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Downwind in a Force 5

Mr Mike

New Member
At 75 years old and 165 pounds, I find the Force 5 a real handful sailing down wind on brisk days. Can some one tell me how the position the sail, the vang, the Cunningham, centerboard etc. to minimize the chance of capsize. On many afternoons on my way home the wind picks up and is nearly at a dead run and I don't have a lot of options to change direction in my waterway (ICW). The winds are often gusty and passing power boats create a wake that tends to drive me towards the shore where it gets shallow. I am interested in techniques that will keep the boat upright. I have read all the Laser sites (except this one) on downwind sailing and they are often conflicting as many of those guys are racing pros and trying to go real fast....I just want to stay upright. I am still pretty agile for my age but certainly not the athlete I once was.

I love this boat and sail two to three days a week from April thru November. Just needs some downwind tips.

Comments welcome.

Mr Mike

Rob B

Well-Known Member
When speed is not a concern just put on a little more vang, over trim the sail, (to like a broad reach) and don't raise the board up higher than 1/4 board.

Don't put on too much vang though. The goal is to allow the top 1/4 of the sail to blow forward enough to keep the boat from jibing.