Getting caught in irons

Thread starter #1
Tried my first race today, with winds of 25mph gusting 35 i decided to be a woos and drop the sail down to a radial, apart from death rolling more times than i can remember, what i dont understand is that on the windward mark i kept getting caught in irons when i tacked....? really narked me off...
 

torrid

Just sailing
#3
Do you routinely sail much in 25+ mph winds? Most people don't. That kind of wind really kills your forward momentum when you are head to wind while tacking. I also can't get fully powered up in conditions like that, so I'm not going super fast to begin with despite the wind.

Sometimes with winds like that, survival and keeping the boat upright are more important than things like proper roll tacks and body positioning. I try to slam the boat over fast with the tiller so I don't get stuck in irons while rapidly getting myself to the other side. It's not about executing a beautiful tack and not losing any speed. It's about being better off than the guys who are stuck in irons or have flipped.
 
Thread starter #4
Do you routinely sail much in 25+ mph winds? Most people don't. That kind of wind really kills your forward momentum when you are head to wind while tacking. I also can't get fully powered up in conditions like that, so I'm not going super fast to begin with despite the wind.

Sometimes with winds like that, survival and keeping the boat upright are more important than things like proper roll tacks and body positioning. I try to slam the boat over fast with the tiller so I don't get stuck in irons while rapidly getting myself to the other side. It's not about executing a beautiful tack and not losing any speed. It's about being better off than the guys who are stuck in irons or have flipped.
I normally sail in winds of 20mph with full rig but not around marks.... I find that if i sit well forward i can sail real close to the wind , but today the wind was coming from all over the place...i think it was that i didnt have enough speed whe n i made the tack...but i also got stuck in irons on the start.....this is the first time i race... where i sail normally im the only boat out so i have noone to compare with..
 
Thread starter #5
What did you do differently at the windward mark, compared with your other tacks (assuming they went ok)?
i dont know... but i had alot of problems on the water... im used to ssailing hard n fast on my own but freestyle not around marks
 
#6
i dont know... but i had alot of problems on the water... im used to ssailing hard n fast on my own but freestyle not around marks
Could easily just be information overload with so much going on at the same time on the water, it's very different from blasting around without a course and others to adjust to. More experience ........ . Was it fun?
 
Thread starter #7
Could easily just be information overload with so much going on at the same time on the water, it's very different from blasting around without a course and others to adjust to. More experience ........ . Was it fun?
fun...where i live most people get kicks with sticking shit up their noses...thats why i have the water to my self....the only thing i enjoy more in life is making love to a real woman....that i dont have... fun.. i am in heaven on the water just me ..the wind... water and the most beautiful woman beneath me thrilling every joint in my being....i am at peace with the universe i am one.... i am.... or was the last
 
Thread starter #8
i could sail all day if i had the energy...used to as a child....i live with the wild... i work with the wild... i play with the wild... i have no time for nothing but the wild....and i enjoy her so much...fun...excitement...adrellenin...the putre madre...life
 
#9
:) I sometimes put out a start line and and a top mark to play with just for my self or begin my time on the water with 20 tacks and 20 gybe's. Just to control the boat almost without speed, tacking back and forth and going backwards to hold a position at the line and then accelerate to cross the line on time is also a lot to master.
 
Last edited:

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#10
I had a hard time as well, and still do. What I learned
One needs more speed getting into the tack (see torrid's post) and one should increase the tacking angle
Try releasing the vang to some extent. A really tight vang (likely in big winds going upwind) will make it more likely to get caught in irons.

And of course: Practice, practice....
 
Thread starter #11
:) I sometimes put out a start line and and a top mark to play with just for my self or begin my time on the water with 20 tacks and 20 gybe's. Just to control the boat almost without speed, tacking back and forth and going backwards to hold a position at the line and then accelerate to cross the line on time is also a lot to master.
Id like to do that but i dont have the facilities to do that here......usually im the ounly person sailing here and ive been told that in Aragon Spain i have probaly the only laser...
 
Thread starter #12
I had a hard time as well, and still do. What I learned
One needs more speed getting into the tack (see torrid's post) and one should increase the tacking angle
Try releasing the vang to some extent. A really tight vang (likely in big winds going upwind) will make it more likely to get caught in irons.

And of course: Practice, practice....
I agree with the speed thing and ill try the greater angle...in strong winds the kicker, out and down haul are tight up wind....ill try to release the kicker just before i tack....
 
#13
Id like to do that but i dont have the facilities to do that here......usually im the ounly person sailing here and ive been told that in Aragon Spain i have probaly the only laser...
Are you sure, is it to deep water? All you need for a training mark is two plastic containers like 5 litres, one full of sand as an anchor and the other bright colored and full of air on the surface. Then a piece of rope in between and you have a mark. Put it in the cockpit when you go out.

It will be some work to get the right length of rope but it also gives boat handling practice to put it out and to take it up.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#14
Ease the vang a little and if you do get stuck in the irons, raise the centreboard a little to let the boat slide out of them.
 
Thread starter #15
Are you sure, is it to deep water? All you need for a training mark is two plastic containers like 5 litres, one full of sand as an anchor and the other bright colored and full of air on the surface. Then a piece of rope in between and you have a mark. Put it in the cockpit when you go out.

It will be some work to get the right length of rope but it also gives boat handling practice to put it out and to take it up.
Should be easier enough....
 
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