[Amel Yacht Owners] Slowing down in increasing winds


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi David,

I concur with the advice to listen to those who have been there. How and when to slow down. To windward or wind forward of the beam, when you start banging. Not worth it. Hard on the boat. Conditions will change. How to slow down. Reduce sail until the banging stops, even if that is 2 or 3 knots. The SM will cheerfully go to windward leaping from wave to wave at over 8 knots. No sense in that. BANG BANG. The SM will happily sail with a tiny amount of head sail, or any combination of headsail, main and mizzen. If the wind is forward of the beam you need some headsail. Add whatever you like to that. Dont over power. Ie sail heavily laid over. No point, you go slower and it just aint comfortable. Down wind I have found the SM supremely capable. We got our twin head-sails jammed once and could only reef 1/4. Wind got up to over 40 knots. We were going across the top of South America. BIG seas. With only me and Yvonne on board there was no way I was letting anyone forward to try and sort it. We were stuck with it for 24 hours before the wind dropped briefly and we could get up there to sort it. Boat tracked perfectly under auto helm. Peak speed with Yvonne on watch alone at 2 am was 16 knots .I've never gone that fast and I've never forgiven her.  I eased the sheets to let the sails spill forward and Ocean Pearl just trucked. Other than dramas like that we have sailed down wind in very strong air. Get rid of the mizzen first, reduce main and headsail progressively. If the wind is rising, get all the main furled early before it gets too hard to put it away. Any sail aft of the keel pushes the boat sideways. The headsail is always easy to furl if you need to and the boat sails well. Dragging stuff to slow down. Never done it and I dont like the thought of slowing the boat and having waves climbing aboard from the stern. The stern is not designed for that and waves breaking into the cockpit from astern does not attract me. We carry a sea anchor but have never used it but would stream it from the bow.When would we deploy it ? . If the boat was not controllable, and we have never got to that point.   I know Kimberlite has used the JSD to good effect but it does not appeal to me. Kent, you were lucky you lost the anchor and chain and it didn't just hang there fully deployed. That is a classic way many yachts have been lost.

Reaching, Reduce sail to achieve comfortable angle of heal but I confess to having to go to the galley to hold Yvonne in place in boisterous reaching conditions. ( I do like going fast) A  lurch when serving dinner..........oops.Forget plates, use deep bowls and spoons. How fast is a SM. Off shore we often average 200 miles/24 hours if the wind is 20 knots or more.

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl

On 02 May 2018 at 08:50 "David Vogel dbv_au@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi all,

The greatest winds we have experienced on PERIGEE have been 35 knots sustained, gusting 42, estimated 6 meter seas, all on the beam.  Even with fully reefed sails, it was a strong ride, but not uncomfortable.  It never got to the stage of thinking to go to bare poles.

But it did raise the question about how, and when, to slow down.

We carry some old 5/8ths hauling line with about 3 meters of chain, plus an old tyre, to add drag if needed.  And a Jordan Series Drogue for if things get really tough.

I have heard suggestions from other cruisers to run out line with fenders attached every 10 or so meters, with chain or an anchor at the end.  For example, at 35kts, drop the chain/anchor overboard and run out 10-15 meters of line, then attach a fender, and then run out  another 10-15 metes of line.  At 40knots, add another fender, and run out some more line.  At 45knots, heave-to.  I do not wish to be cavalier, but these wind-speeds seem a little low for a Super Maramu as, based on my experience, our boats can handle these conditions with relish.

What are your reefing points, heavy weather plans or storm tactics?  I'd be interested to hear from those with experience.  And also, at what wind-speed or sea-state would you call for the JSD, or other big-drag-device?

Thanks in anticipation of your responses.

David
Perigee, SM#396
SXM

 


 


SV Perigee
 

Christian, Ian, Bill (K), Kent, Danny,

Firstly, belated thanks to you for all your input.  The delay in my reply is due, in part, to the fact that I was putting it all into practice.  Two legs, St Maarten to Antigua, and then Antigua to Martinique.

We are currently spending time in AMEL CENTRAL, MQ, for programmed repairs and maintenance.

We encountered boisterous conditions for both legs, no sustained down-wind sailing, mostly beam reaches and on-the-nose.  Winds to 28 sustained (apparent), with gusts to 35 in squalls.

The summary for the sail-trim: no need to slow down using anything but reefing up to 45 knots AWS.  I have not yet experienced anything above 45 knots, so trailing warps, chains, tyres, or the JSD will wait for another time or rather, hopefully, not!

