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Old 21-02-2021, 09:40   #106
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
If I knew what those meant, maybe I could say.
Rob,

VMG is Velocity Made Good. It is the speed made towards (or away from) the wind. You may have 6 knots SOG (speed over ground) but make only slight progress towards the wind.

If I have 100 miles updwind to my destination, and I am flying at 8 knots on a close reach but only making 2knots VMG it will take me 50 hours (and maybe many tacks) to get there. UGH! If I have great upwind capability and can go 6.5knots upwind with VMG of 4.5 I get there in 22 hours.

VMC is Velocity Made towards Course. It applies when your destination is not exactly upwind. Say the wind is from 0 deg but the bearing to your destination 25 deg. You may be able to sail 6.5 knots close hauled. almost making it, and have a VMC of 6.0 knots.

If you have to get there it's sometimes best to bite the bullet, sheet in, and go.

On the short 55mile upwind passage illustrated here we needed to get to the next port, Puerto Gallera, in the Philippines before dark. The Verde Island Passage was blowing 25-30 knots true wind out of the southeast. Had been for days. We left Cape Calavite at 0600 and beat hard to the east. We made the entrance to Puerto Galera 12 hours later, just before dark. The last leg in the shelter of the coast near Mt Talipanan where the water was flat was a lot of fun, as was the arrival in Galera. That is the kind of upwind I enjoy.
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Old 21-02-2021, 09:43   #107
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
we bashed our way southward against the Christmas winds from Bahamas to BVI and finally bailed out and put into San Juan. We had apparent wind of 25-30 on the nose and 3-4 meters of swell. After 7 days the weather forecast said we would hit true wind of 40 knots and swells 5+ meters.

The last 6 days of our Marquesas to Hawaii run were also with 25 knots on the nose and 3 meter choppy swells on the nose

You get very tired of "walking on the walls"
40 Kts and 5 meter seas isn't sailing weather. It's hunker down weather no matter which way you want to go unless you don't have a choice. I think it was a smart move on your part to put in at San Juan, but what do I know.

20-30+ Kts is the usual offshore windspeed around the outside of the islands (west of the Pt Conception sheer line) here according to the NWS weather site I've been using for the past few months. 10-15 Kts inshore/coastal is the norm with 1-2 meter swells. Prevailing is generally NNW, which makes any trip to the islands upwind on at least 1 leg of any round trip.
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Old 21-02-2021, 09:59   #108
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
Rob,

VMG is Velocity Made Good. It is the speed made towards (or away from) the wind. You may have 6 knots SOG (speed over ground) but make only slight progress towards the wind.

If I have 100 miles updwind to my destination, and I am flying at 8 knots on a close reach but only making 2knots VMG it will take me 50 hours (and maybe many tacks) to get there. UGH! If I have great upwind capability and can go 6.5knots upwind with VMG of 4.5 I get there in 22 hours.

VMC is Velocity Made towards Course. It applies when your destination is not exactly upwind. Say the wind is from 0 deg but the bearing to your destination 25 deg. You may be able to sail 6.5 knots close hauled. almost making it, and have a VMC of 6.0 knots.

If you have to get there it's sometimes best to bite the bullet, sheet in, and go.

On the short 55mile upwind passage illustrated here we needed to get to the next port, Puerto Gallera, in the Philippines before dark. The Verde Island Passage was blowing 25-30 knots true wind out of the southeast. Had been for days. We left Cape Calavite at 0600 and beat hard to the east. We made the entrance to Puerto Galera 12 hours later, just before dark. The last leg in the shelter of the coast near Mt Talipanan where the water was flat was a lot of fun, as was the arrival in Galera. That is the kind of upwind I enjoy.
Thanks for the explanation. Right now all of that is beyond my understanding except to say that 50 hours is 50 hours and I'd rather spend those hours doing something instead of being bored out of my skull with nothing to do except watch the clouds drift by.

Maybe it's me. I dunno, but I can't think of a more horrible existence than drifting wherever the wind pushes me with no effort on my part and doing it with nothing more than a desire to get off the boat as soon as possible at the end of the trip. This is not to say I'd intentionally plan a trip with in a high winds/sea state just to sail around in. On the other hand I refuse to let a little discomfort put limits on my life as long as it's safe to get out and do what I want to do.

Like I said, maybe it's me.
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Old 21-02-2021, 10:17   #109
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pirate Re: Sailing upwind

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This is not me, I can't do this anymore. Too old, too broken, too everything, but maybe it's the fact that I like a challenge that makes cooking while heeling seem not so intimidating?



