Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-07-2020, 07:33   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 255
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

As a general rule on any sail rig configuration, you want a balanced sailplan so you can sail at any wind angle.

Bayfield boats tend to have conservative sail area because of their shallow draft. I have not sailed a Bayfield 29, but have sailed on a few 32's.
Most boats have a slight weather helm so when the helm is left free the boat rounds up into the wind.
My rules of thumb:

When the wind increases, take a reef in the mainsail first. How deep a reef depends on the increase in the wind and point of sail.
Then take in the Yankee, as the relatively large sail area forward will make the boat try to bear away in the gusts if going upwind or reaching, though you may need the additional sail area if going downwind.

Cutter rigged boats I have sailed balance very well with a double reefed mainsail and full staysail and go to windward very well with this rig.

Cutter rigged boats I have sailed will sail and tack with just the staysail, though slowly, and do not point as high with only the staysail as with a double reefed mainsail and staysail.
I have used the staysail as a storm sail, sailing in a Force 9 gale in the Bay of Biscay, when we had to give up going to windward with staysail and deep reef in the mainsail on our cutter. The waves built too steep and the boat was being swept with waves and the cockpit filling.
We took the mainsail down and ran with the wind and waves on the quarter, staysail only, for nearly 200 miles to get to the harbour we had left.
Paul Howard is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 08:37   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 242
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

This is how I reduce sail on my boat (ignoring general guidelines as to what wind speed to start reefing etc.. which you will learn with experience):

Hunter C37

I don't always sail with the staysail out as well as the genoa, but I'll write the below as if I do.

- I will reduce the headsail before I reef the main. To furl, it is always easiest to take the boat off the wind as much as possible or reasonable, but at least past the beam. "how much" I reduce the headsail is up to how I feel, but I try not to sail the boat extremely aggressively (unless we want to!). Usually I can get a feeling for how much the boat is heeling in a gust and how hard it is to sheet in the genoa.

- Once you reduce headsail you will unbalance the boat and you will have a lot of helm. I try to keep only a few degrees of weather helm. To this end, I will spill wind as much as I can from the main to get these few degrees of helm. Using the traveler or the mainsheet as appropriate.

- At a certain point you just can't spill more wind from the mainsail without it flogging everywhere, so you will need to put in a reef to reduce weatherhelm.

- Staysail hasn't been touched outside of possibly having to spill wind from the sail as appropriate. I'd rather have the staysail spill wind than it blanket the genoa, but this becomes less of a problem the more you reef the genoa.

- Repeat as appropriate. At some point you may want to furl the genoa entirely and sail under a reefed main and staysail.


How you manage things comes down to both how you like to sail the boat and how the boat likes to be sailed. What is comfortable to you and how the boat behaves.

Weather helm is reduced by reducing wind on the mainsail. You power the boat up (generally) with your headsail. You don't want a lot of weatherhelm really, as it is uncomfortable and slows you down a lot. But you want some - you don't want lee helm - and you need to keep the boat powered up and moving.
odonnellryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 13:13   #18
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 28,622
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
As others have said, optimal sail usage varies a bit between boats but getting the balance right is always fundamental. A simple check for correct balance is that the helm is only slightly off-center when sailing straight ahead; specifically the boat should have a small tendency to turn upwind.

When reaching (sailing abeam or upwind) the headsails create slots which accelerate the wind behind the next sail aft, and thus increase lift. The staysail is not designed to fly as the lone headsail - the slot effect is greatly reduced. When shortening sail try to keep some of the jib flying so as to keep the proper airflow. I can't speak to the usage of roller furling specifically as I don't have them. Instead I switch out the yankee (high-clewed sail that just laps the mast) for a spitfire, which is smaller than the staysail. Sailing into the trade winds a reefed main, staysail, and spitfire is very effective, whereas a reefed main with staysail-only is a pig. After selecting the headsails I reef to balance the helm as needed.

Downwind is where we see who understands what they are doing. You will see many boats that furl the headsails and leave the full main up - presumably because it is easier to furl the headsails than reef the main. The main-only is hugely unbalanced, requiring the helm to be hard over to offset the extreme weather helm, and this in turn acts like a brake. Worse, a gust can overpower the rudder and cause an immediate and uncontrolled rounding to weather. It is far better to reef or take down the main first, and in deteriorating conditions it is best to get that more difficult job done first anyway. On a broad reach it will probably not be able to set both headsails on the same side, so pick between the two by the size needed. On a run I will pole out the two headsails on opposite sides (again, no main). Headsail-only is a very stable pull downwind, but just as with a spinnaker it is important to plan ahead as this severely restricts maneuverability.

I strongly recommend either reading a good book on sail theory or taking a course with a lot of theory. Once you understand CE and CLR and can visualize the force vectors you can reason out solutions.

