sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters

 

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.


Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Lobster Thermidor - Making Julia proud by Greg Nicoll with Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure by David Schmidt, Sail-World Cruising Editor, Seattle, WA








All Points Rally departs this November by Island Cruising Association New Zealand,


World ARC 2014 reaches Australia by World Cruising Club,


Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions. by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


A Mooring in Iceberg Alley by Rebecca Jackson,




Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,






















4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,










Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,






Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),




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
The real ‘Supermoon’ story
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle
Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue
Solo sailing star's passion = busy environmental schedule
El Niño (Part 2). Effects on the Pacific Ocean
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 1)
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, photos
The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe   
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon   
BoatUS speaks out about 'Ethanol-at-all-cost Agenda'   
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards   
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work   
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?   
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'   
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom   
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor   
'Boat Handling in Marinas' by Rob Gibson - and how to get it reliably   
Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac   
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs   
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends   
Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach   
British Vessels asked to mark First World War Centenary   
Criminal charges mooted for owners of sunk HMS Bounty   
Red faces after authorities inadvertently aid boat thief to get away   
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
New import permit for Mexico resolves impound problems   


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  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-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 NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT