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Old 04-08-2015, 09:43   #16
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Unfurl your jib so you have a scrap showing. Just a few feet will make a big difference, keep it rolled up enough so you can just sheet it off and let it be self tacking.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:42   #17
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Just a guess here, but the OP stated a few things. Wind 28 Knots. Boat sailing at 3.5 Knots. Don't like to heel.

Those first two things tell me that main was probably stalled out or close to irons and more wind force keeping it that way than the ability to turn up wind.

Even though it is uncomfortable, you need to sheet into the wind to turn up and out to turn down, even though the closer you get, the less comfortable it is with winds that high as the boat heels to dump wind from the sails. If you can't trim the sail to the wind and be comfortable, then you need to reduce sail until you are comfortable with a proper trim.
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Old 04-08-2015, 13:50   #18
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post
With no headsail up the boat is never going to sail properly. In heavy air when carrying too much canvas the general tactic is to keep the jib well trimmed to provide the majority of the driving force and ease the main as far as necessary to keep the heel where you want it but hopefully without having to flog it at all.

Also, if you have the time and opportunity to do so, make sure the main halyard, clew outhaul and vang/kicker are nice and tight so that the mainsail is flat and de-powered. The flatter your sail is, the less aerofoil effect there is, and hence the less power the sail is producing going upwind.
Interesting. I thought the heavier the wind the more you just relied on the main. I guess I'll have to reverse my thinking.

I think you made some good points about the main halyard, etc. Earlier in the day, the wind had been very light, and so I had slackened off the main halyard a bit, and eased the clew outhaul to give the sail a nice curvy shape. (Having been advised to do this by an experienced sailor.) I guess with the increasing wind, I should have tightened up these two.
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Old 04-08-2015, 14:01   #19
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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Chances are the effect of wind on the boat hull was pushing it around to port.

On most boats the bow is higher than the stern, so with the wind abeam, the hull presents more wind resistance forward than aft.

Think of the wind hitting your boat from 30 degrees. The section of hull forward is presenting a lot of wind resistance, and there's the effect of the furled jib, too.

You were stuck in a balanced state, the wind pushing the bow to port, and the mainsail pushing it to starboard.

Sheeting in the main might have helped get up some speed to give the rudder more authority.
Yes, my bow area is quite a bit higher that the stern area, so I think you are right about the forward wind pressure being more than aft.

The wind pressure was too high on the main to hand sheet it in. When my wife and I put in the first reef, we couldn't goto wind, so we let out the boom, and my wife lowered the main halyard, while I pulled on the reef lines. Even after that, I couldn't by hand pull in the main sheet very much. I guess we should have put the second reef in, and pulled the main sheet in via one of the Genny winches if necessary.
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Old 04-08-2015, 14:10   #20
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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Originally Posted by Scaramanga F25 View Post
You could " ware ship " in these conditions.
Search this on you tube.
Thanks. I've done this many times before, and thought of it at the time. However, I was concerned that the boom might go crashing over when we gybed and break something. At any rate, I didn't need to go THROUGH the wind, only needed to head up some more, i.e. less of a beam reach, and more of a close haul.

Actually it's spelled "wear", because in square rigged ships, they used to do it a lot, with consequent "wear" on the rigging and spars.
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Old 04-08-2015, 14:14   #21
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

So, in conclusion, I've learnt quite a few things, which I hope will help me if I find myself in a similar situation again.

Many thanks everyone. Appreciated. Thread closed from my point of view.
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Old 04-08-2015, 16:09   #22
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

I think you did all the right things with a rolled genoa and reefed main as the conditions worsened because your vessel is a little tender. Your vessel just needed a little assistance to manoeuvre and running your motor with an eased, depowered and reefed main should allow you to turn freely.
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Old 04-08-2015, 17:09   #23
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Not enough aft rake in the mast. CEff too far forward.
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Old 04-08-2015, 17:50   #24
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

A big bundle of loosely rolled headsail doesn't help one bit in those sort of conditions either. Enough power, speed and balance are what you need to sail efficiently. Sounds like you had none of these box's ticked. A good lesson to learn.

