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Downwind Instability = Swim

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13521
Printed Date: 28 Oct 20 at 9:41am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Downwind Instability = Swim
Posted By: epicfail
Subject: Downwind Instability = Swim
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 4:44pm
I goes like this...

Downwind, get hit by a gust, capsize...

Is it better to avoid being dead downwind and keep some lateral pressure on the boat. Maybe taking the run as two broad reaches and time a mid run gybe when condition suit? 

Is it important to keep my weight aft so the flat bit of the hull is more in contact with the water and hopefully more stable? I sail a Europe.

Or maybe (probably) I'm just a bit rubbish!Big smile



Replies:
Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 4:55pm
Are you falling in to windward? Probably not enough kicker so the leach flicks open. David Greening ( Solo expert) advised me to mark the kicker so you can replicate a good leach stable setting.


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 4:58pm
Interesting, reducing the kicker adds twist and (apparently) de-powers the sail. So this is where I have been going, However it does seem to lead to a loss of control and some increase in instability.


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 5:12pm
I also have a mark on my board so that I can set it with perhaps the same depth as the rudder to give a bit of stability in exciting stuff.

Another crumb from the Greening table!


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 6:09pm
I was shot down in flames on FB for suggesting that sheeting out upwind (when the leech tension is controlled by the mainsheet not the kicker) in a Europe* to allow more twist and spill wind from the top of the sail as I do in the Spice and Blaze. The argument was that the mast straightened and powered up the sail. 


But, whatever the boat, if you are overpowered down wind then sailing the angles is safer (though the gybe may be somewhat scary). 


* I sailed an OK in my youth so am still very interested in the latest developements/techniques of that type of unstayed rig.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 6:49pm
Originally posted by epicfail

I goes like this...

Downwind, get hit by a gust, capsize...

Is it better to avoid being dead downwind and keep some lateral pressure on the boat. Maybe taking the run as two broad reaches and time a mid run gybe when condition suit? 

Is it important to keep my weight aft so the flat bit of the hull is more in contact with the water and hopefully more stable? I sail a Europe.

Or maybe (probably) I'm just a bit rubbish!Big smile

I would look at the Boat Whisper DVD’s, Steve Cockerill has done some videos to dinghy show.

https://youtu.be/sArB_eABZBU" rel="nofollow - https://youtu.be/sArB_eABZBU


I won’t paraphrase what he says as that would be pointless but he is against the tight kicker safe old school method 



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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:11pm
In a Europe, easing the kicker and sailing by the Lee is by far the most stable way to get downwind.

It might feel a bit sketchy getting to 'by the Lee' but after a couple of goes you'll know what to expect and find it much more comfortable.

If you have any Europe technique questions, go on the UK Europe Facebook group and you'll get lots of help.


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons


I was shot down in flames on FB for suggesting that sheeting out upwind (when the leech tension is controlled by the mainsheet not the kicker) in a Europe* to allow more twist and spill wind from the top of the sail as I do in the Spice and Blaze. The argument was that the mast straightened and powered up the sail. 
But, whatever the boat, if you are overpowered down wind then sailing the angles is safer (though the gybe may be somewhat scary). 
* I sailed an OK in my youth so am still very interested in the latest developements/techniques of that type of unstayed rig.



You weren't shot down in flames. People just pointed out the correct technique, in a perfectly friendly way.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:22pm
Can you let the boom go forward ?

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Robert


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:25pm
I was told that if breezy best to limit boom to about 80° and ease the kicker if you want the sail to go further forward than that.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:36pm
That would work, and do a couple of broad reaches.
Only time I have been frightened in a boat was a runaway dead run in a Wayfarer.


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Robert


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:39pm
By the Lee and broad reach if you want to avoid gybing


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:50pm
Sailing by the lee takes some nerve the first time you try it.
New sport, flat out downwind and then try to go about, strongest possible wind Thumbs Up


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Robert


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 7:52pm
I thought that, but in the Europe it is rock steady. So much more stable.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 9:38pm
Originally posted by GarethT

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons


I was shot down in flames on FB for suggesting that sheeting out upwind (when the leech tension is controlled by the mainsheet not the kicker) in a Europe* to allow more twist and spill wind from the top of the sail as I do in the Spice and Blaze. The argument was that the mast straightened and powered up the sail. 
But, whatever the boat, if you are overpowered down wind then sailing the angles is safer (though the gybe may be somewhat scary). 
* I sailed an OK in my youth so am still very interested in the latest developements/techniques of that type of unstayed rig.



