Author Topic: Light wind sailing  (Read 4452 times)

Dale

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Light wind sailing
« on: July 24, 2011, 11:36:56 AM »
Hi CP Owners,
  New to the forum, so if I'm in the wrong place, I beg your pardon.  I have a '87 Legacy and sail on Tellico Lake in TN.  My boat came with two different jibs but even the larger one is still a little shy of what I want in the line of performance. Our area has very light winds where I live and because of that I'd like to know if any of you single handle a 16 using a spinnaker or something like it?  I want a sail that will make the boat move but one which can be used by a single person on board and a spinnaker makes me wonder?
  Another question is: Does this group travel around to different regions or do you sail a regatta in IL only?

Sincerely,
Dale

 

Offline Shawn

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 12:18:59 PM »
Dale,

An asymmetric spinnaker with an ATN spinnaker sleeve is pretty easy to handle. Much much easier to handle then a traditional spinnaker with pole and such. In light air on my 23 I'd fly the spinnaker single handed but I'd raise/lower it in the wind shadow of the main and I have an autopilot to hold the course while setting it up.

Your other headsail option would be a drifter. These are cut closer to very large genoas built from spinnaker weight material. They can be built with hanks or with a luff wire. Hanked on will let you go upwind a little better, luff wire will give you the option of adjusting the tack to open up the sail for downwind. For max performance downwind the spinnaker is going to beat the drifter as it will be considerably larger but is more limited in points of sail.

If I were only going to go with one light weight sail I think a hanked on drifter would be my choice as it will work on more points of sail so you wouldn't have to worry about raising/lowering it as often as you change course. I have a hanked on drifter on the way to me.

Light air sailing is tricky but can be rewarding when you are the only boat moving. Try playing around with your sail controls to see how the boat responds. For example in extremely light air it can be an advantage to flatten your main sail so you don't waste what little power there is in the wind trying to fill the sail.

Shawn


Offline brackish

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 02:20:52 PM »
Dale,

What he (Shawn) said.  Spot on advice.  In fact on a 16 you should easily be able to single hand an asymmetrical, and I would suggest you wouldn't even need an ATN or Chute Scoop for a sail sized to a 16, just set it up and strike it the old fashion way.  light rubber bands to hold it when it is hoisted until you pull the sheet to fill it with air from the bottom up.  A packing cannon, tube with rubber bands on it, pull the sail through with the luff and leech aligned, pull off a rubber band every couple of feet.  A very small trash can with grooves and the bottom cut out works great.  should take about ten minutes to pack an asymmetrical for a 16.

Drifter may be more versatile, maybe with a long light telescoping pole for downwind.

I think Carlyle is the only all Com-Pac meeting of any size.  I've done B.E.E.R in Pensacola the last couple of years; fifty boats give or take but only four Com-Pacs.  I think some folks from your area made it down. One fellow returned to Watts Bar the whole way by water.   Maybe the mid south sailors need to come up with a central location for a meeting.

Offline NateD

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 02:51:38 PM »
Having used a symmetrical spinnaker on my CP16 I would say no need for a shute scoop or any special technique for launching/dousing the sail. I would just hoist with the sheet loose, then pull it in tight when I was situated in the cockpit again and ready. With that being said, a large head sail with a telescoping pole was more useful than the spinnaker in most situations.

Dale

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 06:05:33 PM »
Thanks to each of you, Shawn, NateD, and Brackish.  I really appreciate your input on this.  After reading, I like the idea of a Drifter hank-ed on the most for now.  Of course, I'll have to do some pricing around at the lofts to find one, but this is encouraging and I'm ready to give it a try!

