Tacking in a stronger wind

  • 12 Oct 2018 11:32
    Reply # 6719222 on 6714703

    Hi again, David H

    I just remembered that Ian Proctor also designed a deeper rudder blade for the Wayferer with the vertical leading edge for use at sea in waves for more positive control.  Probably the same would apply to the Nimrod.

    David D.

  • 12 Oct 2018 10:38
    Reply # 6719193 on 6714703

    Many thanks David D (so many Davids round here!)

    That's very useful information because according to what you say my rudder is one of the Mk2 type (straight down) and I'm sure Ian Proctor knew how to make improvements to his own rudder! In answer to your question I did once have problems with the Bermudan, tacking in stronger wind but because I was on the sea I assumed it was perhaps the waves that were causing the problem.

    My best option could be to make a replica out of wood and restore the rudder to its original length. A shorter one would be more user-friendly, but I would very much like to be able to sail in stronger wind without the difficulty. In reasonable sailing conditions I can tack without problems but I have never liked the rudder because so heavy! I use the boat like a dinghy - I like to be able to beach it easily. 

    I would still recommend the Nimrod. Partly because when I crash it, it doesn't fall apart!

  • 12 Oct 2018 09:32
    Reply # 6719137 on 6714703

    Hi David H,  

    I suppose the first question is;  Did you have a problem tacking the Nimrod when you had the Bermudan sail on?  You've had the boat as a Bermudan for a few years, if I recall and the only thing that has changed is the fitting of the Junk Rig.  

    If not, then the problem likely lies in the marrying and balance of the sail/mast to the boat, rather than the rudder.  The fact that there's no longer a jib to haul the bow around obviously doesn't help either.  

    But, on the subject of the rudder,  I read in a PBO test a few years ago, that the testers found that the tiller loads with the original rudder loaded up as the boat heeled.  

    The original Wayfarer dinghy rudder apparently had the same problem until Ian Proctor redesigned it.  In the original Wayfarer design, the leading edge originally angled back from the vertical and this is what caused the heavy rudder loads.

    The redesign seems to have consisted of  bringing the leading edge of the rudder blade perpendicular to the water and parallel to the vertical transom.  Mine has the redesigned vertical rudder and rudder loads are miniscule going upwind unless the blade has popped up a little, simulating the original design.   

    I had a quick look on the Sailboatdata website at both the Wayfarer and Nimrod, both designed by Ian Proctor, and on both pages, the original rudder configuration is the same, with the leading edge angling back from the bottom of the rudder stock.  

    So, if you are thinking of building a new rudder, you might bear the above in mind.  But if the boat tacked ok with the Bermudan Rig and original rudder, the problem most likely lies in the Junk Rig marriage or/and maybe needing to use a different technique to that of the Bermudan Rig when tacking.     

    Sorry I can't be of more help.  

    David D.

    PS. I never did get that Nimrod myself, it was gone when I enquired.  

  • 11 Oct 2018 23:55
    Reply # 6718778 on 6714703

    Try easing your sheet if close hauled, it’s what I do with Redwing. 

  • 11 Oct 2018 15:49
    Reply # 6717863 on 6714703

    David H,

    As I say, I don't have a tacking problem, and I put it down to the Duette's twin keels being quite large in area and giving me a good grip of the water to rotate around, even if I'm going slowly and the keels are stalling. If your keel, being rather high AR, is also a bit dirty, rough or unfair, it's going to stall early, and before a low AR keel in the same condition. I suspect it's going to be difficult to inspect it, though.

  • 11 Oct 2018 15:14
    Reply # 6717820 on 6714703

    Many thanks David and Arne

    Your comments are very helpful and have reinforced my intention to make/get a new rudder. The current one has been shortened and it is interesting to note that you feel the rudder perhaps too small anyway, David. Other Nimrods, I have noticed have a shorter, wider rudder blade made of wood. Mine is long, narrow GRP and heavy. I have now traced round the shape of another Nimrod rudder, but this could be home made and not original so perhaps I need to open up a thread on the Technical Forum and seek further advice on how to make a good one? (I'm intrigued by the Chinese idea of having holes cut through the rudder, but notice nobody appears to take that seriously.)

    The tell tales could be useful Arne and easy to put on. But I also remember, David, you suggested a wind indicator poking out ahead of the yard which I never got around to, but for lake sailing could be very helpful.

  • 09 Oct 2018 18:16
    Reply # 6714785 on 6714703
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Funny that, David!

    Rudder: I had a look at the Nimrod on the web. It appears to have a big, streamlined rudder fin, which should give good control. Are you sure, the rudder has not been reduced in size?

    Helm balance: Does the boat carry any weather or lee helm  when you sail upwind? If yes, try if you can move the sail more forward or aft to improve balance.

    Speed: One needs some speed to come about. Is your boat going well upwind? If no, is there very much twist in the reefed upper section? This could reduce drive. The sail looks rather flat (but that could be ‘optical’). How much camber is there? My first JR had a flat sail. To come about, I fell off a bit to pick up speed, before tacking. That worked most of the time, but ‘wise from experience’, I always left room for wearing ship, if necessary

    Telltales: when used to western sails, one may tend to over-sheet the junk sail. I suggest you fit a ribbon telltale at the leech of every batten panel, midway between each batten. They both warn you against over-sheeting and stalling the sail, and against sailing with too much or too little twist.

    Good luck!


    Last modified: 12 Oct 2018 07:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 09 Oct 2018 17:49
    Reply # 6714760 on 6714703

    The Nimrod class has a very shoal draught hull and is reliant on its lifting keel and rudder for grip on the water. Both keel and rudder are a bit on the small side, and I'd want to check, first, that the keel is clean, smooth and fair. It sounds as though it's stalling out, in light winds because of low boat speed, and in strong winds because there's a lot more windage on the hull that it's being asked to resist. 

    You have the same shape of sail as me, and I don't have any problems with tacking in strong winds, so for the moment, I'm inclined to discount issues with the rig.

  • 09 Oct 2018 17:34
    Message # 6714703

    Can someone advise me on why I am having problems turning the boat across the wind from sailing on starboard tack (mast on windward side of sail). I was reefed down to x3 panels to keep the boat under control last Sunday and I think I tried everything I could using my YHP and LHP strings (though perhaps in a bit of a panic!) When I have a reasonable wind and full sail up, the rig behaves well but when either very light or strong wind I can loose control. The shape of my boat, I suspect, does not help because she very low in the stern and has a cabin sticking up in the bow. 

    Any general tips on sailing in stronger wind with the junk rig very welcome.


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