High wind/heeling observation

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by kylehousley, May 11, 2010.

  1. kylehousley

    kylehousley New Member

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    I notice that as the boat gradually heels over more, the rudder is eventually brought out of the water and she turns into the wind.

    What is the max windspeed that is practical with a C14? I was out in 10-20 with a buddy today. Is this where I should be entertaining a reef point then?
     
  2. RC14A

    RC14A Member

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    The Ol' Salts say reef early . 10 to 20 is a point to consider reeefing .

    I have sailed in 10 to 20 with a crew many a time without reefing using the heck out of the hiking straps . I find I can adjust the amount of weather helm by where I sit in the boat . I keep my crew up front hiked out the hardest and then I can adjust the boats balance with my 200 lbs :)

    All of the lakes I sail have their own brand of wind , some have very steady winds you can set a clock by , while others are light and fluky . As you spend more time on your waters you will learn what to expect but remember ma nature is always has final say .

    Have fun ,

    Rob
     
  3. kylehousley

    kylehousley New Member

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    Okay then thank you, you brought to light the "weather helm" issue. I didn't know about this but I deduced that having to jack knife the rudder to keep the boat on course would slow us down some. I think I will be looking into getting a reef point. For the mainsail.

    So that leaves the question, what is the max windspeed that is practical with a C14?

    I honestly just like cruising around on the 10 kt days.
     
  4. azrick

    azrick Member

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    Depower (flatten) the main by setting the outhaul hard, get the draft (power) as far forward on the sail by setting the Cunningham hard.
    Sheet out the Jib just a touch and sheet out the main so there is a luff down the leading edge. This is more like a backwind of the main from the jib.
    Keep the jib halyard tight.
    You want the jib sheeted out just a touch (but tighter than the main) so that the main luffs first.
    Keep the boat flat and it will stay in control.

    LOOK AHEAD! for the gusts and try to sheet out to anticipate them rather than to react to them.

    9 out of 10 capsizes I've witnessed, the boat rounded up and through, then backwinded the jib to capsize. If you do find youself rounding up out of control, release the jibsheet above all other attempts to recover. If you can release it before it backwinds, you're good to go. ...wrong direction but dry. :)
     
  5. Mrbillyd

    Mrbillyd New Member

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    AZ Rick


    You just helped me understand exactly how I have ended up in the water a few times.
    It was during the round up, with the jib back winded. Keeping the jib sheets from getting caught up and running free is key. Is this called broaching? The last two days I have been playing hookie with my work bud on TT lake in high winds. We've been dry both times, and improving the rope work and steering. Wed. the winds were strong from the West and we were down in the East bay. It took me 3 attemps to make it back past the bridge. The first 2 times I did not have the right path so I had to bear away. Once thru we did some of our best tacks of the day.
    Later in the after some exciting maneuvers, we were on a run heading east past the doc about 100 yards past, and came about to head for the dock. With a 10mph wind from the West, I was moving pretty good on a port tack as I approached the dock. I let the main and jib sheets go. I am now parallel with the dock and in the irons and stalled out. and 4 feet east of the dock. The wind pushes my bow west and I am now point at the north cement wall and about 4 feet from it. My first instinct was to bear away. but my rudder was useless as I had no speed. Now that the wind pushed me out of the irons, the boat takes off and I yell to my mate, were going to trash the boat. I thought I was helpless and I was resigned to take the cement wall head on. Now with speed, and bearing away did not work, I move the tiller away and do a tack to starboard side, miss the wall by a foot. My crew man tells me great move. Then I do a port tack into the boat ramp area release both sheets, and grab the painter and jump over in 3 feet of water. No harm no foul.

    Thanks for the input, next time out in like winds, I will pull down hard on the cunningham to move the draft forward. I have been out in 30-45 foot boats about 20 times and I think I learned more this week in a 14.2.
    Great stuff.

    Bill
     
  6. RC14A

    RC14A Member

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    I think your definition of "pratical " will change as your experience grows. and it depends who else is aboard , If I have an inexprienced or non-sailing crew member aboard 10 maybe the limit.

    If my other dinghy sailing buddies want to go out we hope for the higher range . We commonly sail in 15-20, conditons where the Lasers & Sunfish seem like they spend more time upside down than upright . its a workout , as we are hiked out hard and we will be wet from the spray. The downwind runs are a blast as the 14.2 will plane !

    Sailing in higher winds, sail handling gets more critical , no time for second guessing , you tend to rely on instincts all which come easier the more time you spend on the water .

    Also - make use of that weather helm - don't fight her, she knows where the wind is !

    Rob
     
  7. kylehousley

    kylehousley New Member

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    Hmm. Great thread, thank you for all the input. It's such a shame that I am the only sailor I know. I would imagine that sailing is easier when everyone knows what is happening. The thanks a lot Azrick for that detailed response, that has really helped me to understand sail tuning.

