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 Post subject: Tacking while furled???
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:02 am 
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Is it possible to come about in a Bravo with a furled main? I am new to sailing and took my Bravo out for the third time yesterday. The winds picked up to about 12-15 knots gusting 18-20. That turned into a lot of work for a new sailor, so to rest for a bit, I furled the main a little less than half way and went back to some relaxing sailing(much better than resting on shore since I can still get practice in this way). But no matter how hard I tried, I could not come about. I just ended up gybing instead, which happens really fast I found.

I have always been told not to jam the rudder over on a cat, so I enter the tack in a smooth arc. Once you get head to wind, is it OK at that point to feed in full rudder? I am thinking that I may not have ever pushed the rudder more than 45 degrees trying to follow what I was told. But is there a point where full rudder should be applied? I also sheet out head to wind, as that seems to work well under full sail. Though, in the heavier winds, I also had some difficulty tacking with full sail. 8 knots or less, I found tacking to be extremely easy. Over 10, and I was challenged again.

Lots to learn, but I love the challenge. Any tips would be appreciated for tacking in 10 to 20 knot winds.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:17 pm 
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If you get "head to wind" and still are making way, the last thing I would do is increase the rudder and kill forward momentum. Try it with steady rudder and moving your weight forward and to windward.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:57 am 
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Hey there.

I recall having your experience in a Bravo. It is indeed more difficult to tack 1/2 furled in a Bravo, especially when you are new to cats' like I was. Without the nerve wracking speed of a full sail to match an overly strong headwind, the wind stops the boat dead before your arc can complete.

As you get more confident with the speed, you can leave the sail more full in more wind. However, you reach a point where you wonder which is the lesser of two evils.

What I did to avoid the equally nerve wracking gybe was this. If your tack fails, let the headwind backwind you. Throw the rudder hard over in the opposite direction. As the boat backs up, your bow will swing into the wind where you need it. As your sail starts to fill on the correct side, slowly ease back into the tack you want.

Backwinding lets you try to tack for the practice but gives you a plan B for when it fails.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Old trick.

Spit in the water. You can then tell if you are going forward or backwards and adjust rudder accordingly.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:15 pm 
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When it's blowing 20? Gonna rebound!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:50 am 
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The other thing I found that helps quite a lot is to stay longer on the initial side and move your weight to the back of the boat as you rudder over. This puts some drag on the inside of the turn and helps the boat come about more quickly before you lose your forward momentum. If it's really windy, I've noticed that it gets the wind to the back of the sail faster. Also relax the sheet a little as you move through your turn. As you come up on the wind, if you have it in too tight, the sail tends to contribute to slowing the boat, and stopping your turning momentum.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:26 am 
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Not trying to sound like an old salt (I haven't been sailing the Bravo too long myself), but tacking is all about technique. You have to keep up your forward speed and don't jam the rudder over - slowly carve the hull around (never more than 45 deg of rudder deflection). I haven't missed a tack in a long time in my Bravo with or without the furled sail (or on my 16 for that matter), it took a while but now I have the technique down. Here is a vid I took on a recent windy day - no tacking but thought I would share:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1X_Ohw2Lmk


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:02 am 
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
mmiller wrote:
When it's blowing 20? Gonna rebound!


I found that if I left the sheet somewhat loose (once I was already in irons) and judged correctly when when I should start to pull it taught, that it could work somewhat smoothly. Guess wrong and the sail is at a nasty angle to catch the wind though. No worse than a messed up jibe in the same wind though.

Maybe it worked cause the sail is so small when 1/2 furled or maybe I was getting lucky. :) Just seemed to be my experience in that particular boat when furled.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:57 pm 
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I'm somewhat new to sailing, having maybe fifteen hours in a single-hull and fifty in my Bravo. One thing that people rarely mention but that I found hugely beneficial was to shift my weight backwards as I go into the tack. This pops up the front of the boat and makes it pivot with less resistance. One time, my girlfriend was having fun hanging out at the mast and I found it impossible to tack, even in high wind, so I had her move back a bit and then could do it fine.

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