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Old 03-12-2008, 07:14   #46
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A last note

Well Michael—Your original post has certainly engendered an interesting discussion, No? Hopefully you will have been able to divine the information you needed…

As a final response to some of the comments my own contribution(s) seem to have generated…

Jolly Rodger: ‘…I expect to be inundated with lots of lovely money when I unveil my square sail device, which unfurls a whopping great sheet of canvas, …’

Humm…the foregoing seemed to imply you’ve invented something, eh Rodger? N’any case, when’s the unvailing? I’m up for anything that makes sailing down wind easier/faster/safer.

Southern Star: ‘Actually sv HyLyte, unless sailing downwind ( eg. beating, close-reaching or even beam reaching) the force of the wind (the apparent wind) increases as you head up.’

Humm… well, SoStar, your are correct to the extent that as one heads up the apparent wind does increase, but as the sails’ angles of attack are reduced, the transverse component (of the “apparent wind”) that generates heeling moment is reduced while drag soars, hence the apparent wind increase is only momentary. Accordingly, the old doggerel taught at junior sailing programs (at least when I was a child): “In a Puff, spring a luff; In a lull keep her full”. Of course, most boats will do this naturally anyway (“weather helm") unless the process is interfered with. However, unless one is quite hard on the wind and the luffing is relatively modest, heading up will cause the yacht to heel away from the turn—momentarily increasing, rather than decreasing, heel, hence my earlier comment regarding turning into the heel.

Ex-Calif: ‘We'll wing on wing on occasion but it's definitely not the fastest point of sail. Off the wind is better with the genny.’

Absolutely, as discussed in a prior thread on the subject, a 20º course deviation to reach increases one’s VMG substantially more than the increase in distance sailed. Unfortunately, in Michael’s case, the distance he has to run to reach his mooring in Alamitos Bay from the breakwater is commonly dead down wind in building seas and is so short, and so constrained, one cannot readily reach off; and, having breasted the jetty, impossible to do so.


s/v HyLyte

"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:09   #47
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I only stuck my oar into this discussion to suggest there is another way to sail downwind, than a couple of jibs or main boomed out. I'm not claiming to have 'invented' anything; since it has been pointed out that roller furling yards are 'old news.' I knew this and have examined and sailed a few, including variations, like square sails which pull out like drapes. Most are custom fabricated and expensive, so I devised a method whereby just about anyone with half decent boating skills could make a roller furling square sail system, then hoist it up a fore mast, be it sloop, ketch or schooner, and wend their way downwind practically blindfolded.
It is not the sort of thing one would install on a 24' sloop, but for a robust cruising boat it is a serious option—especially compared to a large spinnaker. The windage and weight is negligible on such a vessel, against the benefits when sailing down wind.
Unfortunately I have been personally stymied for the moment from buying the boat I want, (by the economic downturn), but when I sort it out I shall install two yards on the foremast, flying a course and topsail, both of which will be furled, reefed and braced from the cockpit.
When this is done and tested at sea I will let everyone into the process.

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