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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am
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Location: Knoxville, TN
I just upgraded my H14 to a Turbo and am trying to figure out how's the best way to go downwind. I know that with the standard 14 rig you don't bother with tacking and just run straight to the mark. With the turbo, is the boat significantly faster to the extent that tacking downwind, keeping the apparent wind on the beam, will get me to to C mark any quicker than sailing in a straight line? What's been your experience?

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H16 #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
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Last edited by MVD on Thu May 15, 2014 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:22 am 
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Location: Mississippi
I'm sure I'll be corrected, but - If you can get lucky and run with your main on one side and jib on the other side, you should be faster. Otherwise just trial and error!


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 6:53 pm 
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Thanks for the comment, Buckaroo, but typically on catamarans you'll get to the leeward mark quicker by tacking (actually gybing, I don't know why we call it tacking in this context) downwind and keeping the apparent wind on the beam rather than running wing to wing. I just don't know if that holds true for a Hobie 14 Turbo. Any one else with experience racing an H14T?

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Mark Van Doren
Division 9 Chairman
H16 #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
H14T #47787
H20 #647 (sold)


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 10:38 am 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
MVD: Good to hear from you!

I have some experience sailing the H-14 Turbo, but have only raced it once, and that was a low key thing here with good wind against monos. I never put much effort onto trying to go downwind deeper than the normal broad reach like on the H-16 (except when there was a huge gust and I was just trying to keep the boat under me!). I can't imagine that it would be any better VMG to sail deeper and cover the jib (which is most useful off the wind). I do remember having a hard time getiing a feel for exactly where the jib should be set, though.

FYI: In the old-school book I bought when I taught myself to sail, Tacking was the general term used for turning the boat through the wind without specifying where the wind was coming from. Jibing was defined as Tacking with the wind hitting the stern, and Coming About was the term for tacking with the wind hitting the bow. I still say Come About.....just 'cause it sounds cool!

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 5:36 am 
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Thanks, Jerome,

I went out and raced against a few monohulls in light air earlier in the week. Downwind I couldn't keep up with a Lightning with a spinnaker, but I suspect that might change as the wind picks up. He's my target. At one point, the wind was coming directly behind me so I went wing to wing but it felt fairly slow. I was sailing as a contortionist - one leg pushing the boom out, one hand on the tiller, the other hand holding the jib clew out. As I came up a bit the jib would get stuck in dead air behind the main, that was really slow. When I came up a little further and the jib caught some wind, speed would pick up. Of course me weighing 200lbs and sailing a 32 year old boat that is probably a bit on the heavy side too didn't do me any favors.

At this point my thinking is that the 14T isn't fast enough to offset the distance that you would sail as if you tacked downwind on a 16, but if you come up just a bit from a downwind run to the point that jib has some air your going to pick up enough boat speed to more than compensate for the little extra distance from not sailing a straight line dead downwind. Sounds like my thinking is to go deeper, at least in light air, than you have been, but on the other hand, I've only sailed a Turbo a couple of times now, so what do I know? Not much. I am open to suggestions. I'll keep playing with it and when the wind picks up I'll sail her like a 16 as you've suggested and give that a whirl.

And yes, "Coming about" does sound cooler than "Tacking". Makes me picture you with an old school yachting cap on, like the cover of an old Buffett albumn.

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Mark Van Doren
Division 9 Chairman
H16 #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
H14T #47787
H20 #647 (sold)


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 5:24 am 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
MVD: What you're experiencing on the 14T is very similar to how I sail the 16. In really light air, the apparent wind thing doesn't really kick in, and I sail deeper/straighter to C mark. I don't even try wing on wing, though. In the light stuff, it's important to keep movements smooth to limit hull drag and keep what little flow you have on the sails. To me, all that struggling to keep the sails out seems counterproductive. And even on the 16, I've struggled to keep up with the Lightnings, Thistles, etc. in light air. Their displacement hulls are designed to move with little resistance at lower speeds. I remember them frustrating me badly at the Cross Lake Combeaux one year. Completely different story when the wind gets up and their displacement hulls hit their max (bow wave) speed, though!

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Jerome Vaughan
Hobie 16


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