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Old 10-07-2015, 18:23   #16
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Re: Tacking angle

The N31 is an excellent sailing boat and can be expected to point very well. German Frers has never designed a slow boat in his life nor one that couldn't point well so start looking for something other than the boat design.

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Old 10-07-2015, 18:48   #17
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Re: Tacking angle

I've sailed on plenty of boats that routinely tacked through 80 degrees or less (monos & multis), even in abysmal weather conditions. But the catch(es) were; budget (lots of $ to spend), design (sails & boat), & (lack of) comfort... watch the VOR for examples of all 3.
Or as the old expressions go:
- "You can have any 2 of the 3 - Speed, Comfort, &/or Economy".
- "How fast do you want to go? Answer: "How much money do you have".

The bottom line is what are you happy with & can you afford; sailing (performance) wise, and fiscally, in terms of VMG. As VMG, coupled with playing the tides, wind & weather, yields the ultimate yardstick, CMG.

If you seriously want to give your boat a tuneup in the tackling angle & VMG department, ask a few "go faster" types (serious racers) to look over your boat & sails. And or bribe them with a 12 pack, to go out for a sail with you, & evaluate the sails & systems on your boat.

~ BTW, with that route, only give them half of the 12 pack during the eval, & the other half when you get back to the dock :-)

Option #2 would be to hire some professional help in the form of a good sailmaker. He/they may be able to give your sails a "face lift", meaning that by doing a slight recut (after seeing them being flown on your boat), & tuning where the seams lay by a small amount, you might get an extra 5 degrees of pointing angle out of them
Also, they'll go over all of gear which you have onboard, in terms of both sail & rig tuning tools. In addition to those which are possible for you to add... Including recommending which ones, & at what cost.

There are likely a lot more of them than you think ("tools" for tuning your boat''s wind powered engine). I can name 2 dozen off of the top of my head, easy, & by well employing only a quarter of them, you could likely gain from 5-10 degrees of upwind angle per tack. Plus 1/4 to 3/4 of a knot (on a lead mine).

The issue is that most folks either don't know about them, & or how to properly use them. That, or simply don't want to be bothered with; getting, learning how to correctly use them, or some combination of these cop outs.

However, there are some GREAT, inexpensive, & simple, tuning guides available. Not to mention that which you can learn a Huge amount online, for free. Via Sailmaker's & various racing oriented websites, amongst other places. And of course, by signing on as crew on a racing boat. Even if it’s just the Wednesday Night Beer Can Series.

Whatever tools & or techniques which you choose to employ. In the end, it's not your tacking angles that make the ultimate difference, but every little thing that you do which contributes to your VMG.
And the HUGE curve ball on top of that, is continually learning how to use the; winds, weather, & tides, to your best advantage.
As on a 2-day long race, at the highest levels, I’ve gained 6hrs on the competition, in the last 10nm of the race, simply by playing the tides & currents well. AKA knocking several boats right out of contention for any torphies.

Ah, & a couple of things which I almost forgot, especially with the nod to thin wallets. If your sails are getting long in the tooth, aka, baggy, soft, & dirty. And they’re made out of Dacron, you can have them professionally laundered, in addition to getting them re-resined. The latter really helps to firm up the cloth again, which goes hand in hand, with having the sails maintain their proper shape, when tuned with their various, respective controls.
Lemauney sail laundering & re-resining - Bing

Also, here are a few resources for sail & rig tuning, plus getting better performance out of your boat in general:

The first below reference is a good, inexpensive, easy to understand tuning guide, which covers over 95% of what the experts/pro’s know & use. And as my brother said, years after attaining his first black belt. Being an expert simply means having mastered the basics.
Sail and Rig Tuning: Ivar Dedekam: 9781898660675: Books

The North U Fast Course (Guide to Sail Trim, Rig Tuning and Crew Work): David Dellenbaugh: Books

And any Sail Loft of quality, will have both information on, & links to sites which will help you to both tune up your personal skill set, as well as the “tool kit” for upping the sailing performance on your boat.


The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:19   #18
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Re: Tacking angle

Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
The N31 is an excellent sailing boat and can be expected to point very well. German Frers has never designed a slow boat in his life nor one that couldn't point well so start looking for something other than the boat design.
That Niagara 31 should point ok, but still won't point with an Ericson 35 Mk III if for no other reason depth of the keel. (with a skipper that knows how to sail it)

The Ericson has a fin keel and draws 6' 2" plus it has a 29' water line. The N31 draws 5' and has a little over a 24' water line.

Both should out point a full keel boat though of similar size.

Now if that Niagara has a main that is a bag, forget about it. It's not going to point worth a crap. If the Skipper has zero down haul on and the luff is loose, that will affect the pointing also.

If his mast is raked forward rather than aft, he will not point as well as an N31 with the mast raked aft.

If he has zero prebend and the wind is up, the N31 with prebend will point closer to the wind.

If the wind is up, and he has a gigantic genoa flying, he won't point as well.

If the wind is way up and he isn't reefed, he won't point as well.

Then there sheeting and traveler position depending on the conditions.

Also, does the boat have full battens? If so, are the battens stiff or easily flexed?

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