What gives!?! Sailing 911!

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Aschubert
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:31 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by Aschubert » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:54 pm

First good wind sail on my new to me 01 26x.. Had her in the water a few weeks. Decided to put it all out.. 150 Gen and main all out and up. Board down, ballast in, rudders down..

She floundered around, pushed sideways, gained momentum, then would round up with little heel...no control. Wind was 15-25. Got under her in water...board was down..same prob with board half up.. Pulled in half the gen and found some control. Rest of day we were on a broad reach, rounded up 30 plus times..k..she won't go over, that's good. Despite my efforts to lay her over and see how she behaved..seemed max heel was 30 or so and past that she gives me the bird.. We max about 6-7 mph..(inland lake very little current.) Winds steady in direction but speed variable) ..I felt like I had been wrestling the boat all day. I proclaim no great knowledge of the boat or sailing. I can get where I want to go in a sailboat.. So someone enlighten me! Can you have too much sail and overpower the keel and rudder directional ability? That's what it felt like...never got her on a run to see how she behaved. 20 years ago I had a m22 and don't recall ever rounding that way. But she just had a jib. Thank/ahead for any opinion, feedback, or knowledge! Seen some bids of others past 6-7 knots.. Idk how.. I sure had enough wind I would think. I know shne has a "hull speed" about where I stayed.. But still!

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dthiesmeyer
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by dthiesmeyer » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:01 am

Too much sail for 15-25mph winds. I have experienced the same results with 25mph gusts. I would have reefed the main in those conditions and reefed the Genoa to half, as you did, and kept the heel to 15-20 degrees. I think that your 6-7mph speed is about what you can expect under those conditions.

Dave

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Crikey
Admiral
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by Crikey » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:45 am

This was found in a much earlier post (?) to have been caused by an incorrect mast-rake angle. I would also ascertain whether your rudders are set to be parallel with each other.

R.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:17 am

Aschubert wrote:First good wind sail on my new to me 01 26x.. Had her in the water a few weeks. Decided to put it all out.. 150 Gen and main all out and up. Board down, ballast in, rudders down..

She floundered around, pushed sideways, gained momentum, then would round up with little heel...no control. Wind was 15-25.
The mast on the X is raked much more than most boats, and with all that sail up, I'm not surprised you couldn't follow a track. If it were me, I'd have reefed the main small, and used the working jib. Oh, and if the main sail is original, it's blown out, and will cause a lot of heel, and that lift way off the side like that puts turning moment on the boat (weather helm made even worse), which the rudders have to fight. When they stall, it's all over.

And do check the rake of the mast, as well as the bend. I reduced the rake of my mast to reduce weather helm.

paul I
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by paul I » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:44 pm

Aschubert wrote:So someone enlighten me! Can you have too much sail and overpower the keel and rudder directional ability?
In a word "Yes", as you have found out. You had way too much sail out for those wind conditions.

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sailboatmike
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by sailboatmike » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:26 pm

Gee in 25knts even the mid sized keelers would have a reef in.

Better to go out with to little sail than too much, far easier to shake out a reef if you need to than put one in when its blowing too hard.

As the old sailing adage goes, if you think you may need to reef then its probably too late.

THe recommended mast rake for X boats is 4 degrees, but you can reduce that a bit

Aschubert
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by Aschubert » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:31 pm

Tomfoolery, what do you mean by "blown?" Can't see the sail having stretched.. They are likely original to the boat but appear in decent shape. I do admit, compared to the tight main on cats I used to sail, she has a lot of belly even when pulled tight... Can modern sail fabric actually stretch to such a degree?

Thanks so far for the replies! I think I have to adjust expectations a bit. Learned the basics as a child on grandads home built Cape Dory Typhoon.. Then on to cats.. Speed was my thing. I know the boat's background enough to not expect her to take me where she wasn't designed to go. Just want to set her up for maximum success for her make/model. So far, I do love the boat for all the reasons others do.

