Author Topic: Down Wind Sailing and trip Notes (long)  (Read 2560 times)

Bill Bischoff

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Down Wind Sailing and trip Notes (long)
« on: December 03, 2013, 12:14:24 PM »
Hi all, I am so glad to see the site back up.  Thanks Dave and Sherry and whoever else makes this thing work!
I just returned from a 1200NM trip from Channel Islands, CA, to La Paz, BCS.  Odyssey worked really well, with all the systems that I touched, repaired or installed, working with no problems (I had my fingers crossed the whole way).  I did find that my boat was a bit of a pig going down wind, however.  I even flew my asym for the first time, with pretty good results.  
I guess my question to the group is this, are our boats slow down wind, or it just me?  We did a fair amount of wing and wing, jib only, main only, stay sail only, and every other combination.  At the start of each leg of the Baja-Haha we would be at the back of the fleet within a few short hours.  When we had wind forward of the beam, Odyssey would start reeling in the other boats like nobody's business.
We had a great time, anchoring in Turtle Bay, Bahia Santa Maria before reaching Cabo.  After leaving there we anchored at Los Frailes, and Bahia de los Muertos, before reaching our current resting place in Marina De La Paz, BCS.  I am so proud of this boat, and so much more experienced than when we left, although I certainly still have much to learn.
Thanks to everyone who answered my endless questions, and who provided me with tips or guidance.  You should know who you are ;) .  I am currently back in the States, with a return to La Paz slated for early January.

Cheers, Bill
Odyssey, 1979 44 WO
Lying La Paz, BCS

Soggy Paws

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Down Wind Sailing and trip Notes (long)
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 05:23:31 PM »
Hi Bill,

Glad to hear your trip went well and with no major equipment issues.

After many miles across the Pacific and elsewhere downwind I still am not convinced we have figured out the best way to do it.  Since your boat speed is subtracted from the wind speed going downwind, which is opposite from going upwind, the boat speed is usually less for a given wind speed.  

You can always bear off a bit from dead down wind which is faster but not always the best for self steering gear and you have to go further and you have to jibe.  Most cruisers, including us, don't like to jibe.  So we have mostly used Tom Service's method of poling the jib out upwind, the reefed main out downwind and the staysail sheeted tight amidships.  If the wind comes up you just roll in the jib some.  This works fairly well but has two problems: mainsail chafe on the after shrouds and it is somewhat unbalanced making the self steering work harder.  Poling both the jib and staysail out on opposite sides involves a lot of lines and two poles, and with nothing sheeted amidships there is increased rolling.  But with everything pulling from forward it is far easier on the self steering.

This winter we will have a 1900 nm downwind cruise to Palau in 2-4 day hops so we will do some experimenting.  Our first test will be to pole the jib out upwind and see if we can run the staysail sheet through a snatch block somewhere out far enough on the boom to keep it drawing.  All that pull forward should make it real easy for the self steering.  Then we just have to adjust the roller furling sails for the wind conditions and to reduce the roll.  I also recently read a piece by Fatty Goodlander that advocated using fenders on a long line out aft to help hold the stern in place going down wind.  That may be worth a try especially if the wind is up.  If the wind is down and the swell is not too big we can also use the Code 0 up front opposing the jib.  We will see what works best.

Anyone else want to offer suggestions that have worked for them going downwind?

Dave
CSY 44 Walkthru #35, Soggy Paws
Soggy Paws the CSY has been SOLD
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Soggy Geek

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Down Wind Sailing and trip Notes (long)
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 07:15:53 PM »
Here is a picture of our downwind rig.  Here, the wind was coming on the starboard side, between about 150-180 relative.  The genoa is poled out to "windward", with the pole on the sheet in such a way that we can completely furl the genoa without doing anything with the pole.  In this picture, because the pole is so far forward, the wind is likely edging more right--to 150 relative or less.  If the wind were right behind us, the pole would be more square with the boat.

The main is vanged out as far as possible on the the "downwind" side.  And the staysail sheeted in tight, as close to the centerline as possible on the same side as the main.  This setup is self-balancing--as you slew away from dead downwind, the sail arrangement tends to round you right back to Dead Down Wind.  It's stable enough to sail by the lee (if the waves aren't too big) by about 10 degrees.  The autopilot isn't working very hard with the sails like this, unless the waves are slewing you all over.



Unlike Dave, I like this rig and think it has worked very well for us.

Sherry
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thelasthour

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Down Wind Sailing and trip Notes (long)
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 06:33:34 PM »
There is a csy 44 for sale right now ( don't remember where) that has two roller furlers side by side for dual headsails, I thought it was absolutely brilliant ( but again I'm a neophyte).  I imagined a yankee on one, and the genoa on the other and skip the whole pole/ asym/genaker/ wing on wing business.  Great flexibility, and many problems solved.  Any thoughts?
Steve

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Down Wind Sailing and trip Notes (long)
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 12:41:08 PM »
Steve,

I think you will still need the poles to keep the sails out going down wind.  But at least it gives you two sails all the way forward pulling the boat down wind.  That should be real easy on the self steering and keep you from having to use the main with its chafe problems.  This is the rig many milk run down wind sailors have used.  The only problem is roll in a big sea way since there is no midships sail.

Dave
CSY 44 Walkthru #35, Soggy Paws
Soggy Paws the CSY has been SOLD
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