Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-01-2016, 08:22   #16
Registered User
 
svHannabel's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Great Lakes
Boat: Catalina 34
Posts: 253
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Generally if conditions allow, we'll turn up into the wind to bring the boat back up from a deep heel and make an assessment.

It sounds like you're talking about a short term, quick fix for a strong blow and not necessarily storm tactics for a longer passage, but still, there are lots and lots of factors to consider, so it's best to be knowledgeable and well-practiced so you can make a good decision quickly if the need arises.

Things to consider before deciding whether to turn-up or turn-down are: wave direction, wave height (big seas on your beam or stern quarter can be bad), leeshores, crew ability (ie, can they help with trim, etc. or are you solo?), your intended destination, the duration of the event (gusts, storm, rest, etc.) that's causing you to make a change.

If you're going to turn downwind and run-off, do you have sea room to do so and how well do you and your boat steer downwind in potentially heavy seas?

Here are the tactics we've researched and practice on our boat, though we been in true "storm" conditions: Heavy Weather Tactics - 5 Options for Sailing Through a Storm
__________________

__________________
SailFarLiveFree.com
svHannabel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 09:11   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sequim, WA
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Dana 24
Posts: 165
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Nice post, Gamayun,

We've all been assuming the boat's a mono. I'm wondering whether, if it were a cat, and the sailing social, whether reefing is the best option, as in adjust the sail area to the expected puffs, not the average breeze on the forecast.

If it's a mono, then it depends on what you want to do: a social sail with "crew", or singlehanding to Hawaii. If you want the latter, and you are not racing, then obviously put a reef in and relax. You've a couple of weeks to go. If racing, you might want a different strategy.

Ann
I don't think it would be a fun experience heeling a cat 35 deg.
__________________

__________________
Xthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 09:30   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: channel islands
Boat: lancer 36
Posts: 268
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by er9 View Post
iv'e only been sailing for about a year and a half. i learned on 22ft catalinas and have been sailing a 30' ranger most weekends for past year. its a friends boat so most sails are social get togethers. once in a while me and friend (owner of boat) actually get to go out and practice techniques, not often enough though.

I'm mostly the one at the helm as she controls sails. we are getting pretty good at most condition under 20kt winds in protected bay. i would like to do more sailing further out in the ocean but one thing i still dont understand that effect my confidence a bit is which way is the best way to turn when you find yourself overpowered, heeling at 30deg or more in heavier winds than expected or in sudden gusts.

we know how to de-power the main and furl in the jib and we usually do, especially on social sails when its uncomfortable for guests to heel more than 20deg. but every once in a while though we get in conditions where we get hit by sudden gusts in already strongish winds and the boat heels over dramatically, past 30deg (for us 35+ degree of heel is very uncomfortable). my question is if on a close haul or when heading into wind, is it safer to suddenly turn upwind or downwind if i want to de-power the sails quickly? if sailing downwind....which is better? assuming strong winds and small (under 3ft swells) for simplicity of answer.


i usually turn upwind instinctively but i'm not sure thats correct. it definately heels way more it seems when turning into the wind as opposed to turning off the wind. i think i understand a little about broaching and i assume broaching happens when turning off the wind. even though it seems to heel less when turning off the wind i would not want to poop a sailboat by doing this.

i realize i probably could never broach her sailboat or knock it over, even if i tried in the conditions we sail in but i'm thinking further out. if i was on my own boat (which i hope to have soon) much further out, maybe single handed in much more serious conditions which is a safer tactic?
you say that you know how to depower the main and genoa but i wonder as i've sailed with new sailors with experiences similar to your's who really don't understand what it means to 'depower' a sail. perhaps if you can explain the steps you take to depower your main sail i might offer some help.

that said, which way to turn when you get knocked down or broach for the most part is moot as you'll likely not have a choice in the matter because your rudder is likely already stalled or out of the water. being overpowered in the occasional gusts is not a problem but when you say to me that you're sailing for a period of time with the leeward rail awash you're already way late depowering. so tell us how you depower your main or headsail and we'll be able to help get you on the right track.
__________________
jrbogie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 09:40   #19
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by er9 View Post

my question is if on a close haul or when heading into wind, is it safer to suddenly turn upwind or downwind if i want to de-power the sails quickly? if sailing downwind....which is better
On a close haul then upwind.

