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Old 09-05-2021, 20:05   #1
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Tacking

The new Glenan's Sailing Manual says when tacking, it is important to gather as much speed as possible close hauled, then let go of the Tiller, and sheet in the main tight, then have crew move to center of boat to wait for things to swing to other tack.
In it, it says one of the mistakes people make is to use the tiller to try to turn the boat, which then acts as a brake, stopping the momentum, and causing the turn to fail. The tiller should be let loose.
Now my Raymarine ST-2000 Tiller Pilot has an AutoTack button on it, to turn the rudder, so which is correct? Is this dependent on boat size?
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Old 09-05-2021, 20:14   #2
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Re: Tacking

I am sorry but I have never heard of this before - if you let go of the tiller won’t the boat just head up into the wind and stop? Then if you do WANT to use the tiller you won’t be able to without any headway.

On my boat while close hauled or on a close reach with balanced sails I have let go off the wheel for miles and the boat just maintains the course, does not tack by itself.
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Old 09-05-2021, 20:16   #3
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Re: Tacking

Does that mean we can't say "Helm's alee" any more? That always bugged me anyway because we're turning into the wind, not alee.

It's got to depend on boat size because a boat with a wheel won't have a rudder that's free to turn.

But even on a larger boat, tightening up the main and turning the wheel not quite so hard as previously seems like it could be a good idea.
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Old 09-05-2021, 20:45   #4
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by ScottRhodes13 View Post
Does that mean we can't say "Helm's alee" any more? That always bugged me anyway because we're turning into the wind, not alee.

It's got to depend on boat size because a boat with a wheel won't have a rudder that's free to turn.

But even on a larger boat, tightening up the main and turning the wheel not quite so hard as previously seems like it could be a good idea.
I could be wrong, but I thought the term "helm's alee" was because the tiller is on the leeward side of the boat when tacking?
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Old 09-05-2021, 21:17   #5
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by BugzyCan View Post
The new Glenan's Sailing Manual says when tacking, it is important to gather as much speed as possible close hauled, then let go of the Tiller, and sheet in the main tight, then have crew move to center of boat to wait for things to swing to other tack.
In it, it says one of the mistakes people make is to use the tiller to try to turn the boat, which then acts as a brake, stopping the momentum, and causing the turn to fail. The tiller should be let loose.
Now my Raymarine ST-2000 Tiller Pilot has an AutoTack button on it, to turn the rudder, so which is correct? Is this dependent on boat size?

Sounds like "roll tacking".
That may well work on a dinghy such as Optimist or Laser, but not on a cruising keelboat.
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Old 09-05-2021, 21:36   #6
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Re: Tacking

Incidentally, there's no apostrophe. The manual is named for the French sailing school Centre nautique des Glénans which produces it.
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Old 09-05-2021, 22:01   #7
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Incidentally, there's no apostrophe. The manual is named for the French sailing school Centre nautique des Glénans which produces it.
Yes, that is correct. I wasn't sure how to represent the accented e, and should not have introduced the apostrophe.
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Old 09-05-2021, 22:04   #8
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Sounds like "roll tacking".
That may well work on a dinghy such as Optimist or Laser, but not on a cruising keelboat.
That is what I was thinking as well, but in the book it mentions that "the crew" should move to center of boat to induce the turn, and move to new tack side once the jib crosses over mast, which seems like something for a larger boat.
There are a lot of references to smaller sail boats in this book though, so maybe that is all it is. Seems the most likely explanation.
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Old 09-05-2021, 22:48   #9
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Re: Tacking

My God, I've been doing it wrong for 50 years? Why didn't anyone tell me?
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Old 09-05-2021, 23:43   #10
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Re: Tacking

Racing dinghies want to minimize drag by waggling the rudder a lot, sometimes letting the weather helm turn the boat instead of using the rudder to slow the boat.

Latest edition I could find of Glenans was 1978, details on roll tacking have changed a little and can be boat specific.



You can also roll tack smaller racing keelboats with crew.
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Old 09-05-2021, 23:55   #11
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
Racing dinghies want to minimize drag by waggling the rudder a lot, sometimes letting the weather helm turn the boat instead of using the rudder to slow the boat.

Latest edition I could find of Glenans was 1978, details on roll tacking have changed a little and can be boat specific.



You can also roll tack smaller racing keelboats with crew.
I definitely see the tiller move to leeward.
BTW, flattening that fast on a 420 may be fine since there may be not too much loss of speed and it can accelerate fast, but flattening too soon on a larger boat is likely ill-advised. I think perhaps some folks who are used to dinghies don't give the larger boat a chance to accelerate coming out of the tack before they start flattening.
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Old 10-05-2021, 00:37   #12
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by BugzyCan View Post
Yes, that is correct. I wasn't sure how to represent the accented e, and should not have introduced the apostrophe.

é = Alt key and 0233


Another one that's frequently useful on this site is ° = Alt+0176
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Old 10-05-2021, 01:56   #13
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Re: Tacking

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Sounds like "roll tacking".
That may well work on a dinghy such as Optimist or Laser, but not on a cruising keelboat.
Or a 420.

Exactly. This is a racing dinghy technique (roll tacking) which doesn't apply to cruising boats.

HOWEVER, most of the same basic principles DO apply. Just like in a racing dinghy, you want to conserve speed through your tack and get the power back up as quickly as possible. That may very well mean not putting the helm all the way over -- depending on how your boat handles. Notwithstanding the traditional call, "helm hard alee".

On my previous boat, which sailed poorly upwind, getting caught in irons was a real risk so the helm went hard over in order to get through the wind as quickly as possible. Fall off a bit past close hauled on the other tack, and get the jib sheeted in as quickly as humanly possible in order to get powered up again. Get speed up again before then climbing back up to close hauled. In that boat, even in ideal conditions I would lose maybe half of boat speed in a tack, and would be glad if I didnt' lose it all.

On my present boat, which is much faster and more weatherly, the technique is different. I don't put the helm all the way over, as there is almost no risk of getting into irons in most conditions. I don't cross the winder faster than I can get the jib over so I use a moderate amount of rudder, maybe 15 degrees. I usually let the pilot steer through tacks so that I can handle a sheet, and interestingly, that's the amount of rudder the pilot uses, too. In this boat, I might lose only a knot of boat speed, maybe 2, and gain it back in seconds.

Every boat is different, so you have to experiment.
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Old 10-05-2021, 04:13   #14
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Re: Tacking

It doesn't sound like roll tacking to me. In a roll tack, regardless of the size of the boat the crew stay to leeward for a moment, main sheet is dumped a bit just at the moment of the tack and then hauled in again on the other tack as the crew rushes over to the new weather side. Having crew centered achieves nothing in particular. Hauling the main in might give you more weather helm, helping you to get through the tack, or it might just stall the sail. Releasing the tiller with lots of way on might bring you through a tack, or it might leave you in irons.

Writing something like that in a book, as though it's a standard technique that can be applied to every boat (and especially in a way that suggests anyone who actually uses their rudder to turn the boat is doing it wrong) is either downright irresponsible or not nearly qualified to be writing a book on the subject.
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Old 10-05-2021, 04:36   #15
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Re: Tacking

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My God, I've been doing it wrong for 50 years? Why didn't anyone tell me?
We were trying to be nice and pretend not to notice, its a CF forum thing
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