Did do a little going downwind, and the wing-on-wing-on-wing works great out to 155º apparent, winds up to 25 knots, moderate seas.  The genoa fully out on the ‘correct’ side, dragging us downwind; the main being set on the windward side to balance, and strongly prevented; the mizzen following the genoa (and still prevented, of course).

For beam reaches and upwind, the amount of sail was set to obtain an average angle of heel of 15º - on the basis of my understanding that this amount of heel delivers the longest LWL (and hence STW).  Sails were trimmed for maximum boat-speed. This worked well, easily exceeding 8 knots STW in anything above 20 knots apparent wind speed.  When the wind picked up and there was a need to reef, sail was reduced as required to achieve a 15º angle of heel.  This kept the ride comfortable and fast, and the first mate happy.

We were at times pointing into the seas.  As Danny wrote, and I can confirm, that our SMs will quite willingly go “wave hopping” at 8 knots.  All that awful crashing and banging, quite unsettling.

So, from these short inter-island hops across and into brisk winds and confused seas, another rule-of-thumb:  slow down when the seas are “short and sharp”, especially when the wind is forward of the beam.

What is “short and sharp”?  My observation is that, when we are sailing upwind in winds of greater than 20 knots, and carrying best sail for that magical (mythical) 15º angle-of-heel, PERIGEE considers the seas to be ‘short and sharp’ whenever the period (in seconds) is less than the height (in feet).

How much to slow down? Can’t really say, but whatever it takes to avoid PERIGEE trying to launch herself heaven-wards through or over the waves.  I guess it depends somewhat on the direction of the seas. I also tried bearing off, but when the wind and wave-trains are not aligned, this might not work.  And in any case it then becomes the usual trade-off between VMG to WPT/Destination.  I didn’t get esoteric enough to look into the detail of the leeway trade-off when pointing up, but did get the feel that when heading anything closer than ~45º (apparent) to the wind, the boat slowed down whilst leeway increased, so we drifted sideways; so, the better option was to go faster at 50º off the apparent wind.  Danny mentioned that the wide keel (or, maybe it’s low aspect ratio, depth/fore-aft chord ), makes the keel stall quite readily.  I’m not sure how this all works, so I would definitely be interested to hear what others know, or think, is the case here.  What is that magic figure for ‘on the wind’?

BTW, we have happily and comfortably endured squalls (beam-reaching with all three sails up and heavily, but not deeply, reefed and trimmed as per above, 15º heel) with gusts to 45 knots (apparent), with only a moderate increase in heel.  Biggest sustained conditions experienced thus far: 6-7m seas in 35-42kt sustained winds, beam-reaching - only moderately reefed, as I hadn’t yet learnt about 15º heel and the SM design LWL etc at that stage, so looking back I was really quite over-powered, but it was still a very comfortable (and controllable) ride.

On a closing note, one interesting event was a ‘crash-gybe’ one night, whilst reaching in a squall.  This was to avoid crossing traffic (sail boat, but with no sails, or normal nav lights) which was sighted almost too late due to reduced visibility in the squall, combined with heads-down on the radar due to squall avoidance.  No damage done, as we were in standard offshore mode which is, even when on-the-wind, to have the main set with double preventers (one each port & starboard), and the sheet+preventer combination on the mizzen trimmed to minimise movement of the boom.  The genoa was reefed to the forward shrouds; this is now our SoP for upwind work in squally conditions at night. Never thought I’d NEED to use this arrangement, which was intended to minimise the consequences of an unintentional gybe (perhaps an A/P disconnect whilst below - I guess it happens).  But when I needed to put the helm down, powered up at going at 8 knots, with less than 3 boat-lengths to loud crunching noises, it worked a treat.  I must admit it did feel a little strange, and a bit disorienting, as I’d not tried a power gybe and then heave-to at night before.

The other vessel was not showing normal nav lights, only an anchor light - there was no response to horn or spot-light, even coming close on the second pass.  So, it seems possible that the other vessel was un-manned.  There was one vessel reported missing we later heard, having drifted off the shelf of an upwind island a day or so previously.  This was even with two anchors set.  The vessel signature on radar was obscured in heavy rain, and the anchor light blended rather nicely into the background island lights until almost too late.  No moon.  We could see the ghostly shape of the hull (no sails) only once we got close enough for the reflection of our nav lights - now, that really is too close, I can assure you.  It is my opinion that, in the absence of avoiding action, we would have T-boned this guy at 8 knots.  Gotta keep those eyes up and out of the cockpit.

