Sailing with headsail only

1911tex

Member III
I expect to have a third reef put into this sail. I don't see much downside in it.

The traveler was centered - I was using the wide angle lens on my iphone so it may be the fish-eye distortion. You'll notice the bridge towers are 'leaning back' a little too, in the photo.

I don't know if [3rd reef + more jib] would give me a more balanced helm. It would be interesting to find out. I find under jib alone, I still get some weather helm on a reach. Under main alone (especially with too much sail up) I get a lot of weather helm.

In this case, I was just playing with the jib because I wanted to try to increase speed. This cutter was sailing on his ear with two jibs and beating me, so I was trying to go faster :)

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Tom, you were experimenting with this single handed in that much wind? You have bigger huevos than I can imagine!! Beautiful photos !!
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
Tom, you were experimenting with this single handed in that much wind? You have bigger huevos than I can imagine!! Beautiful photos !!
Once one gets comfortable with reefing, 20kts isn't a big deal. A small sail on a comparatively big boat is manageable. Having a wheel pilot to steer also makes a lot more trim-adjusting and sail-futzing possible.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
My third reef is the size of a storm trysail. It definitely steadies the boat reaching in heavy air, and makes possible sailing within maybe 60 degrees to windward (nobody tries to go to windward in 35 knots and seas, a reach is about all you can manage).

I think for daysailing a third reef is grand. Even in Force 5 and above the main can be trimmed with one hand and all maneuvers, including jibes, are easy as result of the very small sail area.

My opinion, though, is that a third reef its definitely optional. Just lowering the mainsail works fine--and the need to rerig the reef lines for a third reef, rendering reef No. 1 no longer available, sorta takes the fun out for normal sailing. This was true on the 32-3 as well as the 381.

The second reef can be deep--because when you want the second reef, that's what you usually want.
 

Navman

Member III
When sailing solo I heave to with just the jib while dropping the main and putting the cover on. It works pretty well for me, It is all about having the correct amount of jib out, how hard or loose you tension the windward sheet, how much main you let out and what position you put the helm. I can usually get it down to about 2 -3 knots. Heaving to with the reefed main and partial jib 3 weeks ago I had her moving along at just 1-1.8 knots with a comfortable motion. I needed a break after helming solo for 4 hours in 30+ knots gusting to 40 and an autopilot who decided to take an unscheduled vacation. It makes for a long 10 hour day if you can't take a break.
 

Bolo

Member III
The procedure I use to furl in the jib under heavy wind conditions is to head down wind, not so much to risk a jibe, let the traveller down as far as possible to blanket the jib from the wind. That takes the load off the jib and furling it in is then quite easy. I do not let the main sheet out so if I do accidentally jibe, there is little impact on the gooseneck, I am always afraid of a mast failure in an accidental jibe.
I use this same procedure and it works well for me too. I also use a broom brake in heavy winds and that gives me peace of mind too. I know some do something called a "J" jibe? I might not be recalling the correct term but I've not been able to master any sort of exaggerated turn to overcome the boom's rapid swing to my satisfaction. I find the brake works much better for me even though it involves another line and block.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Great video, and thanks for sharing. His climbing tackle is very interesting - wonder if he built it or bought it?
 

Alan Gomes

Sustaining Member
Great video, and thanks for sharing. His climbing tackle is very interesting - wonder if he built it or bought it?
I've watched several of his videos and really enjoy them. Some great and often gnarly sailing. I've also noticed in some of his other videos that he sails with headsail only.

I was wondering about the climbing tackle also.
 

Touchrain

Member II
We had another great weekend on the boat. We spent Saturday night at anchor a few miles from our slip then stopped for the day on Sunday at Langley where we met up with some friends (socially distanced, which was a little awkward, but well work it).

The wind instruments have never worked, but I’m guessing it was 15 to 20 knots both days. Waves were 2 to 3 feet with some white caps and a small wind ripple on top. No spray and we stayed dry both days with just an occasional splash on deck. As luck would have it, we found ourselves with the wind at the beam or behind us both days. I don’t have a preventer rigged and the main is a little difficult to hoist, so I decided to sail with the 120 headsail only. On the beam reach, we were cruising at 6 knots with a few moments up around 7. I am blown away by how well the boat sailed in this configuration. There was a slight weather helm, just enough to feel the rudder on the beam reach. Downwind, it was balanced and easy to handle hovering around 5.5 knots.

