What's new

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.
 

BYV

New Member
Mike
I have been racing F5 for 30+ years. Downwind is tricky in blow but if you crank down on the Vang, keep the daggerboard down 75% or more and sail the boat to lee in becomes more stable and faster.
If you feel that death roll coming or the wind and waves are getting to much, move your body weight back in the boat. Sit facing forward in stern next to the tiller. This is slower but very stable. The aft portion on the hull is flattened out and the chines do not dig in as much. This is a good place to take a physical and mental break from the fight of keeping her upright downwind in chop or high winds. Not recommended when racing.
 

Mr Mike

New Member
Thanks for the reply. I have followed those procedures to the letter and they do help. I am just not a good enough sailor in winds north of 15 knots to go fast down wind. The death roll to windward happens so fast I cannot compensate quickly enough despite being in a crouch near center and facing forward. When the winds pick up, I'll take the Sunfish. It is more forgiving.

A few weeks ago in quite moderate winds I capsized on a reach when I momentarily cleated the sheet to take a drink of water just as a gust hit. With its high center of effort the F5 goes over quickly. I had it back up inside of a minute...good enough for an old timer that started sailing late in life.

Mr Mike
 

Int. Sailing Academy

Active Member
Thanks for the reply. I have followed those procedures to the letter and they do help. I am just not a good enough sailor in winds north of 15 knots to go fast down wind. The death roll to windward happens so fast I cannot compensate quickly enough despite being in a crouch near center and facing forward. When the winds pick up, I'll take the Sunfish. It is more forgiving.

A few weeks ago in quite moderate winds I capsized on a reach when I momentarily cleated the sheet to take a drink of water just as a gust hit. With its high center of effort the F5 goes over quickly. I had it back up inside of a minute...good enough for an old timer that started sailing late in life.

Mr Mike
Hi Mike,

Some info for you. The Force 5 is very similar to the Laser and all the same techniques apply. Please watch:


Here is a segment from our online chat group regarding death rolls:

For the downwind there are basically two categories of death roll

[10:15 AM]
1. By the lee death roll

[10:16 AM]
This is almost always due to body position

[10:16 AM]
Good sailors can even let their sheet out too far and go too hard by the lee, but it's still very easy to prevent the death roll there if you have your body weight enough over the leeward side

[10:17 AM]




[10:17 AM]

[10:18 AM]
2. Broad Reach Deathroll
[10:18 AM]
This is almost always due to sheet tension being too far out
[10:18 AM]
And in your case is probably what happens because you tend to leave your sheet out too far in general(edited)
[10:19 AM]
So it may be ok for your by the lee, but as soon as you transfer to a broad reach, it is undersheeted and you create excessive lee helm and death roll
[10:20 AM]
It can sometimes be caused by being oversheeted on the broad reach, stalling the sail and you heel too much to windward and create lee helm that way and spin into the death roll, but that is more rare
[10:20 AM]
It can also be caused by too much body weight outboard, which when combined with undersheeted is the perfect recipe for a deathroll on broad reach.
[10:22 AM]
So you need to identify if you are deathrolling from a BTL or BR angle and recognize the problem.
[10:22 AM]
Or perhaps it's from either angle.
 
Top