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Old Sep 29, 2014, 05:01 PM
RC Newbie with lots of ideas
Chile, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Stgo
Joined Dec 2012
292 Posts
I did it!!! Survived my first big event, came out in 5th place. VERY HAPPY

We had a first day almost without wind (6 completed races) and a second day with big breeze of 12-15kts all day (11 completed races).
(official results, pictures & videos here: http://www.cvrc.cl/2014/09/29/result...nal-rg65-2014/)

What I learned:
  1. I cannot sail too well in light winds. Need to work a lot on tuning and handling.
  2. I only have A-rig, and in the breeze it was too much. I need smaller rigs for the breeze. This is a MUST.
  3. It was not a disaster: I did manage to sail the boat where I wanted. Tacking was difficult, and running was almost impossible (see video below ). The good part is that I learned to sail an owerpowered boat!
  4. It pays to race, even if you are overpowered and do not have chances to win races. In the breeze crazy things happen to the others: broken servos & sails, tangled boats, etc... you end up adding good points even if you are last. In my case being last was even finishing 4th or 5th!! So do race and finish, as it is much better that DNC or DNF, which is what others did at this event ("too windy for my boat" )
  5. It survived!!! People told me not to put my boat in the water under the windy conditions: "your hull is too delicate", "your sails are too big", "your sails will tear", "your rig will break", etc. Nothing happened. Very happy about this.
  6. Water enters the hull. Does not happen with light winds. I think it's the keel or rudder holes because of waves...
  7. Everyone had some kind of mishap at this event. Battery problems, wet electronics, binding issues, failing rigging, etc... I had NONE.
So, my 5th place is really about numbers 4 and 7: consistency & reliability are key. This is the half-full part of the glass. The half-empty part is I need to improve tuning & tactics.

An now to-do #6: new sails, ALL sizes needed.

Take a look at my "Experimento 3" submarining here (look for the red boat with black sails):
Experimento 3 - "A" in Big Breeze (5 min 9 sec)
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 06:59 PM
Registered User
United States, WA, Port Townsend
Joined Feb 2006
116 Posts
Congratulations! It's always amazing how different it is to race in light wind compared to moderate or very strong. Like a different activity almost. I find it quite difficult to be patient when others are moving but I am not. That is a very common experience though in light wind and to a certain extent it is unavoidable I think.

On the other hand from the video, your boat looks like it will require an equally different skill set on the run in heavy conditions until build the smaller rigs.

For number 6, when looking for leaks, consider the sheet fairleads on the deck as possible source for water ingress as well. I've managed to ship a surprising amount of water through the fairleads in broaching and nose-diving conditions.
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 10:03 PM
Registered User
Australia, TAS, Penguin
Joined Mar 2012
524 Posts
@tarmstro:

That boat looks like a challenge to sail in those conditions!

I agree with your evaluation, particularly number 7 - finishing every race is a great idea. Reliability is the key, no flat batteries, wet servos or electrical problems.... these are things you can have some control over.

The swing rig is great for light winds but is easily overpowered as you have found. Maybe in those conditions adding some more twist to the sails (particularly the mainsail) might have helped as it would stop the top end of the sail working efficiently, allowing you to have a bit less pitch poling (nose diving). Also if you sail a broad reach on the downwind leg instead of running can help - sailing further but faster...
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 10:00 AM
RC Newbie with lots of ideas
Chile, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Stgo
Joined Dec 2012
292 Posts
Thanks for your comments, mrpenguin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpenguin View Post
Maybe in those conditions adding some more twist to the sails (particularly the mainsail) might have helped as it would stop the top end of the sail working efficiently, allowing you to have a bit less pitch poling (nose diving).
I did that: like 45 twist on the main and 30 on the jib. Even if this did slow me on upwind legs, it allowed me to finish races. The other part of this is that the bottom of sails have to be very flat, to depower also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpenguin View Post
Also if you sail a broad reach on the downwind leg instead of running can help - sailing further but faster...
Running was simple impossible. I had to reach like 60, and even 45 on puffs. Lots of added distance, and was slower to get to the bottom mark than everyone else... The upside is that I did manage to get there and finish races... The alternative was constant pitch-poling

My handling logic was this:
  • First set up the sheet so that it opens the rig as far as 120 (had to modify sheeting for this), then try sail as low as possible without even filling the sails. This gave me a "idle" reach of 30 downwind for a start.
  • Then try to steer a little more downwind, allowing sails to fill just a bit... and look if the rudder starts to be visible... if I could not see it, then steer another bit downwind... until I can see it... (it helped the rudder is balsa, white against the hull and water)
  • When rudder is just visible, then I know pitch-poling is starting, so I know I have to steer a nitch upwind to put the rudder back into the water.
  • I learned to keep the boat "in the zone" even with the big puffs... But when the wind hit suddenly, then I had a problem

Hope this helps others.... Any any other ideas welcome...
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 10:25 AM
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Dick L.'s Avatar
Minnesota, USA
Joined Aug 2002
2,260 Posts
Thomas -
as noted by "MrPenguin" (above) a swing rig is not desirable for strong winds. To sheet a swing rig, it is almost opposite from a standard rig.

