Shorthanded, sportboat, upwind: techniques?

Skid51

Member
91
7
W.Canada
Curious on best practices/experience for dealing with getting overpowered in puffs on such boats, which happens easily without railmeat. The challenge is narrow, high-aspect foils hate feathering but keeping the necessary bow down means you need all the depowering tools in the toolbox. We are trying to twist off AMAP both jib and main and retain matching shapes but sometimes jib alone (with main asleep) gets too much heel in puffs. What’s the sauce for trimming and/or driving techniques?
 

solosailor

Super Anarchist
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San Francisco Bay
Well the simple answer is too reef..... but that only is good for a longer course. If you still need a full main down the course I find many end up inverting the main when trimmed on hard up top as it rides on the jib wash. Twist generally mean loose and that mean more flogging. I've dropped the mainsail all together several times on the 25nm to the Farallones and still come out on top. Of course the main went back up downwind.
 

Ex Machina

Super Anarchist
1,236
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New Zealand
Curious on best practices/experience for dealing with getting overpowered in puffs on such boats, which happens easily without railmeat. The challenge is narrow, high-aspect foils hate feathering but keeping the necessary bow down means you need all the depowering tools in the toolbox. We are trying to twist off AMAP both jib and main and retain matching shapes but sometimes jib alone (with main asleep) gets too much heel in puffs. What’s the sauce for trimming and/or driving techniques?
Yeah reef and smaller jibs and a really long telescoping tiller extension so you can get as far forward as possible
 

r.finn

Super Anarchist
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Smaller mainsail with reef points and smaller all purpose jib with slab reefing. Then get a new rating.
 

Foolish

Super Anarchist
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Victoria, BC
I have a reefable genoa and reefable jib on my Olson 30, and I love them both. This is the Genoa. Works very well. They keep speed up with reduced heeling. Made a world of difference.
1663098261394.png
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
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San Diego
When sailing in waves, those rolled up sails bag water, sometimes up to the point of ripping out reef points. We tried one of those in HI, reefed it twice, than never again
IIRC th elittle boats (mini's ) that do this (sail limitations) use a zippered tube to hold the extra cloth
 

VeloceSailing

Member
122
25
Sweden
We sail distance races doublehanded with a modified j80.

We have 4 macro modes:
Mode 1 - As long as we are below top close-hauled speed, we drop the traveller when the puff hits, accelerate and pull the traveler back up once the apparent wind moves forward again. We find it difficult to actively play the backstay shorthanded.

Mode 2 - at top speed, which is 5.9kts in flat water at the correct TWA without crew, we bring up the traveller almost all the way to windward and play the sheet on the puffs to twist off the main and keep the boat from heeling over.

Mode 3 - trim is no longer sufficient. Ideally we change jib, but being on foredeck on a j80 is no fun in waves and over 22kts wind. Our jib has slab reef that can be set from the cockpit. We sheet the jib very loose, often with a bubble at the forestay. As suggested above by someone else, an outboard lead would be a better choice.

Mode 4 - we have one big reefing point on the main. The idea is that the main might as well come down entirely, but it is often difficult to hoist before a downwind leg, and therefore we just reef it. Close reaching we find that a full jib and reefed main is more balancedto, faster and gives a kinder ride in a lot of wind.
 

VeloceSailing

Member
122
25
Sweden
When sailing in waves, those rolled up sails bag water, sometimes up to the point of ripping out reef points. We tried one of those in HI, reefed it twice, than never again
IIRC th elittle boats (mini's ) that do this (sail limitations) use a zippered tube to hold the extra cloth
We find it very efficient, but true, it takes a toll on the jib, no doubt.
 

Foolish

Super Anarchist
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Victoria, BC
When sailing in waves, those rolled up sails bag water, sometimes up to the point of ripping out reef points.
Try it this way: Roll up the foot of the sail 2 1/2 rolls in one direction, then the last 1/2 roll in the other direction. Doesn't hold any water at all. This is what I do all the time now and it works perfectly. My reefable jib and genoa have made a HUGE difference in my sailing.
 

Skid51

Member
91
7
W.Canada
We have 4 macro modes:
This is getting to my query… which is more about shifting gears in responding to puffs than long term heavy air solutions like reefing and blades. We have been experimenting playing the traveller vs the mainsheet and do like your thought organization around mode 1 (play traveller) vs mode 2 (play sheet) criteria. But we probably did it in reverse.. i.e. play mainsheet with traveller up to find twist but then if still overpowered go to sheet in and drop the traveller way down to put the main asleep with minimal flogging.

