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#1 Posted : 22 September 2012 00:31:32(UTC)

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Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
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Location: Ponteland

I wonder if anyone has got any ideas?

I was at the helm sailing on a run in 25 knot winds and found it very hard to keep a straight course. It took at great deal of concentration and constant corrections to keep the yacht on course. We had mainsail and headsail raised.
I was wondering if there was any sail trim that would make it easier when on a run in high winds to keep a straight course?
I just thought; No one could keep that up at the helm for any length of time. So there must be a secret!

Regards, Chris.

#2 Posted : 23 September 2012 07:14:48(UTC)

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Thanks: 12 times
Hi Chris,

One of the dangers of running downwind is not realising the true wind. If you are off downwind in say 20 knots apparent and the boat is doing say 6 knots then you are in 26 knots.
If for some reason you have to turn round then you end up creating more wind and can be in 30 knots. It is very easy to not notice wind build when you are running.
To counter your problem try broadreaching. The trip may take a little longer but it will be a lot easier. Also do not keep correcting, find a mean position for the wheel and the boat will yaw a bit but maintain a general course. The sails will be on one side as will the swell.

#3 Posted : 26 September 2012 20:43:43(UTC)

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Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
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Location: Ponteland

Hi Vic,

Thanks for the reply.
Yes, thinking about it that makes a great deal of sense. It did turn out to be very dangerous. I thought that I had to keep the course to steer no matter what, without gybing.
Which I did for 30 minutes or so. I don't think the skipper knew that I was running so close - actually, thinking about it he did. I think it was the change of helm that he didn't plan for.
A day skipper student ( I was doing my Competent Crew) got quite angry that as a CC I was hogging the helm and I had to let him take the helm.
After a minute or so there was a very violent gybe. Luckily everyone else was below deck doing some chartwork.

It does make sense not to get so close to a run and try a different point of sail.

Thanks for that.

Regards, Chris.

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