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Kite Depower

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Keelboat classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for keelboat questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10921
Printed Date: 23 Oct 17 at 4:14pm
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Topic: Kite Depower
Posted By: iGRF
Subject: Kite Depower
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 11:47am
Not kitesurfing, boats, what is the approved technique of depowering the kite without it going into massive on off luff fest?

Let it go further forward or sheet the fecker hard down as far as possible? (When bearing away is not an option).

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Replies:
Posted By: yellowwelly
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 12:05pm
dump the halyard and create a sea anchor is my favourite...

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Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 12:22pm
Well we find total inversion seems to do the job when mark rounding..

I have a new crew, who is being advised by a sym sailor and some of the advice appears contrary to what I would have suggested so I just need to know I'm not going mad..

So the scenario, we're too light anyway, it's blowing 4-5 three sail reach can't quite keep the nose above the mark, playing the waves as best I can (gain speed down harden along the troughs) I'm hiking like an RS100 Biatch more than I think I've ever hiked a bloody single hander, he's on tippy toes flat wiring and talking about letting the kite go forward, which to my mind is more likely to power it up and give me even more lee helm.

My normal reaction had I been able to get in the boat would be to dump the wingwang to leeward for starters then rack the kite hard in under the jib...



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Posted By: Pierre
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 12:41pm
Let the air out of the kite is my instinctive response to this.
Dumping your wingwang (you pervert) would not be the way ahead IMHO.


Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 12:48pm
Where is the CB in all of this?

Ease the kite would seem about right. 


Posted By: ellistine
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 12:51pm
The 18' skiffs in Sydney seem to be quite happy to rag their kites for miles to reach a mark. I don't know how they do it. When our kite collapses my heart rate spikes and I shout at the crew for being so negligent. 

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Posted By: yellowwelly
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 1:18pm
Originally posted by iGRF

 I'm hiking like an RS100 Biatch ..


there's your problem... you're probably supporting half your bodyweight through the mainsheet, powering it on.  

Sit in a bit, breath, let the main out.  You weigh f**k all, as if you hiking will make that much difference???

get your crew to pin the kite, and let the white sails go if necessary.  Of course it's probably faster to ditch the kite and white sail it anyway... I remember a tight reach on a 505 once under white sail only... probably the fastest I've ever gone on a dinghy, it certainly felt it.

I assume of course you've cranked the outhaul and cunningham on harder than Charlie Sheen on crack in Hotshots (Part DEUX) and  raised the plate a bit?

(Of course, all you've actually done is highlight why asymmetrics are crap for RTC racing.  A fireball would eat it.)


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Posted By: ifoxwell
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 2:25pm
Not quite answering the question but depower everything else first. Kicker right off and ease the main and make sure your jib is well out. I always find a flapping jib is faster than one that is to tight.

Then I tend to start curling the spinni as a last resort... if I still cant hold it then its to tight and either bear away and go with it or just drop it and two sail.

Ian


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Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 2:59pm
do those suggesting pinning the kite in and dumping the main work for mast makers/suppliers?

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-_
Al


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 3:29pm
If I dump everything then it's massive bear away and lee helm, I need some main to balance and my main depowers nicely anyway. No -ones answered the question sheet it in really hard or let it go further forward?

I don't want to stop here I still want to keep the power on I just don't want the bloody boat up on its ear with water gushing over the gunwales and I want to head up a nats dick now and again, strikes me these kite ballooney things need some structure or other so they can be luffed..

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Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 3:34pm
There it is, inflatable foot kites.. Quick somebody chuck cold water it looks too obvious..

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Posted By: ifoxwell
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 3:39pm
If your going downwind and need to loose power then sheeting in can work but if your on a tight reach your only option is to ease the sheet and curl the luff or things just get worse.

I agree loosing the main does make the helm worse but you should only be doing it for short periods... if you need to sail the whole leg like that then your better off sending it lower and faster then dropping the kite to fetch back up to the mark when the time comes. You sail further but go much faster 

Ian


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Blaze 715


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 3:40pm
I've done both in the past... I guess that hammering the kite right in would only work if it stalls completely, the boat slows down and thus the apparent wind goes back. Dump the jib and dump the kicker might be better options if they are good enough. But in theory if you have a fast boat generating loads of apparent then slowing down ought to help. But its amazing how much you can curl up a really good kite if the sheet leads are in the right place.