Too old.??? You look barely outa nappies to a lot of us... as for breaks.. how many legs, wrists, ribs, legs and knee caps does one need to qualify for that..
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Old 21-02-2021, 12:32   #110
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Re: Sailing upwind

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...50 hours is 50 hours and I'd rather spend those hours doing something instead of being bored out of my skull with nothing to do except watch the clouds drift by...
That is not how it works.

On a passage you fall into a routine of life at sea.

Maybe you, (like I prefer) have the dawn watch. You are awakened by the other watch and you get up, wash your face and maybe you make coffee. You are already adjusted to life on an angle and the motion of the boat. You've learned how to move about and where to stand. You pull on your foulies, take your coffee, maybe a breakfast bar, and get on deck in time for sunrise. That is the best time for me, first sip of coffee just as the sun pops up.

The other watch is happy to see you, gives you a turn over, and retires to his/her own warm bed.

Now you have some quiet time to think about life, watch the sea roll past and watch the sea birds wheel and soar Maybe you open that book you are reading, put on some music. In an hour you may go below for another cuppa and check the navigation. A log book entry, possibly.

Later you awaken the other watch and go below if you wish, or lounge on deck. The conversation sometimes gets deep because it has time to develop. You pick up where you left off yesterday.

Maybe a project needs to be done, hopefully it isn't the toilet. In the afternoon the watch stander looks down and sees you sitting on the cabin sole with pump parts strewn about you.

What is going to be cooked for dinner becomes a topic, what is left and can we cook it at this angle and motion? Is there any of that good wine?

I like to eat in the cockpit balancing my plate and trying to hold my wine glass, and feel a warmth in my stomach as I watch dusk turn to darkness.

So another day has passed, tonight you have the dreaded dog watch, so you turn in to get some rest.

In this way the cycle of the days become life at sea, something you share with thousands of sailors who came before you, going back thousands of years.

Is it boring? Maybe, Itís what you make of it.
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Old 21-02-2021, 12:49   #111
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Re: Sailing upwind

@ Wingsail: nice picture painted.

@ Rob-P: if you believe that saving yourself from boredom at sea requires bashing into the wind, I would recommend you find someone who will let you do a passage of more than a few hours on their boat and experience what Wingsail has sketched - the point of sail (beating, reaching, DDW) has nothing to do with boredom (or lack thereof) at sea.
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Old 21-02-2021, 13:03   #112
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
Ahhhh, that'd be a big no, nope, nuh uh, ain't happening.

Well, maybe some beer can racing after I get my ASA stickers so that I can learn more but it's not my passion. I'm not competitive that way in any of the hobbies I've had over the years.

On the other hand, there's a couple of good looking (in the pics) CHEAP boats in San Diego that are surprising the heck out of me that they're still available. If I could take a week off from work and had a good weather window, I'd be thinking real strong about looking at them and doing the bash from there to here. A shakedown sail with an overnight stop in Orange County, an overnight in Avalon if things look good with the boat, and then a long day/night sail home.

What's stopping me is that I'm not ready yet. I don't have the necessary knowledge to inspect a boat OR the electronics/maps/etc or experience to skipper an unfamiliar boat alone for that long in unfamiliar territory. Hiring a delivery captain would take all the fun out of it and a survey would make them too expensive a proposition.

If it weren't for that, I'd be on Amtrak asap.

But racing? No thank you.
Huh. Really? Well you seem to have a lot of enthusiasm that could serve you well crewing in a race.

As far as the boats in San Diego, are you talking about the Ranger and the Catalina? The 28 and 27 footers?
I think one thing everyone is trying to explain, besides having a little humility at this point in your learning, is that you have yet to experience the exhaustion that can come from sailing upwind for a long period of time, and that is magnified the smaller the boat gets. The smaller boat bounces around more and is slower and doesn't point as high, all of which can conspire to exhaust the best of us.
In your case even the relatively short hop from Ventura to Santa Barbara can seem to take forever when you first try beating up there.
So keep the enthusiasm, but try to avoid dismissing the voices of experience, you know, the ones you have chosen to engage with here, IMO, especially since, as Jim pointed out, you did bring up your inexperience first. If you want to carve your own path, and try out engineless too, that's fine. BUT be ready, pack a lot of food and water and be sure to stay out of the shipping lane would be my advice... and this is coming from someone who (still) wants to go engineless too for fun some time.
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Old 21-02-2021, 14:40   #113
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
If you want to carve your own path, and try out engineless too, that's fine. BUT be ready, pack a lot of food and water and be sure to stay out of the shipping lane would be my advice... and this is coming from someone who (still) wants to go engineless too for fun some time.
Don's advice especially bears heeding, because he's doing all this in a 29' boat. A right seaworthy one, from what I can tell, but a good example of one that will take even more of a beating while beating compared to some of those 44' ketches and Amel 50s and heavy displacement deck salon cruisers enjoyed by some skippers in this forum (whom I envy cheerily.)
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Old 22-02-2021, 07:53   #114
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Re: Sailing upwind

I gotta throw this in here...

