Sloop JR: Heaving to with a reefed sail plus towing a parachute drogue.

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  • 28 Aug 2021 21:23
    Message # 10964763
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Result of first test

    It has proven to be difficult to make a boat heave-to with a sloop JR, and get the same benefits as with a hove-to Bermuda-rigged sloop. What we search for is to get rid of most of the speed, have the steadying effect (anti-roll) of the sail, and having no fluttering and rattling in the rig. No autopilot or windvane should be needed, only a locked tiller.

    Until today, my only ways of heaving to has been my short-time method by letting the sheet go and then lock the tiller to leeward. This is well and fine inshore in decent winds, but not more.

    This afternoon I tried a new method on my sloop-rigged Ingeborg. This was on the Åmøyfjord, on fairly flat water, with a ‘full wind’, that is, maximum wind for carrying a full sail (say 8 -10kts).

    • ·         Close-hauled we did around 4.5-4.7kts with all seven panels set.
    • ·         Then I dropped four panels and sheeted in for close-hauled sailing, making about 2.8-3.1kts.
    • ·         Then I set my parachute drogue from the lee quarter.
    • ·         The tiller was pushed down to make the boat head up.
    • ·         The speed soon dropped to around 1-1.5kts.

    The combination of these measures had a dramatic effect.

    Ingeborg did not in any way hunt around, but parked herself on a course about 50-60° to the true wind. Leeway angle (compass – GPS) was around 30°, so we were in effect beam-reaching, slowly. The wind had of course a steadying effect on the boat. The boat never pointed closely enough into the wind to make the sail or rig flutter or rattle, and accidental tacking could never happen.

    I repeated the test with only two panels set (10sqm). This worked in much the same way, but I think the boat now pointed about 10° lower than with three panels up. The speed now dropped to about 0.5-0.7kts.

    As said, the pointing angle was around 60 or 70° to the wind. My guess is that the pointing angle could be reduced by attaching the drogue to the weather quarter instead of the lee one. This would anyway have to be experimented with to fit different boats with different keel-and-rudder arrangements. However, priority should be on keeping the sail filled at all time.

    The loads on the drogue is not higher than the driving force of the rig, and with the new little buoy fitted to it, it will never rotate (..or sink  -  my prime motive for fitting it...).

    I don’t claim that this is the ultimate method in heavy weather, offshore, but if I were to make a stopover for hours in waters too deep for anchoring, in not-extreme weather, then this would be my choice.

    Ingeborg most certainly gave me the relaxed hove-to feeling, which I used to enjoy on my Malena when she had a Bermuda-rig.


    Last modified: 30 Aug 2021 23:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
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