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Shootist Jeff

Headsails on Non-furling Sportboats - drop or not?

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For boats with non--furling headsails that stay up on the DW run like the Viper, SB20, VX-One, etc, I've been wondering if there is any advantage to dropping the headsail on deck on the last leg to the finish when there is no need to re-hoist at a mark rounding?

 

I get that its not worth it to drop and then have to re-hoist at the leeward gate, but what about on the final run to the finish? I saw one boat do it in one race and their gennaker seemed to fly better? Is there any advantage to the airflow for the gennaker (i.e. faster) or is the ass-pain of having to drop it on the deck and then keep it out of the water is worth a marginal increase in speed. Anyone try this, or is it taboo to do?

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JBSF,

 

We do it on the Viper and not just on the last run ........ but only in the very light stuff.

In the conditions where the spinaker is starting to droop it seems to allow better airflow over the chute.

In those conditions you are trying to soak as low as possible...... but keep the chute set.

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JBSF,

 

We do it on the Viper and not just on the last run ........ but only in the very light stuff.

In the conditions where the spinaker is starting to droop it seems to allow better airflow over the chute.

In those conditions you are trying to soak as low as possible...... but keep the chute set.

 

Ah, OK, that makes sense. And I think it was a really light air day that I saw the one example that got me thinking about it. So on other than light air days, you leave it up?

 

I there an advantage to taking it down on the last run on other than light air days to promote that better flow?

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light stuff only, or if your SB has a puny short probiscus

 

Got it, thanks.

 

And no, we are very well hung, thank you. :D

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or if your sb has a fractional spinnaker, in which case dropping it is preferred.

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or if your sb has a fractional spinnaker, in which case dropping it is preferred.

 

Nope. definitely MH

 

UON-SB20-World-Champs-at-Hamilton-Island

 

SB20-Speed-Small.jpg

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For boats with non--furling headsails that stay up on the DW run like the Viper, SB20, VX-One <snip>

 

FWIW, the VX-One does indeed have a furling jib. (when I asked BB whether to furl downwind, he thought it was worthwhile only in super light air (like 3 knots or less.))

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A good rule of thumb is that if the conditions are light enough that you will not plane the best is to drop it. The jib does help a little, but in light air you want a clean and constant flow on the spinnaker, and even though the kite's luff is well forward of the jib luff, some times when the effect of velocity is felt, the jib does not help. Also, pulling out of a gybe in light air is faster without the jib than with it.

My 0.02

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A good rule of thumb is that if the conditions are light enough that you will not plane the best is to drop it. The jib does help a little, but in light air you want a clean and constant flow on the spinnaker, and even though the kite's luff is well forward of the jib luff, some times when the effect of velocity is felt, the jib does not help. Also, pulling out of a gybe in light air is faster without the jib than with it.

 

My 0.02

 

Cool. I was wondering about that area in winds above superlight, but still light enough to not be able to plane. My thought was that the airflow on the gennaker would be much cleaner and therefore faster. My only concern was is the effort to drop it and then re-hoist worth the slight speed gains from doing it? Not to mention, without lifelines, how do you keep the jib from going in the water without having someone go up front and tie it down? Any techniques on keeping the jib tidy when dropped but still easy to get back up in a hurry?

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A good rule of thumb is that if the conditions are light enough that you will not plane the best is to drop it. The jib does help a little, but in light air you want a clean and constant flow on the spinnaker, and even though the kite's luff is well forward of the jib luff, some times when the effect of velocity is felt, the jib does not help. Also, pulling out of a gybe in light air is faster without the jib than with it.

 

My 0.02

 

Cool. I was wondering about that area in winds above superlight, but still light enough to not be able to plane. My thought was that the airflow on the gennaker would be much cleaner and therefore faster. My only concern was is the effort to drop it and then re-hoist worth the slight speed gains from doing it? Not to mention, without lifelines, how do you keep the jib from going in the water without having someone go up front and tie it down? Any techniques on keeping the jib tidy when dropped but still easy to get back up in a hurry?

without lifelines, just pull the foot tight with the sheet and cleat it. if you wanted, you could have a pennant that you could attach to the head to keep it down too. it doesn't take long and is definitely worth the speed gains. your bow will get used to it very quickly. we have lifelines but honestly on downwind runs the sail stays pretty tame on deck, even in planing conditions.