The rake is per the book for now anyway.... My mind says "more sail more speed." However, in a good wind it appeares balance of forces of sail, keel angle, and heel all p!at in to best trim for max speed.. I always thought heavy heel was fun, but it just doesn't translate directly to speed. I LOVE THIS STUFF!! Understanding the forces at work. Ect.. I look forward to learning more! I'm going to check those rudders.. They both had play in them prior to launch..which seems normal, like her keel (which I had to comp!etely rebuild.. But it came out great!)

Thanks again for the responses so far. I love this board! :D

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grady
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by grady » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:16 am

Aschubert wrote:Tomfoolery, what do you mean by "blown?" Can't see the sail having stretched.. They are likely original to the boat but appear in decent shape. I do admit, compared to the tight main on cats I used to sail, she has a lot of belly even when pulled tight... Can modern sail fabric actually stretch to such a degree?

Thanks so far for the replies! I think I have to adjust expectations a bit. Learned the basics as a child on grandads home built Cape Dory Typhoon.. Then on to cats.. Speed was my thing. I know the boat's background enough to not expect her to take me where she wasn't designed to go. Just want to set her up for maximum success for her make/model. So far, I do love the boat for all the reasons others do.

The rake is per the book for now anyway.... My mind says "more sail more speed." However, in a good wind it appeares balance of forces of sail, keel angle, and heel all p!at in to best trim for max speed.. I always thought heavy heel was fun, but it just doesn't translate directly to speed. I LOVE THIS STUFF!! Understanding the forces at work. Ect.. I look forward to learning more! I'm going to check those rudders.. They both had play in them prior to launch..which seems normal, like her keel (which I had to comp!etely rebuild.. But it came out great!)

Thanks again for the responses so far. I love this board! :D
Blown out or streched, Yes your sail is probably streched out. When you are out in high winds you should tighten up everything as tight as you can get it. Outhaul/halyard/backstay(if you have one don't remember what one doesn't have one) If it is a good sail it should be flat as a board. Nest time you are out take a picture from the boom looking up. Post it here and you should get some good information.

More power does not make a sail boat faster. Except for direct down wind. When the boat become fully powered up when going to wind you will be at 30 deg heel or so. Once you start overpowering and heeling more it feels fun and faster but all you are doing is sliding sideways.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:41 am

grady wrote:Blown out or stretched, Yes your sail is probably stretched out. When you are out in high winds you should tighten up everything as tight as you can get it. Outhaul/halyard/backstay(if you have one don't remember what one doesn't have one) If it is a good sail it should be flat as a board. Nest time you are out take a picture from the boom looking up. Post it here and you should get some good information.

More power does not make a sail boat faster. Except for direct down wind. When the boat become fully powered up when going to wind you will be at 30 deg heel or so. Once you start overpowering and heeling more it feels fun and faster but all you are doing is sliding sideways.
What he said. The OEM Doyle sails are 'budget' sails, and stretch permanently over time. Relatively little time compared to heavier, more costly sails. A big belly makes the boat heel more, which increases the tendency to round up.

If you're considering new sails, I would suggest something better than more of the same, with two reef points (though the single deep reef point on your main would have been appropriate for the winds you were in). It's a big investment, and a relatively small increase in money will get you a relatively large gain in performance and sail longevity.

But you can just keep using the sails you have. Mine are old, blown out, and I can still wring some speed out of them. Not as much, I'm sure, as sails that aren't 10 years and hundreds of hours beyond they're prime, but that's what I have, so that's what I use. :P

Oh, and the fastest I've ever sailed any boat I ever had was with the main reefed. Sailing flatter and better will be faster than putting the rail in the water, though that's pretty hard to do on an X since it's so high up. :D

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arknoah
Engineer
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Re: What gives!?! Sailing 911!

Post by arknoah » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:38 pm

sailboatmike wrote:Better to go out with to little sail than too much, far easier to shake out a reef if you need to than put one in when its blowing too hard.

As the old sailing adage goes, if you think you may need to reef then its probably too late.
I tend to go out with a reef in the main and shake it out rather than having to worry about putting it in. Depending upon how the firsts few miles go, I may shake it out or leave it in, and adjust the Genoa accordingly.

I much prefer more control at 5 knots than a lot less control at 5.5.

Just sayin....

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