beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

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seadago
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Lowestoft, England

beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by seadago »

Hello all
Need advice form better sailors than I am. Where I am now, the wind blows in either of two directions, NNE and SSW. All day, most days. As the coast roughly lies N-S, this means any day outing include beating for half a day, to go out or to come back to harbour.
Old (Herreshof) cat ketchers are not renowned pointers. Evewrybody said so. Stubborn as I am, I refused to believe there were any worse than many bermudian sloops. By and large, I managed to prove that, without disproving what everybody said.
I made some modifications to improve point ability of Nausikaa. For instance, I installed a soft travaler on the main. This allows me to bring the end of the main boom to amidships when beating; something I could not do before. It helped; gave me a couple of degrees. Gain in speed is marginal however, and produces a lot of weather helm.

In this scenario, I am limited to how much leech tension I can apply. Releasing tension on the outhawl gives me more camber, but the camber I get is in the wrong place, too far aft, and I get so much twist the top of the sail tends to stall. Applying tention to the outhawl flattens the sail and the wind detaches on the traling edge of the sail.

If you manage to get the sails balanced and well trimmed when beating at 45 or less... Please tell me how do you do it? Please? :roll:
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop

bad
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 am

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by bad »

It sounds like you're doing the right thing, which is experimenting! I am assuming you have a ketch, and not sure what you are calling the main. Be it so, consider having the foresail trimmed in similar to a jib (7 deg sheeting angle) and the aftsail near centerline. In any case, you want the aft sail trimmed in harder.

A little weather helm is good, a lot is not. Reef the sails to balance the boat. Sailing with a lot of heal is overrated.

Track your speed and course through the water. If you are slow and pinching, it may look like a decent angle to the wind, but the course made good is bad...

Consider what playing with the position of the centerboard. Raising it partially moves the center of effort back, which helps with weather helm.

Finally, make wind shifts, ocillating and persistent, work for you.

But most of all have fun and enjoy solving this puzzle...

Erik

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newt2u
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Location: UK

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by newt2u »

Hi Rafael,

did you consider heading out and back in the North Sea instead of up and down the coast and enjoy reaching :-/

Concerning the rig, I'm not sure what you call the main but the fore rig should not be centered, think of the pair of sails as one continuous surface so a bigger sheeting angle on the fore rig with amidships on the aft rig will give you a virtual camber and aid the aerodynamics. Its the same with jib/main, you aim to get laminar flow over and between if you have a slot.
Rockin - F21 twin drop keels - located Milford Haven
Wintered in Shropshire where I am when I’m not sailing

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seadago
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Lowestoft, England

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by seadago »

Gentlemen, many thanks for the input.
To clear confusion, yes, I do have a ketch, an old Herreshoff-Hoyt cat ketch with wishbone booms, so not a sloop with two masts.
Pics here viewtopic.php?f=12&t=13218
Out of habit, I call the Main the foremast and sail, and the Mizzen the aft mast and sail.
And I am no longer in Lowestoft, but in the spanish Med, near Alicante. Need to change the details on my forum profile! :cry:
Evidently, trial and error is the best way to learn, so will continue to experiment. I did not entertain to consider both sails as one aerofoil, as they do not overlap. Will include this thought in the experimental protocol! :mrgreen:
When close hauled, I always thought bringing the end of the main boom close amidships, and then playing with the outhaul to control camber, would give me the best shape, bit maybe this only applies to sloops with big foresails. Anything between close hauled and close reach, sheeting in the Mizzen too tight gives me uncomfortable weather helm.
Will report on progress. You are right Erik, it IS fun! :lol:
Rafa
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop

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newt2u
Posts: 140
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Location: UK

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by newt2u »

I should have remembered, I did read your blog of the trip... and enjoyed it.
Rockin - F21 twin drop keels - located Milford Haven
Wintered in Shropshire where I am when I’m not sailing

bad
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 am

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by bad »

On a single masted cat boat like the Wyliecat 30, the mainsail gets trimed to the leeward corner of the transom when sailing upwind. More chamber when there is less wind or more waves.

