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Thread: Baltimore 2019

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Baltimore 2019

    Ron,

    Thanks for the feedback. It is very pleasing to know that the knowledge in the vidoes has been useful. Upwind is pretty easy and I have seen a bungee or lashed helm work in a sailing dinghy and a 60m square rigger and lots in between. In fact on a trip to the Azores in a 40' Island Packet we did an experiment for 2 hours using bungee, locked helm and autopilot, 10 min each and logging the position at each change. The speed for lashed helm was slightly faster than with the bungee and both were better than the autopilot.

    Wind on the quarter is also very reliable even with a wide range of wind speeds. A stronger wind will send you slightly further downwind, but the sheet tension drops off very quickly. It is important to set the bungee to pull slightly to leeward. That way if you end up dead downwind the helm will bring it back on course and avoid the risk of an unplanned gybe. Find the balance by sliding the sheet along the tiller and resist the temptation to simply tweak the bungee.

    Wind nearer the beam is somewhat more tricky, though I rarely have had the luxury of a long beam reach. Whether you use a jibsheet or mainsheet getting the initial bungee setting to give neutral helm is important. Otherwise you may achieve balance easily enough but it will go off course when the wind changes. The video from Scallywag did not go into this because at the time I hadn't read Letcher's book and had just found out what worked by empirical means. There is more detail in the Emu videos.

    Have a great beam reach tomorrow

    Len

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Near Maldon, Essex
    Posts
    2,629

    Default Re: Baltimore 2019

    I have uploaded a video on two of the sheet to tiller methods I tried for the trip to and from Plymouth.

    https://youtu.be/C54DCC5EPwM

    I used the techniques from Len's videos and these worked very well. The video I have just uploaded demonstrate alternative techniques which I also tried which are based around using the storm jib.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both sets of techniques. The main disadvantage of the storm jib option is that you have to go to the foredeck to set everything up, which when single handed does carry some risk and is best avoided altogether in rough seas.
    Last edited by Gitane; 01-07-19 at 21:08.

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Baltimore 2019

    Ron,

    Thanks for posting the video. There are lots of different methods and it is a case for finding out what suits you and your boat best. I take your point about some setups sacrificing sailing performance for sake of steering. I know that the backed storm jib works, but the only time I back a jib is to heave to, and I think that method must slow you down somewhat. John Letcher was of the same opinion, though he did give it as a valid means of steering. It would certainly be one to consider as a back up in the event of wind vane or autopilot failure if the jib tension was too much to handle, but I wouldn't use it as my main self steering method.

    For broad reaching, rather than poling out a storm jib, I would pole out the genoa, which would give a large increase in useful sail area. The storm jib, or other small jib, could then be set flying or on an inner stay and the sheet led to provide the steering. This was the method I used on Scallywag and it was very effective. Last year I set this rig up on Emu but the old cast aluminium ring on the mast broke after half an hour, so that was the end of poling out. I have since fabricated a shiny new stainless replacement, and also sourced a pair of tracks for the sheets, so it should be more effective and easier to set up.

    The mainsheet to tiller method is widely used, but not one that I have favoured for the same reason that you gave, compromising sail shape. On Emu it was not feasible to fit a mainsheet traveller, but I get the same effect using two mainsheets. On a reach the leeward sheet sets the height of the boom, the windward sheet controls the angle of the boom. I think a control line to windward would not change the shape of the sail and I may give it a trial some time. I will probably stick with the jibsheet method and the levers though, as it works broad reaching and beam reaching. Closereaching and closehauled on Emu a lashing works best.

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