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Upwind Windward heel does it work

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=9089
Printed Date: 21 Feb 20 at 1:48pm
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Topic: Upwind Windward heel does it work
Posted By: kingdacks
Subject: Upwind Windward heel does it work
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 4:42pm
After seeing Roosters brilliant boat whisperer dvd ,he mentioned alot heeling the boat to windward in light winds to increase boat speed to drive towards the mark pushing you sideways.In the dvd the french man seems to do it particulary well.I tried it this week in my laser and i felt it slowed me down is this just me and does it actually work



Replies:
Posted By: kfz
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 4:45pm
To leeward?

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GP14 Fleet Captain
Liverpool Sailing Club

http://www.liverpoolsailingclub.org/ - Liverpool SC


Posted By: Mister Nick
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 4:47pm
Never heard of heeling the boat to windward in light airs before... I always heel the boat to leeward, because it helps to improve the airflow over the sail. By heeling the boat over that way you're putting shape into the sail by gravity which means that your sail is operating closer to how it was designed to than it would be if the boat was flat. I find that it works really well. You just need to make sure that it's not excessive heel and that you're not moving around a lot to achieve it. Settle down in the bottom of the boat and keep very still, it should speed you up. 

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 4:56pm
The Rooster method is to windward which gives lee helm , this needs compensating by pushing the tiller away, because of the angle of the rudder in the water this in turn lifts the stern. This effects the centerboard agle of attack. It also effects the waterline shape of the hull also increasing lift.......apparently.
 
Not easy with boats without much freeboard cos your bum may drag in the water. You need a bit of wind to try it but not too much.


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 5:02pm
A lot of people heel to windward downwind in light airs, it raises the centre of the rig, especially in a single sail boat. Upwind it would just cause the sails to collapse in very light air. It may work over a certain wind range in some classes, but heeling to windward reduces the righting moment of the hull, so as soon as you are powered up it may work against you. Foiling moths are a different thing, heeling produces lift to windward.


Posted By: Strangler
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 5:40pm

Presume you are talking about upwind [laser] sailing.

Sit well forward! A few useful comments here, from 3/4 down page 1 onwards-

http://sailingforums.com/threads/windward-heel.4252/ - http://sailingforums.com/threads/windward-heel.4252/


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Posted By: Michael S
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 7:14pm
I do feel that windward heel is useful downwind in very very light airs (we tried it in the 29er and it help sailing deeper, which was paying even if it was slower), but I've never heard of doing it upwind.

Seems like it can be risky (as if the boat is unstable you can easily have it coming on top of you in lulls), no ?


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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 7:50pm
Watch the DVD again, it does make sense - not that I've ever got it working. You certainly need enough wind for the sail to be filling without help.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 7:59pm
Originally posted by Michael S


Seems like it can be risky (as if the boat is unstable you can easily have it coming on top of you in lulls), no ?
 
Not too bad on then sea but It will improve your reflexs.....When we tried it I suggested to my wife that she went on the wire so as to avoid dragging our arses in the water. She made it very clear that she wasn't very keen on the idea.Ouch


Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 12 Mar 12 at 10:30pm
I can't see how it can work.

As GK says, heeling to windward in a Laser will generate lee helm.  This means that the rudder will actually be pushing you to leeward, which has to be compensated by a greater side-force on the centreboard (total side-force must match that of the sail) which will be achieved by a greater board incidence (leeway) angle and correspondingly more drag.

Which is not to say that heeling to windward can never work.  I tend set my 3k up with lots of aft rake, so that in some wind conditions I need to heel to windward to get a balanced helm (small rudder loading).  I just like sailing that way - it's a personal thing; I like to feel that both foils are always sharing the job of generating side-force.  Other 3k sailors have copied my settings and discarded them - they prefer a more neutral helm and to sail with slight leeward heel; resultant Vmg to windward is not affected either way - not noticeably to me anyway.

The first instance I ever recall seeing about windward heel being beneficial was by David Thomas sailing the Unit in the Olympic singlehander trials way back when.  He felt he went quicker on Unit with windward heel, dug around for an explanation and came up with a graph showing the effect of dihedral on aircraft wings. 

Basically the graph showed that lift decreased with dihedral, as you'd expect, but also that at 0 dihedral angle the curve had slope, implying that if you extrapolated it for negative dihedral, lift would increase for the first few degrees at least. I think I've found the graph in question, and am inclined to think he's putting too much faith in the experimental data, or that there were special circumstances, such as the presence of a fuselage. Nonetheless, there might be a slight benefit - which thought gives me a morale boost when I'm heeling to windward, at least!


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Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 1:06am
Originally posted by Medway Maniac



The first instance I ever recall seeing about windward heel being beneficial was by David Thomas sailing the Unit in the Olympic singlehander trials way back when.  He felt he went quicker on Unit with windward heel, dug around for an explanation and came up with a graph showing the effect of dihedral on aircraft wings. 