    Hopefully I can train up a crew well enough that they know how to sail.
     
  8. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    Learn how to handle the boat by yourself and you will never have to look for crew again. Take crew when they want to go, but knowing you don't have to rely on others makes it more fun. Plug in your Ipod and sail.........
     
  9. rayhas

    rayhas New Member

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    gregwcoats - How do you do this? Where do you sit? Do you cleat the mainsheet? I can't imagine going solo but my crew seems to have lost her sense of adventure and I may need to learn to solo. I can't even figure out how to pin the forestay without help.
     
  10. regularman

    regularman New Member

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    If the wind gets high I would just drop the jib and sail on the main alone. That is what makes the furler so handy.
     
  11. Allatoona

    Allatoona Member

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    reefing

    I have reefed my main twice. I had a sail maker sew in reefing points for me last year. I found a good tiller extension and have also tightened up all the rigging. I know there are suggestions to have the rigging a little loose, but I have had good luck with everything snug.

    Just like others have said, keep an eye out for gusts on the water and be ready to let the main out.

    I was out solo a couple weeks ago with main and jib, the main was reefed. I was surfing the motorboat wakes and having a great time. There were occasional white caps and I did get a serious workout... sure beats staying home watching TV.

    If the weather looks questionable and you are solo, go ahead and reef. You can always take it out later if you are feeling really comfortable.

    -Robert
    1989 Capri Mod2
    1984 Catalina 22
     
  12. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    rayhas, I found myself in the same situation you are getting into. My crew backed out at the last minute, so I just said the heck with it and launched the boat solo. At first I was just going to see how launching solo went and then put it back on the trailer but that went so well that I sailed under main only and had a great time. I moved around the boat a bit and settled into where I felt comfortable. I have a roller furling headsail so the next weekend I didn't even try to find crew, I sailed solo again and when I felt ready I unrolled the headsail and wow the boat took off. I always put the boat back on the trailer when the wind passes about 10 knots, so I don't overextend my sailing skills. Try it with the main only at first and see how it goes. I have now sailed solo about 20 times and not having to depend on others is great. I plug in my Ipod and sail.
     
  13. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    I use the jib halyard tied one end on the trailer mast support and the other end on the cleat on at the base of the mast and that holds the mast up while I climb off the boat to insert the forstay pin. Very simple and fast, no help needed. I can explain in detail if you like.
     
  14. c14_Aaron

    c14_Aaron New Member

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    This caught my attention... what is the difference between this and heaving to? Does rudder position make the difference in preventing a capsize or is it a bad idea to attempt heaving to in this boat?
     
  15. kylehousley

    kylehousley New Member

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    I think that the heave-to is reserved for keel boats. A backwinded jib is a real nightmare.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. paulsheller

    paulsheller Administrator Staff Member

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  17. kylehousley

    kylehousley New Member

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    Weird, I wouldn't have guessed, I will have to experiment with this. I am very skeptical, i backwinded the jib in a gybe and had to basically sit on the side of the boat until i could free the sheet. That was in some big wind though. Thanks for bringing this up.
     
  18. azrick

    azrick Member

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    I've had the same thoughts and observations.
    We heave-to all the time and usually during high wind conditions to rest and stay out of the way while (waiting for our class start) racing.
    During a heave-to, we have *just* a little drive in the main and the jib counteracts that drive while backwinded. When doing this, you go into it slowly with very little boatspeed.

    Now, here are my thoughts.
    Consider boatspeed as energy / inertia.
    When you're close hauled in high winds, the boat is usually moving with pretty good speed (read lots of inertia) , when you round up, then into a backwind condition, the sudden application of brakes on the jib, stops *that* half (the top half if you will) of the boat. The inertia keeps the hull moving forward (and out from under the now stopped sails) resulting in a capsize.

    I've seen the very same set of dynamics occur while running with the wind and against the tide. When you (finally get to) turn the leeward mark, the tide now carries the the boat forward but the wind heels the boat to an extent that it could capsize.
    The boat just sweeps out from under, if you can imagine that.
    Usually you want to sheet in and get trimmed quickly, but this condition requires a very smooth and somewhat gradual transition, just like a heave-to.
     
  19. paulsheller

    paulsheller Administrator Staff Member

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    Are you suggesting the trick is to slow down a bit before tacking and starting the heave-to?
     
  20. azrick

    azrick Member

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    Yes, go into it slow. You don't even have to tack, sheet out the main to slow down, point up and slowly haul on the lazy jib sheet after uncleating the working sheet. Keep the point with the rudder as the now backed jib will want to push the nose to leeward. As the boat slows, then will want to go backwards, bring in a little main pressure to hold it still, you have no blade speed so it will still blow sideways a bit so don't take a nap. :)
     

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