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Old 28-04-2008, 09:34   #16
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Lots of good advice. The surface of the water will tell you a lot. When a gust like that is coming you will notice a great increase in whitecapping. That is a great warning that more wind is coming, and usually enough advance warning to at least turn the boat in the desired direction.

We all have to take our knocks. There is just so much to learn........
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Old 28-04-2008, 11:51   #17
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For the jib: Leads out and back, halyard on tight so draft stays forward, full on backstay to minimize sag.
For the main: Halyard/smart pig tight, keep the draft forward, out haul tight, board out the main, traveler down, ease the checks to induce spar bend, back stay hard.
Weight out and back.
Sailing upwind feather through the puffs unless its lumpy then twist of all sails saill the bottoms of the sail.
Sailing downwind, keep the boat under the sails (drive off as the puffs hit you).
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Old 28-04-2008, 12:22   #18
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I don't want to hijack this thread so just quickly; Is it a good or bad practice to use a single line for both headsail sheets? My cruising boat has a different line for each sheet, the line's are tied to my jib's clew with bowlines. On a racing boat I just trained on the jib sheets were a single line that was simply looped through itself at the jib clew - effectively turning it into 2 sheets. This appears to be a great idea because it means you have a single very long line that might be used as an emergency halyard replacement or whatever. This system also means there is no knot to get hooked up on stuff at the jib clew. Is there a downside I'm not seeing?
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Old 28-04-2008, 16:41   #19
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Been reading all your responses with interest. Will try running off and rolling up next time the wind is strong enough for it to be a valid test. I trust my helmswoman more than she does I think though we both agree that a boom brake sounds like a spiffing idea anyway!

imagine2frolic - your comment about watching the water's surface is a great one. Normally I do but when this particular gust came I up I wasn't paying attention. Right after it hit I noticed the white caps, the spray in my face etc - perhaps a little late.

We also didn't do much about trimming the canves we were carrying. This is something I'm in the habit of doing to avoid reefing but for some reason didn't enter my mind when fully reefed.

Baby steps!
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Old 28-04-2008, 17:01   #20
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Hubec,

My boat came with a "cow hitch" on the genoa. That's the knot you're talking about, I think. But don't expect to untie it! The strain on the knot is immense and it becomes solid. I cut it off when I changed my gennie sheets. Yielded two lengths of braided line for other purposes.
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Old 28-04-2008, 23:00   #21
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Move your genoa car aft so that the lead angle (ie the angle between the genoa sheet and the deck is 20 - 30 degrees, rater than the normal 40 - 50). This will flatten the bottom of the sail and allow the top to twist off. as a result, you should (a) reduce heel, and (b) allow you to point higher (which will also reduce heel)

The above advice is relevant to both your genoa and your staysail, so even if you have furled your genoa, you can still do this with your staysail sheet cars

Crank on as plenty of backstay; this should flatten your main. Likewise, crank on as much luff tension as you can get (via halyard tension if you are reefed). You want your main flat as possible, so your reefing method will want to put plenty of tension on the foot too.

Drop your traveller as far as you can. It is better to have the main sheeted in, but down the track, than to have sheet out. However, ease the vang to allow the boom to raise when you ease ease sheet, as this will twist the leech off and allow air to spill out of the main.
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Old 30-04-2008, 06:38   #22
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The best time to reef is twenty minutes ago.
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Old 30-04-2008, 07:15   #23
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Hubec,

My boat came with a "cow hitch" on the genoa. That's the knot you're talking about, I think. But don't expect to untie it! The strain on the knot is immense and it becomes solid. I cut it off when I changed my gennie sheets. Yielded two lengths of braided line for other purposes.

I use a larks head (same as a cow hitch) and I have no trouble undoing it at the end of the season. A little bit of wiggling and it comes undone.
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Old 30-04-2008, 09:04   #24
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Flat Main?

Great replies to a situation that I have found myself in as well.

I have chartered cats a few times and still getting the hang of it. I have a question for Nordicat:

I have a fully battened main on my cat, and use a 2 point strategy. First is let out the mainsheet just enough to maintain some drive in the sail, if I need more depowering I loose off about 2-3 feet of main halyard. This opens the top of the sail, without the flogging, as the battens stabilise the whole thing.

