in irons

#21
I was watching the America's Cup or some other professional sailing race and I believe I heard the helmsman say " ready to tack ... tacking." Seems short and to the point especially in a time crunch. Necessity is the mother of invention (and the corruption of language!).

Fred
 
#24
Could be technique. As you come into the wind the sail depowers and you are coasting onto the other tack. Gotta have enough speed before you start, try falling off a little before you change tack.

Gotta to do it fast, the boat will not coast for more than a couple seconds. Are you pushing the tiller over to full deflection as quick as you can?

Weather helm could be messed up, where is your gooseneck set on the boom. I got my weather helm at zero. Can change tack in a flash but will also roll tack you into the water just as fast, not recommended.

Boat could be water logged, water logged SF are easy to get into irons and don't come out well. Sort of killing the effect of the hull rocker when heavy.

Sail could be blown-out.

Should be one of the above. A dried out SF sits up on the hull rocker and is good for sailing is a small area since it changes tack so quickly.
Can you please explain a bit more about the gooseneck position?
 

wjejr

Active Member
#25
Can you please explain a bit more about the gooseneck position?
Ideally you want the boat to be “balanced” to the point that if you let go of the tiller, the boat will continue to sail straight ahead. The first way is to simply have the main correctly sheeted. If the main is over-trimmed the bow will want to point into the wind. A second way is to control the heal of the boat. Especially upwind, flatter is better.

Another way is to adjust the gooseneck. If you slide the boom forward the wind will tend to push the bow off the wind. If you pull the boom back the wind will push the stern off the wind and the bow will head up. How far you move the boom varies on a few things, but how much wind is the biggest consideration. More wind boom goes forwards, less wind boom goes back. I usually sail with my boom about 17” forward, or looking at it the other way, gooseneck 17” back. If it blows harder, I may move it to 20” back.

Again it all comes back to balance, if the rudder isn’t pretty much straight, something is wrong and you are going slow.

Hope that helps.
 
#26
Ideally you want the boat to be “balanced” to the point that if you let go of the tiller, the boat will continue to sail straight ahead. The first way is to simply have the main correctly sheeted. If the main is over-trimmed the bow will want to point into the wind. A second way is to control the heal of the boat. Especially upwind, flatter is better.

Another way is to adjust the gooseneck. If you slide the boom forward the wind will tend to push the bow off the wind. If you pull the boom back the wind will push the stern off the wind and the bow will head up. How far you move the boom varies on a few things, but how much wind is the biggest consideration. More wind boom goes forwards, less wind boom goes back. I usually sail with my boom about 17” forward, or looking at it the other way, gooseneck 17” back. If it blows harder, I may move it to 20” back.

Again it all comes back to balance, if the rudder isn’t pretty much straight, something is wrong and you are going slow.

Hope that helps.
Great info! Thanks.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#27
I have always understood that having a SLIGHT weather helm was desirable.... not just for safety's sake (so you boat will round up, rather than sail away when you fall off your "cleated" Sunfish!!)… but it gives you a little "lift" that actually enhances speed and pointing. Logically it would seem a rudder not perfectly straight would create drag, but the "lift" it gives overcomes the created "drag". Someone correct me if this is totally wrong on the Sunfish.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#28
Yes, slight weather helm is desirable.
And with respect to what wjejr wrote, many racers will have the gooseneck around 14" in light(er) winds
 

wjejr

Active Member
#29
The beneficial “slight” weather helm that mixmkr is referring to is what I was trying to cover when I said, “pretty much”. I tried to include all angles of sailing with that one sentence, but it’s different on different points of sail. The point I was trying to make that you don’t want to be dragging the rudder through the water, so you balance the boat as best you can using sail trim, heeling, gooseneck adjustment, daggerboard depth, position of the skipper/helmsman, etc. It’s a common drill in sailing schools to learn to sail without using the rudder to learn how these factors affect the boat’s course.

I’ve tried sailing with the gooseneck further forward on the boom, as wave dancer mentions, but I never noticed much of a difference. I’m not racing against other sunfish, so likely it would be tough to tell. The other thing is that wind direction varies so much in the lake where I sail that, if their is an improvement in pointing, I wouldn’t notice.
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#31
Wikipedas got a bunch of terms. Their version of "coming about" is "ready about."

All these years and I've never realized the 'Cat-O-Nine Tails' is also called the 'Captain's Daughter." Next time the crew needs discipline . . .


Glossary of nautical terms - Wikipedia
One can feel like an ancient mariner when racing with youngsters. Even years ago, when racing an Ensign, at the helm I used "ready about", then "hard-a-lee". I think everyone knew what was happening, but no other helmsman used that phrase. :oops: (We rotated helmsmen in the same boat through five races).

'Wondering what terms they're using in the country that "ruled the waves"? :)

Here's a trick you can use so you don't have to paddle out of irons. From the quick reference guide, Learn to Sail in 3 Days
GETTING OUT OF IRONS
If you "come about" too slowly, the boat may stop pointed into the wind with the sail flapping over your head. No amount of tiller or sail adjustment will start you sailing. You are caught in irons. The solution: You sail backwards for a moment (a) Push the tiller and the sail using the boom in opposite directions. (b) The boat will back around the rudder. Let the sail go, keeping the tiller over until the sail is out over the side of the boat. (c) Slowly trim it in and straighten the tiller. The boat will gain forward speed. And, you are in control again. Don't rush this procedure or you may find yourself back in irons.
[this sidebar tip includes photos of each of the steps if you view the guide in its entirety]
The whole illustrated reference guide is a free download from a link in this earlier thread, here: http://www.sunfishforum.com/showthread.php?t=30417
Worth repeating, as this is a common ailment for a newbie. :confused:
.​
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
#32
In the uk we say 'Lee-oh" instead of "hard-a-lee". Weirdly, even after three years of sailing single-haded I stills say it every time I tack.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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