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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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J28

Sailing a frac rig under jib only

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Back in the old days, say the ‘80’s, I heard or read that you shouldn’t sail upwind in a frac rig boat under jib only, especially in windy and/or lumpy conditions.  I assumed this was for structural reasons having to do with the pull of the jib against an unsupported section of mast (assuming straight spreaders and no runners) and no mainsail damping out forward flexing of the mast when slamming off a wave, and not for handling issues associated with too much lee helm.   Since then the swept spreader rig has come into wide spread use, and I believe this caveat is no longer valid, at least not with a swept spreader rig or one with runners.  As a matter of fact, we regularly sail downwind with just the jib or asym.  However we never go upwind in breeze.  BTW we have a double swept spreader alum. rig.

What does the SA crowd think about this question?

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Firstly, and most importantly, it look amateur. Or lazy. Or worse.

Secondly, it limits your maneuverability. As you cannot really make useful progress upwind. But many will argue that they perceive such progress because the pointy end is aimed upwind...but the invisible course is not. And successful quick tacks can be problematic.

But you asked about the rig. I doubt it is as big an issue as the folklore implies. But it depends on the stoutness of the rig. Noodle rigs on performance boats could bend or pump excessively. However the operators of such rigs are, or should be, aware enough of the whole state of things to ameliorate any issue. Most boats here have relatively 'telephone-pole-like' masts that don't seem to bend in any useful or problematic way under any condition. However, fatigue is an issue in the standing rig.

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31 minutes ago, daddle said:

Firstly, and most importantly, it look amateur. Or lazy. Or worse.

Secondly, it limits your maneuverability. As you cannot really make useful progress upwind. But many will argue that they perceive such progress because the pointy end is aimed upwind...but the invisible course is not. And successful quick tacks can be problematic.

But you asked about the rig. I doubt it is as big an issue as the folklore implies. But it depends on the stoutness of the rig. Noodle rigs on performance boats could bend or pump excessively. However the operators of such rigs are, or should be, aware enough of the whole state of things to ameliorate any issue. Most boats here have relatively 'telephone-pole-like' masts that don't seem to bend in any useful or problematic way under any condition. However, fatigue is an issue in the standing rig.

Not all true,

  I've sailed jib only uphill in big blows plenty.   Perfectly stable and fast vmg.

  As a matter of fact, another T10 down at KWRW broke her boom pre start on a honk'n day.  Threw the boom and main below and started jib only.  Won the race...

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Is Blur lazy (starting at 17 sec)?  This video is what prompted the post in the first place.

BTW go fuck yourself asshole

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In the case of the caravans with their furling systems, which you get in charter, it is often better, safer and faster to take the mainsail away completely before you even start reefing the genoa (i. e. furling up). 

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1 hour ago, J28 said:

Is Blur lazy (starting at 17 sec)?  This video is what prompted the post in the first place.

BTW go fuck yourself asshole

Sailors call that reaching, BTW.

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I flew # 3 headsail only on a big air day - 42 NM across Lake Erie from downtown Canada. Averaged over 6 kts 

So yes, it works, but not upwind or even on a close or broad reach. 

And I'd have on a good deal of backstay as well as a tight main sheet pulling down on a boom topping lift. 

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Headsail only is standard delivery mode on most race boats these days.

Usually with motor ticking over.

Less wear and tear and cheaper for the owner.

Most importantly boat never gets away from a shorthanded crew.

 

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With fractional rigs the main sheet has an effect on forestay sag and this may affect your windward performance when you sail without the main.  Aside from that every boat is different so the best way to find out if she sails to windward is ti try it.

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With inline spreaders, as long as the mast remains in column with the runners, not an ideal way to get to weather, but can work OK.

With only double swept back spreaders, & no runners... I'd be puttin' up some mainsail if conditions were sporty. YMMV

 

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Wouldn't have been much of an issue if they actually could have got the jib sheeted in.

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9 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

I'll just drop this here...