Back in my innocent youth.....I had more zeal than money...I ended up building a 38' Bruce Roberts ketch....with no engine!!....not because I didn't want one, but simply because I didn't have the money.

I managed.....stress the word" managed"...to get around.....barely....stress the word "barely" !!

The few times I need motive power, I lashed a dink alongside with a small 2 hp outboard. I learned to short tack up narrow channels. I ran aground a lot.

But, no wind, also meant I was not going anywhere. Did a lot of drifting around....aimlessly.
Light wind meant I was going to get there slowly....often at night. And wind on the nose, required extra effort.

Regardless, I learnt to love wind, I didn't care which direction it came from,or how strong it was, as long as it was there. The wind was my engine, this was good, but big wind also means big seas, waves, etc. Sometimes the wind was too much.

I learned patience, I learned to heave to, I learned a lot of things, I also learned that few people opted to sail with me, as getting back on time was never a sure thing.

I had countless near disasters and other daft maritime moments, all because I had no engine.

I had to live with my impulsiveness for a couple of years, before I has the funds to buy and install a diesel.

It was brutal work, I'm here to tell you. Everything had to be done under sail power. Try getting off a sand bar without engine power. You will develop muscles on top of muscles, rowing your anchor out, kedging off, etc.....and if you're single handing, compound everything by 100.

I finally saved enough $$ to install a diesel. Lordy, Lordy, lordy...what a blessing !!! It was only a small diesel, but what a difference it made in my sailing life.
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Old 22-02-2021, 12:45   #115
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Huh. Really? Well you seem to have a lot of enthusiasm that could serve you well crewing in a race.

As far as the boats in San Diego, are you talking about the Ranger and the Catalina? The 28 and 27 footers?
I think one thing everyone is trying to explain, besides having a little humility at this point in your learning, is that you have yet to experience the exhaustion that can come from sailing upwind for a long period of time, and that is magnified the smaller the boat gets. The smaller boat bounces around more and is slower and doesn't point as high, all of which can conspire to exhaust the best of us.
In your case even the relatively short hop from Ventura to Santa Barbara can seem to take forever when you first try beating up there.
So keep the enthusiasm, but try to avoid dismissing the voices of experience, you know, the ones you have chosen to engage with here, IMO, especially since, as Jim pointed out, you did bring up your inexperience first. If you want to carve your own path, and try out engineless too, that's fine. BUT be ready, pack a lot of food and water and be sure to stay out of the shipping lane would be my advice... and this is coming from someone who (still) wants to go engineless too for fun some time.
Both the Ranger and Catalina seem to be solid and well worth more than what the current owners are asking. I think the Ranger's outboard is worth almost as much as they want for the entire boat. But what do I know about any of that, I'm still a n00b and don't even know if I can comfortably stretch out in the berth of a boat that small.

Maybe I need a hammock strung from the mast to the backstay to sleep in?

I'm not a competition driven person. I compete with myself for quality and personal satisfaction of a job well done, but I don't push myself for the glory of getting a trophy. It's just not my style. Which is why "the plan" is to crew on a wet Wednesday boat that isn't really interested in "winning" and merely wants to go sailing.

And like I said, maybe it's me. Maybe I don't know enough. Maybe I'm crazy for liking the feel of the boat as it cuts through the swells with the sails full and it's getting a little lean on. Maybe I'm nuts for wanting to experience all the joys and trials of the ocean and a trip that doesn't seem to be an endless repeat of yesterday's repeat of the day before. And maybe I'm misunderstood for wanting my time on earth to be as rich and full and rewarding as I can possibly make it without compromising too much.

I dunno. Maybe it's me.
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Old 22-02-2021, 12:47   #116
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
I gotta throw this in here...

Back in my innocent youth.....I had more zeal than money...I ended up building a 38' Bruce Roberts ketch....with no engine!!....not because I didn't want one, but simply because I didn't have the money.

I managed.....stress the word" managed"...to get around.....barely....stress the word "barely" !!