And why is it that these things seem to happen between 2 and 4am, when the skipper is off-watch and asleep below.  Anyway . . .

... fair winds,

David
SV Perigee
On Dock #4, le Marin,
Martinique


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi David. What I enjoyed most reading your story was how you progressively discovered the supreme sailing abilities of the sm, how forgiving it is. Its willingness to accept the skippers desperate call for a crash gybe touching no sail controls. You were so right using the preventers. There are many boats out there that would have refused that gybe with the t bone following. I also salute your recognition of the need for open watch keepers eyes at all times. 

When I replied to your previous what I tried to impart is what a powerful, sea kindly,fast, forgiving and supreme off shore yacht he SM is. You are now discovering that for your self.  She will always do what you ask, give a little shake, and say: ok boss, what's next. There are not many boats out there that come any where near her. In my opinion don't tie her hands behind her back and hobble her with stuff dragged behind.

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean pearl

On 29 May 2018 at 08:04 "dbv_au@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Christian, Ian, Bill (K), Kent, Danny,

Firstly, belated thanks to you for all your input.  The delay in my reply is due, in part, to the fact that I was putting it all into practice.  Two legs, St Maarten to Antigua, and then Antigua to Martinique.

We are currently spending time in AMEL CENTRAL, MQ, for programmed repairs and maintenance.

We encountered boisterous conditions for both legs, no sustained down-wind sailing, mostly beam reaches and on-the-nose.  Winds to 28 sustained (apparent), with gusts to 35 in squalls.

The summary for the sail-trim: no need to slow down using anything but reefing up to 45 knots AWS.  I have not yet experienced anything above 45 knots, so trailing warps, chains, tyres, or the JSD will wait for another time or rather, hopefully, not!

Did do a little going downwind, and the wing-on-wing-on-wing works great out to 155º apparent, winds up to 25 knots, moderate seas.  The genoa fully out on the ‘correct’ side, dragging us downwind; the main being set on the windward side to balance, and strongly prevented; the mizzen following the genoa (and still prevented, of course).

For beam reaches and upwind, the amount of sail was set to obtain an average angle of heel of 15º - on the basis of my understanding that this amount of heel delivers the longest LWL (and hence STW).  Sails were trimmed for maximum boat-speed. This worked well, easily exceeding 8 knots STW in anything above 20 knots apparent wind speed.  When the wind picked up and there was a need to reef, sail was reduced as required to achieve a 15º angle of heel.  This kept the ride comfortable and fast, and the first mate happy.

We were at times pointing into the seas.  As Danny wrote, and I can confirm, that our SMs will quite willingly go “wave hopping” at 8 knots.  All that awful crashing and banging, quite unsettling.

So, from these short inter-island hops across and into brisk winds and confused seas, another rule-of-thumb:  slow down when the seas are “short and sharp”, especially when the wind is forward of the beam.

What is “short and sharp”?  My observation is that, when we are sailing upwind in winds of greater than 20 knots, and carrying best sail for that magical (mythical) 15º angle-of-heel, PERIGEE considers the seas to be ‘short and sharp’ whenever the period (in seconds) is less than the height (in feet).

How much to slow down? Can’t really say, but whatever it takes to avoid PERIGEE trying to launch herself heaven-wards through or over the waves.  I guess it depends somewhat on the direction of the seas. I also tried bearing off, but when the wind and wave-trains are not aligned, this might not work.  And in any case it then becomes the usual trade-off between VMG to WPT/Destination.  I didn’t get esoteric enough to look into the detail of the leeway trade-off when pointing up, but did get the feel that when heading anything closer than ~45º (apparent) to the wind, the boat slowed down whilst leeway increased, so we drifted sideways; so, the better option was to go faster at 50º off the apparent wind.  Danny mentioned that the wide keel (or, maybe it’s low aspect ratio, depth/fore-aft chord ), makes the keel stall quite readily.  I’m not sure how this all works, so I would definitely be interested to hear what others know, or think, is the case here.  What is that magic figure for ‘on the wind’?

