Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Pointing And Tacking"
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Thread: "Pointing And Tacking"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Pointing And Tacking

Robert Knox

This question is not exactly a sail plan question , but it is related. I have experience with a sloop but not with a cutter. I recently bought a W32 and went out for my first sail yesterday. I ran into 40knot winds. I reefed my main. Took down the staysail, and keep a little jib up using the roler furling. With this config, I could not seem to point higher than a beam reach, and could not tack, each time stalling out in irons. Any advise on sail layout?
Thanks very much.
Robert Knox

Dave King

Ahoy Joaquim,
In 40k winds foreward of the beam, I would not have any headsail out. I would probably be double reefed with a staysail and have my running backs up. On a close reach, Saraband would be doing 7 1/2 knots in those conditions and would have no trouble coming about. Check the tension on the headstay and inner stay. If they are too loose the pull is all sideways, inhibiting the ability for the bow to pass through the wind. The running backs help to keep tension on the inner stay. Where do you live? Maybe I could stop by and take a look. Good luck, Dave



i have found it best to let the head sail(s) get back winded to help the bow through a tack.


Robert Knox

Thanks to both of you for your comments.

I live in San Francisco, and the boat is at Oyster Point. If you live anywhere near I would love any advise you could give me. Thinking about things, I believe I did a lot of things wrong that day. There is a boom gallows on the boat. In order to avoid hitting it, I raised the topping lift too high, I think. This changed the shape of the sail and cause so much wind to spill out of the sail, even though I was hauled in close, The main acted as if it were much further out.

I also have a traveler on the main sheet. There is really no way to control the position of the travler, allowing the main to get too far out. I will have to do something to control how far the travler is allowed to travel. Any advise would be appreciated.


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