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Old 25-07-2008, 23:00   #1
MV
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Wing and wing

I have heard of wing and wing. Yesterday late afternoon coming back to port with the wind directly behind us, I tried letting the staysail out to one side and the main to the other. ALL the other boats were doing this. And ALL the other sailboats looked cool and were quiet. WE on the other hand had the staysail flapping away every now and then with its boom whipping back and forth on occasion. whenever it felt like it. The main seemed tame and stayed put -- but only sorta. It too got a wild hair up its reef on occasion.

What was I doing wrong? I recognize the futility of such a question with no pictures and no video. Still, I am puzzled. Their sails were well-behaved dogs at a breeding show. Obedient and quiet. They stayed PUT. Mine had ADD.
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Old 26-07-2008, 01:22   #2
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was the main let right out to the side stays? the stay sail will need need to be let right out as well
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Old 26-07-2008, 03:16   #3
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When running down wind, on a (boomless) cutter, many sailors take the staysail down, and use the main and genoa (for power) ~ whilst others forego the main, using the staysail and jib.
I don’t know of any who use all 3 sails (simultaneously) downwind.

Fall off of the wind, ease the main fully out, and (perhaps) rig a preventer.
Back the headsail, and rig a foreguy & whisker pole.
Steer carefully.
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Old 26-07-2008, 05:04   #4
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The deal is that whatever sails you are using they need to "see" the breeze and not be blanketed (covered) by an upwind sail. Sometimes you need to sail slightly by the lee with a preventer on the main to get the head sail to draw nicely.

You need a decent breze to sail dead downwind because as the move downwind the apparent wind speed drops and you have nothing to "push" you or fill the sails.
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Old 26-07-2008, 06:03   #5
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I don’t know of any who use all 3 sails (simultaneously) downwind.
Staysails have little use on anything aft of a beam reach. Many sailors only choose to use them in heavy weather when a genoa would be overpowering. Your Willard is not too unlike our boat being a heavy cutter. The lighter recreational boats are going to be a lot more nimble, but when the wind gets to 20 knots they will be headed in and you will be just really getting going.

You need a fair amount of apparent wind behind you to wing on wing. I also find I run downwind easier by sheeting the main in and using the genoa as the main is not as large and the genoa tends to be covered with the mast so far back as it is on true cutters.

For you I would run the the full genoa and not use the staysail running unless it is the only sail and it is blowing a good one. With 10 or more knots apparent on a downwind run you should do pretty good after about 15 knots apparent you need to be mindful of the boat. At 20 everyone else is heading in and you are still comfortable. Above 20 you need to be reefing and at 30 you best be sharp on boat handling as the forces are at a point where injury is very easy. You should be able to sail with the staysail alone or with a deeply reefed main and a partial staysail.
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Old 26-07-2008, 06:57   #6
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The trouble with sailing down wind - wing on wing in building wind conditions is that you CAN'T reef a main on that point of sail. You CAN roll in a head sail or let the sheet go and pull down an hanked on one.

With winds in the 25+ range and a full main you need to turn up into the wind to reef and this can be a bit challenging and lead to a broach. YIKES .. Or dip the boom and tear the sail or break something.

So figure out a strategy to reef the main in a blow downwind. If you are running with only a roller furling headsail this becomes a non issue.

You might try bringing the main to CL to slow down and then execute a 180 as quickly as you can without broaching (getting the rudder out of the water and the boat pinned on her side). This is bad news and to be avoided at all cost.

OT

How do you guys deal with this situation: Full hoist main on a run with very strong winds and the need to reef?
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Old 26-07-2008, 07:27   #7
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First, on the main thread, you will need a whisker pole to keep the jib or staysail from flopping around as the waves rock the boat.

Secondly, on the OT, in strong winds on a run, I alternate between letting the halyard down a foot and pulling down the sail at the mast, then cranking in on the slab reefing line. This is one of the situations where my winch-bit and Milwawkee drill comes in handy, because its a lot of work.

