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26M - Racing - Lay lines

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby NiceAft » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:48 pm

You persevered Mike. Well done :!: There's always the next time. 8)

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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby MikeFloutier » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:06 pm

Thanks Guys!

1. Getting to the start on time is definitely not a MacProblem so I know I can sort that out, and

2. Pointing...I do know, from recording my tracks previously, that with a balanced helm I can get close to a 90 deg tack with reasonable pace (although I accept that maybe a rose-tinted view). Yesterday it was probably closer to 110 deg with so much weather helm I had the wheel turned over 180 deg.

I need to experiment more with my balance close-hauled in strong winds (without resorting to a jib)

Thanks again, I do appreciate the encouragement.
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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby sailboatmike » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:27 pm

Im sure you would be able to pick up a semi reasonable second hand jib for a not many pounds.

England has heaps of boat recycle places, Im sure one of those would have a jib that would do the job, if you dont know of any look in Practical Boater mag or of course you could just do the old fashioned thing and use Mr. Google

Just out of interest Alex Thompsons IMOCA 60 is really bad into the wind, but boy does that thing fly down hill as proved in the Fastnet just finished
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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:45 pm

sailboatmike wrote:Im sure you would be able to pick up a semi reasonable second hand jib for a not many pounds.

England has heaps of boat recycle places, Im sure one of those would have a jib that would do the job, if you dont know of any look in Practical Boater mag or of course you could just do the old fashioned thing and use Mr. Google

Just out of interest Alex Thompsons IMOCA 60 is really bad into the wind, but boy does that thing fly down hill as proved in the Fastnet just finished


It's very difficult to switch between a furled Genoa and a working jib - the forward stay will not work for both sails - it's an "either/or" kind of deal.

MikeF,

I think the real lesson here is don't be afraid to barge the line too early - I have got caught crossing the line too early several times - the worst that can happen is they blow a horn on you but you can still race under most rules - most the guys will not protest your early start unless you place - it's better to take a penalty for an early start than to be retired from the race because you did not start soon enough - in the latter you can't race at all. If your barging the line you can always bear off if you get too close - yes, I know that the other boats will get mad because your barging the line - just take your hat off and bow to them as you maneuver behind their stern as as act of courtesy (try no to make people turn on the start - that's bad form if your not a class boat).

Turning the wheel 180 degrees to counter a weather helm is not really a big problem - that's only a 5 to 10 degree angle on the rudders - more than acceptable if you speed is holding over 5.5 knots - what was your speed and the wind speed at that time? It sounds like you had just the right conditions to go for it. Was the boat stable and hard with that tack? It sounds like you could have pointed it out pretty good - the boat should track like that without rounding up - even with all that weather helm the boat was still tracking, right? I think you had it. Close hauled in strong winds is a balancing act between pointing high or heeling and dragging the rudders a little - the key is to do what makes the best speed for the conditions. Sometimes a 35 degree heel dragging rudders is pretty fast but if the seas are ruff pointing higher and heeling and dragging less is faster.

I would really be curious what the wind velocity was and the sea state at the time your were getting the weather helm. If you have that much control over the boat in high winds WITH a Genoa your more ready to race than you might think captain!
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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby NiceAft » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:33 pm

To quote Admiral Farragut, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” At least that's what I think BOAT is telling you. :D
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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby MikeFloutier » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:47 pm

Thanks Guys,

Ok, well BOAT, thank you for going for the jugular, as always, this gives me food for thought; which I appreciate btw.

Firstly I have an embarrassing admission to make. 8) I've been mixing up weather helm and lee helm. I thought, without properly checking (and remembering), that weather helm was when you had to turn the helm to weather to counter the boat's current tendency. Weather Helm - well it made sense to me.

So, ok, when I said that I was experiencing, what to me seemed like a lot of weather helm, I was actually experiencing lee helm. This realisation certainly made me sit up and wonder about my entire understanding of sailing. As a real newbie ive been so involved in all sorts of non-sailing issues, like fixing leaks, installing autopilot etc etc, that I haven't really concentrated on sailing technique.

Anyway, to answer your questions BOAT, I've got no wind instruments (YET!) but I'm guessing it was around 15kts, gusting 20kts, certainly more than I expected - I had planned on my reef plus full 150% genoa but had to furl the genoa a good few turns.

I was getting around 5kts max SOG, little current as it was slack water, but because of having to avoid all the boats in around 10 separate races, all using much the same marks, I didn't have time to do any proper trimming. Also I only have tell-tales on the luff of my genoa which, of course, got furled - will be fixing that this winter.

As the Carrick Roads are pretty sheltered the sea state was fairly calm, no real waves to speak of.

Also, I was able to keep my heeling down to around 20-25 deg although it would go up to 40 deg in gusts when I would hang out as far as I could bearing in mind I wasn't using the AP so I still had to steer. Ok, it makes more sense now, I wondered why I could heel so far without rounding up; must have been an effect of the lee helm.

Getting back to, what I now know to be, my lee helm, I realise that this was, in the main, caused by the reefing of both sails; the mainsail being obvious and the removal of that portion of the genoa that normally flies sternwards of the mast less so.

So, thinking about countering the lee helm in these conditions, and with the proviso that I'm looking for best pointing, I suppose I need to:

1. De-power what's left of the genoa, and
2. Power up the reefed main.

Does that make sense?

Now I have never moved my genoa cars from their front positions since I've had the boat (never been that sophisticated) but having read about their use today, I can see that, by moving them back, the genoa would be flattened more and hence de-powered - is that right?

Regarding the main, I'm guessing that easing the clew out-haul would help counter the lee helm plus give me more speed.

The net effect of these measures on the heeling should, I'm guessing, be negligible.

Does that make any sense?

I like the idea of good balance in any conditions as, being mainly a single-hander, I get to use the AP without worrying about over-powering it.

Anyway, enough already, brain is starting to be over-powered.

Thanks again for all you inputs!
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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby Tomfoolery » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:27 pm

MikeFloutier wrote:Ok, well BOAT, thank you for going for the jugular, as always, this gives me food for thought; which I appreciate btw.

Reminds me of the words spoken by Ray Kroc (played by Michael Keaton) in the movie The Founder, to one of the McDonald brothers: "If my competition was drowning, I'd stick a garden hose down his throat." Or something close to that. Remind me not to get on BOAT's bad side. :D :wink:

MikeFloutier wrote:Firstly I have an embarrassing admission to make. 8) I've been mixing up weather helm and lee helm. I thought, without properly checking (and remembering), that weather helm was when you had to turn the helm to weather to counter the boat's current tendency. Weather Helm - well it made sense to me.

I always thought it originated in the necessity to pull the tiller to weather, which fights the boat's attempts to turn toward the weather. You're actually steering away from the weather, but the tiller is pulled toward it. Though I could be wrong - it's just something that came to me long ago, and made some sense, but I've never seen it actually written any where. :|
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Re: 26M - Racing - Lay lines

Postby sailboatmike » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:33 pm

weather helm
nounNAUTICAL
a tendency in a sailing ship to head into the wind if the tiller is released.
"the shape of this hull will generate substantial weather helm"

Tiller or wheel position is irrelevant, if she wants turn her bow toward the wind its weather helm, if she tries to turn her bow down wind then its lee helm.

Weather helm is preferred as the boat will round up in a gust rather than gybe, and we all know how nasty a uncontrolled gybe can be not only for the safety of those on board but also for the rigging on the boat
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