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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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tturnbullnar

single-handing a J/111

38 posts in this topic

Has anyone had the experience of single-handing a J/111? And, if so, any thoughts on deck layout or configurations?

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I've done a lot of transports solo and also some racing solo. Plus we do a lot of doublehanded racing.

  • Deck layout works great.
  • Get a good autopilot
  • Figure out how to manage gennakers (furlers, socks, ...) We're doing socks right now + code on a furler.
  • Go to smaller sails faster. The boat is quicker solo than with full crew in many conditions, but it's easy to get overpowered.
  • 95% of the time I'm using J3.5 heavy weather jib, which works from 6 knots in flat sea

Here's a short clip of a solo race we did last year.

 

 

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I'll have more feedback after the Gulf of Maine Solo Twin next week, but I'm optimistic it will work out. I agree with Peter that the layout is good, and that a responsive autopilot is necessary. Love having the remote control around my neck when on the foredeck.

 

Am going with a sock rather than the top down furlers, as they still seem to have issues. I ordered the extra long control lie from ATN to account for the sprit and in case I want to sock it from further aft.

 

The jib furler is the real issue I see. Absolute junk. Not sure if Blur is using the class one, but at this point I'm ready to give up on it.

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The jib furler is the real issue I see. Absolute junk. Not sure if Blur is using the class one, but at this point I'm ready to give up on it.

Actually ours is working quite well (at lest as good as the Harken and Furlex I've had on other boats). So there might be something wrong with the installation/setup.

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I'll have more feedback after the Gulf of Maine Solo Twin next week, but I'm optimistic it will work out.

BTW - good luck. Take time to take some photos - always a priority when racing solo since you don't have anything else to do :-)

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Hallo Peter,

Very instructive film that allow us to study sailing instead of the possibilities of the video ;-)

Is it the remote to the pilot you have on the chest when gybing?

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Is it the remote to the pilot you have on the chest when gybing?

 

Yes. I decided to get a NKE gyropilot on the J/!11.

Still experimenting with a lot of it's features.

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can you explain the over the boom during the douse for me. I assume it allows you to keep it out of the water and then you re0run the lines once the kite is down.

 

Love watching solo techniques.

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can you explain the over the boom during the douse for me. I assume it allows you to keep it out of the water and then you re0run the lines once the kite is down.

 

It's called "a letterbox" douse. Popular even with full crews when conditions are rough and you need to keep the chute under control.

 

Pros: you get the chute close to the main + it's easy to control. You can lock the easy sheet on a winch to really so it stays put. Key on the J/111 is to get the foot/tack in first so it doesn't get caught in the water.

 

Cons: you need to rerun everything and repack the spinnaker.

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can you explain the over the boom during the douse for me. I assume it allows you to keep it out of the water and then you re0run the lines once the kite is down.

It's called "a letterbox" douse. Popular even with full crews when conditions are rough and you need to keep the chute under control.

 

Pros: you get the chute close to the main + it's easy to control. You can lock the easy sheet on a winch to really so it stays put. Key on the J/111 is to get the foot/tack in first so it doesn't get caught in the water.

 

Cons: you need to rerun everything and repack the spinnaker.

 

 

It looked like you didn't pull the jib out until after dousing the spin. Is there a reason for that? I don't have my U24 any more, but when I did, I often thought about sailing her alone -- the only thing I never figured out was how to get back in to the marina - I did sail double handed a number of times -- and I always figured it would be easier to leave the jib out when the spin was up to prevent the spin from wrapping the forestay and so that I would have less to do on hoist and douse.

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It looked like you didn't pull the jib out until after dousing the spin. Is there a reason for that?

 

Only reason being to late for the turn, and needed to get it down fast :rolleyes: Normally jib goes out first.

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I single hand the 105 quite a bit. The sock is a bit of a pain in the ass, and the jib gets in the way if deployed when dousing the kite. I favor rolling the jib before playing with the kite. When fully crewed it's better to have the jib out when launching and retrieving because you don't use a sock.

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One more difference: the J111 class kite seems to have a shorter foot and higher clew relative to forestay position than the 89m2 on the J105 - perhaps more like the original 77m2 that the 105 was designed for. It's a lot easier to jibe the j111 kite without wrapping or hourglass-ing it. My guess is that the J111 is a better SH platform than the J105 despite the increased loads and overall bigger size of everything.

 

I don't like to letterbox douse because it makes such a mess - tangled lines everywhere - which you have to sort out when you would be better off worrying about tactics or optimizing upwind speed. The sock sucks, but not as much as having to re-string, run tapes and so forth.

 

Also, get the NKE autopilot - I have one on the J105 and it's fantastic.

