Too Close to the Wind

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Pompey, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Speaking for myself Fanie, I hope you are right! I am making a sailing rig for my kayak. The previous one was not much use upwind and one of the improvements the new one has is a proper hydrofoil profile.
     
  2. Pompey
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    Pompey Junior Member

    Hi
    Thanks for the great feedback. It sounds like an increase in the sail jib area may make the most significant difference at this point. Two pieces of additional information. The attached is from my gps when I was tacking into a headwind with a small tide in my favour. Not sure if this tells you anything about her performance to wind.
    Secondly, the rig is now bermuda rig rather than the gunter. As the mainsail has a straight luff, other than the ease of raising the mast, I get no benefit from the gunter, which has a douglas fir yard arm and carries a lot of weight aloft. I kept the dimensions of the stays and jib height the same as the original design. This means I could, if it helps, put a jib/genoa block higher up the mast (the gunter was limited to the top of the lower main mast) and fit a taller and deeper foresail, giving more sail area at the front. What do you think?
     

    Attached Files:

  3. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    The course made good looks like it's mostly respectable 90 deg tacks until you turn the head at which point it becomes obvious you were getting a lot of help from the tide! With the tide against you I doubt you would have made much headway. Keep trying to improve things; your ideas sound good. What have you done about the vang and the other suggestions?

    ps: how are Pompey doing these days?
     
  4. Pompey
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    Pompey Junior Member

    Hi AK
    Will watch the vang next time I'm out - my wife insists I work during the week, which unfortunately interferes with my sailing. Pompey?... you don't really want to know... it's all happening so fast. Apologies to sailors for the diversion. Pompey have gone into liquidation due to serious debts. They qualified for a place to compete in next season's UEFA League (European) and were then refused entry on financial grounds and then!... went and qualified for the UK FA Cup Final on May 15 at Wembley in London - the biggest annual UK football (sorry... soccer to you guys) event and they face the famous London club Chelsea... you did ask! Hope they have better luck p...ing into the wind than I have sailing into the wind.
    What does anyone think of raising the forestay point on the mast and heightening the jib/genoa so I can fit a larger one?
     
  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    We've seen Footballers' Wives, so we knew what you meant.:)
     
  6. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Poor old Pompey. You were right, I didn't want to know. Work is the curse of the drinking classes and boaterholics.
     
  7. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Pompey, go carefully when contemplating a larger foresail. You may upset the balance of the boat if you start reinventing it. Too much foresail and you may set up a condition that will cause lee helm. Lee helm is not only undesirable, it is also dangerous.
     
  8. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Pompey,

    Recognizing that you seem to be a day sailor/cruiser and racing is far from your list of priorities...

    My advice is to find a local 18-20 year old who is working in a sailing loft and offer him $50-$100 for an afternoon of sailing lessons. Have him focus on a few things about your boat and then see how things go.

    1) Ask him to teach you how to properly trim your sails, and prepare the boat.

    2) Ask him what equipment you need to get up to speed.

    Just from looking at the pictures I can tell you a few things you need to do. First is to get some vang on when reaching. The idea is to always have the same sail shape at the same angle to the wind. By adding vang downwing you close the leach and allow the upper portion of the main to work instead of just spilling wind. Then you use the sheet to control the angle of the boom and thus the sail to the wind.

    Secondly you need telltales on the jib and main. Without them it is next to impossible to really tell what the air flow over the sails is doing. Yes you can get a rough idea on the jib by heading up until the sail begins to luff, but this could be anywhere from 10-25 degrees higher than what your optimal sailing shape would be.

    I would also suggest a windex at the top of the mast. That way you can really see where the apparent wind is. Most modern ones also come with two tailes that are set at the approximate angle you sail off the wind. This allows you to quickly see how far off the wind you are actually sailing.

    Finally I would not really suggest getting a new mast really due to the rather expensive bill you would be looking at relative to the price of the boat. At most I might consider having your local sailmaker (again get the best racing guy around) design a inside overlapping headsail for you. This would be more in line with current best practices for fractional boats. Though to be honest I would be hesitant to recommend this because of the cost.

    As for moving the main sheet. The only thing that would really make a difference is if you added and then used a main traveler. Without a boubt in my eyes they are the single best piece of upwind gear most boats have/could add, but again there is a real cost concern. Good traveler systems can cost upwards of $500 for a small boat plus installation. And unless they are used properly will add nothing to the sailing characteristics of the boat.