The skipper is concentrating on the boat/rig and when a gust hits, on a standard rig, the normal reaction is to loosen the sheets and dump the mainsail pressure. This also helps depower the jib because the main is covering the jib. Add in the ability to steer towards the weather side (away from the boom side) also reduces wind pressure and allows the boat to regain it's "feet" and reduce heel or pitch-pole tendency.

Now, if sailing a swing rig, if you get hit by a gust or stronger wind, you would need to sheet in on the rig, trying to present less sail area to the wind. If you sheet out, you present the mainsail AND the jib sail area to the wind, thereby increasing sail area - just what you don't want to do. As you tried, reaching instead of running "should" help, however with the swing rig and the way it works, there is no easy way to reduce sail area exposed to the wind. Sheeted in and reaching still has a lot of sail area exposed. Sheeting out increases the sail area exposed (not what you want). So if you imagine your entire swing rig as a solid wing, the only way to really reduce power is to allow the wing (rig) to weather cock to a point where the front of the wing (rig) is facing into the wind - which because of boat speed has apparent wind, and it moves forward.

Bearing off onto a run, simply puts all of the wind directly behind the boat, and again, sail area must be reduced - which would require you to sheet in so only the main sail leech is exposed. Unfortunately, the wind swings back and forth, so it is easy to get caught up in a death roll, or unintentional gybe - if the swinging direction hits one side of the main, and then the other.

Sorry if difficult to understand, much easier to demonstrate on land.
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 11:38 AM
Registered User
United States, WA, Port Townsend
Joined Feb 2006
116 Posts
That is some great info on the difference between a swing rig and conventional rig. I find on my T-37 which is fairly tender that in a gust downwind, sailing by the lee while wing on wing works a treat.

Tamstro's idea to let the swing rig out beyond 90 sounds like ingenious out of the box thinking. I'm not sure 120 degrees is sufficient though. It might be better to fully stall the sails.
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 05:46 PM
If it floats....sail it!
FoamCrusher's Avatar
Elk Grove, CA
Joined Sep 2002
4,155 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarmstro View Post
Hope this helps others.... Any any other ideas welcome...
RE: Leaking at the rudder.
Put a wad of silicone plumber's grease on the rudder shaft, and if you have room (and its legal) put a small O-ring on the shaft between the top of the rudder log and the rudder arm. One of my US1M's used to leak like mad until I did this and now it is dry as a bone.

It is always best is go to a smaller rig when you are overpowered, but if you can't, then try the following:
  • In high winds, flatten the foot of both the jib and main by pulling their outhauls to the max.
  • Increase the twist in both the main and jib to dump pressure off the top 1/3 of the sails to get the center of effort lower for less heel (less heel = less leeway). You can increase the twist in the main by tightening the backstay. This also increases the forestay tension making for a "finer" entry (less curve in the leading edge and therefore less power). That narrows the groove where the jib is in proper tune (usually the reverse of what you want), but in winds like this you have too much power and want it out of tune to depower it.
  • Sheet the main so when close hauled it is way off the centerline. Paradoxically, pull the jib in much closer to the centerline so it backwinds the main and chokes it off. Over twisting the jib lessens the backwind but try both over twisting and under twisting the jib to see what the boat likes. My Canterbury J likes an open sail, where my Infinity likes a backwinded main top to bottom.
  • When sailing down wind, don't run wing-and-wing, but rather "shelter" the jib behind the main, jibe tacking down to the lee mark. The reduced pressure on the jib will help keep the bow from diving. If the boat gets hit with a sudden strong gust, don't touch the rudder stick. Almost any change in the water flowing over the rudder at high speed is going to give you way more change in direction than you expect and the boat will probably broach. Ride the gust out and then change course.
  • Theory says that when running and hit by a sudden gust you sheet in to expose less sail area to the wind. I can't seem to react quickly enough for that to work and usually the boat turns and ends up broaching, but you might try that when practicing and see if you can get it to work for you.
  • When doing a jibe, wait for a lull when the pressure on the sails is less. This will keep the sudden loads on the booms less as they slam over lessening the chance of a broken gooseneck and other rigging parts and help the boat from laying flat to the water as the sails fill.
  • Last is practice, practice, practice. Lots of people say they can't sail in high winds, but if you never practice in those conditions, then you will definitely never learn how to do it.

Hope this helps.

FC
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Old Oct 13, 2014, 08:14 AM
RC Newbie with lots of ideas
Chile, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Stgo
Joined Dec 2012
292 Posts
Small update:

While building my new C-rig, I decided to do the mast crane differently. I replaced a big CF 10x2mm rectangle by a small 3mm diameter CF rod. The mast joint is stronger, and weight less than half! (Weight saved here is equivalent to three time its weight in the bulb!). Pictures of new C-Rig coming later this week...

Before and after pictures of same solution applied to A-rig:



Note for you with a good eye: you will notice the A-rig main sail is shaped a little bit differently in both pictures. This is because the sails were too big, and I had to cut a little cloth to comply with the maximum sail area for the class.
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Old Today, 07:35 PM
RC Newbie with lots of ideas
Chile, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Stgo
Joined Dec 2012
292 Posts
Allright: pictures of C-Rig. I am happy with the overall result, tested it and it sails very balanced!

On the down side, the sail shape is rubbish. Simply wrong. I surely did something wrong while joining panels. So I will do a new one and trash this one as soon as I get more reinforcement material.

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