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Old 14-01-2022, 06:17   #31
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

I don’t know your vessel but I can speak to what I do on my vessel. I have a coastal cruiser so light and fairly fast. At 20 knots I would put the 1 st reef in the main with the second rigged and ready and set a boom preventer up. I have a pole for my Genoa and I would probably go out with about 100% of the 140% as to prevent fishtailing from being over powered. If it feels like there is a chance of a building wind I would start with the second reef in. With poles and preventers wing on wing can be very safe and it helps keep the vessel from veering because of wind fluctuations and sea state. I have found auto pilots do not behave well and are often over powered very easily on this point of sail. I do not know your skill level but less is more (sail area), keeping the power balanced will require attention but will keep the vessel flatter in the water, with less of a chance of the bow rounding up as the waves lift the keel out of the water in there passing.
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If you want some incentive for safety watch some sailboat fails on Utube most are down wind “death rolls” with a lack of spinnaker control during “overpowering” conditions.
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Old 14-01-2022, 06:27   #32
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

In a pinch you can use a Lithuanian (rim shot on drum)

Or I put a snatch block on the job sheet and put the block aft. My boat has a slotted toe rail, so it goes back at the boarding gate. Another alternative is the beam cleat.
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Old 14-01-2022, 06:48   #33
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

The answer is very boat specific... and sea state to some extent. It may be just as fast for him and more comfortable to turn up to a heading that allows him to fly main and jib and then Gybe a few times. maybe wing on wing without the pole will work especially if the seas are down, or maybe just the jib. Though sailing on jib alone is harder on forestay and bad practice on modern performance sloops.
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Old 14-01-2022, 06:50   #34
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kd9truck View Post
I don’t know your vessel but I can speak to what I do on my vessel. I have a coastal cruiser so light and fairly fast. At 20 knots I would put the 1 st reef in the main with the second rigged and ready and set a boom preventer up. I have a pole for my Genoa and I would probably go out with about 100% of the 140% as to prevent fishtailing from being over powered. If it feels like there is a chance of a building wind I would start with the second reef in. With poles and preventers wing on wing can be very safe and it helps keep the vessel from veering because of wind fluctuations and sea state. I have found auto pilots do not behave well and are often over powered very easily on this point of sail. I do not know your skill level but less is more (sail area), keeping the power balanced will require attention but will keep the vessel flatter in the water, with less of a chance of the bow rounding up as the waves lift the keel out of the water in there passing.
Cheers
If you want some incentive for safety watch some sailboat fails on Utube most are down wind “death rolls” with a lack of spinnaker control during “overpowering” conditions.
The autopilots are overpowered due to the mainsail if there is too much mainsail up for the conditions.

The mainsail can cause the boat to try to head (back) up into the wind.

With jib only and not even all the way out with gusts in the high 20 knot range it was easy for the autopilot to handle it.

You can hear the autopilot at the start of the video bring the boat back in line. (2nd video)

As demonstrated in the videos below.



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Old 14-01-2022, 07:13   #35
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

My usual plan is wing and wing with jib out and main prevented. In 20 knots, though, in my boat, by myself, I would reef the main and furl the jib to the gusts for better control, and sacrifice a little speed.
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Old 14-01-2022, 07:44   #36
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

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There is no question that a broad reach with Genoa and main is faster, both through the water and SOG, than DDW. It also eliminates poles and preventers. The real question is VMG. The boat speed gets higher for every degree away from DDW, but at some point the extra angular distance sailed negates the extra speed. Exactly where that is a a function of math I don't know, but "relatively" short tacks should average it out.


It almost always is faster VMG DDW unless you have a spinnaker. Watch any PHRF racing fleet in the non spinnaker divisions. No one sails angles and wins. Everyone does wing on wing.