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A good rule of thumb is that if the conditions are light enough that you will not plane the best is to drop it. The jib does help a little, but in light air you want a clean and constant flow on the spinnaker, and even though the kite's luff is well forward of the jib luff, some times when the effect of velocity is felt, the jib does not help. Also, pulling out of a gybe in light air is faster without the jib than with it.

 

My 0.02

 

Cool. I was wondering about that area in winds above superlight, but still light enough to not be able to plane. My thought was that the airflow on the gennaker would be much cleaner and therefore faster. My only concern was is the effort to drop it and then re-hoist worth the slight speed gains from doing it? Not to mention, without lifelines, how do you keep the jib from going in the water without having someone go up front and tie it down? Any techniques on keeping the jib tidy when dropped but still easy to get back up in a hurry?

without lifelines, just pull the foot tight with the sheet and cleat it. if you wanted, you could have a pennant that you could attach to the head to keep it down too. it doesn't take long and is definitely worth the speed gains. your bow will get used to it very quickly. we have lifelines but honestly on downwind runs the sail stays pretty tame on deck, even in planing conditions.

 

Ryley is right.

 

If you want to take it to the next step, I have seen some sport boats having a couple of small eye straps or even tiny Dyneema loops if you want to avoid the hardware (I would) on both rails in the middle of the way to the bow and they have a light bungee cord with a plastic hook on each end. this way you drop the jib and clip the bungee cord on top of the jib and that keeps it secure.

This also helps a lot on windy conditions when you are waiting between starts.

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A good rule of thumb is that if the conditions are light enough that you will not plane the best is to drop it. The jib does help a little, but in light air you want a clean and constant flow on the spinnaker, and even though the kite's luff is well forward of the jib luff, some times when the effect of velocity is felt, the jib does not help. Also, pulling out of a gybe in light air is faster without the jib than with it.

 

My 0.02

 

Cool. I was wondering about that area in winds above superlight, but still light enough to not be able to plane. My thought was that the airflow on the gennaker would be much cleaner and therefore faster. My only concern was is the effort to drop it and then re-hoist worth the slight speed gains from doing it? Not to mention, without lifelines, how do you keep the jib from going in the water without having someone go up front and tie it down? Any techniques on keeping the jib tidy when dropped but still easy to get back up in a hurry?

without lifelines, just pull the foot tight with the sheet and cleat it. if you wanted, you could have a pennant that you could attach to the head to keep it down too. it doesn't take long and is definitely worth the speed gains. your bow will get used to it very quickly. we have lifelines but honestly on downwind runs the sail stays pretty tame on deck, even in planing conditions.

 

Ryley is right.

 

If you want to take it to the next step, I have seen some sport boats having a couple of small eye straps or even tiny Dyneema loops if you want to avoid the hardware (I would) on both rails in the middle of the way to the bow and they have a light bungee cord with a plastic hook on each end. this way you drop the jib and clip the bungee cord on top of the jib and that keeps it secure.

This also helps a lot on windy conditions when you are waiting between starts.

+ 100 This is the biggest thing. Racing, 90% of the time she stays tame. It's between races that she beats herself up reaching back and forth. I will add that in a bind you can wrap it within itself and pull the hallyard through tsomething on the bow and then take the slack out. (if your hallyard is long enough of course). We do this when the bungee clip inevitably breaks. Velcro works as well, found that "stressed" velcro works better than the new stuff as it rips easier when you pull jenny up.

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Hoisting and dropping the jib is painlessly easy.

 

The reason we keep ours up in 90% of conditions is that it is faster.

 

In very light conditions, it pays to dowse the jib downwind in the light spots. For some reason the gybe is faster and smoother with the jib up in light stuff. So as long as no one has "the jump" on you, its quite typical to see top boats, hoist jib, go hot for 3-5 seconds, float gybe, come out hot, dowse jib, soak for vmg.

