Leeway ?

Thread starter #1
I was out sailing pretty flat water, light winds (5kts or a little more) and paid careful attention to the amount of leeway when beating. Seems like I am losing about a boat-length every 10-15 boat-lengths. This seems like a lot & I'm trying to figure out something I'm doing wrong so I don't have to spend hours refinishing my blades.

I do tend to pinch more than foot, so wonder how sensitive the boat is to this?
 
#2
Maybe you should try footing off a bit to build some speed.
On my Musto Skiff the blades only really start working above a certain speed (i.e. quite fast) after which you can point well AND go fast.
Although the laser foils are not in the same league, they probably also work better with a decent flow over them.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#3
Do you have the sail trimmed in too tight? 5 knots of breeze is very light. You should be loose and driving, no need to pinch when it's light like that. What's the current like where you sail?
 
#5
You guys are wrong. It seems his sail is right. Do you have even the slightest heel on your boat. Even a tiny bit of heel will slow the water over the blades causing the boat not to "lift" and slide leeward. You should closely watch your heel to make sure the boat is flat. And YES it does really matter.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#6
You guys are wrong. It seems his sail is right. Do you have even the slightest heel on your boat. Even a tiny bit of heel will slow the water over the blades causing the boat not to "lift" and slide leeward. You should closely watch your heel to make sure the boat is flat. And YES it does really matter.
He does not say how the sail is trimmed. Sailing dead flat is not the answer here.

The laser has fairly large blades so making a ton of leeway is hard to do. You want a lesson in leeway sail a JY 15.
 
#7
You don't gain enough speed (and therefore speed-induced height) in light breeze to make footing worthwhile. The value of footing more or less increases with the breeze.

Pinching isn't always a dirty word, unless you are pinching so much that your luff is lifting. In five knots, you should be sailing just a couple of degrees below the point where the luff lifts, assuming steady breeze.

To minimise leeway, a dead flat boat is very important. In fact, windward heel can even work (watch the Rooster Boat Whisperer DVD to find out why and how). But definitely no leeward heel at all. The other thing that will increase leeway is the position of draft in your sail. Too much vang relative to your cunningham will pull the draft back and push you sideways. Having the outhaul too deep doesn't help either.
 
#8
i agree with everything but the vang tension. In very light- light winds you should have your vang so tight that when you release your mainsheet it goes out from the back block at a 45degree angle. As the wind increases you should ease the vang, if you start getting overpowered thats when you crank the vang back on.

Good luck!
 
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