I took her out for her first sail

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Citrine Sunset
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I took her out for her first sail

Post by Citrine Sunset » Feb 26th, '18, 13:59

I took her out for her first sail (sunmaid 20) the other day to see how it was all go & to see if anything would break. It was a quick learning lesson with how the boat responds. Its my first time sailing this type of yacht & my first time using a genoa. I could not get the boat to tack through the wind she just wouldnt pass through the wind & every time the genoa would back fill and push the bow back to leeward. I even tried getting more speed before tacking. Im now thinking the genoa needs to be furled in before tacking but is this normal? All of my previous sailing experience is in surfcats no trouble tacking.

Nigel

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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by MartinDreaming » Feb 26th, '18, 14:25

Nigel, congrats on your first sail. There's no substitute to learning how to do it by trying to do it.

Its difficult to trouble-shoot this on line, but here are a couple of thoughts that might help ...
* You should not need to furl as you tack. I've seen some racers do it on TV, but I don't do it on my boat (20ft with furling genoa, like yours)
* I have trouble tacking surf cats - there might be something in this - surf cats tack differently to monohulls, and maybe you're applying your surf cat technique to monohulls like I'm applying my monohull technique to surf cats
* Your problems could be all about timing - when to let go of the sheets, and when to bring them in again. If you keep the tension on the sheets, you'll get the boat to hove to (stall). My technique is to uncleat the jib sheets (if cleated), push over the tiller hard, swap sides, get on the right bearing, get the main right, then bring in the foresail. The boat should "swivel" on the keel, and the foresail should be loose as the boat turns through the wind.

I guess that furling the foresail in the tack has the advantage of stopping it flogging, and might be necessary to get large foresails around baby-stays in front of the mast. However, if you tack quickly and get the timing right with the sheets, you should not get much flogging.
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by INMA » Feb 26th, '18, 15:36

If you are not use to tacking heavy yachts, you may be trying to do it too fast and losing speed due to too much tiller too soon.

Tacking is all about timing and energy.

My guess is you have some trimming to do to improve drive forward during the tack.

Then if you can start the tack and sheet in the mainsail to get some drive forward while you turn slowly.

If you turn too fast with too much rudder, the drag on the rudder combined with the resistance to turn will stall the hull in the water.

Work out a slower tack that conserves momentum till the bow is through the wind. If needed pull the traveler across to get more drive from the mainsail.

My guess is you have too much draft in the sails which results in them dropping all lift during the tack. Work on sail trim getting the tell tails streaming and sails drafting before working on slowing the tack speed down.

Remember too much rudder on these older displacement yachts is just like putting the brakes on.

Work on it and it will sort itself out.
Last edited by INMA on Feb 26th, '18, 18:22, edited 2 times in total.
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mob
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by mob » Feb 26th, '18, 17:32

MartinDreaming wrote: * Your problems could be all about timing - when to let go of the sheets, and when to bring them in again. If you keep the tension on the sheets, you'll get the boat to hove to (stall). My technique is to uncleat the jib sheets (if cleated), push over the tiller hard, swap sides, get on the right bearing, get the main right, then bring in the foresail. The boat should "swivel" on the keel, and the foresail should be loose as the boat turns through the wind.

I guess that furling the foresail in the tack has the advantage of stopping it flogging, and might be necessary to get large foresails around baby-stays in front of the mast. However, if you tack quickly and get the timing right with the sheets, you should not get much flogging.
I'm not sure if I'm reading this right, but when I tack I don't release the sheet until the boat is on the new heading - I allow the wind to push the boat around. If I let the sheet go before turning, she probably wouldn't- unless I was powering along at speed. I have a similar rig to the Sunmaid.