  My boat (Molly) is fun to take out either by sail or motor but when underway the boats bow raises high with the speed of the new five horse Mercury.  Naturally, you all know the cockpit is swamped by the scuppers, even after I installed new ones.  My solution was cheap and so easy.  I bought a pair of cheap Flip Flops at the Dollar General store.  Used a  short nipple pipe ( a hair larger then the scupper hole) sharpened on the outer edge with my grinder.  I put the Flip Flop on a board and used a hammer to drive the sharpened end through the closed cell foam.  I made about six pairs of these round knock-outs.  Then I took a 12" piece of weed-eater line and pushed one end through close to the middle of the plug.  Tied a knot at one end and then threaded on another plug with the other end.  After I was done I had a great fitting plug to stop water while underway and easily removed with the nylon line sticking up.  The closed cell does not soak up water and the cockpit stays dry!  If you take on water sailing they can be pulled out and just left floating around harmlessly.  Heads up---- if you leave your boat on a mooring, be sure to remove them as you leave to prevent water from rain buildup in the cockpit!
Dale

Offline Shawn

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 07:42:25 PM »
Dale,

I would think a drifter for a 16 shouldn't be too bad. The drifter for my 23 was very reasonable.

If the outboard is pushing your bow up try adjusting its tilt angle to keep you flatter. Try the next position forward and see if that has enough. You want to stay neutral when under power... not raising the bow or pushing it down.

Good idea on keeping it easy to pull the plugs out.

Shawn

T

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 04:35:18 PM »
I replaced the worn out scupper flapper valve with a different model that I found at Academy sporting goods stores. It is a clear plastic housing that captures a small ball, the ball is about the size of a ping-pong ball. When water enters the housing the ball floats up to seal against the housing base. Also, the housing is easily removeable so you can clean out leaves and whatever trash might clog it.

They might not be the prettiest thing, but the are very effective. I had the same problem with water entering the cockpit when my 23 was under power. Now it is not a problem. I'm not saying that "no" water comes through, but it never seems to make it past the fuel tank locker.

Offline Wes

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 05:30:16 PM »
Hi Dale - thought I'd give you my perspective as a novice sailor who's still pretty intimidated by the idea of spinnakers, asymmetrical or otherwise. Main and jib is about all I'm qualified to handle without becoming a hazard to myself and others. Like you I live in a very light air region (central NC, mostly lakes for now) and I replaced the factory jib on my 19 with a much bigger one (150 genoa). My boat came with a CDI furler so I just had the genoa made to fit it (National Sail, very good supplier and very reasonably priced - around $900 total for both the main and genoa). I have been very pleased with the light air performance. Probably not as good as a more advanced setup (spinnaker or whatever) but easy for me and my wife to understand and handle. If the wind really picked up I'd have to furl quite a bit of the big genoa or risk getting knocked over, and I know that furling a lot of it will create poor sail shape, but there's not much chance of that kind of wind in the heat of summer in my part of NC. If I ever go to the coast I'll probably swap the genoa for the original jib.

- Wes
"Bella", 1988 CP 19/3 #453
Washington, North Carolina

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 09:44:29 PM »
We all need to remember that in "Light Air" Nylon is King.

A simple homemade Nylon Drifter, whether hanked on or set "flying" on it's own luff,  can make a DRAMATIC improvement in a sailboat's light air performance.

The 38 square foot homemade Nylon Drifter for my Com-Pac Sun Cat was so effective that I also recently made a gaff headed Nylon Light Air Mainsail. In several sea trials it too has proven very effective in getting my boat to move well in very light air. And, even if the wind does come up a bit you can still use it up to around 10 knots of air without damaging the sail.

capt_nemo

Offline legends117

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2015, 10:20:22 PM »
I know this is an old post, but I am new to the Com-Pac world, and reading all these old posts and this one caught my eye.  As a novice sailer I don't understand how to hank on a drifter when you have a roller furling?   I have searched the interwebs for an answer,  but have not had any luck finding an answer.

Thanks in advance.  - JD
- JD Johnson
Panama City Beach, FL
Com-Pac 25, Hull #9
S/V Dutch Roll (from the previous 2 owners, & before that she was "somewhere up North" called Stella Bella)

Offline Tim Gardner

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2015, 08:29:52 AM »
On my 19 I use an Asymmetrical Spinnaker.  I clip the tackline to my bowsprit and use my jib halyard to hoist the sail.  I use soft climbing loops to attach sheet blocks to my port & starboard rear cleats and run the sheets to my winches.

