Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-08-2015, 10:20   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Boat: Niagara 31
Posts: 252
Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Yesterday, coming back to harbour, the wind blew up very quickly to 28 knots. I've not much experience with winds at that speed. I had a reef in the main and no Genoa up. The wind was coming at us at 30 degrees forward of the starboard beam, a slight beat. I had the boom fairly well out. Going about 3.5 knots. I needed to turn to starboard to approach the harbour. She wouldn't. Had to drop sail and fire up the engine.

What could/should have I done to make her turn to starboard under sail ?
__________________

__________________
macbeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 10:23   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,347
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

I'm thinking tightening up the main should have allowed you to turn upwind.... in fact it may have forced you to!
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 11:20   #3
Moderator
 
nigel1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 5,181
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Sounds like you were way under-trimmed.
Would have thought with the main properly trimmed, you should have making more than 3.5 kts.
At 3.5 kts, it would be very difficult to come through the wind, a little bit of fore sail would have given you more drive and speed.
One other suggestion, you could have turned to port a bit, get some speed, then try coming back around to starboard.
__________________
Nigel
Beneteau 473
Manchester, UK
nigel1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 11:22   #4
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Interesting. Usually the complaint is about rounding up. I'm guessing without a genoa and luffing the main you were at the mercy of the wind pushing you to leeward.
__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 11:35   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Boat: Niagara 31
Posts: 252
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

I'd tried pulling in the main, but the more I did, the more the boat tipped over (wife on board, is usually good, but water over the gunwale gets her concerned !). Not only that, it was very hard to sheet in and I don't think I'd ever got it to centre. I'd wound in the furling jib, as that had caused us to tip over more.

In retrospect, I think we had too much main out, and the force of the wind and the waves on the side of the boat was keeping it abeam of the 1' to 2' waves.

I tried going to port to pick up speed, but it still wouldn't come around to starboard.

The boat is normally on the tender side, and I think this was another example of that tendency ?

I think I should have put another reef in the main. Yes ? No ?
__________________
macbeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 11:43   #6
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

maybe a problem in the steering linkage or the rudder?
__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 11:59   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,243
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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.

My boat will turn away from the wind quite rapidly if there isn't enough forward motion and rudder authority to counteract it.

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, but fundamentally boats sail best with balanced sail plans. To tack in a confined space you need both sails.

However, in your situation, finding myself in a confined space, with too much main but no jib out, making tacking difficult or impossible, without crew, firing up the engine and dropping the main might be the best decision. That's what I would have done.
__________________
Bristol 31.1, SF Bay.
MarkSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 12:04   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Boat: Heritage West Indies 36
Posts: 513
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

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. With the main eased right out and the luff backing from the air coming off the jib it will be providing very little heeling moment while still giving you the dynamics needed for maneuverability.


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.
__________________
DefinitelyMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 12:11   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,511
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

The jib is the primary source of power on a sloop heading up wind. Without it, your boat can't tack without enough boat speed.

You can actually sail your boat quite effectively with just the jib... try it sometime. Next time you head in, drop the main sail first and sail in using only the jib.

When we have guests aboard, many times I'll sail with just the jib. It's easier to keep an eye on everything and everybody.
__________________
Kenomac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 12:27   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,347
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

with the pressure on the main aft and no jib, seems like you could have turned up while you brought the main in... the boat should have wanted to go up at least so far anyway.
I had a similar experience on a 31 foot boat. The boat had balance issues. heading toward the marina we were on a close reach, but with genny up and full main. Big wind gusts and the boat just would not turn, to the point that we were dragging the turned rudder thru the water turbulent foam behind the boat. Broke the steering cable in fact. Boat was new, cable was new.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 12:27   #11
Registered User
 
jeremiason's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Punta Gorda, Florida
Boat: Sea Ray 270
Posts: 1,427
Images: 2
Send a message via ICQ to jeremiason Send a message via Yahoo to jeremiason Send a message via Skype™ to jeremiason
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

I had the same issue with my first boat, a Catalina 27 on the San Francisco Bay. They do not like to tack in heavy winds on the main alone.

Like the C-27, your jib is obviously your power sail, so eliminating it completely hurts your overall sailing performance.

Next time, reef the main and reduce your head sail about 50% and see what happens. In other words, furl half your jib in and see what happens. If you need more sail you can always ease it back out.

Reefing the Jib also allows the option of back winding the jib to bring it through the wind if your boat stalls.

Another option is use the engine to bring you threw the wind if sailng on the main alone.

The best advise I can give is each boat is a little different. Play around with the sail configurations and you will find a sweet spot for every wind condition you sail in... i.e.: 5-10 kts, 10-15 kts, 15-20 kts, 20-25 kts , 25-??? kts

__________________
Tom Jeremiason
Punta Gorda, Florida

jeremiason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 16:37   #12
Registered User
 
AnglaisInHull's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sailing Lake Ontario
Boat: Mirage 35
Posts: 508
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Had a similar but opposite experience once with a 22' Edel - the outboard was dead and I was trying to come in under sail, discovered it wouldn't tack in strong winds with jib alone. Fortunately I was able to run straight in and drop the sail at the last minute. It worked, but caused some concern among the folks watching from the dock.

So, like everybody says, sail balance is important, and understanding it on your particular boat is really important.
__________________
AnglaisInHull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2015, 17:31   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sydney, australia
Boat: 38 roberts ketch
Posts: 1,021
Images: 3
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

yep, the sails will overpower the steering whenever they want to. Each boat is different. You need to put in a bit of sailing time to learn your boats quirks. In the above situation you made the right choice but its a deal with the devil - instead of relying on the sails, you rely on the engine. Engines have a bad habit of letting you down at the worst possible moment, sails are pretty reliable. Better to keep sails up and run the engine as a safety than have the engine with no backup. Best not to try manoeuvring on main alone unless going off the wind. As suggested above, jib alone would be better for upwind, or better still a properly reefed and balanced sailplan would allow the boat to manoeuvre as normal. When moving from open water to either harbour or tight waterways, I've learned to heave to when I've still got plenty of space, have a bit of a wander up and down the deck and formulate my plan for approaching the situation. I take my time adjusting sails and preparing the engine,then i usually sit on the foredeck enjoying the view 'cos i cant help meself. It makes what could be a panic situation into a nice bit of sailing, usually followed by dropping the pick and making a cup of coffee.
__________________
charliehows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2015, 08:59   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Boat: Kiriť Feeling 446
Posts: 130
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

Does your boat have a centerboard? If so it was probably raised (pivoted) too much. The reaction center from the board was well aft of the centre of pressure on the main. This is not good.

If your boat has no centerboard then you should think of setting your mast aft of it's present position.Have someone knowledgeable tune your rig.

You will learn quicker, more safely and will enjoy sailing a lot more.
__________________
SaltyTanned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2015, 09:25   #15
Registered User
 
Scaramanga F25's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 466
Re: Why couldn't I turn to starboard ?

You could " ware ship " in these conditions.
Search this on you tube.
__________________

__________________
Scaramanga F25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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
You Thought Bundaberg Couldn't Get Worse . . . svBeBe Pacific & South China Sea 25 27-11-2012 15:23
A Quiz for the Experts Only: Why Couldn't the Outboard Engine Run ? Alecadi Engines and Propulsion Systems 27 09-05-2011 18:47
Double Duty Products and Gadgets You Couldn't Live Without High Heels Liveaboard's Forum 67 23-12-2010 07:11
I Couldn't Help it . . . I Had to Do it ! sww914 Monohull Sailboats 20 12-10-2010 16:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:02.


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.