I am confused why there wasn’t Lee helm without the main and why, in my limited experience with the boat, there isn’t excessive weather helm with the main up. By no means am I complaining, but I’ve been spending a lot more time focusing on balancing the boat as opposed to trimming the sails independently and this seems to go against what I’ve learned and experienced to this point. Is the center of effort for each sail just perfectly placed above the center of resistance of the keel? Would this move back and cause lee helm if I had a larger head sail? What do other 32, 35, and 38 owners run on their furlers?
In 2010-11 we took our E38 offshore - Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Seattle. In the 10,000 nm, I’m guessing we did 8,000 with just the headsail, and usually only a scrap up except around the Pacific High. And, of course, motored about 1,000, mostly coming back from Alaska. It was fast and wonderful, and the Monitor windvane loved it.
 

frosero7744

Member II
I'm not an expert sailor like many of the fine folks here, but sail regularly with the headsail only. The PO suggested this configuration based on his being single handed on most occasions. You dont have the leave the helm and thats helps simply things. I find myself single handed often as well and love how my 32-200 handles headsail only in 20 knots plus. Typical in the SF bay most any afternoon. The big reason ill sail with the main lately is to have some main up when i turn downwind. When i do sail with a main though its usually double reefed with a scrap of headsail and i dont notice a substantial difference in speed or handling versus jib only.
IMG_20190629_183504_629.jpg
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Last week I got invited out for an afternoon sail on a friend's E-38-200. Blowing about 12 knots and a perfect afternoon. We were out about 3 hrs, and decided to just unroll his 135 genoa. Going to weather we did have to feather it up in stages to get up to speed after a tack, but it worked out fine. He was running the sheets and staying 6 feet away from me... so I was stuck driving. Tough Duty. :)
Helming Jim's E-38 Aug 2020.jpg
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Me too. Had two 10-year-old girls aboard who were suspicious of "tilting over" (can;t we just motor?).

Motored into the bay quietly, then surreptitiously* unfurled the Genoa. Gradually reduced throttle, then turned engine off. We heeled some, but they didn;t even notice as the bow wave splashed their feet under the bow pulpit. Were out two hours in 12 knots and never took the sail cover off.

Now they love sailing, not motoring. Next step: the main.

*spelling that took three tries
 

1911tex

Member III
Me too. Had two 10-year-old girls aboard who were suspicious of "tilting over" (can;t we just motor?).

Motored into the bay quietly, then surreptitiously* unfurled the Genoa. Gradually reduced throttle, then turned engine off. We heeled some, but they didn;t even notice as the bow wave splashed their feet under the bow pulpit. Were out two hours in 12 knots and never took the sail cover off.

Now they love sailing, not motoring. Next step: the main.

*spelling that took three tries
Been there...however it was not little girls....it was adult ladies! Like the moon venture..."Several" small steps and a giant leap for "the captain"!
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Ericsons sail well under jib alone. A happy design outcome.

Ericsons also don't favor too much sail up, and most control issues are result of flying all the laundry in 22 knots and wondering why the boat slews . Do we need a larger rudder? etc.

The easiest measurement of too much sail, I think, is the heel. If the crew on the rail can;t keep the boat at somewhere around 20 degrees heel, performance suffers. Racing, which requires lots of sail area, also requires responsive trimmers and a helmsman who knows how to feather and pick his spots in waves and gusts. To sail an Ericson casually in Force 5, reduce sail.

I have found that in 30 knots plus, only a scrap of roller-furler jib provides a rig balanced such that a vane self-steering gear does fine, even in the usual 10-foot cresting seas offshore. Vanes are quite sensitive to rig balance, so that's a real testament.

I have found that the mainsail is necessary for balance off the wind in any kind of a seaway. Reefed, it provides a steadying counter force to the boat being tossed around and slewed by surfing quartering seas.

We've all noticed the surprisingly good behavior under jib alone (I have a 120 genoa also). One added benefit: if you ever have to sail into the slip, which is quite a project given our crowded marinas, you can douse the main and have complete control under jib alone. That really, really, simplifies a procedure in which luffing is necessary, and for which a big mainsail on a boom is a complication.
Bravo Christian! ...You said it PERFECTLY!!

I too found out early on our 32-II was a bit tender as the wind builds and that she sailed extremely well and balanced with the jib alone.

The main is/was always a plus, of course, but when short handed or simply being lazy - she still “drove like a bandit during a getaway” to most points of sail.

Today, with both my wife and I now getting welll into our 70’s, ...it is SO EASY to simply roll out the furling jib and settle into a very easily controlled ride on ALL points of sail.

YES!! ...We STILL use our Main, ...but it’s nice to know - AND - have such a well designed boat that we can get by without a loss of real performance by opting out of hoisting the main for our cruising simplicity with less interferences with our “Cruising Wine Time”.
 

steven

Member III
in light air I sometimes use a 150% nylon drifter from my former Hunter 27.

I'm thinking of replacing with a proper (for the E35-2) 150% nylon decksweeper.


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