I don't think your main on a ketch should be trimmed in much past the toe rail. Adjust the mizzen to balance the boat, but it can come in closer to center line. If you have too much weather helm, start with reefing the main. These are all good places to begin with.

Note that tell tales can tell you a lot about the flow of wind across the sail and help get repeatable settings. Both sails should have them along the luff and leach. For pointing i would have the luff telltales on the leeward side streaming horizontal, the windward horizontal or some upward bias. The leach telltales on the main should be streaming, on the mizzen, the top telltale can occasionally stall out. It's a place to start...

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seadago
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Location: Lowestoft, England

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by seadago »

Thanks Erik!
Interesting... I have been using, more or less, the following reefing schedule since I bought the boat and seems to wirk fairly good in most points of sail. It was provided by Michel in another thread in the forum.
"A reefing schedule could look like this (I used this for years on my F33 catketch with 2 reefs in each sail, so up to 35 kts):

Apparent wind speed:

15 kts -> 1st reef mizzen
20 kts -> 1st reef main
25 kts -> 2nd reef mizzen
30 kts -> 2nd reef main
35 kts -> 3rd reef mizzen
40 kts -> 3rd reef main
45 kts -> mizzen down (effectively heaving to with mainsail with the quarter to the wind or running. Instead, the main can be taken down and the mizzen set with 3 reefs to heave to with the bow at 50* - 70* to the wind.)
50 kts -> main down (lying ahull)
"

Now, I only have two reefs on each sail, so can follow to 35 kts. Beyond that, I would be running for cover anyway! :mrgreen:
This schedule starts with the mizzen, correctly so in my experience, as reefing the main first makes the mizzen larger overall. This makes the boat very difficult to steer straight, particularly with following seas.
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop

bad
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 am

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by bad »

That will work!

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Castaway
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:40 pm
Location: Lerwick, Shetland Isles

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by Castaway »

Rafael,

I'm not sure how the G10 rig will affect windward performance; does the luff slacken as increasing wind flexes the mast? This may reduce efficient pointing. You may well do better to trade pointing-up for VMG. We found that with new wrap around sails, beautifully cut by Geoff Hill at Solent Sails, we could keep the apparent wind at 35º and tack through less than 100º in flat seas. Sadly, brisk winds and flat seas rarely go together. Furthermore, the full bow sections of the cat-ketch mean that short choppy waves slow the boat down going upwind. Our strategy, when sailing speed drops off in freshening winds, is to ease the sheets but keep the sails filled. Boat speed picks up enough to make overall progress faster. If the need for progress is great, we resort to the iron spinnaker, and burn the fuel.

I read of a professional sailor (on Thames Barges) who said, many years ago, "If I were a yachtsman – which I ain't – I wouldn't never go to windward, not no how!". I just wish I was always in a position to take that advice. At least, having deliberately chosen not to have a Bermudian rig, I know I am sacrificing windward ability for much better performance on every other point of sail.

Hope your journey is going well. If you are likely still to be in Alicanté later in October, send me a PM and we could perhaps meet up, as we shall be staying nearby.

Regards,

Gerald

PS, Gary Hoyt designed the original Freedom 40 without reefing sails, claiming one should just free the sheets or hand the sails! No engine in the prototype, either.
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch, centreboard, 1987)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland

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seadago
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Lowestoft, England

Re: beating at 45 degrees - advice from experts

Post by seadago »

Hey Gerald. many thanks for your insights.
I would say the G10 rig actually helps control luff tension. As the mast flexes I can tension the rakband in the middle and lower section of the mast. The result is that the luff of the sail is closer to the mast in the lower two-thirds, whilst still a few inches from the mast in the upper third. This keeps the sail shape good irrespective of the mast bend. I only do this in winds over 20 knots, which is to say not all that often, and only in the main.
And I agree, genetlemen don´t beat to winward! :mrgreen: ... unless they have some place to get to! :lol:
I´m in Torrevieja, just south of Alicante.
Let me know when you are coming and I´ll meet you in Alicante.
Or viceversa!
Cheers!
Rafa
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop

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