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I started dropping the jib only half way on the Viper in light air. With the jib all the way down the clew on the chute seems to catch on the head stay. Dropping it half way gives me a smooth jibe while keeping the chute full.

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The SB3 or 20 or what the hell they call it now has a relatively short prodder and is also a little sticky unless it is blowing enough to put it on a solid plane so you will see a speed advantage by dropping the jib unless you can put the boat on a solid plane. On some of the more well endowed sportboats you would only drop the jib in almost drifting conditions. On our boat the crossover is something like 3-4 knots of WS. Having the jib up also makes for smoother gybes. The jib up for just the gybes as Justin describes can be the way to go on some sportboats.

 

or if your sb has a fractional spinnaker, in which case dropping it is preferred.

 

Nope. definitely MH

 

UON-SB20-World-Champs-at-Hamilton-Island

 

SB20-Speed-Small.jpg

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Here's a question that's kind of on topic - How do you work out the right downwind angle? I have broken this into 3 wind ranges on my Leech 650.

 

Under 6knots - as deep as possible without collapsing the A2

6 - 12knots - not sure but tending to sail at 90 degrees apparent - up and down depending on puffs - this is the bit I'm least sure of

over 12 - easy to judge as the boat is planning and we go up and down in the puffs depending on heel angle

 

Unfortunately there are no comparable boats in the club fleet so I can't do the faster/slower comparison with another boat.So, how do you figure out the transition wind range and associated angle?

 

Rob

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Here's a question that's kind of on topic - How do you work out the right downwind angle? I have broken this into 3 wind ranges on my Leech 650.

 

Under 6knots - as deep as possible without collapsing the A2

6 - 12knots - not sure but tending to sail at 90 degrees apparent - up and down depending on puffs - this is the bit I'm least sure of

over 12 - easy to judge as the boat is planning and we go up and down in the puffs depending on heel angle

 

Unfortunately there are no comparable boats in the club fleet so I can't do the faster/slower comparison with another boat.So, how do you figure out the transition wind range and associated angle?

 

Rob

On the Elliott, 0 - 10 true is generally a beam reach, after that start soaking deeper. Under 6 a beam reach generally *is* as low as I can go.

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Good info guys, thanks! I will have to test it in the offseason when I do some boat on boat tuning to see if there is a difference. None of the top boats in the fleet do it, except for once (by one boat) when it was really light. I've also watched some of the training vids Laser put out before they sold the brand and none of the pros were dropping the jib, even in lighter stuff.

 

I can definitely see the benefits to having it up for a gybe (even maybe halfway) - but all the other furling boats seem to be able to gybe with the headsail furled just fine. Although I can see the fat furled jib being easier to get the clew by than the bare forestay wire.

 

Also, the conventional wisdom in my local fleet seems to be to soak as much as possible on light wind days rather than sailing hotter angles to keep up boat speed. I tried doing the soak thing in a couple of races and we all just played follow the leader. The one time I said fuck it, gybed away and sailed hotter angles while everyone else ahead of me soaked, I picked up two boats DW for an overall 2nd. But that was a data point of one, and its possible I just got a tiny bit better pressure on the other side of the course by gybing away from the leaders.


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Here's a question that's kind of on topic - How do you work out the right downwind angle? I have broken this into 3 wind ranges on my Leech 650.

 

Under 6knots - as deep as possible without collapsing the A2

6 - 12knots - not sure but tending to sail at 90 degrees apparent - up and down depending on puffs - this is the bit I'm least sure of

over 12 - easy to judge as the boat is planning and we go up and down in the puffs depending on heel angle

 

Unfortunately there are no comparable boats in the club fleet so I can't do the faster/slower comparison with another boat.So, how do you figure out the transition wind range and associated angle?

 

Rob

Get a GPS, and set a waypoint directly downwind a long way away. Go sailing, compare your speed to waypoint at different angles. Only works if your wind direction is relatively constant. Can do the same upwind to get a better feel for your low, mid and high grooves

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