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clairey View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 May 10 at 10:20pm

Hello . I was just after some advice please after a slightly traumatic race today ( only my 2nd race). It was very gusty and shifty ( force 3-6) and I was doing ok in my little laser pico , well I was rubbish upwind but thats another story.

Anyway several times when on a broad reach my boat was very rolly ( not sure if thats a word!). I have heard about death rolls and watched the Rooster downwind DVD where he says that the rolling can be caused by having too much sail out at a given angle making the boat want to bear away and by trying to stop it bearing away by using your rudder to turn towards the wind in these conditions you will capsize to windward.

So I was mindful of this, but I noticed when my boat started doing the rolling thing when reaching it wanted to turn towards the wind, not away.  In fact on all the reaches I was pulling really hard on the tiller to try and stop it turning into the wind which made me think I had not enough sail out rather than too much. .  However I was not sure, and I was thinking I was more likely to capsize if I let too much sail out. I know the theory of how much sail you are supposed to have out at different angles and was trying to have this as a base line

 The boat was pretty flat(ish) on the reaches (before the rolling ), I did look at the tell tales but I forgot what they meant (!), the sail wasnt flapping. I had the centreboard half down, and then put it 2/3 down when it was rolling.

The time I did capsize, I let the sail out a bit, it still wanted to turn to windward, I pulled on the rudder to try to get it to bear away there was a big gust and it capsized to windward ( I think - it is all a bit of a blur!) .

So I am not really sure what caused the rolling/capsize, and the DVD I was thinking about was on normal lasers so I dont know if it varies from boat to boat. However any tips on avoiding the experience in the future would be gratefully received ! The rescue boat told me I had too much kicker on, (though I had let it off a lot on the reach) so maybe that didnt help.....

Thanks for any thoughts. Nearly everyone capsized at some point, so I dont mind that too much, but I want to try and prevent it next time and the scary rolling !

Claire

 

 

 

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Quagers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Quagers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 10 at 10:57pm
Ok learning to trim to the tell tails will probably help,

Windward tell tails going crazy - sail too far out

Leeward tell tails going - sail too far in

It sounds like your sail was too far in and you were overpowered from your description, the rooster DVD stuff on death
rolling
mainly applies when you are on a training run or dead downwind and your sail is near 90 degrees. The boat needs to be
completely flat (and I do mean completely this will make you life so much easier) or it will naturally want to turn up into
the
wind. Also remember to keep tiller and body movements really smooth and avoid over correcting, which is often a big cause of
death roll capsizes. Above all just keep practicing, get the feel for it, try different things and eventually you'll get the
hang of it.

Edited to add: If your racing chat to the guys at your club in the bar/boatpark after the race, they will see you on the
water and be able to give much better critiques of your technique than we can on here, also racing is massively enhanced by
the social side of it.

Edited by Quagers
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clairey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote clairey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 10 at 11:05pm
Thanks heaps for your speedy reply and excellent advice. I will concentrate on total flatness and try to remember the tell tales - have a complete mental block on then maybe I will have a crib sheet with my race maps!
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MerlinMags View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 9:07am
Don't let off too much kicker! That will cause rolling on the run, badly.
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radixon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote radixon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 9:23am
I sailed a Pico on Sunday in a F5. The Pico had the Rooster Training sail tell tales on although due to the thickness of the sale and colour was difficult to see them.

One thing I did have though was the sail backs and the leech flutters. One thing to do is get everything tight on the Pico, that way it sails better especially in a blow.
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Merlinboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Merlinboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 10:16am

First off I'm sorry i don't know much about how Pico's sail, as i have never sailed one.  The Rooster DVD is a great bit of kit, but the bit i would take most advice on is sail trim, you should be steering the boat with sail trim and body weight.  In big winds using to much rudder will probably make you swim.  I would in F3-6 be sailing a broad reach with 3/4 board and be steering the boat with sail trim.  If the boat is trying to screw up into the wind let the sail to help the boat bear off.  As for kicker, letting this off would make the boat less stable.

 

Good luck

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G.R.F. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 10:51am
Listen to Merlinboy Clairey for he is the fount of all knowledge regarding
boat inversion issues.

Being the resident forum 'Boat Bottom' Inspector General, you will find he
has several novel introductory moves to expedite helm hull reversal
syndrome.

His centreboard removal and disposal method is particularly efficacious in
smart and efficient inversion, best performed in sub zero temperatures
for maximum discomfort.

His words on all upside down matters are legend, be humble that he has
considered tutoring you.

Would you like to see some photographs?

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ColPrice2002 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ColPrice2002 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 11:05am

Clare,

Well done for sailing & analysing the situation. I suspect you found the common difficulty with run - it happens in 2/3 sail dinghies as well, but is really more noticeable on a single sail one (like my Solo - or the Laser). Running downwind, the mainsail is over to one side, so the wind force on the sail tries to push the boat to windward.

You counter this by using the rudder (boat flat). Every little change in the wind or trim or waves will change the dynamics and the boat will start to roll. As above, enough kicker to stop the top of the mainsail twisting too much will help. However, you're going to be continually moving the tiller/rudder to steer in a straight line - that can also induce roll.

When the hull rolls to windward, the centre of effort on the mainsail comes over (or nearer) the centreline, so the turning force is less - and you need less rudder - but you already have a good amount of weather helm - this turns the dinghy downwind and rolls it to windward - which is usually sudden and drops you in to windward...

Try (on a quieter day) sailing in a dead run with the boat heeled to windward - to bring the centre of effort of the mainsail over the hull. You'll find that you don't need much rudder to steer a straight course - gusts won't have the effect of forcing the boat to turn upwind. It's a balancing act - of course - and can feel a bit scary at times, but with practice you can actually sail by the lee for quite some time - and control the rolls.

Colin

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radixon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote radixon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 1:50pm
Originally posted by G.R.F.



Would you like to see some photographs?


Pictures are copyrighted to Moi! 1 in the pot please.....
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NickA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 9:32pm

As a keen pico sailor (when it's too windy for anything else) I reckon:

The heading up wind problem:

Sail sheeted in too far and (probably as a result) too much heel.  The oversheeted sail pushes the back of the boat down wind and the heeling to windward makes the hull  steer itself up wind.  you will doubtless be hauling on the rudder with nothing happening at all.  Been there!

Sheet out a little, hike out a little harder and keep it flat.  Fit some tell tales and watch them like a hawk.

The rolling about problem:

All single sail boats have a tendancy to roll about down wind.  The reason is that when a gust comes along, the boat initially heels away from the wind (to leeward), then the sail "gives way" allowing wind to spill out of the sail so that the boat pops back upright .... and that increases the force on the sail, heeling you back over to windward again. 

On a laser 1 you can correct the wobblies by putting a bit of kicker on, which stops the sails spilling wind so much.  On a standard pico the kicker isn't powerful enough and there aren't any battens, so the spillage is hard to prevent.   In high winds put LOTS of kicker on by pulling the mainsheet so the boom is "block to block" before pulling in the slack on the kicker. (Or get an expensive Harken multi-purchase kicker). 

NOT raising the board down wind will help too; when that wobble sets in, push the board back down until it stabilises, then ease it back up again to get back up to speed.

If you're keen on the pico but want more speed and more control, consider a pico race sail (with battens and more sail area) and a better kicker. 

The pico is a fanstastic little boat; dependable, safe and sailable in any wind you like ... but it does have certain limitations!  Have you pitch-polled it yet?

 

3604 ...lapse of reason
Javelin 558
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