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Old 08-08-2014, 13:47   #16
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Have you explored backstay tension?
The Moody 54 is cutter rigged with full height forestay, so the backstay is much less useful as sail control, I believe (as compared to fractional sloop rig).

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Old 08-08-2014, 14:00   #17
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Originally Posted by DoubleWhisky View Post
The Moody 54 is cutter rigged with full height forestay, so the backstay is much less useful as sail control, I believe (as compared to fractional sloop rig).
On my HR 40 (cutter-rigged sloop, masthead forestay) the forestay provides a tremendous amount of sail control. With tree-trunk masts like I have and the Moodys I 've sailed you are not going to the change the main sail shape with the backstay but you will definitely change headsail performance. Running backstays make a huge difference when you have a staysail flying.

For the main on a boat with a mast with a lot of section modulus like mine you'll get more done with vang, cunningham, outhaul, and halyard. That doesn't reduce the impact of backstay tension before the mast.
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Old 08-08-2014, 14:35   #18
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

They also have in mast reefing so if you could bend the mast and they are quite substantial then you may have problems reefing. The 54 does have running back stays.

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Old 08-08-2014, 14:49   #19
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Have you explored backstay tension?
I have played with backstay tension, but it doesn't do much on my boat, as I have a masthead rig, triple aft-swept spreaders and a very hefty mast section. Backstay tension is magic on fractionals, but not on rigs like mine.
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Old 08-08-2014, 14:51   #20
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
They also have in mast reefing so if you could bend the mast and they are quite substantial then you may have problems reefing. The 54 does have running back stays.

Pete
Indeed, as you will know since you've sailed with me a time or two, and have personally set those running backs

Pete7 and I had a rollicking cross-Channel together last September -- we did the Scuttlebutt Cherbourg rally despite the fact that it had been cancelled due to heavy weather . The sail back was a beam reach in an F7 with a significant sea running and a splendid roller coaster ride . A magic day. Strong enough weather to be really intense, but not quite strong enough to be actually frightening. English Channel sailing at its best.

We do set the running backs with the staysail, mostly to get the sag out of the inner forestay.
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Old 08-08-2014, 15:09   #21
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

Despite the F7-8 and some dubious sail trimming as we charged along, she went like the Flying Scotsman on rails. Indeed we reached a tidal gate having crossed the channel too early and faced the prospect of having to slow down or even stop in a F8.

Interesting thread, you often here the suggestion that modern yachts need to be sailed upright and here are first hand accounts showing the advantages.

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Old 08-08-2014, 15:56   #22
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

Thanks for the OP. I can definitely relate.

We race a Beneteau 323 every Wednesday and close hauled to the windward mark in 12+ knots of wind it definitely wants to round up and left to it's own devices, at 14+ it's gone. I get it that on round, beamy cruising boats anything over 20 degrees of heel you're asking for trouble but it's incredibly frustrating because, let's face it, that's not a lot of wind.

We don't have a cunningham or adjustable backstay but in 12+ kts of wind everything else is on hard: halyard, outhaul, vang, mainsheet, and the genoa cars are way back but we still have trouble. And just like the OP, dumping the wind with the traveler in gusts frequently isn't enough (and most of us aren't blessed with a world class main trimmer in the pit who can devine gusts before they happen and react accordingly and I'm not a good enough helmsman to consistently pinch up and fall off to mitigate the problem).

80 boats on the water and no one else is reefing so intuitively I know that's not the answer and besides - 14 kts is not that much wind

Always willing to learn a new trick so next time I will try moving the traveler more to windward and easing the mainsheet to put more twist in the top of the sail even though, like the OP, it's contrary to everything I've ever read or seen. Never thought of it before and I don't know if it will work on that boat in those conditions but it's worth a try.

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Old 08-08-2014, 17:24   #23
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The sail back was a beam reach in an F7 with a significant sea running and a splendid roller coaster ride . A magic day. Strong enough weather to be really intense, but not quite strong enough to be actually frightening. English Channel sailing at its best.

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Quote:
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Despite the F7-8 and some dubious sail trimming as we charged along, she went like the Flying Scotsman on rails. Indeed we reached a tidal gate having crossed the channel too early and faced the prospect of having to slow down or even stop in a F8.

Interesting thread, you often here the suggestion that modern yachts need to be sailed upright and here are first hand accounts showing the advantages.

Pete
Once wind strength is available to reach hull speed a lot of sail trim "sins' can be covered up.

One sign of a great racer/sailor is the guy getting performance in 5-10 knots... I am amazed by how many day sailors hit the happy button at 5 knots.

Hull shape on different boats can be a real gotcha especially old converted race boats. Some were designed with beam (IOR boats) and designed to heel to take advantage of the extra water line - of course these were designed as crewed boats with active trimming and helming.

Most all production boats will have a design or favorite heel angle. Then of course you need to look at how the keel was designed to perform.

What we would call "well behaved" boats are pretty much designed to go to weather when overpowered or broached.

I am actually amazed that my boat can take this "huge" genoa that was never designed to be on it and never show any real sign of lee helm. When we get the sails right under any wind through 45 knots (my max so far) I can basically release the tiller and she tracks straight.
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Old 08-08-2014, 17:33   #24
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Thanks for the OP. I can definitely relate.

We race a Beneteau 323 every Wednesday and close hauled to the windward mark in 12+ knots of wind it definitely wants to round up and left to it's own devices, at 14+ it's gone. I get it that on round, beamy cruising boats anything over 20 degrees of heel you're asking for trouble but it's incredibly frustrating because, let's face it, that's not a lot of wind.

We don't have a cunningham or adjustable backstay but in 12+ kts of wind everything else is on hard: halyard, outhaul, vang, mainsheet, and the genoa cars are way back but we still have trouble. And just like the OP, dumping the wind with the traveler in gusts frequently isn't enough (and most of us aren't blessed with a world class main trimmer in the pit who can devine gusts before they happen and react accordingly and I'm not a good enough helmsman to consistently pinch up and fall off to mitigate the problem).

80 boats on the water and no one else is reefing so intuitively I know that's not the answer and besides - 14 kts is not that much wind

Always willing to learn a new trick so next time I will try moving the traveler more to windward and easing the mainsheet to put more twist in the top of the sail even though, like the OP, it's contrary to everything I've ever read or seen. Never thought of it before and I don't know if it will work on that boat in those conditions but it's worth a try.

Froggy, what you describe sounds like a classic case of blown out sails. A visit from your friendly sailmaker and some painfully expensive new sails just might make much better sailors out of you and your friends.

More twist may reduce your heel angles but it won't make up for having the draft too deep and too far aft. Sad, but IME true!

Jim
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Old 08-08-2014, 17:54   #25
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Froggy, what you describe sounds like a classic case of blown out sails. A visit from your friendly sailmaker and some painfully expensive new sails just might make much better sailors out of you and your friends.
Jim
Ain't it the truth. Funny how money can fix most problems. I'm a club sailor so it's not my boat and the owner (in her 80's) is probably disinclined to purchase new sails so we muddle through as best we can with what we got.

It is a nice fantasy though.
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Old 08-08-2014, 18:03   #26
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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.. I am amazed by how many day sailors hit the happy button at 5 knots.

"Happy button...?" Boats have a button I can push to make me happy Never saw that in the owners' manuals. Maybe I should read the fine print.
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Old 08-08-2014, 19:11   #27
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Ain't it the truth. Funny how money can fix most problems. I'm a club sailor so it's not my boat and the owner (in her 80's) is probably disinclined to purchase new sails so we muddle through as best we can with what we got.

It is a nice fantasy though.
Well, that kinda rules out some nice 3DL sails next week! But if the sails are as bad as they sound, it is possible that a recut could help quite a bit, and wouldn't be all that expensive. Again, a chat with the sailmaker might be worthwhile.

The sad truth is that many of the practices you might develop to deal with misshapen sails will not be optimal when you sail with good sails.

The good news is that even with crappy sails you can have a good time sailing... but staring at the transoms of similar rated boats for too long can cause discouragement.

Jim
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Old 08-08-2014, 19:15   #28
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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"Happy button...?" Boats have a button I can push to make me happy Never saw that in the owners' manuals. Maybe I should read the fine print.
AKA "Engine Start"
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Old 08-08-2014, 19:37   #29
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

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Old 08-08-2014, 20:23   #30
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Re: Some Things I've Learned About Sail Trim Recently

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Thanks for the OP. I can definitely relate.

We race a Beneteau 323 every Wednesday and close hauled to the windward mark in 12+ knots of wind it definitely wants to round up and left to it's own devices, at 14+ it's gone. I get it that on round, beamy cruising boats anything over 20 degrees of heel you're asking for trouble but it's incredibly frustrating because, let's face it, that's not a lot of wind.

We don't have a cunningham or adjustable backstay but in 12+ kts of wind everything else is on hard: halyard, outhaul, vang, mainsheet, and the genoa cars are way back but we still have trouble. And just like the OP, dumping the wind with the traveler in gusts frequently isn't enough (and most of us aren't blessed with a world class main trimmer in the pit who can devine gusts before they happen and react accordingly and I'm not a good enough helmsman to consistently pinch up and fall off to mitigate the problem).

80 boats on the water and no one else is reefing so intuitively I know that's not the answer and besides - 14 kts is not that much wind

Always willing to learn a new trick so next time I will try moving the traveler more to windward and easing the mainsheet to put more twist in the top of the sail even though, like the OP, it's contrary to everything I've ever read or seen. Never thought of it before and I don't know if it will work on that boat in those conditions but it's worth a try.

How many people are on your boat?
What is the heel angle under these conditions?
What is the boat speed under these conditions?

Why are the Genoa cars back?
Why do you think you need to flatten the mainsail under these conditions?
What jib/genoa are you flying under these conditions?

What "problem" are you solving for? Weather helm?

In general at 14 knots your boat (most boats) are fully powered and you should be readily able to achieve hull speed to windward with no adverse weather helm. You definitely do not need to be reefing.

After you have "shaped" the mainsail for the prevaililng conditions of wind and sea state there are a couple of methods of depowering the main on the beat.

I would submit that you should not be trimming with mainsheet on the beat. I raced with a guy for weeks who could not get this concept and actually told the skipper I wouldn't sail on his boat any longer unless they were interested in taking my advice. They now routinely win races or place on the podium.

They didn't have to buy new sails...
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