Can you explain this more. It seems to go against my understanding of flatening the main as the wind pipes up.
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Old 30-04-2008, 09:58   #25
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I sheet the traveler to windward, and ease the mainsheet a little to leeward of centerline to start, to put some twist into the main to spill off some power. When the boom just starts lifting I vang down, only hand tight on a 4 to 1.

The gusts are only a half minute long I'll have the mainsheet uncleated and pay out sheet for the initial blast keeps the speed up in the direction I want to go. Pay it out as the strain comes on, let the angle spill the wind off, by the time the short gusts are over she's still making good speed My main is only 200sq feet, so I can man handle her a bit. (The loose vang keeps the boom from lifting any further when I ease out the mainsheet... fine line between twist and a wind bag! )

If its really piping up, I run the jib sheets back to the genoa cars. The sheet angle lets me ease them way out without flogging them to death. (My 100% has a nice high clew.)

When the wind decides to go steady I put up a 170% laminated carbon fiber genoa, and some half inch polyester sheets and make the cabin a mess. A lot of fun when the spray is in your face and your looking down at the water... but she doesn't point very high with that sail combination.
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Old 30-04-2008, 11:03   #26
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Originally Posted by Rich_Maler View Post
Great replies to a situation that I have found myself in as well.

I have chartered cats a few times and still getting the hang of it. I have a question for Nordicat:

I have a fully battened main on my cat, and use a 2 point strategy. First is let out the mainsheet just enough to maintain some drive in the sail, if I need more depowering I loose off about 2-3 feet of main halyard. This opens the top of the sail, without the flogging, as the battens stabilise the whole thing.

Can you explain this more. It seems to go against my understanding of flatening the main as the wind pipes up.

This is what I do when I need to depower quickly. Under normal conditions, you adjust the camber of the main to the windspeed. Most cats have no way of bending the mast to flatten the main further. Also many cats don't have a vang, well at least mine doesn't.

With no vang, there is a limit to how much you can release the sheet, too much and then the sail as well as the boom start flogging! Not a situation I want.

Getting caught in a strong gust, I prefer to point up, rather than fall off, as that increases the speed, but also as they don't heel, creates a strong sideways force on the rig, before it turns into increased speed.

So you can point up, let the main out and just use the jib/geboa for forward motion. I let the main out using the traveller that runs across most of the boat. This also to avoid excessive boom movement if the sails start flogging.

To further drop the "tilting forces" I release the main halyard 2-3 feet, so the whole top of the sail opens up. This releases the wind pressure up high primarily, but is does not lead to the whole sail flogging. Also I don't risk breaking any battens against the stays, as the top part of the sail is above these.

This manouevre will of course change helm balance, so action to maintain heading is required,otherwise she will fall.

I hope this explains it a bit better.

Regards

Alan
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Old 30-04-2008, 21:38   #27
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I think all he ideas so far are outstanding. Maintaining max boat speed is the result of a lot of the techniques.

Every time you go out in a blow you'll put a little more in your experience bag.

If we are racing we will try to keep the boat a max speed.

For most of our weekend sailing we have a lot of new folks - If the wind is over 25-20 kts we will set sail for about 80% of the conditions. The boat doesn't heel as much we still make good way, no drama on gusts, kids don't cry, dogs don't bark, ladies don't pee their panties and no one spills their adult beverage.

We also use separate jib lines for a similar reason. Our lines are red and green. "Pull the green rope" is a lot more understandable to a guest than, "haul the starboard jib sheet"

PS - The DE38 is a cool boat. I looked hard at one here. You have lot's of options on sail plans. You will learn what works over time but tips from current owners might help. Are you involved with the DE webboard?
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:21   #28
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Haven't got involved with the webboard yet but will probably pop our heads up there at somepoint. I think that down east out east was sold at the same time we bought ours, perhaps we'll meet sometime. So far we're very happy with the boat - it sails better than I'd been led to believe and has a pretty comfortable interior, pretty much the compromise we needed.
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