Sunday, July 31, 2011


Doc Haagen Dozs made comment on the previous blog -- and I haven't been able to add a comment for two days.. (MY BLOG REJECTS ME.)  I hope that problem self corrects.  When I go on other blogs my comments stick, but not on my own...  

Say, do you like that picture above.   I may give you a long story about that some time..

       But Doc says he trims sail by the lee when it is windy on the Wylie cat 30.  My comment is "Wow! I would be afraid to be sailing that close to accidental gybe on a big boat with the wind up.   Maybe if the crew and helm are all experienced and ready to get the heads down just in case."

I would be glad to hear more about sailing the Wyliecat.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


After the races last weekend, David and Sam were talking about what things our fleet should do better and one of them is the downwind by-the-lee sail trim. Several have been letting the sail way forward and that really works to let you go way left on starboard tack, to keep the sail out and steady when the wind is light and you are adding the weight of the boon to keep the sail out. The down side is that if you don’t continue hard left by-the-lee air flow across the sail will be stalled out and sail lose power. You would like the air to be flowing fast from the leach to the luff and to maximize that: 1) Have a little twist in the sail so the top of the sail will resist a gybe when leading edge (now the leach) is almost back winded. 2) Trim in the sail till you get a little flutter in the bottom of the leach. Then ease the sail out just a little. This is just like the flutter in the luff when going up wind. 3) You need to keep the sail adjusted to wind direction changes or steering changes. If the wind is very light you may need to sit way forward and hold the boom out with your hand if the wind and heading require it. 4) Yes, when the wind is light you need to keep the boat rolled hard away from the sail so the sail is up high where the wind is stronger, etc.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I love this picture. It has nothing to do with "Wally", but she is really having fun.

 I have been thumbing through Bill Gladstone’s North U Tactics book again, and thought I ought to take another crack at translating the “Wally” section to Laser sailing. I don’t have a polar diagram for a Laser and don’t think we should add the speedo, wind velocity and other stuff needed to exactly do this stuff, but we generally understand that as we pinch upwind we go slower and nearer the windward mark and that as we bear off more (bow down) we sail faster but further away from the weather mark. The quickest way to get to the weather mark is a course in between and particularly sailing fast to the next header.

“Wally” was a program from the America Cup Campaign in Australia when they varied the target boat speed to the average wind direction and gained VMG (velocity made good) to the next mark when the wind changed.

Up wind if you get a lift, “Wally” says to bare off a little more and sail faster. You will increase your separation from your competitors so when the header comes you increase your lead.

Up wind if you get a header you should tack, but if you are pinned or have other reason to stay on the headed tack, then sail higher and slower to reduce your separation from others that stay on this tack.

Downwind if you get a header (the wind moves more toward you bow) Wally says not to bear off as far as the wind changes, but stay a little high and sailing faster so when the shift comes that is a lift (moving back behind you) you can gybe or go to by-the-lee or a  reach depending on how long you think the shift will last, what the waves are doing and all that other stuff.

Downwind if you get a lift, it is time to gybe or go by-the-lee, but if you don’t want to, then sail lower and slower to close the separation from others that don’t change. You will gain more VMG if you gybe or go by-the-lee.

Sounds confusing? Well, everything is not easy..

Monday, July 18, 2011


Two issues ago:

R. W.Rawles commented that when rolling the Laser well over to weather to be careful not to look back. 
Actually you will be half way turned and you need to look back to see the wind streakes coming down from windward (you wnat to get in them) and to check on the boats behind that might be trying to take you wind  or establishing an overlap to leeward (toward the sail) and the the right of way.

So stretch that neck and keep looking around.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


At least once a year or right now, reverse your sheet.  The sheet wears at the aft boom blocks and at the ratchet block.  If you reverse it occasionally you get twice the life of the line before it unravels and really messes up your day.