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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Oneday Posted - 06/16/2022 : 04:05:10
If itís 15-20 knots and you are out there, what is you setup? Jib alone? Main alone or some combo? Thanks Dan
11   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Stinkpotter Posted - 09/20/2022 : 22:11:21
To depower the foresail, as Steve says, you want to flatten the lower section by tensioning the foot, while easing the leech to allow the top to twist off and spill air. Moving the car back does that, and can be an effective substitute for changing to a smaller sail (maintaining more driving sail area down low). Moving the car forward to tension the leech eases the foot, powers up the sail, especially higher up, and increases heel. The "happy medium", depending on the sail, is generally about where the sheet is perpendicular to the forestay.

For performance (which I rarely really cared about except when some other random sailboat was on the same tack), I preferred reefing the main before reducing my roller 130 genoa, since the foresail has more area down low to begin with, and can be more effectively twisted off up high. On some really blustery days, I left the main on the boom and let the full genny twist off while hardened down low. The boat would stand up and accelerate nicely in big gusts, rather than heeling over and slowing down.
Volksaholic Posted - 09/20/2022 : 15:24:26
"In ordinary conditions, you set the genoa cars so that the force exerted by the jibsheet bisects the sail's luff. When you move the cars back, that line of force moves lower down the luff. When you have moved the cars back far enough so that the foot of the jib is flat, that's far enough. The amount that opens up the leech of the jib depends on how the sailmaker cut the jib and how much the sail's leech has stretched through use. If the sail is flogging, there might be too much wind to continue using that jib, and you might need to put up a smaller one."

Thanks, that kind of validates what I was thinking at the time. The problem was that I had the foot taught but the track didn't go far enough forward to control the leech on that narrow sail. It could have also been that the leech was stretched. I hadn't considered that at the time and I only crewed for them once because I had other concerns about the condition of the boat. I've been in that situation before where we've had to put up a blade and the track didn't allow the car to go forward enough to properly trim the sail, but most of the guys I'd crew with had a few snatch blocks and various rigging that I could rig something to get the shape I felt was appropriate. Sorry to derail the conversation.
Stinkpotter Posted - 09/19/2022 : 21:44:31
Hi Daniel... Steve's comments about controlling heel are true for essentially all sailboats--some other comments here are more specific to the C-25 (since this is our C-25 Specific forum). In your past posts, you have asked questions about the C-25 swing keel and C-250 water ballast (centerboard) models. Discussions about headsail size and some rigging details do not apply equally to both--they are significantly different boats. For example, the C-25 is more heavily ballasted, and I suspect it sails better on the headsail alone than the C-250 due to the placement of its mast...

What is your model and year?
Steve Milby Posted - 09/19/2022 : 14:36:07
Originally posted by Volksaholic

So a question regarding moving the jib car back to open up the top of the jib: How much do you want to open that up?

That's a judgment call only you can make, based on the sailing conditions at the time. Your goal is to prevent the boat from heeling excessively. You can do that either by changing to a smaller jib or by depowering the jib. You depower the jib by flattening it and by spilling air out of the upper part of the leech. If you move the genoa cars back, that will flatten the foot of the jib and ease tension on the leech, spilling air out of the top of the leech.

Think of the mast as a long lever. A full mainsail rises to the top of the mast. When you reef the mainsail, you bring the sail down about 3 feet below the top of the mast. That moves the force on the sail lower. In effect, it shortens the lever. That reduces the heeling moment. When you spill air out of the top of a jib, it has the same effect. It reduces the force up high. It also has the effect of shortening the lever.

In ordinary conditions, you set the genoa cars so that the force exerted by the jibsheet bisects the sail's luff. When you move the cars back, that line of force moves lower down the luff. When you have moved the cars back far enough so that the foot of the jib is flat, that's far enough. The amount that opens up the leech of the jib depends on how the sailmaker cut the jib and how much the sail's leech has stretched through use. If the sail is flogging, there might be too much wind to continue using that jib, and you might need to put up a smaller one.