Hope this helps.
"The sea is selective, slow at recognition of effort and aptitude, but fast in sinking the unfit"  - Adm Felix Riesenberg.

Offline legends117

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2015, 09:11:15 AM »
Thanks Tim.  I have never had a roller furling, but doesn't the jib halyard hold the roller up?  So, I guess I would need to drop the roller onto the deck and then attach the drifter to the halyard?

Thanks for clarification - JD
- JD Johnson
Panama City Beach, FL
Com-Pac 25, Hull #9
S/V Dutch Roll (from the previous 2 owners, & before that she was "somewhere up North" called Stella Bella)

Offline Shawn

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2015, 09:56:35 AM »
If you are going to use a drifter, or a spinnaker, you will want another halyard to make it easier. On Serenity I had hank on jibs so I used the jib halyard for my drifter and a spinnaker halyard for the asymmetric.

Since you have roller furling you would need a drifter with a luff wire as you can't hank it on. You could drop the roller furling sail and use that halyard but you would be more likely to use the drifter more if you had a dedicated halyard. With a drifter you would want the halyard attached to the mast below the roller furler as you can tack with a drifter. Going dead downwind you could also try having the drifter on one side and the jib to the other.

If you were to go with a spinnaker the halyard should be above the roller furler so that you can gybe the spinnaker.

With either the drifter or spinnaker you would want the sheets run as far aft as possible. Tim's suggest is a good one, I put Harken 091 on the aft corners of the boat for the drifter.

On Serenity the drifter had a 17' long foot and almost came back as far as the main.






I loved the drifter on Serenity. On light wind days it was a lot of fun being the only boat in Narragansett Bay sailing. I sailed by a lot of boats that were becalmed. After sailing by them most would drop sails and motor away in disgust.

This was with the drifter out. 2.8 knots of wind and we were doing 2 knots of ground speed on a close reach.



Shawn

Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2015, 01:28:19 PM »
Light wind sailing is a good opportunity to have a controlled environment to learn to tweak your sail controls.  Adjust one thing and watch your speed.  If it comes up good, if it goes down try something else.  You can learn a lot about sail trim and then put it into use in other winds.

I fly an asymmetrical spinnaker from my Compac 23.  I do it single handed.  I have flown it in as much as 15 knots of wind (it was like sailing a racing dingy then).  I use the main to blanket it and drop it right into the cockpit.  I have a block on a triangle ring on my anchor bail that is used for the tack of asymmetrical.  This is nice because I can adjust it more to my point of sail.  It also helps because I release the tack when I drop the sail.  To drop the sail I turn further downwind.  I release the Spinnaker halyard and the tack line and pull it into the cockpit, behind the mainsail, and do this by grabbing the sheet and pulling it in and then the sail in.  Pretty simple stuff.

The Avatar is a picture of my boat with my asymmetrical spinnaker flying.  I am in almost 15 knot winds on the Chesapeake Bay.  I do have a slightly undersized spinnaker but I bought it used for $100.

You will need:
A tack line with a shackle attached one end
A triangle ring with a block on it that you put through the bail on the anchor roller (My tack line is 25 feet long and it could be a bit longer
2 sheets that are both a bit longer than the length of your boat (I have one continuous sheet that I attach with a lightweight climbing carabeaner)
A spinnaker Halyard with a shackle on one end
A block attached to the tang at the top of your mast.

All in all, I used 1/4" sheets for the running rigging except for the halyard, which is 5/8".  I bought the line from Cajun Ropes and also did most of the running rigging on my boat.  Total cost was about $150 for everything.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline Salty19

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Re: Light wind sailing
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2015, 01:52:43 PM »
I'm using a flying drifter on our CP19.  The flying sail avoids taking down the roller furl sail.   Works great for light air up to about 9-10mph winds.

http://cpyoa.geekworkshosting.com/forum/index.php?topic=4772.0

With your fractional rig it may not work quite as well as the masthead rigged CP19, but it's an option anyway.

It's flying in my avatar to the left side of this post.
"Island Time" 1998 Com-pac 19XL # 603