Greg
Different boats are very different, and the OP would be well served by experimenting thoroughly with all conceivable sail combos until he completely understands how HIS boat responds.

My boat, for example, is totally different from the above:

1. Reefed main and staysail without the jib is GREAT on my boat in strong weather, powerful, balanced, self-tacking.

2. Main alone is not "hugely unbalanced" and does not produce excessive weather helm on my boat. Weather helm on my boat is practically a linear function of heel angle, and is hardly affected by what sails are up. This is totally different from my previous boat which had a lower aspect rig.

3. Reefing the principle headsail on my boat (which may be either a 95% blade or a 120% Yankee) sucks, especially upwind. I reef only the main, then when that's not enough, I get rid of the jib entirely rather than reef it. YMMV.

4. Jib alone is viable on all points of sail on my boat, but is used systematically downwind in strong weather. Downwind in a blow I do prefer the CE to be as far forward as possible.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-être pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 13:47   #19
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 28,622
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
A lot depends on how the sails are built. The staysail is generally heavier cloth and flatter cut so is better in strong winds. Her some stuff to try. As the wind gets up loose the staysail first and see how it goes. Often this widens the slot and reduces any overlap or eliminates it. This may de-power the whole rig and in effect be you first reef. As conditions get stiffer and you need to loose some main try first reef in the main but now loose the jib and get the staysail back up. When you reef the main it brings the center of effort forward so to keep the boat balanced you also want to move the foresails center of effort back hence swapping to the staysail.
What you should always try to avoid is sailing with both sails partly furled. The downside of rollers, despite there massive advantage in convenience, is that they kill the sails performance. To get good performance a sail need as clean an entry as possible and if reducing canvas you want to also be flattening the sail and moving draft forward. Rolling a furl does the opposite of both these greatly increasing drag and reducing efficiency. The benefit of a cutter is you can generally avoid that by completely furling sails.

This is a great post, and the underlined part is crucially important, and true, I think for most if not all boats.


As the years and decades have gone by and I've gotten to be a better sailor, I stopped roller reefing headsails completely. If my yankee is too much, I change down to a blade. If the blade is too much, it goes away.


Headsails are basically "on" or "off"; not only can you not roller reef them and retain any efficiency (at least upwind), you also don't have controls to do anything other than trim them for optimum air flow. The mainsail is completely different; this is where you can make fine adjustments of sail area and power. Not only by reefing, but also flattening and feathering it to depower it in whatever increments you need, or fattening it for more power when you need it.



This is different from the OP's case, but I have an in-mast furling main, which gives up a significant amount of ultimate power to a roachy full batten main, HOWEVER, it can be reefed in infinite increments, and what is beautiful, it gets flatter as you reef it. So when less than ultimate power is needed, the in-mast furling main is great, and this is the sail I work hard with, flattening it, fattening it, feathering it where needed, rolling it in and out, working the traveler. The headsails are binary; I add and subtract them in whole units.


One note to the OP: The condition of the sails is key to all of this. Baggy dacron sails cannot be put into a low drag condition, and will need to be reefed much earlier, than good sails. A baggy mainsail in particular makes it impossible to sail properly. Buying carbon laminate sails for my boat was the best money, by far, I ever spent on her.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-être pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 13:48   #20
Registered User
 
wingssail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: On Vessel WINGS, wherever there's an ocean, currently in Mexico
Boat: Serendipity 43
Posts: 2,312
Send a message via AIM to wingssail Send a message via Skype™ to wingssail
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

We don't have a staysail, but we can change jibs. (We try to decide which sail will be most useful for the day before we set sail.)

Upwind:

In light conditions (under 15 knots of wind, true) we sail with a 110% jib and a full main.

In stronger conditions (over 15kts true wind) we prefer a 85% working and full main.
In brisk conditions (over 20kts true, upwind) we reef the main, so 85% and 1st reef

At 25kts true we put in 2nd reef, so 85% and 2nd reef

At 30 kts true wind we will strike the jib and sail with main alone (with 2 reefs). The boat sails well with just the main, but is not close winded.

At 35kts we will put in the third reef. Beyond that we just hold on (or heave too)

Click image for larger version

Name:	2476-Triple Reefed Main.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	261.6 KB
ID:	219470

Downwind:

In light conditions (under 15 knots of wind, true) we sail with a 110% jib and a full main or spinnaker and full main

In brisk conditions (over 25kts true wind) we will dowse the spinnaker or the 110%jib. depending on the heading and how long we think we will be sailing in these conditions we may set the 85% jib

At 30 kts true wind we will strike the jib and sail with main alone. The boat sails well with just the main, and it is not unbalanced sailing with main alone.

