I started building a John Welsford Pathfinder in July 2008. The boat was completed in Oct, 2010.

This blog now records our use of the boat, but documentation of building the boat can be found in the archives.

Monday, November 29, 2010

heaving-to in a yawl

Got a nice shot of the boat ready to sail yesterday.

The mizzen is set when launching.  It isn't big enough to be a problem unless the wind is really up, and with it sheeted in, the boat will swing quickly around to point windward when walking it over to a dock.

One of the advertised benefits of a yawl is that when sailing, you can slack the main and jib, sheet in the mizzen, and lie directly into the wind while you do whatever needs to be done (like reef the mainsail with it sitting comfortably down the middle of the boat).  This isn't so easy to do with a lot of other sailplans.

As I was trying to reef my mainsail yesterday after the wind suddenly went from about 5mph to above 15, the sail kept pulling me over the edge of the boat because I wasn't actually pointed directly upwind.  The boat was drifting backwards at almost 2mph according to gps, and I noticed the rudder was hard over.  Immediate concern, with whitecaps forming around me, was to do something before I drifted to shore, so I didn't even realize that the rudder lying over like that was turning the boat as I sailed backwards and causing the main to lie well off the centerline.   I took the mainsail down, which was probably the thing to do anyway.

Lashing the tiller midship would probably have allowed the boat to stay head to wind and made reefing easy.   I made a quick tiller-control today that is very simple.  I have used this idea on one other (larger) boat and found that for just occasionally needing to stiffen up the tiller, it works great.  I think I found the idea in a Duckworks article.

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