News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int

 

Sail-World.com : Ten Mainsail Tips for Short-handed Cruising

Ten Mainsail Tips for Short-handed Cruising

'Cruising short handed often means a different approach'    .

Most long range cruisers are trying to sail downwind when we can, but it doesn't always happen. Many cruisers are also sailing short handed. So handling the main on a cruising boat differs in many ways from that for a racing boat. Whatever your configuration you have to use the big sail to balance the helm and create or decrease power.

Here are ten reminders of aspects of handling the main that will make your boat faster, safer, more comfortable, or, sometimes, all three.


1. Be under- not over-canvassed.
Unless you are in VERY benign weather, make sure you are not OVER-canvassed in the main. Getting the main reefed, particularly when short handed, in forty knots, is not much fun.

2. Experiment with the usefulness of the main.
If you are embarked on a long journey, experiment with how many extra knots the main gives you on your particular boat. Particularly when reaching, you may find that the boat actually sails faster with less main. In many boats, sailing wing on wing, with two headsails and no main, especially with a short-handed crew and the possibility of storms, is almost as fast without any main at all, and there's no possibility of being caught out reefing or having to douse the main in heavy weather.

3. Adjust as you go.
To get optimum speed, make sure that you are using the main at its best, by adjusting it when you adjust the rudder. In other words, as you sail closer to the wind, trim the main as you go. Then when heading off the wind, ease the mainsail early so the bow can fall off without having to battle the main to do it. These small adjustments can make an immense difference to your daily run.

4. Keep watching the telltales.
There should be telltales streaming from the ends of the battens on conventional mainsails or from the leech of the roller furling sail. If the sail is trimmed properly, they will stream together, straight aft. If the telltales start fluttering on the windward side of the sail, pull the mainsheet ON. If the telltales start fluttering on the leeward side, let the sail off, until they stream together again. You will get to know your own sail, and the way it behaves – which telltales are the most important, etc. The telltales will also not flow freely if the outhaul, traveler and vang are not adjusted correctly.

5. Watch the adjustment of your outhaul.
In a stronger wind, the outhaul needs to be on more to flatten the sail, while in softer air, letting the outhaul off will soften the sail and give it more shape.

6. Don't forget the traveler.
The traveler in stronger breezes may need to be let off, while in lighter breezes, bring the traveler on, again to give the sail more shape to catch and use the lighter air.

7. The boom vang will help.
The boom vang also needs to be eased in light air, again to shape the sail, and in heavier winds, bring it on.

8. Rigging a preventer.
The preventer – the line that runs from the end of the boom to the foredeck or bow when you are running downwind – serves two main roles, and should be used whenever necessary. In heavy weather its main purpose is to stop the sail from accidentally gybing the boat. In very light weather it can also prevent the mail from flopping back and forth in a manner that is not only annoying but wearing on the gear.

9. The boom brake.
For short handed cruising, the boom brake is invaluable, as it enables gybing in a controlled manner. In terms of priorities, it probably comes only after a good anchor in the shopping list for short-handed cruisers.

10. The old Adages:
Reef early, reef often. Experimenting will tell you when is the best wind speed to reef, but in many cruising boats it's around 15 knots. If you ever wonder whether you should be reefing, you should! You'll never be sorry you did, but you may be very sorry you didn't!




by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=91156

7:01 AM Fri 25 Nov 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Cruising USA



Where in the world are our strongest corals? by Hanny Rivera - Cohen's Lab,








Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,




NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,




















Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,


Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,




Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,






Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott by Anna Parker and the Sail-World Team,




Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu
17-year-old RNLI volunteer saves child in first rescue mission + Video
Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer
4.8 million Legos all at sea
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature   
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows   
Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look   
Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases   
World ARC heading out of the Pacific   
Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt   
Desolation Sound added to Salish Sea Pilot free cruising guides   
Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors   
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature   
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!   
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell   
Book review: Weather - you like it or not   
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter   
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice   
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time   
Baby Nemos finding their way home   
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week   
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature   
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins   
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT