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Old 23-07-2012, 15:39   #16
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Re: Slamming main in calms

The only time I've used the 3rd reef was powering 200 miles back to SF. Light, if any, wind on the nose, the boat rolled badly, and the main was slatting terribly. I'd had a major gear failure and was exhausted from getting back aboard and lashed down and needed a rest. My backstay was iffy because of the damage to the transom, decided to roll in the jib and reef the main and heave to. Next morning, got up and fired up the engine leaving the main up with the third reef and rigged a preventer. Since the reef flattened the sail, there was very little slatting of the main. I was amazed what a noise, roll free day and half powering back to the Bay was.

A deeply reefed main has little, if any, belly in the sail. No way for the sail to wind up as it slats back and forth as the full main would. Since the tension on the foot is at the clew and tack, no slugs to rattle and bang. Woirked a treat for me.
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Old 23-07-2012, 15:59   #17
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Re: Slamming main in calms

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I have always wondered why sailors don't use "fish" (flopper stoppers) when motoring or sitting mid ocean waiting for some wind. A long proven method for fishing and cruising trawlers.
Used them myself when doing a delivery on a shrimp boat but the problem is to be effective they really need booms to attach to and to keep them outboard for a longer lever arm. Not easy to do on a sailboat without adding a bunch of extra poles, rigging and such.
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:09   #18
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Re: Slamming main in calms

I have seen sailboats at anchor with flopper stoppers out, rigged from a spinnaker pole. I wouldn't think it would take much more to make that setup strong enough for fish. Basically most of the rigging is there, at least on one side. I guess what would be needed is an engineering study. But certainly the standard anchoring flopper stoppers would help in a no wind situation if one is just sitting waiting.
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:16   #19
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Re: Slamming main in calms

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The only time I've used the 3rd reef was powering 200 miles back to SF.
I've had success with this same strategy. Reef down to about 50%, flatten the main as much as possible, tighten the mainsheet, crank on the vang, and center the traveler. Stabilizer mode.
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:16   #20
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Re: Slamming main in calms

I have thought a rigidly mounted fish off a well vanged main boom might work. It has a strut instead of chain/wire connecting it to the boom. So it works on both the up and down strokes.
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:24   #21
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Re: Slamming main in calms

deep frz--in the ocean one doesnt wait for wind. one is not sitting without movement,especially if one has an engine. when forward progress becomes too low, then the mechanicle genny is s tarted and forward progress is maintained, with a main sail or a jib or a split rig, mizzen and hib, to catch whatever wind there is and assist the forward progress some--sometimes as much as 2 kts, when there isnt obvious wind.
do not forget current drift.
when i was being taught sailing, we did the drift--boat was also on a current and we did wait that way for wind, whistling and scratching the mast. that 1903 built sloop had no engine. with engines, that waiting thang aint no mo. (was sure a good excuse for being late to dinner!!!)

even with my old and baggy sails i dont get slamming--they will flog, but that is more a slapping sound, as opposed to slamming.
sail flog is a lot gentler with a prevention device of one or other sort--be it vang or preventor.
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:46   #22
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Re: Slamming main in calms

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I've had success with this same strategy. Reef down to about 50%, flatten the main as much as possible, tighten the mainsheet, crank on the vang, and center the traveler. Stabilizer mode.
Same here. On one particularly windless passage I had more than enough time on my hands to try *everything*, 3rd reef was the only thing which really helped.
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:50   #23
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Re: Slamming main in calms

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deep frz--in the ocean one doesnt wait for wind.
Occasionally one most certainly does



But not with a slatting main
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Old 23-07-2012, 17:05   #24
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Re: Slamming main in calms

hhmm.. since 1987 i only had to drift once--off cedros with a bad starter---but we were assuredly not holding still...
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Old 23-07-2012, 17:13   #25
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Re: Slamming main in calms

This is another situation where a cutter-rig is handy -- use the stay sail as a steadying sail.

Rigging a preventer on the main boom, and balancing the tension between that and the sheet, works quite well too provided it is a fully battened main.
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Old 23-07-2012, 17:17   #26
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Re: Slamming main in calms

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hhmm.. since 1987 i only had to drift once--off cedros with a bad starter---but we were assuredly not holding still...
A few days here becalmed here and there offshore isn't such a bad thing, quite nice, swim, cook, read, what's the rush. But slatting sails would drive you insane very quickly.
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Old 23-07-2012, 17:36   #27
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Re: Slamming main in calms

This is a problem that drives both myself and Joyce mad ,there is no real solution .We prefer to just take in the sails and motor we have big fuel tanks so it is usually not a problem for us to motor for a day or so till decent winds come back.

What i would be very interested in knowing is how this effects CATAMARANS do they have the same problem or not.

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Old 23-07-2012, 18:32   #28
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Re: Slamming main in calms

This is a good application for a riding sail. They are cut totally flat, so no belly to slam back and forth. Typically not a large sail, but the higher you hoist it the more effective it will be at damping rolling.
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Old 23-07-2012, 18:45   #29
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Re: Slamming main in calms

When I need the main to stabilize while (motor) sailing then I reef deep and look for best course / boom angle (preventer) to get minimum slamming at maximum stabilizing.

At times we will drop the main and use half-furled genoa - this is easy to get some angle adjustment by just playing with the sheets.

I often lower the sail anyways as I cannot afford too much slamming.

Pure motoring at an angle that rolls least remains then.

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Old 23-07-2012, 19:00   #30
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Re: Slamming main in calms

The slatting offshore or near coastal is the only justification I have found for the STORM TRYSAIL. If you drop your main and put the trysail into the main track, and hoist it as high as you can with the sheet as far aft as possible ( raise or lower a little to get the sail as flat as possible) you will have the best steadying sail known. It is very small in area , and hoisted high makes an almost perfect roll stopper without the noise of a main or mizzen. I have used it at anchor to take all of the violence out of a rolly anchorage , and off shore it works a treat. I have been very dissapointed in trysails for making progress, but they make a truly great roll stopper. My 2 cents worth,____Grant.
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