Click image for larger version

Name:	<a title=Passage to New Caledonia.jpg Views: 23 Size: 415.9 KB ID: 219469" style="margin: 2px" />

At 35kts we will be reefing, probably down to third reef, and no headsail.

We have never sailed with jib alone (no main). Ever.

I think, in summary, since we don't use roller furling, our simple two sail rig, without any staysail, works well and is very easy to handle and quick to respond to changing winds. The exception being if we have to change from 110% jib to 85%jib in a building breeze. Often we just strike the 110% and wait to see what happens. Why set the 85% jib if you'll be taking it down in 1/2 hour anyhow?
__________________
Sailing is a sport, an athletic activity, not a sedentary one.
Fred Roswold-Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico
https://wingssail.blogspot.com/
wingssail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 14:20   #21
Moderator
 
Adelie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 11,404
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Cutters like sloops are individual. As a guess
A. Reef the staysail
B. Reef the headsail
C. Reef the main
D. Strike the staysail
E. Strike the headsail and reset the staysail.
F. ???

The point is to decrease sail in the order that reduces heel without resulting in excessive weather helm or worse, lee helm.
__________________
Num Me Vexo?
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
Adelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2020, 17:05   #22
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Little Compton, RI
Boat: Cape George 31
Posts: 1,372
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

On my cutter the sequence is thus: one reef in main first, then strike the jib, then second reef in main, then storm trysail, then trysail and reefed staysail. The staysail only goes away when going downwind as it takes wind out of the jib.
My goat is gaff-rigged though, so I have a lot of power in my low-aspect-ratio main, and even the 2nd reef has substantial area, though it carries it low so the heeling moment is less. It's a great downwind sail, since you can sail by the lee with little danger of gybing.
__________________
Ben
zartmancruising.com
Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2020, 17:09   #23
Registered User
 
wingssail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: On Vessel WINGS, wherever there's an ocean, currently in Mexico
Boat: Serendipity 43
Posts: 2,312
Send a message via AIM to wingssail Send a message via Skype™ to wingssail
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
...My goat is gaff-rigged...
My goat has little horns and a beard.

Ha!, It is a goatee.
__________________
Sailing is a sport, an athletic activity, not a sedentary one.
Fred Roswold-Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico
https://wingssail.blogspot.com/
wingssail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-07-2020, 03:27   #24
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Little Compton, RI
Boat: Cape George 31
Posts: 1,372
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
My goat has little horns and a beard.

Ha!, It is a goatee.
Good catch. My gaff-rigged goat....eats up the miles.
__________________
Ben
zartmancruising.com
Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-07-2020, 03:45   #25
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Between Caribbean and Canada
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 6,349
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
On my cutter the sequence is thus: one reef in main first, then strike the jib, then second reef in main, then storm trysail, then trysail and reefed staysail. The staysail only goes away when going downwind as it takes wind out of the jib.
My goat is gaff-rigged though, so I have a lot of power in my low-aspect-ratio main, and even the 2nd reef has substantial area, though it carries it low so the heeling moment is less. It's a great downwind sail, since you can sail by the lee with little danger of gybing.
You know the phrase “shorten sail”?

I think that MAY apply to some boats. Lower the sail plan to lower the healing moment.

Someone upthread talked about a “Spitfire” jib and staysail combo. I think that is a good combo for a our 44’ boat, still experimenting but seems to work better than the bigger/heavier Yankee, and it’s more manageable.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	EA03F252-CE2B-47AB-8B0A-E03E008868D3.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	416.6 KB
ID:	219655  
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-07-2020, 12:33   #26
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Little Compton, RI
Boat: Cape George 31
Posts: 1,372
Re: Reducing Sail on Cutter Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
You know the phrase “shorten sail”?

I think that MAY apply to some boats. Lower the sail plan to lower the healing moment.

Someone upthread talked about a “Spitfire” jib and staysail combo. I think that is a good combo for a our 44’ boat, still experimenting but seems to work better than the bigger/heavier Yankee, and it’s more manageable.
The point is, a gaffer carries more sail area lower, so the same amount of SA produces less heeling moment than if it were triangular.
__________________
Ben
zartmancruising.com
Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cutter, sail

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding a cutter rig / sloop to cutter conversion xslim Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 43 01-06-2020 08:49
Cutter Rig Sail Tuning wsstrange Monohull Sailboats 4 26-08-2015 15:06
Reducing sail priority Dexterbase Seamanship & Boat Handling 29 07-03-2014 02:24
Reducing sail with roller furling main? jackdale Monohull Sailboats 3 30-04-2008 11:34
Reducing the number of forums Gisle Forum News & Announcements 5 24-05-2003 22:50

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.