Basically the graph showed that lift decreased with dihedral, as you'd expect, but also that at 0 dihedral angle the curve had slope, implying that if you extrapolated it for negative dihedral, lift would increase for the first few degrees at least. I think I've found the graph in question, and am inclined to think he's putting too much faith in the experimental data, or that there were special circumstances, such as the presence of a fuselage. Nonetheless, there might be a slight benefit - which thought gives me a morale boost when I'm heeling to windward, at least!

He always taught me that it was just in a very small wind range that it paid.  I guess part of it could be due to less wetted surface area but what he has always told me is that it was to make sure the boat is powered up 100% of the time.  The boat naturally wanting to bear away slightly just keeps you on full power all the time.

Obviously when the wind is so light that the boom falls into the middle of the boat then this is not fast but we are only talking very slight angles of heel.  This is a very different thing to kiting the boat over to windward on a run, that is to put the rig over the centreboard and realign the CLR and CLD. 

The important thing to remember about the whole windward heel thing is that it is only for a very small wind range, sort of 6-8 knots, perhaps 9 knots at a push in an underpowered boat.  

Also, in all my years of laser sailing at a pretty high level I never once saw anyone sailing upwind heeled to windward.  I am slightly suspicious that it is just a made up talking point for the DVD. The only time I have ever done it myself was back in my oppy days, it was occasionally fast, i think, but there are too many variables to really know.  I could never get it to feel right in the laser and nobody else was doing it that I could tell!?


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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 8:48am
Of course, for most of us, if we think we are heeling to windward, it probably just means we are upright for a change!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 9:32am

There have been times when I didn't think we'd make the mark so we gave it a go,  bingo we  made the mark......but this could be because we over/under estimated the tide in the first place.......I guess 2 boat practice would give some clues as to whether it works.



Posted By: dics
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 1:11pm

Unless there are lots of waves I will heal the 300 to windward when sailing up wind. I do this by slightly overflattening the sail. Once I am there I use the rudder to head up very so slightly to keep my lane and the boat balanced. It is a fine adjustment that is not constantly required. This seems to get the folis to lift me quite a bit without too much lost speed.

Ofcourse it takes time to get right and to find the best conditions to do it in for your boat and should be just one technique in your amoury for getting upwind. The best thing about it is when you reach the windward mark your boat is nicely balanced to initate that smooth bearaway without digging in the bow. 
 
Mind you, this is what I think I do. If I saw myself I would probably think otherwise!!
 
 


Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 7:34pm
I suspect that if this works it only works in a narrow range of conditions ( Wind speed,water conditions, and boat type) and If it does deliver less leeway, it does at the expense of a lot of speed, and I would expect your VMG to suffer. But that being said there could be times when it is just what you need on the racecourse, To hold a lane or lay a mark.


Posted By: kingdacks
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 7:59pm

Would like to know if its actually possible. The laser as you said has little free board.It seems to work on the dvd particulary well in the rs300 on the dvd.   Im not sure it worked well for me and certainly your sail setting would have to be slightly different.



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Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 8:16pm
Well the 300 has bags of freeboard which helps.  I would use the etchnique in most conditions - it definitely pays to make the weight if the rig work for you when it's windy.  I'd say that of even the 2K in flat water (but it's not often flat enough to work it).

In lighter airs I think it works - I was convinced by a good explanation in one of the Laser reacing books by Glen Bourke.  can't lay my hands on it now.

BTW my technique for am I heeling to windward is where is the water in teh boat lying. 


Posted By: kingdacks
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 8:24pm
Yes i own that glen bourke book and was convinced also when i watch boat whisperer dvd.Interestingly does this not push you sideways rather than forward becuase of the flow or direction on the hull

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Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 13 Mar 12 at 10:09pm
I guess some of you saw that Merlin Rocket at the dinghy show that was specially designed to cant the mast into the wind whilst keeping the hull flat (and many miles of rope invested in achieving it).  But this, note, is all about canting the mast whilst keeping the hull FLAT (so nothing about hull steering or foil lift).

I was talking about it to Kevan Bloor (the man behind Alverbank sails) and he reckons boats do point better when heeled to windward due to reduced tip loss (like a windsurfer which can point quite high for something with such a short rig).  Also Note some stuff about ice yachts in Bethwaite's Bible and the way the Farr 3.7 rig bends the top of the mast to windward as the mast rotates.  Evidently some people are firm believers.

One, very good laser sailor, I've sailed the Javelin with always heels it to windward in light winds abnd it does point up (at the expense of being able to detect shifts from the tell tales so easily).  On the other hand, if we want the get the Javelin really pointing we heel it to leeward - but at a massive loss in speed.

During a discussion at said dinghy show with Mr Medway he certainly considered it all to be B$$ll$cks, but I do note that both he and the current 3k national champ heel their boats to windward up wind.

Could be just that if you heel the boat to windward, then gusts knock you upright (which is quick) than over to leeward (which isn't).

Who knows, try it and see.



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