Saturday, March 9, 2019

Riding Sails

Some boats hunt all over the place in a breeze. Yawing through 90 degrees can double the force on the anchor and quadruple the forces working to twist it out. First, there are solutions related to the anchor and rode:
  • All chain. Helps right up until the chain lifts off the bottom.
  • Hammer lock mooring. A second anchor, just touching the bottom. Very effective in moderate wind, but can fail if strong enough.
  • Two anchors. A whole nuther' topic, but can work very well. Also complicated, particularly if there are other boats anchored nearby (you will swing differently).
  • Drogue on the chain. Didn't do much for me. You've got to be yawing fast for it to matter.
You can change your windage. After all, that is the source of the problem. Anything forward is like a riding sail at the wrong end.
  • Take the dinghy off the bow. Big difference.
  • Lower you reacher. Big difference.
  • Add a  riding sail aft. We'll come back to this.
And you can change your under water profile.
  • Lift the rudder. A HUGE help. But most people can't do this.
 I've been playing with riding sails. Single luff sails function by pushing the stern to one side, which creates a crude V. The problem is, it is very sensitive to how the boats windage changes with aspect change. Some it works, most not so much:
  • Push the boom to one side. Didn't do much for me. Yawed through the same angle, just to one side.
  • Riding sail. Same problem, plus it flaps when it reaches the extreme travel. Annoying.
I've also tried V-riding sails, with two luffs:

  • This is a Fin-Delta, from Banner Bay Marine. I've heard goo things and need to get my hands on one.

  • A less conventional approach is the V-Delta, conceived by Paratech but not marketed. Even this crude tarp was stable up to 25 knots. The grommets were set in a corner reinforced with only duct tape, and yet they didn't pull. The force is just not that great. It also reduce the yawing more than half, and the higher you set it, the better it works.

If  I didn't have  bridle, I'd be sewing one of these right now. So simple. Yes, it does increase the rode tension a few percent, but this is FAR less than the wind hitting the boat from the side and swinging it about.

Please share your riding sail experiences. I need to figure out what to test!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Weird Boat Award

Good Weird, I think. The boat is for sale in Italy, but I met them on the Chesapeake a about 7 or 8 years ago... I think.

It's really the paint job that sells it. I've always thought Americans, and indeed, most westerners are too shy about color. I'm a coward when it comes to choosing paint. But this is fun.

I know nothing of the boat's condition now. It was solid when I saw it. What I remember is that the colors and the crew were alive. If it had not been for the color scheme, I would never have photographed it, met the crew, or remembered it.