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Downwind sailing trouble
Hey, I am having alot of trouble steering downwind, and almost always have a capsize to windward somewhere on the downwind leg.

Any tips will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Alex
Alex Bath8-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Downwind sailing trouble - more description

To little info to diagnose, tell us more in detail, what sail and foil settings are where crew and skipper are sitting, with or without spinaker etc.

Too little centreboard in the water makes the boat slippery and easy to tip, both sitting in the middle is less stable than one each side, how's the rudder perform light or lots of helm? If latter this can mean slow response and easy to be too late to correct.

Plenty here can help asses what you might be doing wrong but not without more detail.

We wait with baited breath.

steve low8-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble
Assuming your talking about running Alex, my tip is dont sail too square. If your jib is always trying to cross to windward you are probably too square. Make sure you have enough board down and use a masthead windex if you can.
If reaching, ensure you head up quickly and decisively in lulls. Always be ready for the lulls, unless the breeze is very consistent.
As always, more time in the boat an less in the bar is the key.
Andrew9-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble
Hey, i have trouble while running, not reaching. I am using a spinniker, usually have the centerboard all the way down, if not almost all the way down, and we are sitting slightly behind the normal position for beating.

Thanks, Alex
Alex Bath9-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Downwind sailing trouble
Hmm makes me think haven't spent too much time lately fault analysing as nothing obvious springs to mind.

I would say that up to early planning stage my crew and I would both be in front of the thwart. Stronger winds would se me move over and then behind thwart, with crew still just in front and both seated on opposing tank tops for stability.

Have only ever left centreboard all way down in a screaming 35 knot downwind ride it was all I could do to keep control. Otherwise 3/4 down unless very calm or flat and then I'd still rig for 3/4 but manually push board up against shock cord as far as I dare. So your board position is ok.

Does boat sail with fairly neutral helm generally? And that's both upwind and downwind I mean.

How far around from the jib is you kite pole set?

How much crew movement is happening in the boat?

More feedback please.


steve low9-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble
hey Alex, if you want i'll have a chat with u this saturday at the winter series race?
Haydn Trenorden30-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble
not enough vang. makes the boat real unsteady downwind. saying that you deffinately cant be overvanged. also may have the kite too square when the winds up which makes the boat slide out underneath you a bit.
luke s21-Aug-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble
Hi Alex.
Have a look at your rudder. If the tip of the rudder is just under the transom when fully down you will find their is less helm. You should be able to adjust this at your pintles.

The max draft of the rudder should be at 33% (thickest part of the rudder 1/3 of the way back). This will help decrease cavitation. The only way to fix that quickly is to get a new rudder.

If there is any slop or movement in your steering you should fix that too. As you will get an imbalance in your steering.

I think you may be tipping on the runs only because you sit closer to the centre line and it is difficult to "muscle" your boat from this angle.
Andrew F31-Aug-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble

Has your sailing improved? Would love to hear what changes you made and whether it has helped.

Noted Andrew F's last comment about your sitting on the centreline in the boat.

Sitting outboard as I suggested is exactly like tightrope walker carrying the long pole across the rope for improved balance. The length of the pole slows down the rotational momentum of the walker ie less likely to fall off but still can of course.

Sitting outboard on each side is the same effect and of course you can still tip over but that's just means you need to work on your boat management skills.

Plus as a skipper it does give you better rudder steering control as also suggested, particularly in high winds where small tiller movements translate into large and rapid directional changes.

Good luck!
steve low2-Sep-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Downwind sailing trouble
Hey, thanks for all your responses,
We have found that the reason I had no control streeing downwind, was that the rudder tip was angled under the boat quite badly. We have now redrilled the hole in the rudder, and are having no trouble at all!
Thanks for all your help,

Alex Bath
Alex Bath6-Oct-2009    Edit    Delete 

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