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Gadangit

Making leeway

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We now have a full suite of instruments and last weekend I noticed what I consider a fair amount of leeway on our upwind leg.  The course was a 90 mile triangle in the Gulf of Mexico.

I need some help to determine if this is "normal" for our boat or if some trim and/or driving adjustments are needed.  Getting a better driver is not an option!

The boat:  Ericson 39  Sailplan: Full main, overlapping genoa, about 129%  Conditions:  10+kts wind seas 2', 50' of water 25 miles offshore  Small crew of 5 total.

I have the in-hauler on the genoa, main is slightly twisted, boom on centerline.  Fully powered

SOG:  6.3kts, Boat Speed:5.7kts, Heading: 244, COG:253 (or 257, can't tell from pic)  Angle of heel:  about 15 degrees  I'm driving about 30-35 degrees AWA, boat is generally balanced.

If you can zoom in on the chartplotter, the boats ahead are a J130, J46, J122 and C&C 115.  Not seen is a Kalik 40 who is carrying #1 Genoa, higher and faster.  We rounded the mark .5 mile back from Kalik and he just walked up and away.  I'm not comparing our boat to the faster J-Boats, but they offer a reference point.

Is 10-15 degrees a lot of leeway for an offshore beat?  What can I do to reduce that?

Thanks!

 

 

Heald Bank Upwind3.jpg

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Looks like you had 1 kt of current at 303 degrees? Are there local current eddies in the area?

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2 minutes ago, hump101 said:

Looks like you had 1 kt of current at 303 degrees? Are there local current eddies in the area?

There certainly could be.  But it didn't appear to affect the others in the fleet to the same degree.  Which is why I thought it was leeway on our part.  Good question, I'm not sure.

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If you are worried about leeway, you are likely pinching. Worry about boat speed. Crank on the sails and hit the specific speed numbers.

The keel requires leeway to function as something other than drag. Around 7 degrees...maybe...

Taking a risky guess from the pic: I would trim for more rudder angle too. Lose the dodger.

10kt of wind should give about 14kt apparent. That should be enough for more power...more heel than implied by the pic.

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Steer to windward.  And yes get rid of the sunshade and its structure.

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It's not leeway you are making, you are footing off.  You are also comparing yourself to boats that are designed more recently with more refined sails, keels and rudders.  

From the position of the jib fairlead, you are trimmed well outboard.  I would guess that the boats you mention have their jib track set at about 11° off centerline, possibly narrower for the J-122.  You are well wider than that from looking at that pic.  But just cranking the clew of the jib inboard isn't likely to make you that much more weatherly.  Your headsail is also does not appear to be one that was designed with an efficient upwind shape.  

The Ericson 39 was never a pointing machine to start with.  Pinching does not equal good VMG to weather.   I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were 5° lower or more upwind in light/moderate conditions to a J-122.  That's just the way it is.

If I was trimming for you. I'd pull the clew in a little bit, Make sure you have the draft in your headsail well forward, have you put your bow down and go faster.  

And just enjoy your boat!  

 

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From just what I see in the picture, you have extra parasitic drag, from the bimini, etc. So look high & low for more of the same, & when removed, it should help you some. Also, all of the boats you mention have bolt on keels, where yours is encapsulated, right? So if this is the case, they'l have a lot less drag due to more svelte foils. Plus their lift to drag ratios will be a lot higher. The same is true of the rudders on the boats mentioned, & yours, plus your faux skeg.

Even without turning the helm you have a lot more built in drag from your steering bits, & it'll take more rudder on your boat to produce as much effect as if you had a full on spade rudder with good plan form & foil shape. Rudder being latin for brake. You also have a good bit more wetted surface than they do, which hurts the most in light air, like you're sailing in. Which, in order to overcome drag, & maintain good speed, you have to foot more. It's either that or "think" you're pointing, but are actually making a lot of leeway, & going slow.

Also, with a #2 genoa, your sheet leads won't be as tight as a #1. They can't, it's a simple matter of geometry. And your jib's foot is WAY off of the deck, which hurts both point & speed.  Especially as compared to a #1 that's a deck sweeper.

Sail age & shape play a role too, so if either or both of yours is older, you'll make a lot more leeway than if they were new. I'm not saying that that's the case, just that it's a possibility. Get a copy of the polars for your boat, & see how your actual performance compares to them. Both with instruments, & GPS. And you can use GPS to track your leeway easily enough even without them.

PS: Flat is fast. Break out the whip, & get the crew to hike hard! And how's your bottom? Well, not yours, the boat's? A smooth one, especially with templated foils can add a lot of speed. There's a great article on it on www.L-36.com

And what are you running prop wise?

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Are your instruments calibrated? " now have a full suite of instruments" would suggest a need 

How did you deduce your leeway angle? 

