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 Post subject: Tacking Into the Wind
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Most people that sail getaways are familiar with the problem with tacking into the wind when it's a little breezy. I've always had problems with this when the wind is between about 12 and 20 miles an hour. And jibing is not always the best idea especially when there's not much much weight on board.

So the other day I had a friend on board who is an avid kayaker. And he had the idea that right before you are turned all the way into the wind you shove your leg (or paddle) down into the water on the upwind hull (this is the same idea that you can turn a kayak quickly, as a pivot with the paddle). This will slow the boat just enough on the right-hand side to turn it across the wind and you will find yourself coming over and making a good tack. We did this three times in 15 to 20 mile-per-hour winds and it worked perfectly. So if you have an extra person on board, try it one day, perhaps with both legs. Or if you are pretty spry you may be able to do it yourself. Just a thought that may help out with the tacking on a Getaway.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:58 pm 
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OMG I hope the day never comes when I got to put my leg into the water to tack my cat! For me the key is just leaving the jib cleated tight, that will pull the boat though the tack. Once your sure the boat has turned far enough just pop the jib and pull it in on the other side. Seams to work for me no matter what the wind is.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:18 am 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
On my friend's Getaway, we found the trick was to both move as close to the back as possible on the windward just seconds before tacking. This lifts the bows out of the water a bit and when you start to tack, the bows swings faster as the stern acts as a pivot.

As soon as the jib backfills, it finishes the tack for us. Then we uncleat the jib and switch sides.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:43 pm 
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I almost always have 4-5 people on board, so unfortunately it's not easy to ease the weight on the bow to tack. Waiting to move the jib over does work well, but the trick we used seemed to help a lot no matter the condition or crew.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:16 am 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
I realise you cannot all be in the back, but the crew can still slide closer. A person lounging on the front tramp would also give you a hard time.

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1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:19 am 
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Also, try sheeting in the main really hard as you are entering the tack, and then releasing it. This will give you more windward-turning component. In an extreme case it could be combined with releasing the jib a tad (and then pulling it for the backwinding). Doing these I've been able to sail and complete a tack with 15 knots with the RUDDERS UP. Try sailing rudders up, it's a fun exercise and shows how how important sail control is in which way the boat wants to turn. Just control the boat by how much you pull the jib vs how much you pull the main. Weight needs to be in the back for it to work better.

Also I think I'd like to avoid putting my leg in the water to tack on a regular basis, but it's surely a good idea that I'll have in my head in case the other methods I have don't work. Thanks for the advice!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:26 am 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
I also bring the main with me when I cross to the other side, it has a weathervane effect and helps turning. So prior to crossing, easy the main, grab the bundle of lines between the 2 blocks and carry with you as you cross over and hold until it fills.

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1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:46 am 
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I will try releasing the main, ive never done that before. Yes, there is almost always someone on the forward tramp, this could be half the problem to begin with. I'll try these tips out next time we go out. I don't know that I would reccomend anyone doing the leg/paddle trick unless you had someone on board to do it for you, as it wouldn't be easy to turn around and do it yourself. But, it did work for us with strong winds and a large crew.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:59 am 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
And moving the main by hand towards the new tack while turning into the wind helps. It also makes for a smoother transition of the main, it does not swing to the other side.

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1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:25 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
The trick to tacking any catamaran successfully is to have the main sail sheeted in tight and entering the tack at full speed. Many beginners will start a tack by uncleating and releaseing the mainsail. Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of what you should do. Releasing the main too early causes the boat to stall and and does not allow the bows to go head-to-wind.

What you want to do is enter the tack at full speed sailing along closehauled and sheeted in tight. Steadily turn the rudders over so the bows go head to wind. Once you reach head to wind, immediately release at least two feet of mainsheet and keep the rudders held over. When you hear the battens in the mainsail "pop" to the new side, release the jib and sheet in on the new side. Then straighten the rudders and gradually begin bringing in the mainsail. If you bring in the main too early, the boat will round up head to wind and go into irons. It's all about timing.

If you go into irons, learn the procedure for reversing the rudders and backing out onto the correct tack.

sm


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Location: Massachusetts and New Hampshire - Squam Lake
Wellt, I was able to get to the point with my wife that we could successfully tack into the wind 9/10 times today. We aware still speaking and no mention if divorce! :mrgreen:

The key we found for use was 2 things:

Keep the jib tight and don't touch it until it catches the wind from the other side. My wife kept thinking she could time it some how and it screwed up the tacks most of the time. It was best to leave it alone until the tack was complete.

Loosen the main sheet as we begin turning to stop the weathervaning. This was also really important.

It also seemed to help to keep our weight aft.

This approach even worked for us in light winds.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:21 pm 
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In heavy conditions or weight, I always listen for the main sail to switch, it makes a popping sound, before calling for the jib to be changed. Only then should the minions take action!!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:53 pm 
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The only way I can turn in strong winds and waves is by falling off the wind or jibing. I have never dumped the boat when falling off the wind on strong wind and wave days. I can not tack on strong wind and wave days, unless I can get close to shore, where the waves aren't so large. And most days, when the waves are that large and rough, and I'm holding on for dear life,I really don't want to go across the lake to tack. I was concerned about jibing at first, being an ex-18 sailor, but after countless jibes in strong wind and waves, I've come to accept that me and my boat jibe if I want to get home.

I usually sail by myself, and perhaps too little weight is the problem . My boat actually turns about 5 degrees when a motor boat goes by. I wish wave boats were never invented.

When the waves are coming over my boat and the wind is so strong that I've run out of sheet, this is how I jibe ..... I keep the jib tight, bring in the main sail/sheet/traveler as much as I dare, and start turning. When the jib is full, I move it over. The main, of course flies over on it's own, and I reduce the length of my hot stick, so it's easier to bring over. I usually sit in the middle of my boat, so that if need be, I can jump to either side of the boat. And I get up on the wing as quickly as possible.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Thank goodness for this forum. I had a terrible time on my rented getaway a few weeks back but I went out earlier this week and made every tack I went after. I am used to Lazer sailing where your tack is fast and furious. Easing into the tack instead of slaming the rudder over made a big difference. Also, leaving the Jib cleated to windward until the tack is completed works like a charm.

Thank you all for the great advice.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:25 pm 
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I don't recall where I found this page... it might have been on this forum, but it was extremely helpful to me in learning to tack the getaway.

http://discoverysailing.org/hobietac.html

the biggest thing for me was not over steering the rudders.... turn with a 45 degree angle, hold the rudder and wait for it. the information posted above about sheeting in the main sounds great... we were out Saturday and had some trouble in higher winds and I think that will be the key to consistently successful tacks. I posted the video of our fun on another post... check it out!

-Matt


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