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One more difference: the J111 class kite seems to have a shorter foot and higher clew relative to forestay position than the 89m2 on the J105 - perhaps more like the original 77m2 that the 105 was designed for. It's a lot easier to jibe the j111 kite without wrapping or hourglass-ing it. My guess is that the J111 is a better SH platform than the J105 despite the increased loads and overall bigger size of everything.

 

I don't like to letterbox douse because it makes such a mess - tangled lines everywhere - which you have to sort out when you would be better off worrying about tactics or optimizing upwind speed. The sock sucks, but not as much as having to re-string, run tapes and so forth.

 

Also, get the NKE autopilot - I have one on the J105 and it's fantastic.

 

J/105 have more ballast/displacement and is a superb shorthanded platform. Proved by many boats around the world. It's much, much harder to sail the J/111 to it's potential shorthanded, as it needs much more attention.

 

Easy of gybing depends on design and size more than boat model. A maximum size A2 runner will be tougher to gybe, even with a longer sprit. We're running both the 135 sqm OD gennaker and a 157 sqm "whomper".

 

Socks require practice and we find that they work great (after hating them the first season). Also works better with newer, more slippery, spinnakers.

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Ok, I'm back from my first solo overnight race on the 111. Successful, but not without challenges. Plagued by processor issues, the autopilot was not reliable, which led to accidental gybes and auto-tacks.

 

Upwind, I wasn't pointing very high compared to when I'm fully crewed. That could be horrible trim on my part, but I was at least 5 degrees low, sometimes more. The boat heels early, but I'm not sure what I should expect for leeway when solo versus crewed. Hopefully can narrow that with experience to just a few degrees due to the lack of weight on the rail.

 

The sock has not been nice to me so far. I think the control lines got tangled in some of the accidental gybes / wraps. Again, with more experience I should get better, but man is that a big chute if you have to pull it down or onboard. Will keep trying, but may think more about top down furling.

 

Downwind without all the crew weight onboard it was a hoot. Winds were only mid teens at best, but she did get some good surfing in. I think she'll light up a couple knots early when you're solo.

 

I did not find gybing the standard A2 to be a problem in the breeze we had.

 

Sorry Peter, no great pictures. Have one of the A2 and sock in a pile on the stern after the shrimping episode. Still sore from that.

 

Piper

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Lets see that stern shot

 

+1 We all have to go through those moments. One minute it's 22 knots on the speedo, and the next you're picking up the pieces.

 

On the upwind speed, it's time on the water - and to go to a smaller jib earlier. Huge difference to be able to press for speed instead of pointing.

 

We keep the sock control lines tied to the handrails aft of the mast to keep them away. Not sure if that helps, but it's easier to see what's what. Also it's very strange that socks are made for sym spinnakers with port/starboard and control lines aft. That way you get them inside/outside with an assy. Not a big issue, but annoying...

 

 

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Agreee, Peter - haven't single-handed yet, but in the two-handed stuff (which I suspect is alot less than half as difficult!), we find we're changing very early to small headsails. in 12-15 kts TWS, the boat goes well upwind at around 38 TWA (varies with sea state and therefore inhauler position of course) with just the No 4 headsail and full mail. Don't have to pinch to stay on our feet.

 

And the key to everything (sorry if this sounds self-evident) seems to be preparation - everything set up to run properly before any manoeuvre. An untidy sheet jamming in a block is pretty easy to clear with 9 crew on board, but with only one or two....we don't have anything particularly special in terms of deck layout to help with shorthanded racing, but will a new autopilot brain this week (we have the Nexus system). If it works as advertised......

 

 

And we haven't tried socks or the like yet on Asails, but suspect this could be good, although with more breeze we do change to smaller kites pretty early. With no weight on board, she gets up and boogies earlier. We also have retrieval lines on all the flying sails, this makes a big difference when dropping.

 

Have a 100 mile two hander coming up in a couple of weeks, so should be another good test.

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but will a new autopilot brain this week (we have the Nexus system). If it works as advertised......

 

Then its's just comes down to you (again)...

 

It's one thing to have an autopilot that works great.

It's another to engage it downwind in 28 knots of wind with the runner up :D

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Thanks for the tips guys. Django, can you explain your retrieval line system? Is it like the TP52s, where the line lives on the sail only while flying and gybing. then someone has to go get it. And what's the order of operations as far as tackline, halyard, retireval line.

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When single handing the 105 I find it helpful to toss lines that I need to run free over the side to stream behind the boat - kite halyard, for example. That controls the speed at which the sock comes down and I have more time to gather it up and make it safe. Plus, no assholes to jam the clutch.

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but will a new autopilot brain this week (we have the Nexus system). If it works as advertised......

 

Then its's just comes down to you (again)...

 

It's one thing to have an autopilot that works great.

