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Old 09-07-2018, 23:22   #1
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Problem using windvane with following sea

I'm sailing on a Vancouver 25. It is a small long keeled double ender, sloop. I'm using a "Pacific light" for self steering.

I'm sometimes having trouble with keeping course while sailing with a following sea. It usually happens in strong winds (over 20kn). I seems to happen more often when the sea becomes rough. At these conditions I usually don't need to use the mainsail. I use a reefd head sail with a boom to keep it in place.

What happens is that every once in a while (can be 1 minute or 1 hour) the boat is being thrown by a wave about 90 degrees to a beam reach. At that point, the headsail is getting more wind and the boat has much weather helm and the windvane cannot bring her back to course.

I have tryd slowing the boat down but it doesn't always do the trick. Sometimes I'm left without ideas.

Any ideas?

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Old 10-07-2018, 01:35   #2
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Re: Problem using windvane with following sea

Hi, Met someone last year who had similar problem on their WP Pacific. Looking at it everything appeared perfect. They eventually noticed that the previous owner had sanded down the leading edge of the wood rudder blade which caused it to steer erratically(no longer being semi-balanced). .Could the rake of the rudder affect it's sensitivity to correct course? In rough conditions does the rudder ever come out of the water briefly and skim on the surface before resubmerging? . .just a couple thoughts.
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Old 10-07-2018, 03:51   #3
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Re: Problem using windvane with following sea

I assume you have wound a bit of weather helm into the main rudder by adjusting the tiller lines. Also it can sometimes be worth moving the lines down the tiller slightly to increase the rudder movements
. It's a tricky balance sometimes as downwind you want the movememts low when you are on course, but if she starts to round up you suddenly need lots of rudder to drive her back down.

Ultimately the sailplan with just one headsail is unbalanced, I've normally used a main to leeward and headsail poled out to windward. In stronger winds I reef both down.

She might balance better with the staysail set, either sheeted in tight to drive the bow down in a roundup or winged out opposite the jib. I'd probably run the staysail to leeward and the jib to windward.

Maybe you have a touch to much sail up. What happens if you slow down a bit? Also it can sometime be worth coming up a touch, maybe 15 degrees rather than Setting the vane to DDW.

Good luck, and happy experimentation. It should be able to be made to work well in those conditions.
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wind, windvane

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