    In short, and I hope this doesn't sound rude, I think more than a sail/boat problem you have a lack of skill when it comes to properly trimming sails. Which will do more for the pointing ability of a sailboat than any design issues or hardware fixes. In short a great surgeon can perform a better appendectomy with an axe, than a lumberjack with an operating room.
     
  9. Pompey
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    Pompey Junior Member

    Thanks, it all sounds like good advice. The issue, as originally stated is going upwind in light winds, as she sails pretty well into the wind in stronger winds, with the jib she has. I was only thinking of a genoa for the lighter winds, controlled by roller reef. Would be interested to know what you mean by 'lee helm being dangerous', messabout. I would add that I do keep the vang well adjusted depending on the required trim and watch the tell-tails on sails and stays, which just confirm the sails are stalling in lighter winds. I do think the lumberjack would do a quicker amputation, though.
     
  10. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Lee helm is dangerous because if for some reason you drop the tiller the boat wants to turn down wind, this of course causes the boat to pick up speed, and heel over more, causing even more lee helm, causing the boat to turn further down wind.... This can quickly result in a boat over on its ear from simply loosing your grip, or worse if you fall overboard. This is why most designers try to build in a little weather helm, so that if you drop the stick the boat winds up pointed at the wind, slows down and stops.
     
  11. celenoglu
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    celenoglu Junior Member

    The main dirving sail to windward is the jib. The area od the jib can be increased a little bit but that might not help a lot. The jib deflects the wind and the main generally cannot function good at all, going to windward. Try to use only the main on your boat to go to windward. Although the sail area seems to decrease, the main will probably have more driving force than the jib.

    For Ketches, it is always a good idea to try to use the mizzen sail and the jib and to get rid of the main sail which is higly affected by the jib and in turn affects the mizzen.

    You will see that your main will not need to be sheeted as close as when you have the jib. Just try it.
     
  12. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    This is pretty much a myth. Whilst its superficially true that a jib may develop more power per square foot than a mainsail in a sloop rig, that's only because the mainsail is there and interacting with it. Take away the interaction and a jib will certainly be no more and probably be less efficient than a mainsail.
     
  13. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Pompey; The last two posts are conflictiong. I will not take sides except to note that the fastest and most close winded boats I have ever sailed were unarigs. .

    Stumble has a great idea. There is no disgrace in learning from an accomplished sailor even if he is only 18 or 20 years old.

    Find some knitting yarn, cut about a dozen pieces into about 9 inch lengths. Tape the yarns to each side of the sails about one quarter to one third of the way back from the luff. Space them up the sail so that three of them are about equally spaced. Now go sailing. Move the sheets in or out and pay attention to the yarns. The lee side yarn might stand straight up,,,change the trim to see what happens. The lee yarn may stream forward rather than backward. ..change trim and see what happens. Pay attention to the weather side yarns too. When you are "in the groove" all the yarns will be lieing neatly against the sail, steaming aft. Perfect sail trim is not an easy thing to find. The yarns will help you find that trim. Much to be learned here.

    Failing the young racer gambit, check your local library to find the following book: The Art And Science Of Sails by Tom Whidden ISBN 0-312-0441708. That book will tell you more than you need to know about sails, trim, and all the rest. It is written by acknowledged wizards and can settle some of the arguments which abound with we sailors. I do not wish to dispell all arguments as long as they remain friendly. After all argueing, lying, and drinking a few, is what we do when sailors gather at the local pub. Let us not spoil the fun.
     
  14. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    The reason I suggest a young sailor is that they are often floating arund the docks, broke, and the good ones, identifiable by the by the flip flops (at least around here) can be hired for a case of beer or $50 for an afternoon. Most of them started sailing in opties at about 5 and have been racing since, so while young they often have more time on the water than people with years more experience, and the thrill of getting paid to go sailing, and the bragging rights that go with it, to them is worth more than the cash anyway.
     

  15. GTO
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    GTO Senior Member

    I had the same issue with my boat. One thing that noticeably helped was putting a club boom on the jib.
    In light winds, the sail just lost all shape with any motion. Now in very low winds, and I'm talking whispering breezes, I totally free the jib sheet.
    With any brief breeze, or whatever, the weight of the club keeps the sail shape so the wind provides some drive, even if the jib just appears to be slightly swaying.
    Without the club, by the time the sail filled out and starting to act like a sail, the brief wind would be gone. And if the wind were too light, it could never fill out the sail.

    Here is a vid, ghosting downwind, but it shows the clubed jib.
    Maybe that would help.
    I also say add a bowsprite and get some more sail up there. :)

    http://s198.photobucket.com/albums/...untersville/?action=view&current=MVI_0300.flv
     
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