last sail and problem

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last sail and problem

Postby owldraco » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:12 pm

My mom and I went sailing yesterday here in central KY. We had good wind and little boat traffic. We used a small electric trolling motor to get us underway and away from the dock. I raised the main and the jib while mom tended to the tiller to keep us into the wind. We sailed along for awhile on almost all points of sail, we even had it going "wing and wing" for a bit. For lunch I heaved-to (sp?) After that we had problems getting to the dock. We could sail downwind just fine and really good on a reach. (Too good, a couple of times... we almost went over) The boat would not turn upwind at all. We dropped sail and tried the motor to no avail. At that point I realized we were as close to the main marina as we were to where we put in. We raised the jib
and sailed on to the marina (with the motor). Some nice guy there gave us a lift back to the van and we were able to retrieve the boat.
Any comments...ideas?
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Postby swiftsail » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:06 am

Sound like the centerboard kicked up while you were going down wind and you didn't put it back down. :)
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Wind & Current Conditions

Postby kellyima » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:07 am

2 Suggestions besides the centerboard issue, which I agree with and have experienced.

When I first used to go sailing I didn't think much about the wind, current and tide. I'd go out from my dock and pretty much go on the easiest tack. What inevitably happened was that when I was finished I'd have to head back upwind, against the curent to my starting point, saving the most difficult part of the sail for the end.

Nowdays I try to think about which way tide wind and current will push me and how they will change during the course of my sail. Then I compensate by starting out going into the wind or against the current , so that my return will be easier.

I also experienced difficulty heading up into the wind and found that my daysailer wasn't as good at pointing as the previous boat I had - a laser 2. In my experience the no-sail zone heading upwind is very wide. I actually invested in a better motor to avoid this. I typically will sail for most of the time out, then drop sails and motor as much as half an hour to 45 minutes back to my starting point. I know I'm not being a purist but sometimes wind and current would have made it too difficult to get back quickly without motoring. So you might want to consider upgrading from the electric.

So think about and compensate for sailing and water conditions and consider a more powerful engine. Great for you that you can still sail this time of year!
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Postby Chris Brown » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:14 am

My gut feeling tells that the centerboard was up. However, as mentioned by "kellyima," the Daysailer with the original rigging setup does have a broad upwind sailing angle.

My upwind performance improved drastically when I installed an outhaul with a 4-1 purchase. It takes a flatter sail, especially in stronger winds, to point upwind at a decent angle.

I hope this helps,
Chris Brown
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Postby owldraco » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:59 am

The guy I bought the boat from also thinks that the problem could be the centerboard. Is there a way to tell if it has kicked/ popped itself back up? And to keep it from doing that? All in all, we had a great time even with having to resort to plan "C". I'm definately going to have to get the book for the care and feeding of your daysailer ;-) It's a great boat and we love it.
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I'm jealous

Postby algonquin » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:03 am

Wish I could get another sail in this year but not likely do to work schedule.

I would suspect the CB lever would have come back up if the CB kicked up. You may have a little maintenance to do on that system.

I have found that I can improve my boats ability to turn upwind and improve its upwind performance by adjusting the ballast. Basically my crew and myself. Usually we move close to the cuddy when sailing close to the wind. In a light wind we actually move to the lee side until forward momentum kicks in then move to windward as the boat speed allows.
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pointing better

Postby Roger » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:34 pm

At the risk of being facetious (sp), I would like to pull your leg and tell you that once you have taught your boat to sail downwind it is hard to retrain it to go upwind.

What is actually happening is that when you are going downwind, all things quiet down, the boat settles down, and you are not fighting the tiller as much, nor feeling the need to keep it 'in the slot' so to say. Then you shift to upwind sailing and the closer you point to the wind the rougher it gets, the boat heels more, and you need to pay closer attention to the tiller. Behavioually, our mind send messages to our body to bear off to a more comfortable heading, and we find that the boat is not pointing as well. It required constant attention to sail as close to the wind as possible, but we can relax and work less hard going downwind.

As mentioned previously, there may be some rigging considerations; centerboard up, crew weight back that are working against you. Another item not mentioned is the angle of attack of the sail. The top batten should be in line with the centerline of the boat. That may require the boom to be held slightly upwind of center. This is easier done with a traveller, but pulling the middle of the mainsheet towards you at the middle point of the mainsheet between the main cleat and the boom block will effectively do the same thing. Mind you your arm will eventually fall off due to fatique, but you can get an extra burst of speed and upwind pointing ability with this trick.

As well, and I can't take credit for this idea, but using the jib block positions clew outhaul, cunningham adjustment, boom vang, and seating placement in the same way that you would think a throttle operates, actually works to improve both boat speed and pointing. Therefore when going upwind, place the jib sheeting blocks 'full forward' and position you and your crew 'full forward' snuggling against the cockpit bulkhead as well. Tighten both the clew, boom vang and the cunningham. When going downwind, 'throttle back' ... sit well back, place the jib blocks well back and loosen the clew, boom vang and cunningham. You will get better performance in both points of sail. Tightening and slacking the halyard for upwind and downwind respectively helps with the other adjustments in flattening the sails for upwind and creating more draft for downwind.

As for the 'Understanding Maintaining and Repairing your DSII', I still have lots of books and CD's for sale. Delivery time is about 8 to 10 days in the lower 48.

You can e-mail me for ordering instructions at roger02 att mts dott net substituting att and dott of course for their appropriate substitutes. That's a zero immediately after my name.
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Postby Phill » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:44 pm

As others have said, keep an eye on your CB. If you have a typical DS 1, the handle will show you that the board has popped up. Also the tiller/rudder will feel very mushy, instead of more positive feeling.

As for the suggestion that the DS isnt as close winded as other classes, That is true. However, properly rigged and trimmed and sailed, there should be less than 5 degrees difference, even with the best one-design dinghys.

I sail often in the same start as many Thistles. Some of them 'A' fleet national sailors and boats. Over our typical 1/2 mile first beat, even the fastest seldom are more that 50-75 yards ahead of me. Usually when they try to sail over me, nearby, I can pinch and keep them back. And this is with my 19 year old 'club sails.

First you need a good CB shape. symetrical foil with thickest part 30- 40% from the leading edge. Same for the rudder.
Second you need to have barber IN haulers rigged for the jib sheet, to get the sheeting angle tighter to point higher.
Third, the DS is prettty wide, with very shallow CB and Rudder. Any heel lifts to boards out of the water, making them less effective.

Here is a link to a picture of the barber in-haulers on Lollipop. The pink line is the barber, and it is set at the distance that I use most commonly. Jib sheet is then tightened untill the aft edge of the sail is pointing at the spreader tip.
Other pics of how Lollipop is rigged can be found in the picture section. If you click on my name, and then click on 'personell galler of Phill' you can find all the pictures posted.

Hope this helps.


EDIT. Looks like Roger and I were typing and posting at about the same time. His comments about the main sail settings are the part of the equation I did not address. One slight disagreement however. Never sheet the main so tight that the boom is to windward of the centerline. Rule of thumb. Sitting in the boat, 1-4 wind, boom no closer to the center line than 12". Sitting on the rail, 5-7, boom nearly on the center line, vang to get the top batten parallel to the boom. Hiking, 8 +, Boom as close to centerline as possible until you are overpowered, then let it down again 6 - 12", vang to keep top batten parallel with the boom.

Many have tried using mid boom travelers to sheet the boom highter, and no one has found superior preformance with the boom above the centerline.
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