 

They were fucked by the time the video begins, or a couple minutes earlier. In the surf of a lee shore is NOT the place/time to start figuring out how to make the boat sail upwind.

As mentioned they needed to sheet in. They also need a hlemsman who understands that pushing the tiller to leeward in a futile effort to make the boat go straight upwind is only going to make things worse. If, at the very very beginning of the video, he had let the boat fall off a little, gained way, and then gybed smartly, I think they might have sailed clear.

Another thing this video demonstrates in the energy in the top of a breaking wave. The way the boat lays on it's beam and accelerates under the pier is pretty dramatic, nyet?

FB- Doug

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On 11/29/2017 at 7:14 AM, J28 said:

Is Blur lazy (starting at 17 sec)?  This video is what prompted the post in the first place.

BTW go fuck yourself asshole

Oh sorry, did I give you an answer you didn't want to hear?

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I've sailed a 1D35 in gale upwind with storm jib only.  No backstay, no main. We couldn't tack, but we were making decent progress upwind. It wasn't much fun, and wouldn't do it again.  Rig suffered a delam at one of the D1 reinforcing patches. 

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On 11/28/2017 at 9:46 AM, Alcatraz5768 said:

Put the main up you lazy piece of shit. 

What he said!

 Is it really that bad that you cannot expend the effort to raise both sails?

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On 11/28/2017 at 10:14 AM, J28 said:

Is Blur lazy (starting at 17 sec)?  This video is what prompted the post in the first place.

BTW go fuck yourself asshole

Nice autopilot,

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On 28.11.2017 at 5:42 PM, daddle said:

Secondly, it limits your maneuverability. As you cannot really make useful progress upwind. But many will argue that they perceive such progress because the pointy end is aimed upwind...but the invisible course is not. And successful quick tacks can be problematic.

This depends a lot on the boat. Many modern 9/10-19/20 rigs sail quite well upwind with only a jib. I just looked at the GPS track when I sailed with my daugther 15 miles upwind in about 20 knots wind using only a jib. Around here there are no currents, thus GPS measures accurately course and speed through water. We got about 3.7 knots VMG with 95 degrees between tacks. The boat was well balanced and clearly easier to sail than with main+jib. I think we would have reached 4.5 knots VMG and 80-85 degree tacks with main and jib. With racing sails and crew 5.0 knots VMG and 80 degree tacks.

I would say we made very useful progress upwind. With a bit more wind the difference between main+jib vs. jib only would have been smaller. Now we were underpowered and could have sailed with full mainsail.

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2 hours ago, Joakim said:
On 11/28/2017 at 10:42 AM, daddle said:

Secondly, it limits your maneuverability. As you cannot really make useful progress upwind. But many will argue that they perceive such progress because the pointy end is aimed upwind...but the invisible course is not. And successful quick tacks can be problematic.

This depends a lot on the boat. Many modern 9/10-19/20 rigs sail quite well upwind with only a jib. I just looked at the GPS track when I sailed with my daugther 15 miles upwind in about 20 knots wind using only a jib. Around here there are no currents, thus GPS measures accurately course and speed through water. We got about 3.7 knots VMG with 95 degrees between tacks. The boat was well balanced and clearly easier to sail than with main+jib. I think we would have reached 4.5 knots VMG and 80-85 degree tacks with main and jib. With racing sails and crew 5.0 knots VMG and 80 degree tacks.

I would say we made very useful progress upwind. With a bit more wind the difference between main+jib vs. jib only would have been smaller. Now we were underpowered and could have sailed with full mainsail.

 

It is definitely possible to make progress upwind; in fact the boat need not be all that modern or efficient. I have sailed an Ensign thru an afternoon of racing when the main halyard broke on the first race. We were last but not by as much as I expected, 2 1/2 races worth of all upwind legs completed under genoa alone.

The key is, don't drive the boat like it has all the power it normally does. Don't drive the boat like the sailplan is in balance. Don't drive the boat like you take the underwater foils for granted (good advice when sailing normally BTW).

Get the boat settled on a beam reach first and build speed. Water flow over the underwater foils is absolutely key. Then bring the boat up to a close reach, and get it settled a bit closer to the wind; then degree by degree, bring it up to slightly below close-hauled or perhaps a close-hauled/footing point. See what helm you have, and be ready to bear away & ease if the boat loses too much speed; such as lulls or bigger waves. If the helm is reluctant to bring the bow up into the wind, you may need to gybe around instead of tacking. In any event, tacking will be a lot slower and more cumbersome than with the main.... and start over again on the new tack from a beam reach. The exact technique will be different for different boats. Etc etc etc.

The structural question comes into play when sailing hard, big wind & waves

FB- Doug

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With my current (and previous) boat there is no need to build speed by beam reaching. No troubles tacking, just a bit easier with no need for adjusting the traveller and watching out for excessive heel. Also the boat is surprisingly well balanced with jib only, especially when there is enough wind for normal heel angles.

It's quite different with my other boat, which is an older design and 7/8. It needs building speed and needs to be pushed to close hauled and is more difficult to tack due to very clear lee helm. Once at speed and especially in heavier wind it works OK.

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Some times it works, and sometimes it doesn't:

First time I saw a "headsail only in a breeze" set up was watching Bill Luder's "Storm" (Luder's 36).  Nice steady 35.  That day he won the NYYC race out of Newport with speed to burn.  Tacked just fine.  I was on a Cal 40 sailed by Bus Mosbacher and struggling.  He was highly perturbed that he was getting beaten by a very competitive rival (He said "Darn it!).  This was in 1968 or so.

Many years later, on the South Straits of Georgia- 2008 or so, I was sailing my 40' narrow-keel w bulb, skinny-rigged frac in a ton of breeze with #4 and no main, trying to get to the finish 25 miles away.  Maybe blowing 45 knots w gusts.   We were aimed at the finish, but making 25° of leeway.  When it was clear that we were the last boat out there, we quit and tacked to go in.  We crossed the exact same lat/long we were at when the breeze came on and where we had dropped the main 4 hours previously.  We were the last boat standing, but that just meant other folks weren't as pig-headed.

Some times it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

 

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21 hours ago, Godzilla said:

What he said!

 Is it really that bad that you cannot expend the effort to raise both sails?

Well you and Alcatraz are quite the helpful pair aren't you?  FYI I had both knees replaced in the past 2 years, had a lumbar lamy in 2014 and a cervical fusion in 2011.  I also have an unrepairable torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I still manage to sail 3 or 4 times a week either short- or single handed on our 36'er, most of the time with both main and jib!  Sometimes it hurts, but getting out on the water is always worth it.  But, I'm not looking for sympathy - I am looking for advice and perhaps some personal experiences, both good and bad, that might be helpful to me or the rest of the SA community if we are ever in a position needing to sail upwind in wind and waves.  Thank you to the posters who shared both their opinions and experiences. 

My thoughts are that although our boat may go upwind under jib only in a breeze and waves, that would be the last option - say after losing the main halyard or a broken mainsheet shackle - if we had to get upwind. 

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To reply more specifically, my 40' narrow-keel w bulb, skinny-rigged frac has a largish main with a bolt rope.  Makes dowsing it a kind of a pain in the ass for two people over 20 knots.  Dropping the main is definitely the end of the party in the cockpit when out daysailing.  In breeze, the #3 alone does fine uphill

So, much of the time when farting around with no destination, we just hoist a #3 and enjoy the day.  Or pop a kite.  No main required.  Much more pleasant. No runners to fuck with.  Plenty of sunshine in the cockpit, or easy to rig the awning.  

Yep, I'm frequently too lazy to hoist a superfluous main.

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20 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

To reply more specifically, my 40' narrow-keel w bulb, skinny-rigged frac has a largish main with a bolt rope.  Makes dowsing it a kind of a pain in the ass for two people over 20 knots.  Dropping the main is definitely the end of the party in the cockpit when out daysailing.  In breeze, the #3 alone does fine uphill

So, much of the time when farting around with no destination, we just hoist a #3 and enjoy the day.  Or pop a kite.  No main required.  Much more pleasant. No runners to fuck with.  Plenty of sunshine in the cockpit, or easy to rig the awning.  

Yep, I'm frequently too lazy to hoist a superfluous main.

It's interesting to hear of peoples' different experiences in different boats under these circumstances

Thanks

FB- Doug

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13 hours ago, J28 said:

Well you and Alcatraz are quite the helpful pair aren't you?  FYI I had both knees replaced in the past 2 years, had a lumbar lamy in 2014 and a cervical fusion in 2011.  I also have an unrepairable torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I still manage to sail 3 or 4 times a week either short- or single handed on our 36'er, most of the time with both main and jib!  Sometimes it hurts, but getting out on the water is always worth it.  But, I'm not looking for sympathy - I am looking for advice and perhaps some personal experiences, both good and bad, that might be helpful to me or the rest of the SA community if we are ever in a position needing to sail upwind in wind and waves.  Thank you to the posters who shared both their opinions and experiences. 

My thoughts are that although our boat may go upwind under jib only in a breeze and waves, that would be the last option - say after losing the main halyard or a broken mainsheet shackle - if we had to get upwind. 

This.  We are healthy for our age but our area has more wind than usually needed (lucky us) and we often just unroll the #3 for a quick jaunt.  Still doing 6+ knots.  

I have been doing this for over 48 years and find the main can get in the way and make things tougher than need be. 

In a seaway, upwind, for an extended period?  No. Even with a baby stay.  But localized sailing?  Why not. 

But calling people lazy for making their sailing experiences relaxing and enjoyable is, in and of itself, the epitome of cerebral laziness.

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This entire argument has no solution. Too many completely different rigs/hull shapes/sails being compared. As in all things sailing, the only broad answer is "it depends" on your particular set of equipment.

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On 12/5/2017 at 2:10 PM, J28 said:

Well you and Alcatraz are quite the helpful pair aren't you?  FYI I had both knees replaced in the past 2 years, had a lumbar lamy in 2014 and a cervical fusion in 2011.  I also have an unrepairable torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I still manage to sail 3 or 4 times a week either short- or single handed on our 36'er, most of the time with both main and jib!  Sometimes it hurts, but getting out on the water is always worth it.  But, I'm not looking for sympathy - I am looking for advice and perhaps some personal experiences, both good and bad, that might be helpful to me or the rest of the SA community if we are ever in a position needing to sail upwind in wind and waves.  Thank you to the posters who shared both their opinions and experiences. 

My thoughts are that although our boat may go upwind under jib only in a breeze and waves, that would be the last option - say after losing the main halyard or a broken mainsheet shackle - if we had to get upwind. 

Whoa man, you didn't give us the whole story. You're not really a lazy piece of shit but an old broken piece of shit like the rest of us. 

Fuck yeah, if your shit is hurtin, roll that jib out and leave the engine ticking over and go sailing. Beats lying on the couch. 

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On 2017-12-04 at 8:25 PM, Left Shift said:

To reply more specifically, my 40' narrow-keel w bulb, skinny-rigged frac has a largish main with a bolt rope.  Makes dowsing it a kind of a pain in the ass for two people over 20 knots.  Dropping the main is definitely the end of the party in the cockpit when out daysailing.  In breeze, the #3 alone does fine uphill

So, much of the time when farting around with no destination, we just hoist a #3 and enjoy the day.  Or pop a kite.  No main required.  Much more pleasant. No runners to fuck with.  Plenty of sunshine in the cockpit, or easy to rig the awning.  

Yep, I'm frequently too lazy to hoist a superfluous main.

That is exactly what we do, in 15 years with this boat I never took a reef, I get rid of the main upwind if the wind is above 20 and sail with No.3 or 2, whichever is there alone. I need to keep the wheel a few degrees to windward and track 30-35 degrees to the apparent wind, 5 less than with the main up, more than enough to keep up or pass the newer white boats.

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