The reason why I said it's a judgment call is that the farther back you move the cars, the more you depower the sail. If you move them back so far that the boat begins to feel slow and sluggish, you might have moved them back too far, and depowered the sail too much. If you depower the sail too much, the sails might not be generating enough power to drive the boat through the chop. If you have moved them back until the foot of the jib is flat, and if the boat is still heeling excessively, then it's probably time to change to a smaller jib. You have done all you can by depowering the jib as far as possible. Before this time, you should have already tucked a reef in the mainsail.
Volksaholic Posted - 09/19/2022 : 13:11:31
So a question regarding moving the jib car back to open up the top of the jib: How much do you want to open that up? I raced with some guys on a Capri 30 and we had to put up a storm jib and reef the main when some afternoon thermals kicked in. I ran the cars all the way forward and the top of the sail was still flogging so hard that I was afraid it would damage the sail despite having the foot taught. I might be wrong but I thought in that instance I needed to go forward on the car or, barring that, have a line with a snatch block so I could get a steeper angle on the sheet. I know what's worked for me on boats I've crewed on but I don't feel like an expert by a long shot or that I know the "right way" to do things. I'm assuming when you say "spill wind off the top of the jib" you're just talking about leaving it loose enough to open up at the top, but still tight enough to control the tension on the leech.
Erik Cornelison Posted - 09/14/2022 : 17:54:56
To answer the question, main reefed (I only have one reef) and a hank on 110 jib....but also important is to have the jib cars set far back to spill wind off the top of the jib. I sail in the Colorado mountains, so if its blowing 10-15 I know for sure the gusts will be to 30...I just watch the water for those gusts.
Go Slo Posted - 08/21/2022 : 17:44:52
I have two reefpoints in my main and a 150 genoa on a fuller. I have found that in any decent wind, one reef and a full jib is comfortable and balances the boat. As the winds increase, ill take the second reef into the main before I pull in any jib. Lastly, ill take in some jib if the boat feels overpowered. Iím on a smaller lake, so I dont have to deal with any real swell or chop.
Stinkpotter Posted - 06/17/2022 : 07:10:11
BTW, I "figured out" you have a C-250 WB... Coincidentally, the responses you've gotten are from C-25 owners (past and present). The C-250 is a significantly different boat in several ways, especially in heavy air. It would be useful to you to create a "signature" in your Profile (menu above) with your model, year, keel, rig, and where you're sailing, as many folks here have done. Also, questions like this are better responded to on the C-250 forum.
Voyager Posted - 06/16/2022 : 09:34:41
Quick questions:
How many reefs do you have in your mainsail? 1?, 2? I only have 1, so Iíd reef in 15 kts
Do you have a furler for your headsail? If so, use it to shorten sail as Dave advises.
If not, do you have a storm jib, 75%, 100% or 130% jib genoa. Smaller is better to keep the balance.
Do you sail alone or with experienced crew? If you have crew, put them on the windward rail. If theyíre inexperienced crew, stay in port. No point scaring your crew.
Lastly, if you sail on the south shore of Long Island Sound (north shore of LI), your most troublesome wind direction is NE or ENE. They can make your life miserable.
Northwest winds are usually gusty, so what started as 15-20 can gust to 30. Thatíll put you over and can make you round up and broach.
My 2Ę
Stinkpotter Posted - 06/16/2022 : 06:58:38
Hi Daniel... From your location, we'd guess you're sailing in Oyster Bay or Huntington, and out into Long Island Sound (the other side of my old stomping grounds). We rarely were out in over 15, but with a 130% roller-genny, often sailed in blustery, gusty conditions on that alone. It gives up a few degrees of pointing in favor of comfort, especially in gusts, since the primary area of the sail is so much lower than the main, and the top can twist off more (by moving the sheet blocks back, which also depowers the sail).

The larger the headsail, the less unbalanced the helm is on that sail alone, since the center of effort is farther aft, which argues for not reducing it if using it alone. Another "effort" is greatly reduced: my saying was, "Pull one string and you're sailing, pull another and you're not!"

All of this also suggests reefing the main before reducing headsail, and other than in true storm conditions, maybe not reducing the headsail at all. Of course if you're racing or really trying to get somewhere to windward (we we rarely did either), then a balanced rig (reducing both sails proportionally) is probably best.

We took on 30+ one day, delivering our new-to-us C-25 from Groton to Darien... The sails stayed furled and the little motor pushed us through the 3-4' chop as we tried to stay pretty close to the north shore in a NW blow. Upon our arrival, the marine police were incredulous! And we ran aground--the wind had been blowing the water out of LIS. Sorry--off topic!
Steve Milby Posted - 06/16/2022 : 06:02:54
It depends on the location, the boat and the sailor.

Sailing in 20-25 knot winds on a small inland lake is very different from sailing on the Great Lakes or a large Bay in the same winds. Waves become much higher when the wind blows over a long fetch.

A 40' boat can sail comfortably in winds that would be wet, bumpy and hazardous for a 25' boat. When a 25' 4000-5000 lb boat beats to windward against choppy seas, the boat shudders nearly to a stop when the waves strike it on the bow. When a 40' 20,000 lb boat beats to windward against the same choppy seas, its weight, momentum and more powerful sails helps it keep moving against the chop.

A skilled sailor who knows how to depower his jib and mainsail can extend the useful wind range of his sails by sail trimming techniques. Good helmsmanship is also important. I saw one helmsman steering about 3-5 deg. off of closehauled to try to power the boat through the chop. He made very little headway to windward and the primary winch was making ominous sounds like it was about to rip out of the deck. After a change of helmsmen, the next person steered more closehauled, with the sails just at the edge of luffing. The boat stood up better to the wind and waves, made noticeably better speed over ground, and the winches quieted down.

Most of us don't have an accurate anemometer on our boats, and each of us has our notion of what 15-20 kts looks and feels like. What really matters is how the ambient conditions of wind and wave affect the boat.

When the wind rises and the boat begins to labor and heel excessively, I depower the sails first. Next, I reef the mainsail. If the jib is roller furling, I roll up about 1/3 of it. If the boat is still heeling excessively, I take down all the sails and start the motor.

If I'm sailing long distance in blue water, or if the boat has an inboard engine, I'll do things differently, but most of my sailing is in a lake or bay, and, when you can no longer keep the boat from heeling excessively under sail, it's time to take the sails down and motor to shelter. Outboard motors don't do well motoring to windward against a significant chop, so your only realistic choice is to motor downwind.

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