That 0.6 kt difference in SOG vs BSP suggesting you have a NorthWesterly current in the Gulf Mexico with a "Texas" home is unlikely.

A NorthEasterly or Easterly might be expected.

An error in your speedometer (under-reading) would account for a lot of what you think is leeway and current. 

 

Your Genoa is high clewed and the appearance is that of close reaching, if the main is above centerline was it stalled? 

Dodger is not an issue in that much wind, 

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37 minutes ago, Go Left said:

It's not leeway you are making, you are footing off.  You are also comparing yourself to boats that are designed more recently with more refined sails, keels and rudders.  

From the position of the jib fairlead, you are trimmed well outboard.  I would guess that the boats you mention have their jib track set at about 11° off centerline, possibly narrower for the J-122.  You are well wider than that from looking at that pic.  But just cranking the clew of the jib inboard isn't likely to make you that much more weatherly.  Your headsail is also does not appear to be one that was designed with an efficient upwind shape. .......

The only time you would sheet out onto the gunwale is in really heavy weather with a small flat jib upwind, or white sail reaching. You need inboard tracks for upwind work. Plus it appears that your geona lead may be too far aft, luffing the top before the bottom. And the sheet doesn't look to be fully in either. Hard to tell...... But none of this will help boat speed or pointing.

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Interesting replies so far.  I'm either pinching or footing!

Prop is MaxProp, bottom job is a month old with spray on Trinidad.  Crewmember happened to have scuba gear and literally cleaned the bottom an hour before we left.  

I've got probably 1500 milles sailing on a J44 and I crewed on that J46 when it got it's new headsail.  I have no illusions of being anywhere near those boats on the course.  I'm more comparing myself to the Kalik.  Unfortunately there we no other boats around to compare against.

I race the boat all the time on the bay with relatively flat water.  We generally hang just fine with other vintage boats.  It seemed like the wave action was making a difference, it is really the only thing that changed.  I'm determining leeway by looking at the difference between heading and COG.  Is that how everyone else does it?  I have two electronic compasses that generally agree with each other.  I just put a knotlog on the boat a few months back, we never had one before.  

The picture is a bit deceiving, you will just have to trust me that the sheet leads are correct.  I'm trimmed for close hauled and am driving to the telltales.  Our UK sailmaker put on the in-hauler a few years back and we use them when going to weather.  The sails are a few years old tri-radial laminate in cruising weight.  Yes, not deck sweepers.  The boom was just below centerline with a very slight twist to match the leech of the headsail.

I had not considered the parasitic drag.  Yes, we do have an encapsulated keel, the rudder is recently built using Bruce King's updated and larger rudder design for the boat.  

We have polars from the ORC VPP.  Target speeds: 

TWS  AWA  BS

10   28   5.69

12  30  6.26

14   30  6.46

I kind of feel like I'm in that neighborhood.  

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28 minutes ago, Gadangit said:

Interesting replies so far.  I'm either pinching or footing!

Prop is MaxProp, bottom job is a month old with spray on Trinidad.  Crewmember happened to have scuba gear and literally cleaned the bottom an hour before we left.  

I've got probably 1500 milles sailing on a J44 and I crewed on that J46 when it got it's new headsail.  I have no illusions of being anywhere near those boats on the course.  I'm more comparing myself to the Kalik.  Unfortunately there we no other boats around to compare against.

I race the boat all the time on the bay with relatively flat water.  We generally hang just fine with other vintage boats.  It seemed like the wave action was making a difference, it is really the only thing that changed.  I'm determining leeway by looking at the difference between heading and COG.  Is that how everyone else does it?  I have two electronic compasses that generally agree with each other.  I just put a knotlog on the boat a few months back, we never had one before.  

The picture is a bit deceiving, you will just have to trust me that the sheet leads are correct.  I'm trimmed for close hauled and am driving to the telltales.  Our UK sailmaker put on the in-hauler a few years back and we use them when going to weather.  The sails are a few years old tri-radial laminate in cruising weight.  Yes, not deck sweepers.  The boom was just below centerline with a very slight twist to match the leech of the headsail.

I had not considered the parasitic drag.  Yes, we do have an encapsulated keel, the rudder is recently built using Bruce King's updated and larger rudder design for the boat.  

We have polars from the ORC VPP.  Target speeds: 

TWS  AWA  BS

10   28   5.69

12  30  6.26

14   30  6.46

I kind of feel like I'm in that neighborhood.  

That's a very fat target AWA but for an older style boat I guess that makes sense.  J122 / C&C 115 style boats will sail at around 24-25 degrees AWA assuming their sails are in reasonable shape.  A J122 would sail around 0.75 knots faster than those numbers.  