If heading down wind go deeper down wind until the genoa is covered by the main sail. Then you can easily furl the jib.

If going upwind and you hit more than a short gust but a sustained squall by heading further upwind you can easily reef the main. When that's Reeves turn down wind to furl the genoa.

Basically when a squall hits there will be some moments where your boat is on its ear while you fix it. Just be brave. Boats are built for it. Never fear having to turn up or down.
__________________
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 09:46   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: channel islands
Boat: lancer 36
Posts: 268
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
What an interesting discussion. I am surprised anyone turns upwind. There must be something to it I don't understand.

I always turn downwind if I get overpowered. If you have some way on, it's like taking one Force or even two Forces off the wind, to turn from sailing close hauled, to sailing downwind. It's like pushing the "pause" button. Heel is reduced, and usually you are no longer overpowered at all. Then you can get yourself sorted, shorten sail, etc., and head back up at your leisure. Assuming you have searoom, of course.

If you don't have searoom, or if you're really badly overpowered -- and I'm surprised no one mentioned this -- heave to. Shorten sail and then get back underway, or make a cup of tea and take a break.

Heading up increases the apparent wind and exacerbates the problem -- in my experience. As you head up, heel increases and you get more and more overpowered. If you pinch up, the sails will start to flap, and this can damage them in a blow, and flapping sails are not easy to handle.
i think his problem is not which way to turn as a new STRATEGY for worsening conditions but more so which way to turn the helm when a sudden gust knocks. i do agree that the best strategy is to give up on anymore navigating to weather and running assuming he has sea room. i too am surprised heaving to hasn't been mentioned if for no other reason than to settle everybody down where you can think.

to you er9, we need more info about your skills as you haven't thought of heaving to either.
__________________
jrbogie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 09:51   #21
Registered User
 
cabinboybob's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Boston
Boat: Tartan 4000 40'
Posts: 15
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

I'd agree generally with "know your boat". For us, if it's sudden and transient gusts, we'll drop the traveler a bit or let the main out until it passes. If it's sustained, it's time to turn up into the wind and put in a reef. It also depends on if it's just us, or if we have inexperienced people with us (we also do sailing charters so we sometimes have people who have never been on a boat before).

I always advise to reef early. Our boat (Tartan 4000) goes so much faster and sailing is so much more comfortable when it's flatter. We actually double-reef our main (I don't even rig the first reef). (I hear the racers in the forum groaning and rolling their eyes ). We put in the reef when sailing high and sustained winds are 20kt. We don't even argue about reefing anymore. If one of us suggests it, we just do it.
__________________
cabinboybob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 09:53   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: channel islands
Boat: lancer 36
Posts: 268
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Basically when a squall hits there will be some moments where your boat is on its ear while you fix it. Just be brave. Boats are built for it. Never fear having to turn up or down.
great advice. i always yell at the top of my lungs,

"EVERYBODY HOLD ON TO THE BOAT!!!"

it may sound intuitive to those of us with experience but i've seen guests trying to crawl up to the high side as they get near the water. you can go overboard from either side but she will right herself eventually and everybody wants to still be aboard.
__________________
jrbogie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 10:11   #23
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
Posts: 1,282
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Have you considered alternatives, like streaming a drogue - personally, I favour a Jordan series drogue after experiences with other types.



Quote:
Originally Posted by er9 View Post
iv'e only been sailing for about a year and a half. i learned on 22ft catalinas and have been sailing a 30' ranger most weekends for past year. its a friends boat so most sails are social get togethers. once in a while me and friend (owner of boat) actually get to go out and practice techniques, not often enough though.

