Upwind Sailing - 10-20 Knots Puffy Conditions 4/28/14
I sailed myself all weekend in 10-20 and was very fast. My new crew just had trouble turning the corners. It was flat water and very puffy Helm balance and headstay sag are the biggies. I sailed with my rig at 52 in the 15-20 with the heavy jib and my jib leads 3 holes behind base. It was flat water. When the breeze dropped to 12-18 I went to the AP jib and tuned down to 45 because the wind pressure was spotty off the shore. I had my jib leads aft 2-4 holes in the higher range and back towards base in the light stuff. The jib lead help helm noticeably.
I sailed the boat to be near, what I call my target base speed. On my speedo that is 7 knots. I never really pinch or stall my inside telltales.
The jib leech is usually about 3" in from the lower spreader tip. Maximum 5" in perfect conditions. If it get's too tight the speed will drop quickly. Sometime on 1 tack with certain sea state the boat likes to sail over target. then I will trim to the 5" mark and go for more height to slow the boat to 7.
If I am slow I ease everything, 1/2" on the jib sheet and about 4" on the main sheet and bear away a few desgrees until I feel the sails and helm load up. This puts the jib leech at the spreader tip and twists the upper leech of the main open. Once I have exelerated to speed I will trim in again. In higher winds and chop target maybe a few tens slower.
I will also ease the jib when the main traveller is being dropped a lot in puffs.
I am pretty aggressive in using the main to control heal. I prefer to sail straighter and adjust that steer the boat a lot ( feather) in puffy conditions. In a big puff I do a combo of both. Over healing is bad.
I adjust the back stay frequently as the velocity changes. I hand the helm to the main trimmer because I don't usually steer straight when I try to do both.
Another thing I did for the first time was cross sheet the jib to the primary winches. I learned this from Bruce Stone and call it San Fransisco Style. I usually on trim the jib to the cabin house but we broke a stripper on a cabin top self tailing winch. So we had to use the prinaries and sheet to the low side is the worst option. Cross sheeting is great in hiking conditions and pretty easy to get use. Put the jib sheets through the top cheek blocks. The jib trimmer can do the tack get the jib in most of the way and the main trimmer finishes the fine tune. We have reference marks on the sheet to duplicate trim quickly.
This also keeps the cabin winches free which makes the spin trimmer happy on sets to have the sheet setup. Also important if you have halyard slip problems. On that note. I have the original Lewmar large size clutches and I use pretty fat 10mm main and jib halyard. They do not slip. You might be able to bulk up a 8mm line at the clutch, but I have not had any luck with that yet.
Speed Tip #1