And then your mode 3 is for next level gusts?… if the main‘s asleep and there’s still looking to be too much heel the hammer is to try ease jib to a slight luff, rather than drive to feather?

Narrow hulls + skinny foils just hate heel and pinching so primacy here is given to find a way to drive through puffs while avoiding that

To be clear, baseline here for all the above is jib inhaulers already off, cars back, halyard tight, backstay on hard.
 

munt

Super Anarchist
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The belt
Foolish, how hard is it to achieve your nice jib roll from the foredeck in the rough and tough? Is a furling jib simply out of the question? Being a multi guy, my answer is reef the main if the traveller and mainsheet aren't getting it done and actively driving to the puffs is very important. And yes, I would take a few rolls in the jib if it's made to do so. Guessing that a multi behaves somewhat like a sporty, being light and not really appreciating a punch in the nose every few seconds. Rotating mast changes things a bit but imho once the sails are reefed it's all about the driving.
 

solosailor

Super Anarchist
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San Francisco Bay
Is a furling jib simply out of the question?
I've seen vertical battens on furling jibs to help when trying to use them in semi-rolled use. Just a bad idea overall except for a very short beat where you will still need the larger jib after. I have a reefing jib but have only used it once.
 

neuronz

Anarchist
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europe
We have a fully battened mainsail and it has proven itself time and again. It enables us to have a bubble in the mainsail and effectively prevents flogging. A nice side effect is that it also keeps the boat very quiet and if you need to reef, it helps handling the foot of the sail. Apart from that we found that stacking below deck makes a huge difference, for us moving one headsail, two spinnakers and a code 0 to windward gave 0.2-0.3 knots higher speed upwind. The combined weight is equivalent to one person max.
Our survival mode (overpowered with small jib and everything maxxed out) is to drop the jib as the boat tends to sail better with main only than with jib only, especially if you want to go upwind. Plus the mainsail is easier to handle being fixed to mast and boom.
 

VeloceSailing

Member
122
25
Sweden
And then your mode 3 is for next level gusts?… if the main‘s asleep and there’s still looking to be too much heel the hammer is to try ease jib to a slight luff, rather than drive to feather?
Good point, no, this is when there's already too much wind on average. It really depends on the race, though. We recently sailed a race in about 24kts wind 20% upwind and decided to go for full main and full jib, it required careful steering and active jib trim for the co-skipper.
Had it been a longer beat or the last part we would have switched to mode 3 and reefed the jib. With hindsight, it would have been a faster mode all along :)

Yes we offen luff the jib without feathering. Reason being the apparent wind moving back during the gust as the boat cannot accelerate further. As you mention, feathering is not a great option in waves as the boat loses drive and leeway increases. If there is enough wind, a lead farther outboard would be a better choice accomplishing a similar effect with the jib drawing all the time and the possibility to play the traveller.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
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1,283
San Diego
Also very effective in de-powering a jib is to move the lead aft, opening up the leach (works from the top down). This can allow the upper 1/3 (or so) to be almost completely de-powered while still keeping the lower part of the jib drawing. Very easy to do with ball bearing cars, and can be set up to adjust from the windward side. When the puff passes, pull the lead back forwards.
Can also be done with a flying ferrule, where the ferrule oulls the sheet down & in for max upwind trim, & when eased lets the clew move up & out
 

Foolish

Super Anarchist
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Victoria, BC
Foolish, how hard is it to achieve your nice jib roll from the foredeck in the rough and tough?
I have developed an excellent way to reef the jib/genoa. It took a while to get this down but now it is very quick. First, I have a downhaul line that runs back to a spare cleat on the cabin top. It runs to the jib tack shackle, up through the reef point, and back down to the tack shackle. So I can pull the luff of the sail down from the cockpit. The process is this. I heave too in the direction that I want to keep sailing. (This usually means a quick tack, then tack again without releasing the jib sheet so the jib remains on the high side of the boat). So I am sailing in the correct direction but not at full speed just yet. Then I go to the mast and move the lee sheet up to the reef clew point. Then back to the cockpit I ease the sheet, while easing the halyard and pulling on the downhaul. This brings the reef tack and clew down into position on the lee side of the boat, so I am sailing at full speed again. So far the process takes less than 60 seconds, so I lose very little time. Then I set the autopilot and go to the foredeck and move the windward sheet up to the reef clew point. Then I roll the foot of the jib. As I mentioned above I roll 2 1/2 times in one direction, then 1/2 turn in the other direction. Then I tie them in place as per the photo above. This process takes a few minutes, but I am sailing at full speed so nothing is lost.
 




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