Heavy Air Sailing: Boat Balance
In heavy air, the boat is overpowered and every component affects the way the boat moves and the balance. It is not just the rudder. Here are some tips to remember.
Starting and Stopping
Always, but especially at slow speeds, theJ ib pulls the bow down main takes the boat up.
Don’t ease too much main in a dialup or back-down as it is hard to get it back
Slow down to turn fast! In the flat-water big breeze a slow turn where the boat actually travels to windward in the middle of the tack pays big time. Making sure you don’t overturn stops:
Heeling too much
And gives you a much happier jib trimmer as they can get the jib in easier and faster!
Transfer energy, along with a slow turn transferring the energy in the jib sheet is critical. Some key points:
Take slack out of windward sheet BEFORE the tack.
As the boat goes head to wind RIGHT before it backs release the old sheet
Pull the new sheet hard as you walk across the boat . The grinder takes the last of the trim.
The goal here is to have the sail luff very little.
If you don’t get it in TELL THE HELM SO THEY CAN CHOOSE TO BALANCE THE BOAT BY EITHER FEATHERING UP AND TAKING PRESSURE OFF OR HAVING THE MAIN TRIMMER EASE to course.
Vang Is Critical!
No traveller on Match 40s so Vang controls the leech
Backstay also helps flatten the sail and tightens the headstay.
If your vang is eased too much main is ROUND and flaps a lot…
You may need to ease vang to maneuver (circles, markroundings, turns).
Communication – Always but especially in heavy air
Short and Sweet (be precise) – use names, clear short words
Get your words down to the team (think Vulcan mind meld) – or a loud voice