Sailing Downwind

lol. This is getting funny. By the way, pitchpole?? How is that relivant to the sheeting in dicussion?? To do that the stern mst be lifted up and thrown up and over the bow. As far as I've heard, only waves can do that unless you launch off a wave and submaring at extremely high speeds.
Sheeting in is bad. When you sheet in, the boat wants to jybe and becomes unstable. You also get a lot of helm, which means that the boat/sail isn't trimmed properly.
Yeah. For me when I sheet in the boat just accelerates so fast that you really have to jerk the tiller to keep her under control. When you jerk the tiller, the rudder is no longer hydrdynamic so it actually slows you down more. Thirdly, in stronger breezes you must have to hold onto the mainsheet really really hard and also hang on to the tiller really really hard. If you let either of these go I think you'd be looking for a nice dip in the drink. There is just too much work involved when you sheet in between the mainsheet and the tiller. In higher winds and even in moderate winds the cons outweight the pros.
Also, remember to know your mainsheet at the end or tie it to the toestrap. prevents the embarrasment of having your rig and boom flapping in front of the bow...
My coach told me never to do that.
1. If you fall overboard the boat will sail away for a good while before staling out whereas if there was no knot tied there the boat would stall out sooner.
2. You accidentely let go of the mainsheet the boat will be powerless and easier to get controll of again. Although this may take longer the boat will never be out of your control.

I simply don't tie a knot at the end of my mainsheet because my coach tells me not to, but I don't know if i would or wouldn't without her. I guess you'd have to experience it for yourself. Both I find are valid reasons.
if my mailsheet knot comes out then the sheet somehow works its way out of the block and I have to head into the wind during a race (usually an important one).

also, if you capsize, the sheet will almost always come out and you cannot recover because you have no way to make the boat point into the wind and re-thread the sheet through the blocks

I usually tie a couple of knots to keep this from happening
Knotting the mainsheet is a safety risk. It is a safety hazard rather than an aid. The two reasons listed above are not correct:

"Falling overboard - the boat will stall out sooner."

It won't stall out any sooner because if anything, a knot in a mainsheet will turn the boat into the wind due to an overtrimmed sail or capsize.

"Let go of the mainsheet and the boat will be powerless."

Not downwind anyway - let go of the miainsheet and the boat will probably go over to windward. On other points of sail, the amount of mainsheet that has to be let out before the knot takes any effect (the knot only changes anything when the shete is fully run out) so the sail will depower long before the knot gets anywhere near the block.

The mainsheet is the longest piece of rope on the boat and is a valuable asset in emergency situations:

1) Can be used as a tow rope to great effect (plus no mainsheet on the boom makes the boat easier to tow.)

2) Keeps you (the sailor) in contact with the boat. Think back to when you were taught how to capsize. The first thing youwere told was:


This means staying in contact with the boat via the hull fittings OR the mainsheet because that stays near you when you capsize.

3) Once the mainsheet comes out of the block, you struggle to get it back in the system because the boom is flapping about uncontrollably.

4) No knot in the live end of the rope means nothing except friction and your grip is stopping the mainsheet from coming out of the blocks altogether and losing it completely. If the knot on the other end catches on another boat/bouy/obstacle etc this risj increases.

Keep a knot in the end of your mainsheet.
Hey hey, that is only what I was taught. In other words that was not my opinion but my coaches.

1 problem though. What happens if you death roll with a knot in your mainsheet. Think about it, the sail will keep the boat sailing away from you untill it turtles itself. What do you do then.

Again, I'm not saying and never was to not tie a knot in your mainsheet. But what if this happens??
But what happens when you right her? As soon as the mast is out of the water she will start sailing again until she turtles again.

....lets just drop it...too many sercumstances and situations. If you want to tie a knot then do it! If you don't then don't.
sorry guys, i'm kind of slow...back to the Cockerill article

when you bear off and sail by the lee, do you let the boom out past 90 degrees or do you only go as far as 90 degrees. I usually let it out past 90 in light air but it seems slow in big air

also, you bear off (by the lee) to get to waves and you head up (broad reach) to surf down them.

You let it out as far as you need to. Read my long post above for info about sail trim by the lee. In strong wind, by the lee will always be slower than broad reaching but the rest of the time it should work well.
yeah, last week it was blowing and i broad reached... it made everybody look like they were dead in the water

sailing by the lee makes my bow dig into the water and the boat heel to windward in big wind
The windward heel is good but as you say, the bow down effect which is good for increasing water line length in light and medium winds has a negative effect on speed in strong conditions.