I also agree with Ian - the only time you struggle with the kite up to the mark is if the next leg is a good kite leg. Otherwise drop it every time. Another factor is crew's state of health/fitness: if you've got some toned hyper sportsman up the front who can whip the rag up and down in three seconds without taking an extra breath then *never* try hanging onto it. But if the forward hand won't see 45 again and only has enough burst energy for one hoist and drop per lap then you're better off struggling round the mark.


Posted By: Mister Nick
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 3:44pm
The kite is the last thing you need to depower, sort the main out first.

Over-sheeting isn't going to work for long unless you're sailing really deep. Oversheet > boat slows down > apparent wind clocks aft > bear away or fall in.

I would just keep a big curl in the luff of the asymmetric and hike harder. If the worst comes to the worst you can just flog it. You're way better off just sailing deeper though and dropping the kite when you're close enough to two-sail it in quickly. 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 3:52pm
The next leg promised even better so it was definitely worth hanging in there what is particularly annoying is an RS400 holding his kite (crew lard boy) I would normally expect to trash a 400 off wind given normal crew height/weight as it is these boys are given us a hard time this year, damn near nearly had us the other week it was only supreme tactical genius that avoided a drubbing, but they nailed us this week there was a point we couldn't even hold the bloody merlin for speed, something is clearly wrong. (We're just too small for the Alto dammit)

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Posted By: yellowwelly
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 4:54pm
you need a smaller boat... have you thought about converting a fireball?

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Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 5:05pm
I've thought about lots of things, fireballs, kited icons, v3000's pies and elevated shoes..

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Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 7:24pm
In the 400, things that seem to work are easing the wingwang, to central or a bit beyond but not much.
easing  the kite a lot, so that it is on the edge of flogging
if you are really fighting to avoid a broach, stuff it up to windward instead. This last is a desperate measure for short term use, e.g to avoid moored boat that has teleported into your path. The kite will collapse onto the jib, the boat will come upright, you can regain control and then bear away or drop the kite.
Raising the centreboard or raking it back some
moving weight further aft
The kicker will be dumped anyway.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 7:57pm
Hmm I might not have entirely dumped that kicker thing, never really have fiddled with it much on the Alto of joy, wang it on at the start and leave it, unless it's really windy then I might think about it before the gybe..

Then the plate, surely if you''re trying to stay high, kick the plate and you'll just make more leeway.

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Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 17 Jun 13 at 7:58pm
Originally posted by iGRF

The next leg promised even better so it was definitely worth hanging in there what is particularly annoying is an RS400 holding his kite (crew lard boy) I would normally expect to trash a 400 off wind given normal crew height/weight as it is these boys are given us a hard time this year, damn near nearly had us the other week it was only supreme tactical genius that avoided a drubbing, but they nailed us this week there was a point we couldn't even hold the bloody merlin for speed, something is clearly wrong. (We're just too small for the Alto dammit)


If you are not overpowered on a reach now and then, either the kite is too small or it's not very windy.
Heavy sailors in a 400 will hold the kite quite high on a reach, it is something which is testing my faith in the boat for a club racer at the moment. When we bought the boat, our club had several 400's crewed by couples or parent/teenager teams, now it's nearly all two-bloke teams, which really pays on a tight reach in a breeze.
Merlins have more righting power, being wider, but their kite is smaller and generally not intended for having the apparent so far forward. They also tend to have raking controls.

I think you need some boat on boat racing against some people of comparable size, to get some feedback about the finer points of what works.


Posted By: Fearful
Date Posted: 16 Aug 13 at 11:41am
Not sure how bendy your mast is but I would always recommend pulling as much downhaul/cunningham as you can get on the main. This will depower the main and should bend your mast back a bit tightening the luff of the spinnaker. Tighter the luff will make it flatter and easier to curl.

You need to be easing the spin in this situation and don't be afraid to sail the boat over on its ear as this will counter the helm.


Posted By: DFF
Date Posted: 30 Sep 13 at 11:30am
Quite an interesting thread. Good points on depowering the main.

My tuppence: 

To dump the kite you need to have three sails up or it is swimming and worse, breakages

Oversheeting is only any good if you can bear away in the gusts- presuming you are wanting to reach to a mark. I have done this in a 29er and the 59er and melges 24 and it is scary , and you need to be able to bear away.

For more powerful boats in a blow, especially the 9er boats, RS800 and m24 since we are on keel boats, you want to consider going high on white sails to be able to come down on a lower course under kite: if you see the "ear lobes" on the above boats' polar diagrams you will see why it pays to stay upright!


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Crewing on a Melges 24, against my better judgement...



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