The few times I need motive power, I lashed a dink alongside with a small 2 hp outboard. I learned to short tack up narrow channels. I ran aground a lot.

But, no wind, also meant I was not going anywhere. Did a lot of drifting around....aimlessly.
Light wind meant I was going to get there slowly....often at night. And wind on the nose, required extra effort.

Regardless, I learnt to love wind, I didn't care which direction it came from,or how strong it was, as long as it was there. The wind was my engine, this was good, but big wind also means big seas, waves, etc. Sometimes the wind was too much.

I learned patience, I learned to heave to, I learned a lot of things, I also learned that few people opted to sail with me, as getting back on time was never a sure thing.

I had countless near disasters and other daft maritime moments, all because I had no engine.

I had to live with my impulsiveness for a couple of years, before I has the funds to buy and install a diesel.

It was brutal work, I'm here to tell you. Everything had to be done under sail power. Try getting off a sand bar without engine power. You will develop muscles on top of muscles, rowing your anchor out, kedging off, etc.....and if you're single handing, compound everything by 100.

I finally saved enough $$ to install a diesel. Lordy, Lordy, lordy...what a blessing !!! It was only a small diesel, but what a difference it made in my sailing life.
Would you trade the diesel for the memories?
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Old 22-02-2021, 13:00   #117
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Too old.??? You look barely outa nappies to a lot of us... as for breaks.. how many legs, wrists, ribs, legs and knee caps does one need to qualify for that..
I have a genetic defect in my spine. Doing stupid things when I was younger hasn't helped the defect be less "defective".
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Old 23-02-2021, 04:22   #118
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Re: Sailing upwind

Rob

If it is excitement you want and you think downhill is boring - some years ago when we made the Canaries to Cape Verde run - the last 3 days we made 180+nm per day. So we were averaging between 7.5 and 8 knots. That means we were running at hull speed (we have a 40 foot boat). We were running with our mainsail in the 3rd reef (storm reef) and the genua in something like a 4th reef.

Exciting? Certainly entertaining and we spent all our time simply hanging on for dear life.

Downhill is not necessarily boring
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Old 23-02-2021, 05:30   #119
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
10-15 Kts inshore/coastal is the norm with 1-2 meter swells. Prevailing is generally NNW, which makes any trip to the islands upwind on at least 1 leg of any round trip.
10-15 knots is about perfect for upwind sailing on a small boat.

It's what I try to plan for as a return sail after I have sailed 20-40 miles Northwest up the bay.

But if that wind is on the nose (bow), it could make for a long day unless you have a very good boat with a decent amount of waterline and a deep fin keel that can point.

I also did a downwind sail last September that was fun and a bit worrisome because it was tide against wind and the wind topped out at 34 knots. Way above forecast but when I found this out it was too late to turn back (upwnd) so I crossed the 20 miles.

Wind was really singing in the rigging though and I was praying may old rig would hold together. (and my tiller and rudder)

It was an exciting sail with only a few things breaking. Boat was pushing a lot of water as I had too much sail up. Made the crossing in 3 hours though!

Took quite a few waves over the side before I was able to head DDW

Wind was sort of laying down a bit by the time I was in sync enough to take this quick video

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Old 23-02-2021, 09:43   #120
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Rob

If it is excitement you want and you think downhill is boring - some years ago when we made the Canaries to Cape Verde run - the last 3 days we made 180+nm per day. So we were averaging between 7.5 and 8 knots. That means we were running at hull speed (we have a 40 foot boat). We were running with our mainsail in the 3rd reef (storm reef) and the genua in something like a 4th reef.

Exciting? Certainly entertaining and we spent all our time simply hanging on for dear life.

Downhill is not necessarily boring
I'm no longer looking for "excitement." I did all that when I was younger.

I like sailing and I like all that sailing entails. I like the fact that when I change tacks, I do it. Me. The guy in charge of the boat who used all the equipment on the boat the way it's supposed to be used to go where I want to go. I didn't just set the sails and let the wind push me in the direction it's blowing, I used the wind and the sails to go where I wanted to go.

At the end of the day I can look back and say "I did that." To me it doesn't matter how hard or difficult or uncomfortable it was, I did it.


I just don't understand why some people only want to sail in 1 direction. And giving an example of how someone "sailed downwind through a typhoon" as "proof" that downwind sailing is "exciting" doesn't change the fact that, as I said in the original post, some people don't seem to like sailing upwind. Perhaps it's because not everyone does things "because it was there."

I dunno.
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