Sailing into wind advice please

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  • 14 Jun 2022 09:51
    Reply # 12815950 on 12815393
    Anonymous wrote:

    That looks like good tacking angles to me, since it includes leeway. How fast is your boat in such conditions, roughly?


    On average, 4.5 knots to windward in smooth water. 5 knots in a good breeze and I saw 5.8 on the GPS in one hard gust. Beating to windward, boat speed is meaningless. I calculate that velocity made good - 7.2M under sail over about 2h 40m was less than 3 knots, perhaps 2.8. Branwen is a shoal draught centreboarder, so leeway is an important factor: around 5° in smooth water.

    Out at sea, leeway increases to the extent that windward progress is painfully slow. I once attempted to beat from the Azores to Falmouth when an anti cyclone over the British Isles gave week after week of northeasterlies. I gave it up as a bad job, turned tail and ran for La Coruña to await a fair wind.

  • 13 Jun 2022 20:12
    Reply # 12815393 on 12805650
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    That looks like good tacking angles to me, since it includes leeway. How fast is your boat in such conditions, roughly?


  • 13 Jun 2022 14:07
    Reply # 12814809 on 12805650

    Branwen's just sailed down the 8M length of freshwater Loch Long, Scotland.  Started sailing in.a F3 at the NE end, the breeze freshenerd towards the other end, a gusty 4-5. Completed under single furled panel mainsail, full foresail. The water was smooth.

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  • 13 Jun 2022 12:41
    Reply # 12814696 on 12805650

    Just an update following some emails with Alan Boswell. 

    Yesterday I achieved around 60° into wind at above 3knts SOG (no tide), which was my minimum speed requirement. Going to around 55° the speed started to drop quite rapidly.

    I think two of Alan's suggestions that made the difference were putting both sheet travellers to windward with one reef in the mizzen (in 9-15knts wind).

    Previously I would have got massive weather helm so I would reef both sails or let out the mizzen. This solved the weather helm but decreased boat speed. With just reefing the mizzen I kept boat speed and reduced weather helm.

    I also changed the halyards from 12mm to 10mm on the main and from 10mm to 8mm on the mizzen which allows me to adjust them much more easily. The thicker ones where on her when I bought her and I think the top block gave too much friction.

    Finally I think the new sails designed by Alan and made locally make a huge difference to the boat speed especially in lighter winds. Before I really needed 10knts to get going where as now I’m thinking of reefing in 10kts. The hinged battens in the pockets produce a very nice wing shape.

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  • 08 Jun 2022 00:55
    Reply # 12809236 on 12805650

    Thanks Charlie and Roy. I will make something similar for my rudder when the boat comes out of the water next time.


  • 07 Jun 2022 23:35
    Reply # 12809154 on 12805650
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A voice from the past.... (2017)

    Off the topic, but maybe of historical interest for Freedom aficionados: I stumbled upon this comment from Robin Blain while skimming through early issues of the JRA magazine: "Gypsy Blue, a Freedom 35 is owned by Mike Abrams who has bases in Portugal and the Caribbean. Alan Boswell designed the rig in 2003 with GRP poltruded bendy battens with his computer programme and Chris Scanes made the sails for Sunbirds. I built the rig and sails and sent them to Portugal for Mike to hoist on the boat following the labels and rigging handbook and all worked very well. Mike does not seem to use sail covers and so is now on his second set of sails thanks to the Caribbean sunshine.This is the second Freedom 35 we have converted to junk and there is likely to be a third soon and additionally Pete Hill converted the boat Roy Denton owns. There is no doubt, as we have also converted two Freedom 30s, that converted Freedoms is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain a junk rigged yacht of these sizes as the existing masts are ready and waiting for conversion. I have got some more good pics of Gypsy Blue if you would like copies for an article. Fitting a junk rig on a Freedom 35 costs approx. £10,000=, but fitting the same size or rig on a Bermudan rigged yacht is approx. £20,000..."

  • 07 Jun 2022 12:08
    Reply # 12808312 on 12805650

    When I bought the boat she had been kept on a drying sea wall for at least a year, settling twice daily into mud over sand with hard lumps (brick, stone) included.  The shoal draught, lead keel could cope with this, but the rudder, which extends below the GRP hull, but not quite as deep as the keel, had suffered some damage to its bottom edges, either during that 12 months, or earlier.  Protecting this bottom face against future damage was a first objective, which could then be combined with an end plate arrangement.  My thinking was that the end plate should be located a little above the absolute bottom of the rudder, to avoid loading and bending it in future drying-out-against-a-wall episodes.  The upshot was a shoe, made from 316 stainless, laser cut & welded together.  This was bonded to the rudder with filled epoxy and a few stainless screws through the side walls into the GRP rudder sides.  At the time I had other stainless steel laser cutting and welding projects which made this economical (by including the cutting within the minimum order size) and a local engineer with impeccable welding abilities.  I'm not sure the end plate function was absolutely necessary on this boat, but can't do any harm.  I didn't use any formula for the end plate parameters, just what I thought looked right.

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    Last modified: 07 Jun 2022 12:14 | Anonymous member
  • 07 Jun 2022 09:07
    Reply # 12808203 on 12805650

    Hello Rob, 

    My Freedom also came with a plate under the rudder which the previous owner had done to apparently help with weather helm. 

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  • 07 Jun 2022 01:10
    Reply # 12808033 on 12805650

    Interesting discussion. Very pleased to hear that you are enjoying some sailing, Roy, and it sounds as if you are quickly learning as you go. I am interested in the end plate you put on your rudder. Did you follow any formula as to size or shape based on waterline length or rudder area? I'm very keen on adding an endplate on my boat but have no idea as to its dimensions.


  • 07 Jun 2022 00:12
    Reply # 12807991 on 12805650

    I set the travellers amidships when tacking back and forth, sailing into the wind.  This means the sail presents itself to the wind, more or less the same on either tack without need for sheeting in or out.  Quicker, and less effort on my part, than pulling traveller cars across on each change of tack.

    I would consider moving the traveller to windward when sailing close to the wind, but able to set a course without needing to tack.  Offsetting the traveller then widens the angle of the sheet spans relative to the sail, thus reducing the sheet force needed to keep the sail near the centreline, and reducing the downward component of that force acting on the sail and boom.

    The travellers could be set out to lee when broad reaching or running, to reduce compression in the battens.

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