend, an oscillating breeze, or you expect a permanent shift, the principle is the same...sail towards the tack you expect to become favoured. (Permanent is defined relative to the duration of your leg; if you're sailing for twelve hours then a wind change at 8 hours could be permanent; if you're crossing the Atlantic then no shifts are permanent and you think more strategically about expected weather patterns).

As I said, sail towards the expected shift. If you expect the wind to swing right (veer, in the Northern Hemisphere) set off on port. You expect the wind change to appear as a "header" on port and a "lift" on starboard. You then tack onto starboard when you reckon (allowing for the shift) that you can make your destination.

In an oscillating breeze, you ideally want to sail on the lifted tack, and sail slightly (half a degree) fast-and-free towards the next header, upon which you tack. But that depends on your willingness and ability to tack at intervals dictated by the wind. Oscillations can occur at 3 minute intervals or less, so for cruising purposes probably not. Also they are prevalent in lightish airs in coastal waters when you're unlikely to sail upwind much anyway.

Now overlay the "stay in the middle" thinking with "sail towards the windshift". Risk management still applies. You still never want to be "on" the layline for any length of time because if you are then all windshifts are unfavourable. A header means you still have to tack; a lift means you are sailing free and covered unnecessary ground on the previous tack. Successful racers (and efficient cruisers) play it conservatively. If you're confident of a veer (a "rightward shift") then start off on port, but don't go all the way to the layline. Go maybe 2/3 of the way there. You'll still benefit significantly from the shift but you're unlikely to get stuck on the layline or overstand.

Long...but helpful?
richr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2018, 06:00   #45
Registered User
 
SVRocinante's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Where ever the wind blows - Currently in Maryland
Boat: Hanse, 400e - 40ft
Posts: 367
Re: Sailing into headwind - cruising, not racing

Quote:
Originally Posted by richr View Post
You're on the wrong forum...sailboat racers have given this topic much more thought than any cruisers! (Joke)
.
.
.

Long...but helpful?
Appropriately long and very helpful - Thank you!
__________________

__________________
Carlos & Maria
S/V Rocinante
SVRocinante is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising, head, racing, sail, sailing, wind

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
Designs based on racing rules vs not john61ct Monohull Sailboats 17 27-05-2018 09:36
Wtd YouTbe video - several racing boats crashing into headland KrazySailing Seamanship & Boat Handling 0 18-01-2016 16:40
90' USED RACING TRIMARAN COMES COMPLETE WITH THE WINNING TRANSPACK RACING CREW Sand crab Multihull Sailboats 6 02-09-2014 21:40



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:59.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.