Doesn’t mean there aren’t comfort or stability reasons to sail angles and take longer to get to destination.
Reason is simple- it usually requires 130-140 or less AWA to fill a Genoa from behind the main windshadow which is too high to recoup ultimate VMG via higher SOG.
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Old 14-01-2022, 08:05   #37
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

Broad reach with controlled jibs. Do it all the time on my Hunter 46.
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Old 14-01-2022, 08:18   #38
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

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Broad reach with controlled jibs. Do it all the time on my Hunter 46.
Hi Sail

I was hoping to get your input. Given that we have the swept back spreaders, and keeping the main off them doesn't really let us put the main that far out, coupled with having a smaller jib due to the fractional rig, I was wondering what you might do. I'm guessing you do this in fairly strong winds on the Bay.

We tried a few ways coming down to the Keys from Hilton Head. WoW was rather dodgy and came close to an accidental jibe a couple of times. I HATE sailing by the lee, and in fact with my wife at the helm we did do an accidental jibe and rounded up RIGHT IN FRONT OF AN ONCOMING DREDGING BARGE. Yikes! That was a brown trousers moment, glad I had my bicycle clips on.

So for now I've been just using the genoa (I think its 110%) but with only the inboard track I've been trying to think of better ways. Perhaps a snatch block on the boarding gate stanchion, or on the boom end with it out and no main up.

Love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 14-01-2022, 08:39   #39
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

The only additional advise is to install a preventer to mitigate an accidental jibe by the main, espeacially in rough seas. Our Hunter 46 also has swept back spreaders, albeit have not yet found a need to install a preventer while sailing on a broad reach from San Francisco, Angle Island or Alcatraz Island to our Richmond marina or north to the Carquinez Straits.
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Old 14-01-2022, 08:44   #40
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

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Genoa only. Use boom prevented out and lead Genoa sheet through block attached to boom. Latter only if needed
Great idea
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Old 14-01-2022, 12:06   #41
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

It depends a lot on the boat and your sail plan and how far you need to sail, but with 20 knots of wind from directly behind, you'd probably fly along pretty good with just the jib. It might be a bit slower, but a lot less work than with the main up and trying to do wing on wing. You are also a lot safer if the wind should pick up and you need to trim the jib or furl it in.
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Old 14-01-2022, 14:35   #42
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

I know the OP was really interested in the “lots of wind” case, but here are. Some thoughts. On a lot of boats these days, the sail plan is not really designed to go directly downwind without a special downwind headsail (symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnaker). In many cases, tacking downwind is faster that going direct. This is because you generate apparent wind when you steer off. An extreme example of this is foiling boats or iceboats - they go faster than wind speed downwind, which is of course impossible (at least with conventional sails) if you go directly with the wind. Start off on a broad reach, and build up boat speed. Then ease off more downwind, trying to keep the apparent wind about 20-30 degrees on your quarter. It seems amazing, but your speed will push the apparent wind far enough forward that you can end up with very shallow tacks in terms of progress over the ground. This really only works well for lighter winds - obviously if the wind is strong enough to push you at hull speed directly down wind it’s a waste of time. I find that the optimum angle is less as wind speed increases. Some nice things about this are that it’s safe (you don’t need preventers), you don’t have to mess around with rigging your genoa sheets to a boom or whisker pole, and you do pretty well without a spinnaker. On a ketch or yawl, tacking downwind works even better since opening up the angle lets the mizzen contribute. On our ketch, we have tried various ideas, including dropping the main and using the main boom to hold the genoa clew out and then winging out the mizzen. Try a bunch of strategies, and find the best for your boat.
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Old 14-01-2022, 18:14   #43
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

Wing on wing exhausting and requires too much attention for me. Broad Reach with careful controlled jibs. Also allows option of coming up if needed.
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Old 14-01-2022, 19:46   #44
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

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Wing on wing exhausting and requires too much attention for me
I don't understand that... with a poled out headsail and a prevented boom the boat is pretty well balanced and the sails well stabilized. As I mentioned upthread, we've done a hell of a lot of miles thus rigged and found it quite relaxing. Why do you find it exhausting?

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Old 14-01-2022, 20:07   #45
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Re: What's the best way to sail downwind without a pole?

Jim, I agree. Look at my avatar. But what you missed is that OP has no pole of any kind.
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