BTW, we have happily and comfortably endured squalls (beam-reaching with all three sails up and heavily, but not deeply, reefed and trimmed as per above, 15º heel) with gusts to 45 knots (apparent), with only a moderate increase in heel.  Biggest sustained conditions experienced thus far: 6-7m seas in 35-42kt sustained winds, beam-reaching - only moderately reefed, as I hadn’t yet learnt about 15º heel and the SM design LWL etc at that stage, so looking back I was really quite over-powered, but it was still a very comfortable (and controllable) ride.

On a closing note, one interesting event was a ‘crash-gybe’ one night, whilst reaching in a squall.  This was to avoid crossing traffic (sail boat, but with no sails, or normal nav lights) which was sighted almost too late due to reduced visibility in the squall, combined with heads-down on the radar due to squall avoidance.  No damage done, as we were in standard offshore mode which is, even when on-the-wind, to have the main set with double preventers (one each port & starboard), and the sheet+preventer combination on the mizzen trimmed to minimise movement of the boom.  The genoa was reefed to the forward shrouds; this is now our SoP for upwind work in squally conditions at night. Never thought I’d NEED to use this arrangement, which was intended to minimise the consequences of an unintentional gybe (perhaps an A/P disconnect whilst below - I guess it happens).  But when I needed to put the helm down, powered up at going at 8 knots, with less than 3 boat-lengths to loud crunching noises, it worked a treat.  I must admit it did feel a little strange, and a bit disorienting, as I’d not tried a power gybe and then heave-to at night before.

The other vessel was not showing normal nav lights, only an anchor light - there was no response to horn or spot-light, even coming close on the second pass.  So, it seems possible that the other vessel was un-manned.  There was one vessel reported missing we later heard, having drifted off the shelf of an upwind island a day or so previously.  This was even with two anchors set.  The vessel signature on radar was obscured in heavy rain, and the anchor light blended rather nicely into the background island lights until almost too late.  No moon.  We could see the ghostly shape of the hull (no sails) only once we got close enough for the reflection of our nav lights - now, that really is too close, I can assure you.  It is my opinion that, in the absence of avoiding action, we would have T-boned this guy at 8 knots.  Gotta keep those eyes up and out of the cockpit.

And why is it that these things seem to happen between 2 and 4am, when the skipper is off-watch and asleep below.  Anyway . . .

... fair winds,

David
SV Perigee
On Dock #4, le Marin,
Martinique


 


 


Ian Park
 

One minor point if you haven’t come across it.
If your main sheet traveller is across when running (I assume we all do that) - if you know you are about to crash gybe, just lift the button on the Anderson winch traveller and put it across to the other side. The boom will take the car with it, but it slows the gybe as the ropes, pulleys and winch partially absorb the shock, and puts less strain on the whole system.

Ian

Ocean Hobo SN 96 (Antigua)


Dan Carlson
 

That sounds like a good idea.

One build on that recco however, you either want to have removed the winch handle or make sure the area is well clear, as the winch will spin very fast as the traveller moves across.

Dan and Lori Carlson, sv BeBe, SM#387




On Tue, May 29, 2018 at 7:55 AM, Ian parkianj@... [amelyachtowners]
 

One minor point if you haven’t come across it.
If your main sheet traveller is across when running (I assume we all do that) - if you know you are about to crash gybe, just lift the button on the Anderson winch traveller and put it across to the other side. The boom will take the car with it, but it slows the gybe as the ropes, pulleys and winch partially absorb the shock, and puts less strain on the whole system.

Ian

Ocean Hobo SN 96 (Antigua)


Ian Park
 

Thanks. I forgot to mention that. It could easily be a broken bone the speed the winch handle would go!

Ian


On 29 May 2018, at 08:27, 'dancarlson367@...' dancarlson367@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

That sounds like a good idea.


One build on that recco however, you either want to have removed the winch handle or make sure the area is well clear, as the winch will spin very fast as the traveller moves across.

Dan and Lori Carlson, sv BeBe, SM#387




 

One minor point if you haven’t come across it.
If your main sheet traveller is across when running (I assume we all do that) - if you know you are about to crash gybe, just lift the button on the Anderson winch traveller and put it across to the other side. The boom will take the car with it, but it slows the gybe as the ropes, pulleys and winch partially absorb the shock, and puts less strain on the whole system.

Ian

Ocean Hobo SN 96 (Antigua)


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi. I would not choose to lift that button before a gybe as the car sliding across to a sudden crash stop increases the impact on all involved items including mainsheet boom attachment.  I always gybe leaving the traveller in place which makes for a gentle clunk main boom move rather than a almighty whump. I then, in a very controlled manner wind the traveller to the new side.