I'm mostly the one at the helm as she controls sails. we are getting pretty good at most condition under 20kt winds in protected bay. i would like to do more sailing further out in the ocean but one thing i still dont understand that effect my confidence a bit is which way is the best way to turn when you find yourself overpowered, heeling at 30deg or more in heavier winds than expected or in sudden gusts.

we know how to de-power the main and furl in the jib and we usually do, especially on social sails when its uncomfortable for guests to heel more than 20deg. but every once in a while though we get in conditions where we get hit by sudden gusts in already strongish winds and the boat heels over dramatically, past 30deg (for us 35+ degree of heel is very uncomfortable). my question is if on a close haul or when heading into wind, is it safer to suddenly turn upwind or downwind if i want to de-power the sails quickly? if sailing downwind....which is better? assuming strong winds and small (under 3ft swells) for simplicity of answer.


i usually turn upwind instinctively but i'm not sure thats correct. it definately heels way more it seems when turning into the wind as opposed to turning off the wind. i think i understand a little about broaching and i assume broaching happens when turning off the wind. even though it seems to heel less when turning off the wind i would not want to poop a sailboat by doing this.

i realize i probably could never broach her sailboat or knock it over, even if i tried in the conditions we sail in but i'm thinking further out. if i was on my own boat (which i hope to have soon) much further out, maybe single handed in much more serious conditions which is a safer tactic?
__________________
Bulawayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 10:38   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 111
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

How much help is this thread? should I turn up wind or downwind? you get both answers. Up wind or Down Wind?
Sailing over powered is not comfortable for most people, most modern cruising boats a designed with a natural increase in weather helm as they heel more. This is safer rounding up might be scary but it's safer, it takes the wind out the sails and the boat comes back up.
If you turn down wind the boat will heel more, my kids like it when the deck edge goes under, but my wife doesn't . best avoided though because it increases drag and slows you down, as your weather helm increases so does drag slowing you down.
the answer depends on boat and rig and what's easiest.
Ease or Dump the traveler , or ease or dump the main.
Or ease the jib and furl in a bit.
heaving to is an option but I prefer to keep sailing.
I worry the advice to turn down wind, It will make the situation worse until you ease the sheets or even let fly. Turning down wind with hard sheeted sails you might find yourself flattened, water up to the side windows and cockpit full of water then? rounded up.
Ease the sheets and turn down wind and it will be more comfortable. if you want to go that way and have room to do so.
My recommendation would be head up into the puff, ease the main, by sheet or traveler, if this is working you may gain some ground and or speed for a while, It's a good indication it's time to put a reef in, furl some of the jib or put a smaller head sail on.
Best to try and keep boat balanced, alternate between reducing main size and jib size. I like to reef first if I have my furling head sail on, if not I drop the jenny and put a blade on first. then I can do two reefs.
As a general rule. I find I tend to sail further faster and more comfortably staying balanced than spending time overpowered. But I don't win any races. Sailing on the edge is fun though.
__________________
Uricanejack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 11:29   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 280
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

You've gotten a lot of advice and things to think about. I see people concerned if you have a lee shore and room to run off. I don't think that the original post was questioning long-term high wind tactics, but rather what to do in a puff to avoid a broach. The answer is somewhat specific to the boat, but in general, if beam reaching or closer to the wind you should turn up to spill some air off the sails and/or ease the main but don't flog the sails. When going downwind on a broad reach/run if the boat heels to leeward DO NOT TURN UP, as this will make it worse and cause a broach. When sailing off in heavy air we would to say "Keep the boat under the rig". So as the boat starts to heel, turn toward the direction the boat is heeling. You can also anticipate the boats' roll. Other controls, like blowing off the vang, is often the first move to depower some boats at least higher performance boats. The vang is less of a factor on cruising boats. I think the specific way to set up your boat for a certain wind condition is too boat specific for this post and not what the question was originally asking... For example, some boats are 'tuned' significantly with rig tension adjustments, while many other boats don't change rig tension at all.
have fun
__________________
zstine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 13:43   #26
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,719
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
my question is if on a close haul or when heading into wind, is it safer to suddenly turn upwind or downwind if i want to de-power the sails quickly? if sailing downwind....which is better? assuming strong winds and small (under 3ft swells) for simplicity of answer.
The devil is in the details! We're not talking squalls here, but puffs.

Come up, in the puffs, use them to gain distance to windward. Do not come up and flog the sails, just come up enough to lessen the heel angle to where you want it. Puffs are the weather gods' gift to you for getting to windward. This is a safe technique.

If you can't find the sweet spot, maybe it's time to reef. The more on her feet you can sail her, the faster she'll go. With old, blown out sails, you'll heel more and not be able to point as high.

You might, however, try traveling the main down a bit to reduce rudder angle, and heeling angle. Don't change the main sheet. Playing the traveler can make life easier for the helmsman, too.