Don;t drive to the telltales, rive to a boat sped.  Get the speed right and as long as sail trim is right the AWA will be right.  Get teh speed right n dthe keel will be generating the right amount of lift

and those ORCi polars porbably don;t anticipate teh drag from a bimini and a crew not hiking.

 

Hike Bitches!!!

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16 hours ago, Gadangit said:

There certainly could be.  But it didn't appear to affect the others in the fleet to the same degree.  Which is why I thought it was leeway on our part.  Good question, I'm not sure.

Easy check for current is to tack and look at the numbers.

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that jib is nowhere near trimmed to close-hauled - more like a close reach - and if you're steering to your jib, then the result looks about right

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On 8/4/2017 at 8:54 PM, Gadangit said:

Interesting replies so far.  I'm either pinching or footing!

Prop is MaxProp, bottom job is a month old with spray on Trinidad.  Crewmember happened to have scuba gear and literally cleaned the bottom an hour before we left.  

I've got probably 1500 milles sailing on a J44 and I crewed on that J46 when it got it's new headsail.  I have no illusions of being anywhere near those boats on the course.  I'm more comparing myself to the Kalik.  Unfortunately there we no other boats around to compare against.

I race the boat all the time on the bay with relatively flat water.  We generally hang just fine with other vintage boats.  It seemed like the wave action was making a difference, it is really the only thing that changed.  I'm determining leeway by looking at the difference between heading and COG.  Is that how everyone else does it?  I have two electronic compasses that generally agree with each other.  I just put a knotlog on the boat a few months back, we never had one before.  

The picture is a bit deceiving, you will just have to trust me that the sheet leads are correct.  I'm trimmed for close hauled and am driving to the telltales.  Our UK sailmaker put on the in-hauler a few years back and we use them when going to weather.  The sails are a few years old tri-radial laminate in cruising weight.  Yes, not deck sweepers.  The boom was just below centerline with a very slight twist to match the leech of the headsail.

I had not considered the parasitic drag.  Yes, we do have an encapsulated keel, the rudder is recently built using Bruce King's updated and larger rudder design for the boat.  

We have polars from the ORC VPP.  Target speeds: 

TWS  AWA  BS

10   28   5.69

12  30  6.26

14   30  6.46

I kind of feel like I'm in that neighborhood.  

General rule of thumb for upwind sail trim on overlapping sails in 10 knots of breeze: Sheet the genoa so that the foot is touching, or nearly touching shroud base. The leach should be within 12" of upper spreader. Now look at telltales. The top set of telltales should indicate luffing just before middle and/or lower set. Move the jib car forward or aft to get the telltales flying this way. I am sorry if this is pedantic, but your photo shows headsail trim that does not match the main trim.  

I occasionally raced the old flush deck Bruce King Ericson 39s & 46s on the West Coast several decades ago. Upwind they performed OK, against their peers, but you are up against boats with much more efficient forms and foils.  In the photo, your headsail is not sheeted for upwind. It looks like the genoa car is on the rail, well aft of upwind trim. The sail is eased, yet the sheet is inexplicably barber-hauled inboard with an alfie (low friction ring.) That would be good for reaching with an upwind genoa, but it looks misapplied in photo. I am positive the top of your sail was not drawing, and the imbalance between headsail and main gave you leeway. Does your boat have genoa tracks inboard of the gunwale? I hope some of this helps. 

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Ummmm, let me come at this from another angle.  Unless you have super-sexy instruments - and I'll bet you don't - leeway is only a calculated function of heel, and therefore an imputed number, not a real measurement.  It is there to offset the Set/Drift calculations.

15 degrees of heel, that calculated leeway looks reasonable.  But check your instrument settings.

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if your COG is significantly below similar boats sailing in the same water - you have a problem.., and COG is known pretty well, so it's not an instrument problem

but some of the boats you are comparing yourself to are not similar boats 

if all you know is that your COG is 13 deg below your heading, that by itself is not a problem - it could be current.., or it could be that your compass needs to be calibrated

if you are 13deg below boats you should be sailing with, it's likely a combination of sail trim and helming

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Before we give any more information we are going to need to see some tits. Any chance the chick in the companionway might help you comply with our entry requirements?

5984a05816a8b_HealdBankUpwind3.jpg.6f26215eb858d28edd44a12921b12f17.jpg

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On 8/17/2017 at 7:46 PM, DuncanR said:

Ummmm, let me come at this from another angle.  Unless you have super-sexy instruments - and I'll bet you don't - leeway is only a calculated function of heel, and therefore an imputed number, not a real measurement.  It is there to offset the Set/Drift calculations.

15 degrees of heel, that calculated leeway looks reasonable.  But check your instrument settings.

He has two electronic compasses so his heading information is likely accurate...provided the compasses are properly calibrated, and his plotter is calculating COG. Leeway is not calculated, it's observed from the heading line vs. the COG line.

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