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Old 04-08-2015, 19:03   #25
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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. . . Actually it's spelled "wear", because in square rigged ships, they used to do it a lot, with consequent "wear" on the rigging and spars.
My Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea says "It has been suggested that the word originated from veer, which has a similar meaning. But the term to wear a ship is the earlier of the two."

I can't think of why this common maneuver would unduly stress a ship. A proper wear is easier on the rig than coming about, which many square-riggers can't even do.
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Old 04-08-2015, 21:05   #26
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

That "nice curvy shape" became your enemy as winds piped up beyond several knots, leading to too much sideways force and not enough forward drive. Baggy old sails will do the same thing. The nice thing about getting sails flatter is that the boat won't heel as much. In puffs, you can let the traveller down, if you have such, or pinch a wee bit into the wind.
I don't suppose you could tell your wife that the boat would sail flatter were she to get out there on the windward rail and hike HARD?
What kind of boat?
PS: what were your telltales saying?
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:00   #27
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

If no drive through the wind...gybe around onto Port tack and make another attempt. I had to do that on some occasions with my flamenca and it worked fine. cheers.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:24   #28
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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Not enough aft rake in the mast. CEff too far forward.
If the CEF was too far forward, unfurling the Genoa would have moved the CEF even further forward, making the situation worse ? Yet, using a Genoa is what most other posters seem to be suggesting ! I'm confused - who is right ? You or them ?

Also, wouldn't unfurling the Genoa have tended to push the bow even further to Port ?

Seems to me the CEF needed to be moved more to the stern so it was further sternwards than the CLR ?
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:02   #29
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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Interesting. I thought the heavier the wind the more you just relied on the main. I guess I'll have to reverse my thinking.

I think you made some good points about the main halyard, etc. Earlier in the day, the wind had been very light, and so I had slackened off the main halyard a bit, and eased the clew outhaul to give the sail a nice curvy shape. (Having been advised to do this by an experienced sailor.) I guess with the increasing wind, I should have tightened up these two.
Well, it's not that you need to reverse your thinking as such. The earlier post was describing how you would maintain control of a boat that is carrying too much canvas. This is how, say, a racing boat would operate since they don't want to reef and then be under-canvassed for the down-wind leg of a race, but the same tactics can be employed if you get caught out in a cruising boat with too much canvas set. You need that jib though, which leads me to:

There's an old rule that you should 'reef the closest sail to the wind first', and i think that's where you're getting the idea that you rely more on the main in heavy air. It's a good rule (so, reef the jib first if going upwind and the main first if going downwind), however you should still be getting the majority of your driving force from the reefed headsail and, in heavy air, using the main to control the heel angle. In light patches when the main is sheeted in hard, it too will be providing driving force, but a lot of that comes from the effect of the air coming off the jib and then accelerating over the mainsail. So again, you need that jib for drive, and the main for balance.

So, if going upwind, reef the jib first but keep enough out to give you your drive, then reef the main if you still feel over-powered. Also, don't be under-canvassed or underpowered. It sounds like the boat was not only unbalanced but probably the main was stalled as well since you didn't want to heel too much. You have to have enough power to get the boat moving so that the keel works. It's not just there to stop the boat from going sideways and stop it from tipping over. It also gives you lift, but it has to have sufficient flow over it to do that.
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:15   #30
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Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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If the CEF was too far forward, unfurling the Genoa would have moved the CEF even further forward, making the situation worse ? Yet, using a Genoa is what most other posters seem to be suggesting ! I'm confused - who is right ? You or them ?

No you're right, it would move the COE further forward, but as it was the boat was stalled and probably just making a lot of leeway. The centre of effort needs to be balanced with the centre of lateral resistance in order for the boat to be able to manoeuvre

Also, wouldn't unfurling the Genoa have tended to push the bow even further to Port ?

Maybe if you took it to extremes by having too much genoa and not enough main, but think about the forces acting on the sheets. The force on the main sheet is pulling the stern up and to leeward. The force on the headsail sheet is pulling the boat forward and the bow to windward. This is one of the reasons that lee helm is so rare. This wasn't a case of lee helm, it was a case of unbalanced sails and stalling of the only one that was up.
I'm more than happy to listen to criticisms of this logic!
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