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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by Backstay » Feb 26th, '18, 20:44

Yes thats right, backfilling the jib or genoa pushes the bow through the wind around to where your new heading is. Used a lot on surf cats in strong wind -the main is let out especially with a large main and small jib.( More controllable).
A sunmaid should have enough momentum and you may find its all in the timing of releasing and hauling in the sheets and not oversteering.
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by Gezza » Feb 26th, '18, 20:54

You should be able to tack a yacht even without the jib or genoa.
Just apply rudder about 30 degree and let her round up, when the jib/Genoa starts to flog then release the sheet and pull in the leeward sheet. If you are quick enough you should not even need the winch to tighten the genoa up. And of you go on your new course. The main will look after it self.
So if this does not work there might be something not right. But what?
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Tezza
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by Tezza » Feb 26th, '18, 22:04

Mate, I’m starting to wonder if there is another issue here and please don’t take me wrong but are you sure you have routed the sheets around everything , are not over heavy for the light winds.
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by MartinDreaming » Feb 26th, '18, 22:08

mob wrote:
MartinDreaming wrote: * Your problems could be all about timing - when to let go of the sheets, and when to bring them in again. If you keep the tension on the sheets, you'll get the boat to hove to (stall). My technique is to uncleat the jib sheets (if cleated), push over the tiller hard, swap sides, get on the right bearing, get the main right, then bring in the foresail. The boat should "swivel" on the keel, and the foresail should be loose as the boat turns through the wind.

I guess that furling the foresail in the tack has the advantage of stopping it flogging, and might be necessary to get large foresails around baby-stays in front of the mast. However, if you tack quickly and get the timing right with the sheets, you should not get much flogging.
I'm not sure if I'm reading this right, but when I tack I don't release the sheet until the boat is on the new heading - I allow the wind to push the boat around. If I let the sheet go before turning, she probably wouldn't- unless I was powering along at speed. I have a similar rig to the Sunmaid.
mob, I think we are trying to describe timing here, which is difficult to do in words. And, my timing could always be improved (taking note of Gezza's advice here). And, our boats might actually tack differently. I enjoy being able to swivel the Austral on its keel much more than my clumsy efforts at tacking a beach cat.

On reflection, I don't fully let go of the lee sheet (lee before the tack) until the pressure is off the foresail, and I judge it by feeling the tension in the sheet. My earlier days sailing dingies might be showing through here. However, if you cleat the weather sheet (windward side after the tack), you're going to heave to, so you need to let it out and bring in the lee sheet to complete the tack, preferably after the bow has gone through the wind. Backing the jib, or heaving to on a beach cat can do strange things, because you start moving backwards, your rudder works in reverse, and you (actually, I, on a number of occasions) get stuck in irons. So, I was thinking that your timing on a beach cat might be different than your timing on a monohull with a keel.
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madmission
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by madmission » Feb 27th, '18, 07:54

is your keel down ?
should not be that difficult.

Castle 610
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by Castle 610 » Feb 27th, '18, 09:10

Yeah the keel which is not that heavy could be stuck in the up position.
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Citrine Sunset
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by Citrine Sunset » Apr 17th, '18, 00:01

Thank you all for your comments, Ive taken her out 5 times now and I seemed to have sorted out the tacking issue or it seems to be tacking fine not fast but passing through the wind. My next sail I'll be trying out a hanked on jib for the first time instead of the Genoa. I told know if weight plays a role in tacking but Ive loaded more gear up the front mainly to increase the ball weight for towing but the boat seems to turn better with more weight forward.

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Furstin
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by Furstin » Apr 17th, '18, 07:49

I always thought they screwed up the marks a bit on the sunmaid, scuppers a bit low in the cockpit etc. I don't think they like a loaded cockpit. Try to keep weight out of the ends though.
That said you shouldn't have a problem tacking, they are heavy, with a long stub so think maintain momentum in the tack and steer an arch rather than a push hard over which will stall.

And if it's still an issue after you get to know her, look at mast rake. Should be able to find plenty of reading on the subject, and don't necessarily think forward rake is wrong for this boat.



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mob
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Re: I took her out for her first sail

Post by mob » Apr 17th, '18, 10:27

I sail against - sorry, with - one regularly and she seems to sail really well.

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