Thirdly, try dropping the main and sailing with the genoa on the lee side and the staysail poled out on the weather side if you are going for a long passage downwind, especially if both can be roller furled. This makes it easy to adjust sail area, and accidental gybes are not a problem. We tried this on our last Atlantic crossing in a sloop by rolling two genoas up on the one roller furler, and it worked really well.
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Old 26-07-2008, 07:34   #8
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Don, Twin luff grooves in the foil?
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Old 26-07-2008, 07:57   #9
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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
......

You might try bringing the main to CL to slow down and then execute a 180 as quickly as you can without broaching (getting the rudder out of the water and the boat pinned on her side). This is bad news and to be avoided at all cost.

OT

How do you guys deal with this situation: Full hoist main on a run with very strong winds and the need to reef?
OT,

What you have written is a description of HOW to broach! Why on earth would you bring the main in before turning upwind in overpowering winds??? If you leave the main fully out, before you come to a beam reach the main is fully luffing and the boat is depowered--no broach, no excitment. If you have the main sheeted in when you start to turn up, in strong winds many boats will round up, rapidly and without control.

I have also never sailed a boat where a mainsail broach resulted in bring pinned down sideways. Typically a mainsail broach causes the boat to round up, violently, to a close hauled course. A spinnaker broach can be a different matter!

As for downwind reefing, a lot of technique here will depend on your sail configuration. Mainsails without battens can usually be pulled down when close to a dead run, while different batten, sail and shroud configurations require different amounts of head wind to come down cleanly.

Bill
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Old 26-07-2008, 07:59   #10
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When running wing and wing, it is best to have the wind slightly on the side of the main. That will keep the genoa full. If the wind goes to the genoa side, the genoa will flap and lose it. Put a preventer on the boom just to make sure, but in a way that it can be quickly released.
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Old 26-07-2008, 08:01   #11
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OT,

What you have written is a description of HOW to broach! Why on earth would you bring the main in before turning upwind in overpowering winds???
Agreed. With the main all the way out, heading up might be festive, but will take the pressure off the main and the worst ought to be some violent flogging while you get to the reefing.
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Old 26-07-2008, 08:45   #12
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Great Ketch is correct. I meant to try to slow the boat down and then of course as you turn let the sail luff by blowing off the main sheet. I don't know that this would work but might. I have never attempted this but I would be concerned about the boom dipping in the water on a beam reach.

How about taking the topping ligt way up so the boom end is way way high and most of the air is spilled and scoop in less a problem and it is more likely to luff in the turn.

Just thinking out loud here.
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Old 26-07-2008, 09:13   #13
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Us cruisers hate going into a strong wind to reef, because that means you get WET. It means closing all the hatches and putting on wet weather gear. Its a lot drier reefing downwind in 30 knots.

defjef--yes the roller furling had 2 luff groves.
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Old 26-07-2008, 09:29   #14
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Hi Michael

Here's a link to a very commercial video that shows how to use a whisker pole. It helped me a lot. One other little trick to use to prevent those very exciting accidental mainsail jibes is to keep the boat pointed just slightly off a true run. By that I mean that if the mainsail is out to starboard, and the genny is poled off to port, keep the wind just off the stern port quarter.



Good luck!
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Old 27-07-2008, 20:19   #15
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I can see I have to go back to school. Now I see it better. I did not know what a whsker pole was -- and that was the thing I was seeing on all the boats returning to the bay. I feel like an idiot. I have been inside the boat way too long. Thanks for the response people. I only wanted to use two sails on the short trip. I thought it would be easier if I just worked with the staysail and the main, so I did not deploy the Genoa Gord. That video was an eye opener. Wow. Back to school for sure. The irony is that I paid for sailing lessons but have only taken two cause I have been working so hard on the boat. And then I just have to go out on my boat..... and then miss my lessons. Sheesh! I have a thin track that is on the mast just like in the video. It is on the port side. That must be where the whisker poll rides. And now to look up "boom preventer". LOL!

Thanks so much for all the replies.


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