Sail Trim for Heavy Air Downwind

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pkeyser
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Sail Trim for Heavy Air Downwind

Reading the latest Mainsheet article on a C30 sailing back for Cuba in heavy air; 20-25 knts reminded me of a simalr experience with or C30. We were on a 50 mile offshore run with 20-25 knt wind from astern, surfing down 10 fooot breaking waves. I tried a variety of sail trim and surprisngly found that a reefed main and completely furled jib gave me about the best control. In hindsight, maybe I should of tried veering off from a direct downwind course to gain more control and prevent bow from scooping water in the troughs, but I wanted to get to the safety of a harbor in the shortest possible time. Maybe a storm jib would have been the right sail, but we didn't have one. I've fortunately never encountered a simialr experience with our C36, but wonder what others have found to be the best sail trim under those conditions? We also don't have a storm jib for the  C36. Also, on our C30 trip, we were trailing a dinghy (acting a bit like a sea anchor) and waves were sometimes breaking around the transom and some water made its way into the cockpit. Has anybody experienced the C36 open transom taking water into the cockpit? 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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Haro
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Yes, no jib and main only. I was recently off the coast of Santa Cruz, CA. In 40 knot wind and 8 foot seas ( non-breaking waves), downwind with main not reefed. It worked well.

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EUREKA
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Hi,

We have sailed our C 36.since 1991, and logged around 50.000.- nm. 20/25 Kt. from astern should be given an AWS of 15/17 Kt.?  Wich I think is manageable for a 36. We do have a inner stay were we can fly a heavy weather jib and also a storm sail.

When we have encountered heavy winds (30 Kt. or more), we prefer to put down the main and sail with the jib. Just a thought.

Eladio Vallina

C-36 TR EUREKA II
Hull 1122 (1991)
Home port Barcelona (Spain).

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Waxing Moon
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We prefer sailing with a partially furled foresail in heavy following wind. Our main is not on a roller and only has one reef. It is much too difficult to manage in  30+ knots winds. Jibing in 30+ winds is fairly disturbing to crew and hard on rigging. Diving straight into troughs is generally knot a good idea. 

Captain Moon
Waxing Moon
2002 C36 MK II #2105
Port Charlotte, FL

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pkeyser
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Posts: 514

Thanks for all your replies. For our boat, it would seem a reefed Main is the best choice, and yes I agree, jibing is a challenge. Our 135 genoa looses shape when heavily reefed compared to the Main and we don't have an inner stay for a storm sail. 
 
I didn't see any comments regarding taking a wave into the cockpit with C36 open stern so that makes me feel better. We of course, would mount the sliding pannel between the bench seats and attach the helm seat to the boarding ladder to give a little more resistance to boarding waves. 

Lastly, and most importantly, I'll pay more attention to weather forecasts and less attention to meeting a schedule. I found a pretty good app for wind information: "predict wind."  Basic info is free and and more detailed info requires a subscription. 
 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

two-rocks
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Posts: 69

We have taken water from the stern on several occasions  - never use the seat or plexi insert. This is on buzzards bay, downwind.

The afternoon winds and opposing tides can make the bay interesting. In our case, the waves were very steep and very close - such that the bow and stern were both on waves, and when the wave was amidship the waster was at deck level (or more with any rolling).

Offshore, with larger waves, the period would increase. The stern lift seems pretty good for these boats, and the open stern allows water to clear.  We have come close to getting pooped, but so far so good. 

Also, as I'm sure you know, sail shape does not matter dead downwind, so reefing the genoa does not matter. We use a whisker pole, makes the boat roll way less that without and can be reefed as needed. Can balance the sails in 20+ knots apparent (upper 20's true) where the AP barely works at all - and we have the undersized wheelpilot.

 

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pkeyser
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Thanks for the input.
I've been through Buzzards Bay numerous times, mostly early morning or late afternoon when the SW winds tend to be less lively.  It doesn't take much air opposing tide to go surfing in the Canal entrance.
So, tightly spaced steep waves can poop the 36. My suspician is confirmed . I will take extra care if we transit the area this year as I don't want to terrorize my crew (dog and admiral).

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

two-rocks
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Posts: 69

It's not that bad, really. We just seem to head home from Cuttyhunk whenever there is a small craft advisory - downwind only. We thought about trying to beat into the weather on these days 'just for fun' - but I'd have to but down my beer ;-) and it'd be hard on the boat for no reason.

You want to avoid the afternoon wind opposing tide/current at the west end of the canal anytime there is a 3-4ft seas in BB forecast, that can be very bad.

BTW- we have a 2005 #2231. Not sure what the last 36 was, but you must be close!

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