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean pearl

On 30 May 2018 at 06:13 "Ian parkianj@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Thanks. I forgot to mention that. It could easily be a broken bone the speed the winch handle would go!


Ian


On 29 May 2018, at 08:27, ' dancarlson367@...' dancarlson367@... [amelyachtowners] < amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

That sounds like a good idea.


One build on that recco however, you either want to have removed the winch handle or make sure the area is well clear, as the winch will spin very fast as the traveller moves across.

Dan and Lori Carlson, sv BeBe, SM#387




 

One minor point if you haven’t come across it.
If your main sheet traveller is across when running (I assume we all do that) - if you know you are about to crash gybe, just lift the button on the Anderson winch traveller and put it across to the other side. The boom will take the car with it, but it slows the gybe as the ropes, pulleys and winch partially absorb the shock, and puts less strain on the whole system.

Ian

Ocean Hobo SN 96 (Antigua)

 

 

 


 


 


Patrick McAneny
 

Before I gybe I crank in the main close to center line then during the gybe the main and boom has little distance to travel or build momentum . I then immediately ease the mainsheet for the new tack. I would not allow my boom /main to travel uncontrolled across the deck , if the main sheet snagged something , it could be ugly, plus as Danny said the load on the sail etc would be very great. I not only crank in the main before executing a gybe , I grab the main and pull it to windward creating a bit of bow in the sheet which further reduces the travel and creates a little shock absorption when the sail comes across.
Pat
SM#123 . 


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Tue, May 29, 2018 3:38 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Slowing down in increasing winds

 
Hi. I would not choose to lift that button before a gybe as the car sliding across to a sudden crash stop increases the impact on all involved items including mainsheet boom attachment.  I always gybe leaving the traveller in place which makes for a gentle clunk main boom move rather than a almighty whump. I then, in a very controlled manner wind the traveller to the new side.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean pearl
On 30 May 2018 at 06:13 "Ian parkianj@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Thanks. I forgot to mention that. It could easily be a broken bone the speed the winch handle would go!

Ian


On 29 May 2018, at 08:27, ' dancarlson3 67@...' dancarlson367@... [amelyachtowners] < amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
That sounds like a good idea.

One build on that recco however, you either want to have removed the winch handle or make sure the area is well clear, as the winch will spin very fast as the traveller moves across.

Dan and Lori Carlson, sv BeBe, SM#387




 
One minor point if you haven’t come across it.
If your main sheet traveller is across when running (I assume we all do that) - if you know you are about to crash gybe, just lift the button on the Anderson winch traveller and put it across to the other side. The boom will take the car with it, but it slows the gybe as the ropes, pulleys and winch partially absorb the shock, and puts less strain on the whole system.

I an

Ocean Hobo SN 96 (Antigua)

 
 
 

 

 


James Alton
 

Ian,

   The wife of the previous owner of our boat had her wrist broken by the spinning mainsheet traveller handle.   I am not sure if a jibe was involved in the accident but the pin that locked the winch from turning released unexpectantly so was either not fully engaged or failed and her arm was in the way.    The handle for the mainsheet traveller winch on my boat is actually bolted to the winch so is not removable without a wrench.  I am thinking of upgrading  to the style used on the SM with the removable winch handle.  

   Some great discussion here.

James
SV Sueño
Maramu #220

On May 29, 2018, at 2:13 PM, Ian parkianj@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Thanks. I forgot to mention that. It could easily be a broken bone the speed the winch handle would go!


Ian


On 29 May 2018, at 08:27, 'dancarlson367@...' dancarlson367@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

That sounds like a good idea.


One build on that recco however, you either want to have removed the winch handle or make sure the area is well clear, as the winch will spin very fast as the traveller moves across.

Dan and Lori Carlson, sv BeBe, SM#387




 

One minor point if you haven’t come across it. 
If your main sheet traveller is across when running (I assume we all do that) - if you know you are about to crash gybe, just lift the button on the Anderson winch traveller and put it across to the other side. The boom will take the car with it, but it slows the gybe as the ropes, pulleys and winch partially absorb the shock, and puts less strain on the whole system.

Ian

Ocean Hobo SN 96 (Antigua)





karkauai
 

Hmmm, maybe I’m just lucky, but that’s never happened on Kristy.

Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy
SM243