It's another to engage it downwind in 28 knots of wind with the runner up :D

That will be the acid test!! I'm dubious at best.... :D:D:D

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Hi, Wet Spreaders.

 

Re the retrieval lines - ours are similar to a TP52 type setup, but longer. Initial point of attachment is in the centre of the foot of the sail, and we have three or four velcro attachment points running along the foot to the clew. Difference is that because the line is longer, we can attach the loose end to the pulpit (using an easily detached velcro strip), so don't have to crawl out onto the prod or use a boathook to grab the end.

 

Works a treat for drops - key is management of loose end during gybes etc. We do have to use the boathook sometimes, if we forget to attach the end :rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

The attached photo is not great, but if you look carefully, you can spot the retrieval line (yellow) going from the sail to the pulpit, then to the hatch. Must have been getting ready to drop/peel. And we have obviously forgotten to attach the line along the foot of the sail. Light airs casual!

 

Oh, and the line is floating type string.

post-92543-0-30719100-1375224787_thumb.jpg

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Hi, Wet Spreaders.

 

Re the retrieval lines - ours are similar to a TP52 type setup, but longer. Initial point of attachment is in the centre of the foot of the sail, and we have three or four velcro attachment points running along the foot to the clew. Difference is that because the line is longer, we can attach the loose end to the pulpit (using an easily detached velcro strip), so don't have to crawl out onto the prod or use a boathook to grab the end.

 

Works a treat for drops - key is management of loose end during gybes etc. We do have to use the boathook sometimes, if we forget to attach the end :rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

The attached photo is not great, but if you look carefully, you can spot the retrieval line (yellow) going from the sail to the pulpit, then to the hatch. Must have been getting ready to drop/peel. And we have obviously forgotten to attach the line along the foot of the sail. Light airs casual!

 

Oh, and the line is floating type string.

 

Nice idea. I tried using a retrieval line to the tack for a while, but it ended up being a pain in the neck, so I stopped. I never tried a line to the middle of the foot - which seems very sensible for leeward drops (classic stretch and blow is not easy to do single handed). How does the velcro hold up in a breeze?

 

I also tried having a double-block at the tack and leading the snuffer lines through it. The advantage was that it's easy to snuff from the cockpit and use the same line to retrieve the kite to the main hatch. The downside is a massive length of line tangled in a rat's nest with the kite in the hatch.

 

Perhaps the best characterization of the short-handed kite management issue is not the problem of putting it up, or taking it down - the problem is putting it up a second time. Maybe what's needed is a quiver of kites packed and ready to go so you're always launching a good one. Just leave the used ones stuffed down the main hatch and sort them out after racing.

 

What I'm using now is a single block and a carabiner that I can clip onto rails or stanchion bases. The snuffer line is routed through the block and I clip that to somewhere convenient at deck level. Then, to manage the snuffer I have the lines handy on the foredeck. I blow the sheet and snuff the sail, then the tack and stuff the loose sail down the hatch. Then I blow the halyard and the snuffed sail falls on my head or down the hatch - depending on whether I remembered to move my head. Works fine up to 17kts or so. I'm scared to try it in breezier conditions; I retrieve to the cockpit hatch when it's windy.

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Hi, all

 

The velcro on the retrieval lines seems to hold up ok, so far so good. Yet to test in real breeze shorthanded, though. Watch this space :rolleyes:

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solo-2.jpg

 

Some shots from my solo sail Saturday, just for inspiration. Started the day with full crew. Did +19 knots on the way to the start. Then a race with wind varying from 5 to 38 knots. Prizegiving and a beer before the 6 hour transport home alone in the warm, and very dark, august night.

 

Might have been the best day sailing ever...

 

solo-1.jpg

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Great shots, Peter!

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Some solo action from yesterday... long runs of 12-14 knots downwind (in just 18.-20 knots of breeze). Great opportunity to learn how to work with the NKE.

 

 

solopractice13-3.jpg

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Thanks for the videos Stephane and Peter. Interesting idea with the webbing as a tackline retrieval in the letterbox.

 

Keep it up!

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New Mainsail Blur?

 

Yup. Long story, Same design & material, but North have a new horizontal tape layout that makes it look different.

 

Talking about sails, we're discussing the J3.5/Heavy Weather Jib that's getting a lot of miles shorthanded in +8 knots.

 

Original design is for a full crew in +18 knots, and works very well. The question is if we could get a little more shape to move the sweetspot down a bit. Doublehanded we're going straight from J1 to J3.5 with 8-10 knots as a crossover, keeping the J2 below to minimize changes. Works great.

 

The smaller area isn't an issue, but the flat shape makes it hard to power up in waves. Also, geometry is hard since you can't have both luff length and overlap without increasing area.

 

Another idea is to put in a reef for those nightmare beats when its blowing 26-30 knots.

 

We'll see.

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