Windward heel

Thread starter #1
Hi, I'm an optimist sailor but I think that oppys and lasers have many things in common. Does anyone know if windward heel is good in choppy/wavy conditions as well as flat water?
Thanks
 
#2
Yes it is ... downwind in light air ..... heel to weather and get the boom / sail up high .... smaller hull form factor underwater ...... fastest way downhill!

Choppy / wavy / enough wind to plane you are surfing on the waves and not worried about which way the boat is heeling ..... just staying upright and fast ;)
 
#3
Hi, I'm an optimist sailor but I think that oppys and lasers have many things in common. Does anyone know if windward heel is good in choppy/wavy conditions as well as flat water?
Thanks
Cat rigged boats, or any boat with one sail, are usually fastest downwind when they are heeled to windward. The reason for this is to bring the centre of effort (COE) as perpendicular to the centre of buoyancy as possible, where it is most stable. A side benefit is that the natural shape of the hull also neutralises the helm.

Unfortunately, I don't have an image I can post here due to copyright. Can anybody help with an image for Irl1447?

Heeling upwind in light/medium winds is altogether another story. There was some discussion on this forum about the curious effects this has on gybing the daggerboard, so do a search and you should find it. Other than that, upwind Lasers are generally sailed as upright as possible upwind and on a reach. Usually, if you feel like the boat is heeling a little to windward, you are bolt upright:).
 

jeffers

Active Member
#6
Windward heel upwind is a matter for debate. It is very hard to get right and generally only works on flat water.

The idea being that you 'gybe' the foils and they then create lift. There are various articles on the web about it. I have never managed to get it to work reliably but that could be down to lack of talent on my part!
 
#7
So people say that heeling to ww has the effect of gybing the foils. First, if I remeber rightly when trying this the rudder is pushed to leeward to track in a straight line. Thats the opposite of gybing. Maybe the centreboard is 'gybed', I am sceptical. So for those that do not know what we mean by a gybing board here is an article that I wrote for a class that allows gybing boards.
http://www.hornet.org.uk/forms/20051113104700centreboards.pdf
This will give you an understanding of what a true gybing board does. [But debate is still ongoing within such classes].
Now try and relate it to windward heel in a Laser. Good luck!
 
#8
As a practical matter in anything but very flat water and light winds your butt would drag in the water if heeling to weather going upwind!

In flat water and light winds you are trying to maintain max speed and max progress to weather by pointing high while keeping up your boat speed.

In most cases the wind is not steady in velocity or direction but is constantly fluctuating so your steering and weight in the boat is constantly adjusting to pinch up to gain ground alternating with bearing off to gain speed. When bearing off a slight tilt to weather might occur but won't be held for long.

Just my experience!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#9
Steve Cockerill spends some time on this issue in his DVD presentation (the boat whisperer). Apparently, getting an advantage by heeling to windward is very tricky in a low-freeboard boat like the Laser. You really need another boat to sail with you side by side to see if you can get an advantage by heeling to windward going upwind.
 
Thread starter #10
As a practical matter in anything but very flat water and light winds your butt would drag in the water if heeling to weather going upwind!

In flat water and light winds you are trying to maintain max speed and max progress to weather by pointing high while keeping up your boat speed.

In most cases the wind is not steady in velocity or direction but is constantly fluctuating so your steering and weight in the boat is constantly adjusting to pinch up to gain ground alternating with bearing off to gain speed. When bearing off a slight tilt to weather might occur but won't be held for long.

Just my experience!
In optis you won't always need your ass out of the boat. I hope this gives other people an idea? Other than that I'm nearly positive that regarding to windward heel optis and lasers are the same
 
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