You weren't shot down in flames. People just pointed out the correct technique, in a perfectly friendly way.

Fair comment, Embarrassed

I follow the Europe page as I think I'll probably end up with either a Europe or an OK at some point. And I did delete my uninformed advice (not simply out of embarrassment, though that was a factor, but to not mislead others)........


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 10:18pm
Originally posted by ian.r.mcdonald

I also have a mark on my board so that I can set it with perhaps the same depth as the rudder to give a bit of stability in exciting stuff.

Another crumb from the Greening table!

I am no expert, the crumbs are from the Cumbley table!

I have no idea about Europes, but as an observer of the odd race from rescue boats etc, the broad reach over kickered route tends to result in a broach when the gust hits, and too much kicker will end badly for the reach to reach gybe, which will be easier with just enough kicker off to depower the sail, but enough to avoid a windward roll.

Probably the most important thing is to be firm and decisive with the helm and boat, this is the most obvious thing that separates the front of the fleet from the back of a fleet on a windy day.


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 11:30pm
I am aware that my skill level needs to develop somewhat but if you don't sail you don't learn. 

Today everything was fine for a while. I was sailing by the lee; I found that when a gust hit the boat it heels with the boom heading for the sky. I guess I just need to be better with my weight distribution and be ready to react before it goes over.  I does all feel a little out of control though.

I wasn't the only one struggling today, the majority of the fleet had at least one swim. Gusty and shifty pond... 



Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 02 Feb 20 at 11:52pm
If I feel it going a bit wrong sailing by the lee I guess heading up would be an option to get some stability back?


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 12:13am
Counter intuitive, but pull the tiller towards you!

The boat whisperer dvd that someone has already suggested explains it all.



Posted By: andymck
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 12:44am
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sArB_eABZBU

Look at this

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Andy Mck


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 10:47am
Yup, that video turns everything you instinctively think is right on it's head. The bit that did it for me is at 6:40" 'Cockerill's Rule'

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 12:57pm
'Cockerels rule' stay in the bar.

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Robert


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 1:37pm
The bit at 6.40 is pretty much exactly what happened to me, a chap watching the race told me it looked like I was going the pitch pole. 

My only question is if I'm sailing by the lee and pull the rudder towards me will I not end up with a rather exciting gybe? 


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 1:41pm
Unless you are already hard by the lee, you won’t gibe unless you keep steering. It gets you back flat so you can get back under control. Once flat I would then point a little more towards dead downwind, and sheet in a little.

If you’ve got your kicker eased it is really quite forgiving in terms of gybing, and you can pretty much sail on a broad reach with the sail on the ‘wrong’ side.


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 1:42pm
Another thing, by the lee sheeting works the opposite way so sheet in to depower and ease to power up.


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 3:14pm
I do love sailing, you get to learn each and every day! In the H2 you cannot go by the lee due to the stays and the flat top main is very sensitive to kicker down wind, as soon as the top of the sail gets ahead of the mast you are going for a swim 100% guaranteed so you literally sail downwind playing the kicker letting it off in the lulls and pulling it back on in the gusts! Clearly the Europe is different - I assume the same would work with a Laser and Finn?

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H2 #115


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 3:21pm
I believe Steve Cockerill demonstrated that 'by the lee' works on boats with a stayed rig by cleaning up at the Blaze Nationals back in 2002. Perhaps you need to get him in an H2? Wink

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 6:14pm
Thank you everyone for pointing me in the right direction. Lots of really interesting stuff to think about, I need to get out and practice these things. I only started sailing again in November after a 30 year break, the first time I got in my Europe was for a race - haven't actually sailed the boat just for the fun. Now I know what I don't know I have something to work on!


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 6:17pm
Where do you sail?

First weekend in June there’s a Europe event at Weymouth, with a training day on the Friday. Last year’s training day was brilliant, with some great tips on survival sailing (plus the whole event was a great social).


Posted By: johnbrooker
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 6:37pm
Hi all, as others have said more kicker may help. I use more kicker in stronger winds than light- you'll find the more you let off the more unstable you feel. 

Rule of thumb- let is off as far as you can until the boat starts feeling unstable. 

Also bear away in the gusts and keep your weight aft 


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https://dinghyracingtips.com" rel="nofollow - Dinghy Racing Tips Blog Here
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1404265476388994" rel="nofollow - Join The Dinghy Sailing Q&A Facebook Group Here


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 6:55pm
Hi Gareth, I'm in North Hampshire - so Weymouth is not too far away, the training day sounds rather interesting. Is there somewhere I can find more details? I'm a pond sailor I have no idea what to do with anything resembling a wave - unless it's from the rescue boat..




Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 03 Feb 20 at 7:12pm
There's a fair few of us in your neck of the woods; Chichester Harbour, Stokes Bay, Lee on the Solent, Weston and New Forest.

There are a few of us doing the Chichester Snowflake if you fancy joining us (although this weekend looks a bit crazy!)

http://www.facebook.com/groups/EuropeSailing" rel="nofollow - UK Europe Sailing Facebook

There is also a website, but most of the interaction is on Facebook.

http://www.ukeuropeclass.com" rel="nofollow - www.ukeuropclass.com


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 04 Feb 20 at 10:27am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

I believe Steve Cockerill demonstrated that 'by the lee' works on boats with a stayed rig by cleaning up at the Blaze Nationals back in 2002. Perhaps you need to get him in an H2? Wink

Might do - been quite fun having Nick Craig in the class over the winter!


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H2 #115


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 04 Feb 20 at 10:28am
Big smile I'll bet it has Thumbs Up

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 04 Feb 20 at 11:15am
Originally posted by H2

I do love sailing, you get to learn each and every day! In the H2 you cannot go by the lee due to the stays and the flat top main is very sensitive to kicker down wind, as soon as the top of the sail gets ahead of the mast you are going for a swim 100% guaranteed so you literally sail downwind playing the kicker letting it off in the lulls and pulling it back on in the gusts! Clearly the Europe is different - I assume the same would work with a Laser and Finn?

I have seldom sailed such a stable and forgiving singlehander as the H2 downwind; on the day that I raced the demo boat it was seriously windy and even after going "down the mine" the bow popped up.  And she was dead stable on a deep planing run.

Like Keith's Merlin designs, of which I sailed one in my youth, I suspect that the H2 might be less forgiving when allowed to rail on her chines.

The large flat top main may be an issue, but stays don't stop the Solo from sailing by the lee, albeit not as extreme as the non-stayed classes, but it is still fast, and I would suggest sailing deep on the run allows you to pick your gybing moment almost anywhere in the downwind leg, whereas a reach to reach gybe commits you to gybing at a specific point.


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 Feb 20 at 7:02am
Well you should be able to try Europe this weekend, forecast is good for extreme running.

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Robert


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 05 Feb 20 at 9:33am
Originally posted by 423zero

Well you should be able to try Europe this weekend, forecast is good for extreme swimming.

FTFY LOL


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 Feb 20 at 9:57am
80mph, should be a good display, get it on video.

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Robert


Posted By: DiscoBall
Date Posted: 10 Feb 20 at 7:53pm
Originally posted by epicfail

I only started sailing again in November after a 30 year break, the first time I got in my Europe was for a race - haven't actually sailed the boat just for the fun. Now I know what I don't know I have something to work on!


Don't be too hard on yourself then - with its Moth heritage the Europe is a bit more twitchy/responsive (depending on your taste) than many other singlehanders, but that's it charm.

One thing I'm not sure was mentioned above was to check the range of movement of your kicker as maybe it can go off too far? A very rough rule of thumb is to put your elbow on the top of the transom, then the furthest the boom should go up is the end of your outstretched fingers. If it can go up further then that may not be helping.

Worth a look at Lars' youtube channel - not that relevant to pond sailing but it's definitely how you sail a Europe well. Wink
[TUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuK6Xn_NbjQ[/TUBE]




Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 10 Feb 20 at 10:12pm
I've only had one relatively brief sail in a very old and tired Europe, on the sea and in a good F4-5 breeze* but would not describe it as twitchy compared to other boats, no more so than a Laser anyway.


* Fabulous little boat, loved it, if I was a little bendier and 5-10kg lighter it would definitely be on my shortlist.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 11 Feb 20 at 7:19am
I sailed a Radial a couple of times before I got the Europe. The Radial appeared far less responsive to my weight than the Europe - I'm about 62 kgs. I like that fact that if I move around in the boat I get an instant reaction, even if sometimes it's not necessarily with the right outcome. 

Once I can get time on the water that isn't on a Sunday I'll have some things to work on - I'm looking forward it.


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 11 Feb 20 at 9:48am
Keep an eye on the Facebook group. A Handbook has just been published in French and is currently being translated to English. Should be out next month.


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 12 Feb 20 at 9:05am
Thanks Gareth, I'll keep an eye on the Facebook page. 



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