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 Post subject: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral, FL
I was sailing tonite and in preparation for tacking I pulled on the clew/sheet upwind as far as I could so I could point a little closer to the wind. This works very well.

Almost by accident, I pulled straight down on the clew and found it seemed to enable me to point a little further upwind close hauled. Has anyone else experienced this?

J

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:32 am 
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Location: sarasota,fl
kayakman7 :
It probably has something to do with bending the top of the mast when you pull down which probably gives the sail a little better shape (more curvature). In my case I am able to sail almost directly upwind by pulling the sail as tight as I can get it and pedal lightly. On light days I pass all the other sailers in their big boats. I think it has something to do with pedaling lightly, the sail is able to create an apparent wind of some sort pulling you along. If I close the sail and pedal only I go 1-2 mph, if I open the sail and pull it tight I go 3-4 mph while pedaling lightly vs 1-2 mph without pedaling in light winds (5-7 mph which are typical around here).
In heavy winds (15-25 mph) instead of reefing and tacking at 45 degrees to the wind (a very wet ride with the AMA's buried most of the time) I tend to open the sail up and point almost directly into the wind (maybe 10-15 deg off the wind) with the sail pulled very tight, I usually need to pedal a little to keep the boat from pointing directly into the wind (which it wants to do). The way I figure it is I can either zig zag very fast with a wild ride and get very wet to get where I'm going or sail upwind and get there with a straight line. Yea instead of 6-8 mph I'm only moving 4-5 mph but I think I get to my final destination faster. Control is important in higher winds though, if the boat gets broadside to the wind with all that sail out I would for sure turtle.
Over 25 mph winds all bets are off, I have a very difficult time going up wind at all and have to reef the sail almost all the way (survival mode), thats typically when I reef all my sails and start the motor up and go home. Also in very high winds with the tramps out and big 3-4 ft waves if you get broadside to the waves you will for sure turtle unless you are hiked out (not very fun), the waves tend to go over you rather than under. I don't recommend casual sailers taking a TI out in winds over 20 mph unless your an Aussie, or an Islander where those kinds of winds are more typical and they know how to sail in them and know their boats capabilities. I tend to stay home if the winds are over 12-15 mph, it's just not as fun for me fighting the big waves which tend to blow up in Sarasota bay when it's windy.
Good luck and have fun.
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
fusioneng wrote:
It probably has something to do with bending the top of the mast when you pull down which probably gives the sail a little better shape (more curvature). In my case I am able to sail almost directly upwind by pulling the sail as tight as I can get it and pedal lightly. On light days I pass all the other sailers in their big boats. I think it has something to do with pedaling lightly, the sail is able to create an apparent wind of some sort pulling you along. If I close the sail and pedal only I go 1-2 mph, if I open the sail and pull it tight I go 3-4 mph while pedaling lightly vs 1-2 mph without pedaling in light winds (5-7 mph which are typical around here).

I've found this too. There seems to be a synergy between sailing and pedalling slowly when heading just off the wind in light winds. I actually recorded a GPS track of it on one occasion:

Image

The wind was shifting slightly, so I needed to zigzag to maintain the optimal angle to the wind. As you report, I was able to maintain about 4 mph. I don't know what the physics of it is, but my theory is that the gentle pedalling is enough to negate the resistance of the hull through the water, so the boat becomes a virtual ice-boat and the lift from the sail is all profit.
I think the need to keep the sail pulled in tight is to maintain an optimal angle to the wind and is separate to kayakman's observation that pulling down on the clew enhances performance. There are times when I've found that pulling the clew down helps even when travelling downwind, so I guess, as you say, it's to do with improving the sail shape.
PS (Aussie perspective), in winds much over 25 mph, in an AI, the trick to travelling upwind is to furl the sail so there's only about 2-3 feet of it out, then to tack at a very broad angle to the wind (about 70 degrees).
Here's one of okz00k's tracks. The southern track was travelling upwind into 30 knot winds, with just a bit of sail out.

Image

That was also in an AI. Don't know if it works in a TI.

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:28 am 
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Great sailing tip! Thanks for the original post and the first reply.


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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:47 am 
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Thanks fusioneng and Chris for the tips. I get a lot out of this type of explanation.

(don't give away too many of your secrets Chris. No wonder we couldn't catch you at Pulbah that day)

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Slaughter wrote:
(don't give away too many of your secrets Chris. No wonder we couldn't catch you at Pulbah that day)
Mate, funny you should mention that. I think that was the first time I really noticed that phenomenon. I remember the wind was light and we rounded Pulbah Island into about a five knot headwind. I wasn't trying to race anyone, but pedalling slowly, just off the wind, the boat just seemed to drop into "the zone". I couldn't believe it myself how much sooner I arrived at Wangi than everyone else. I wasn't going any faster than anyone else on any other leg of the trip - just under those specific conditions.

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:26 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
Slaughter wrote:
(don't give away too many of your secrets Chris. No wonder we couldn't catch you at Pulbah that day)
about a five knot headwind. I wasn't trying to race anyone, but pedalling slowly, just off the wind,

..........I'm still a bit lost as to how you had the sail set ?

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Pulled in fairly tight, then let out just enough for the wind to give it some shape. From that point on, you're better off varying the angle of the boat to the wind to maintain sail shape than adjusting the sail tension. You often need to zig-zag across the wind to maintain this - if you start to get too far off the wind, just change tack (assuming your destination is dead upwind).

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:33 pm 
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http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/right2.html

This my help explain.

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Hmmmm.....looks like I may have to change tack ticks

(sorry about that)

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Tell Tails. As noted on this diagram for a Hobie Cat... Works on all sails.

Image

Image

The ones on the back edge (leech) of the sail will show under or over sheeted conditions easily. If they flow straight aft all the time... sheet in. If they hook to the back side... sheet out a bit. They should flow aft and then hook... and alternate between the two. May take some creative sheeting / barber hauler to get them all flowing properly. The AI and TI sheeting and tuning is very basic. There are no traveler tracks or barber haulers as some cats use.

Basically... you need to sheet in to get power, but if you over do it or point too high, you stall the sail.

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Quote:
You often need to zig-zag across the wind


In sailing lingo... Tack.

Say you sail at about 30 degrees off the wind (say wind over the starboard side) and then "Tack" across / through the wind to the opposite "tack" (or wind over the port side).... called "tacking up wind".

You can do same for best feel of speed when going down wind, but you "gybe" or "gybe down wind" from one angle to the other.

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Totally agree Matt. I love my Black Beauty telltales and they're really helpful in general sailing. What I (and I think fusioneng) are describing kinda breaks the rules as you couldn't sail that close to the wind without the help of the Mirage drive. The telltales are less helpful there because the sail is not at its optimal angle to the wind, but the synergy between the drive and the sail seems to more than compensate for that. I've found this only really applies at low wind speeds. As the wind picks up, I've found I need to bear away more from the wind and the telltales come into their own.
I used the word zig-zag because you are staying within about 15 degrees to the wind, so it feels like less of a big deal than a "tack", in the usual meaning of the word.

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Understood... The MirageDrive changes everything!

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 Post subject: Re: Upwind performance?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Thanks Matt.

Sadly, AI owners never get to use awesome terms like "Ratline", "Boom", "Vang" and "Spanker".

That would be so 8)

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