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Help with upwind round up and weather helm

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Help with upwind round up and weather helm

Postby upgradingdave » Thu May 31, 2018 12:57 pm

Hi all,

I'm a new owner of a 7.9, and I've been racing in the Wednesday night series at the local marina.

We're having a lot of fun, and getting used to the boat. But I haven't really been able to figure out yet how to balance the boat upwind in moderate conditions? We've had 3 races with ~15 knot wind conditions and we are always fighting weather helm and on the verge of rounding up.

If I pinch at the right time, I can control the boat, but pinching is not ideal, we go very slow (3-4 knots).

I haven't had a chance to measure my sails yet since I bought the boat, but I'm pretty sure I have a 155% genoa and #1 main. It seems like we should be able to carry full sails in these conditions. But it always feels like we're really overpowered.

We've tried experimenting with as many combinations of settings as possible: furling the jib, setting traveler up and down, playing with main sheet, setting jib cars different locations, playing with backstay tension, etc, etc.

The configuration that seems to work best (but still not really ideal) is setting backstay as tight as possible, setting the main traveler all the way down to leeward, jib cars pretty far aft, vang off, and then pinching and letting main sheet out when gusts come. When set up like this, we're pretty slow and the shape of the main looks aweful, there's a bulge near the luff of the main.

I'm pretty new to sailing in general, so wouldn't be surprised if I'm missing something completely obvious ... In fact, I hope I'm missing something obvious!

Last night, when we were heading back from the race, after completely furling the genoa, sailing on main alone, we were close reaching and the boat felt balanced and we were making 6+ knots?! But I'd be surprised if the answer is to completely furl the genoa?

Thanks for your help.
upgradingdave
 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Help with upwind round up and weather helm

Postby AJ Oliver » Thu May 31, 2018 4:11 pm

Good question, I look forward to info from those more experienced.

I single hand a lot, and cannot carry the genoa in anything much over 12 kts, so I use the number three head sail a lot.

At times we have raced with the number three, and done pretty well. The 7.9 points like a demon with the #3 up.

Folks might also tell you to check your mast rake - headstay 31 ft 10 inches pin to pin.

Cue the experts in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
AJ Oliver
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 8:59 am

Re: Help with upwind round up and weather helm

Postby Jameso » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:40 am

I am not an expert but in reviewing your description of depowering your sail plan pasted below

‘’The configuration that seems to work best (but still not really ideal) is setting backstay as tight as possible, setting the main traveler all the way down to leeward, jib cars pretty far aft, vang off, and then pinching and letting main sheet out when gusts come. When set up like this, we're pretty slow and the shape of the main looks aweful, there's a bulge near the luff of the main.’’
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I can offer the following suggestions;

1) snug your vang, as the wind speed increases you’ll need more vang not less. If it’s really blowing you vangsheet, vang on hard, traveler down, play the mainsheet, driving off the leech as much as you can.
2) the backstay should be snugged and tightened as the puff hits and eased once it passes.
3) start with your traveler amidship and lower as the gust/puff hits, if the boat is still over powered ease the mainsheet
4) if the backstay is on, need to snug the cunningham to move the draft in the main forward to depower.
5) the order i use for pulling strings when driving in puffy conditions, 1. backstay/Cunningham, 2. traveler down, 3. mainsheet last. One of the most important things to success in puffs/ gusts is having someone call puffs so the boat is set up before the puff hits.
6) going to the #3 at 12-15 sustained on flat water can be very fast.
Good luck

Jameso
 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:04 pm

Re: Help with upwind round up and weather helm

Postby upgradingdave » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:48 am

Nice, I'm anxious to give these suggestions a try.

Thanks!
upgradingdave
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Help with upwind round up and weather helm

Postby BarryE » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:21 pm

I would also suggest that you look at your rudder. Make sure the leading edge of the rudder is vertical. Any rearward rake in the rudder will induce weather helm.
BarryE
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Port Huron, MI

Re: Help with upwind round up and weather helm

Postby upgradingdave » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:54 am

Last night, we were out for the Wednesday night race in moderate wind (around 13-15 knots). Happy to report zero round ups and felt completely in control the entire time with just the right amount of weather helm.

Thanks to the advice in this thread, plus more experience sailing the boat, experimenting with sail trim and steering, we are much more comfortable with the boat.

(It's embarrassing to think back to the last time we sailed in 15 knot conditions!)

For anyone new to s2 7.9 having trouble with round ups, weather helm, too much heal, and/or feeling over powered, my advice is to give it time, play around with the suggestions from this forum and sail the boat as much as you can!

Now that we have the basics figured out, excited to fine tune even more.
upgradingdave
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:27 pm


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