There are lots of adjustments you can try, before you go to reef. Decide what your goal for the sail is: do you want to experiment with different techniques and learn more about how the boat handles? do you want to go to x and have a picnic? Your choice.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 14:29   #27
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,231
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
When I sail a dinghy, and when there are no obstacles (wharfs, shallows, etc), then I always turn 'towards the closer line'. Meaning: I will head up when sailing courses between close reach and beam; I will bear off when sailing courses between beam and broad reach.

Now you can ask what about courses close to beam reach. Right. I bear off when we have a kite, I head up when there is no kite.

I very rough going (for survival reasons) I will often bear off in any boat that has no standing rigging (say a Laser, an Opti) but I will head up on other boats: I have been caught flying downwind in hell of a squall with no sail reducing options (the main pressed to the stays ....). This is only fun when the boat has a planning hull, in displacement boats they do tend to get less stable the faster you go, and in the above scenario you simply have no ways to slow down.

b.
Yeah, what he said. I wonder if my intuition to NOT turn down in bigger wind is due to being taught to sail by racers who are all about Course Over Ground toward a mark? I was told to "steer toward danger" (i.e., head up in the big puffs) and "if in doubt, let it out" (i.e., the sails). If you just steer down wind and don't ease out on the main, then it seems you'll definitely be on your nose and fighting even more for control. Even when you are already going downwind, you should still head up if you feel there's a problem. It will probably speed you up a bit (just search on your boat's "polars" if you really want to get into this), but going further away from the wind may put you in a DDW position when a wave may push the boat around, but I still don't fly a kite so that's a whole 'nother ball game to depower. I'm still figuring this out on my boat, but the ticket for me was a new main with tell tales all over. Then, you need to play with all the parts (vang, traveller, main sheet, and other things such as backstay, which my boat does not have). Do this in all sorts of fairly consistent wind and keep notes. Watch your boat speed and pay attention to how the boat "feels" under the different controls and when you can get all the tell tales flying. Know where wind direction is at all times so you're not confounding things. This is why racing is such a cool teacher because it requires you to focus on a set course with others you can compare to as to how well you're trimming and navigating. But the key is to "sail more." Soon enough, you're going to just feel it when she hits her groove
__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 14:44   #28
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Here's our approach to the topic from yesterdays sail. Like I said, it depends, but if your unsure, usually upwind gives you more options.
https://youtu.be/EBpjaJkbMQ0
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 15:00   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 937
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Try this. Keep all the sheets pinned in for close reaching. Turn into wind until you tack through the wind, let the main cone across but leave the jib as it is. You should now have both sails close in but the jib 'reversed' ie wind on the wrong side. now bring the helm back as if trying to turn into the wind from the new tack. Depending on the boat you may need to play with the settings a bit to get stable balance but should now be 'hove too' at about 45deg off the wind. The boat will more or less stop and you can safely sit out a gale force squall in comfort. Try it you will be amazed. Ideally you want about 15kn first time, much less and it gets harder, much more could be scary but once you get the hang of it you can hove too any condition. Great for when you want to stop for a break or to decide what to do
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 16:51   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,105
Re: Which is a safer direction to head/turn when overpowered?

Usually upwind while letting out the main. Downwind will also reduce heel and improve motion of boat. Just do not jib the boat doing so. Upwind for quick short gusts, downwind if prolong blasts. If your going to reef the main, upwind is almost essential. If you have a reefing fore sail, then downwind best. Of course as everyone else pointed out, sea room issues abound and will determine what is best.
BTW it is possible, nay probable, you can go over to 45 degrees or more in such a small boat. Knockdowns(90 degrees) do happen with enough wind. Keep hatches, ports, and companionways closed. Does not take much water to sink a boat.
__________________

__________________
reed1v is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head

Thread Tools
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
C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall Ram Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 48 24-05-2015 07:25
Which is safer, Durban or Richards Bay? riddon Indian Ocean & Red Sea 10 07-10-2013 05:43
Overpowered on a lake Conair1 Seamanship & Boat Handling 24 22-05-2013 13:21
Is my sailboat overpowered? Buddy_Y Monohull Sailboats 11 21-07-2008 21:15
What to do when overpowered? theonecalledtom Seamanship & Boat Handling 27 01-05-2008 10:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:46.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.