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Old 18-02-2021, 14:22   #1
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Sailing upwind

I watch a lot of You Tube videos and in more than a few of them is someone complaining about how much they don't like sailing upwind.

Me, I LOVE sailing close hauled. I like tacking and coming about because it's interesting. A beam reach is okay and a broad reach downwind is not quite boring (except for being careful not to accidentally jibe) and I haven't run dead downwind or under a spinnaker (at least not lately - but that's another story) but going upwind isn't something to dislike.

So what is it with some people who don't like to head into the wind? Is the heel? The movement? The noise? What?
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Old 18-02-2021, 14:48   #2
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Re: Sailing upwind

I'm with you Rob, generally I enjoy it... unless I've been doing it for a few days and the sea is not smooth... or if it is cold and every wave sprays over the boat... or if the hull is slamming... and I'm trying to sleep... or cook... but some of those things I have not enjoyed in quite a few years, so perhaps my memory is biased...
But no, seriously, I love the feel of the whole boat when heading upwind... really I do!
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:10   #3
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Great fun on a day sail or weekending... slogging across the Biscay it sucks.
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:13   #4
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Re: Sailing upwind

Fun for a few hours, especially if you're just out for a day. Days or weeks of it -- no thanks.
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:22   #5
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Re: Sailing upwind

Many of the youtoob boats have their upwind ability compromised by excessive windage from extraneous items on deck such as dinghys, water jugs, safety nets, solar panels, bimini, hard dodger, etc etc.
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:26   #6
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Re: Sailing upwind

me too! i like the air that fills my lungs and the sensation of speed and the feeling of reaching forward and onward! it brings out the viking in me

of course, there are those conditions that make heeling a whole lot less fun, as Don C L describes, when one is wet, cold, tired... agree there. i've frozen-girl memories, on the tiller, steering by compass (no automatic pilot), through the night in the irish sea and again in the channel... my teeth were chattering in spite of my multi-layers and two hats and two pair of gloves..., but i'd do it again!

the only thing i really and truly dislike is when there's too much wind and the boat more than heels over and it is suddenly about being over-canvased
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:48   #7
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Re: Sailing upwind

Around the harbour on a day sail? Wonderful! A fun point of sail



Several days in big seas trying to make distance to windward? Don CL describes it well. Not so wonderful
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:55   #8
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Re: Sailing upwind

I LOVE sailing between close hauled and close reach because there is a little less healing and little more speed. I love the feel of the wind and the perception you are going really fast.
Do not like broad reach...feels slow even when you are going fast and because I have to pay more attention to an accidental jibe.

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Old 18-02-2021, 15:57   #9
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
I watch a lot of You Tube videos and in more than a few of them is someone complaining about how much they don't like sailing upwind.

Me, I LOVE sailing close hauled. I like tacking and coming about because it's interesting. A beam reach is okay and a broad reach downwind is not quite boring (except for being careful not to accidentally jibe) and I haven't run dead downwind or under a spinnaker (at least not lately - but that's another story) but going upwind isn't something to dislike.

So what is it with some people who don't like to head into the wind? Is the heel? The movement? The noise? What?
There is a huge difference between sailing close hauled inshore or coastal, and close hauled in the ocean. Also, between being in the cockpit or being below.

On a bay or coastal, no problem. Even if it gets kind of rough, no problem if you are in the cockpit. But in the ocean with a swell, even a "small" one of 2 meters or so, it gets old fast. Close Hauled into a 4 meter swell? Turn around and wait for it to subside and hope you don't lose too many miles. It sucks. But downwind in 4 meters is a cakewalk.
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Old 18-02-2021, 15:57   #10
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Re: Sailing upwind

I'm another upwind tragic ! But for all the reasons above I think it is not for long term.

I really enjoy the technical side of bettering VMG and you can feel the power through the boat.
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Old 18-02-2021, 16:35   #11
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Re: Sailing upwind

I sail in a club that gives me lots of options. We have days in Boston when you beat out of the harbor into a southeast breeze and just in time for you to return it starts blowing NW as the afternoon thunderstorms approach so you beat upwind back to the mooring. For a speedy and well-trimmed daysailer/racer like a Sonar 23 or a Soling 27 (pictured, left), there's nothing better! I blow by the big cruisers as they fecklessly douse sail and turn on the auxiliary.

But

If I have that same southeaster nosing out of the outer harbor toward Provincetown, with the attendant 5-8' chop, in one of our club's production cruisers, like a Jenneau (389 pictured right) or a Hanse or a Bennie, it's a splashy, bumpy, lumpy ride.

I love it.

But most of the people I take sailing do not.
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Old 18-02-2021, 16:39   #12
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Around the harbour on a day sail? Wonderful! A fun point of sail



Several days in big seas trying to make distance to windward? Don CL describes it well. Not so wonderful

This. And your actual VMG to where you are going is maybe half what you would do on a nice reach.


Day sail, of course. Cruising, not so much. And we all know that 95% of sailing seems to be to windward (and school is up hill both ways).
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Old 18-02-2021, 17:02   #13
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by sailingabe41ds View Post
I LOVE sailing between close hauled and close reach because there is a little less healing and little more speed. I love the feel of the wind and the perception you are going really fast.
Do not like broad reach...feels slow even when you are going fast and because I have to pay more attention to an accidental jibe.

Of course you know most boats sail faster with wind on the beam. A close haul is usually a slow point of sail. It may feel more exciting, but if you want speed, put wind on the beam.
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Old 18-02-2021, 17:12   #14
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Originally Posted by wolfgal View Post
... my teeth were chattering in spite of my multi-layers and two hats and two pair of gloves..., but i'd do it again!
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Old 18-02-2021, 17:18   #15
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Re: Sailing upwind

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Of course you know most boats sail faster with wind on the beam. A close haul is usually a slow point of sail. It may feel more exciting, but if you want speed, put wind on the beam.
And if Mariah doesn't want to cooperate?

Admittedly, I've only been out for a few short sailing lessons but the wind here doesn't necessarily dictate, or follow, the sea state. A couple of weeks ago we had 1-2 meter swells that were coming in diagonal to the wind direction. Most exciting sailing lesson so far. Upwind on a starboard tack was bounce, splash, bounce, splash, bounce, splash. Port tack upwind was roll, spray, roll, spray, roll, spray.

Downwind I had to pay attention because the lesson was all about jibing. Broad reach on a starboard tack, it was following seas and flat. Jibe to a broad reach on a port tack and it was chop, chop, chop while the nose kept falling away from my course even though I was fighting the tiller to point the bow in the direction I wanted to go the entire time. It was exhausting, not exhilarating.

Gimmee upwind.
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