Upwind and Across the Wind

Beating

Light Winds - Don’t pull the sail in too tight as the boat stalls easily at slow speeds. Keep the tiller central and as still as possible to stop the rudder acting as a brake. Keep weight forward to lift the stern out of the water and keep the boat heeled so that one sponson is always out of the water, to reduce friction. Keep still in the boat to avoid disturbing the wind and water flows.

 

Medium Winds - Pull the boom in over the transom corner but be careful not to oversheet and stall, when there will be a dramatic speed reduction and you may end up head-to-wind. [to recover from this, see page 2] Use short tiller movements to luff slightly over the waves and bear away down the front of them.

 

Stronger Winds - If the boat is struggling, ease the boom out a little. Look upwind for gusts approaching and be ready to spill wind or luff slightly to keep the speed up. Lean to windward to stop the leeward sponson from burying and be careful not to point the boat too high and get “into irons”, stopped head to wind, as it is very difficult to get going again if the boat stops.

 

Reaching

Light Winds - Keep easing the sail out until all the telltales are streaming horizontally. Keep the tiller as central and still as possible. Keep one sponson out of the water at all times, preferably by leaning to leeward, as this will allow gravity to swing the boom out.

 

Medium Winds - Constantly check and re-trim the sail to keep the telltales flying. Surf on the waves by bearing away as crests come under the boat and luffing off them as they go by. Lean to windward, as you ease the sail and steer to bear away, which lifts the leeward sponson to take advantage of hull steering.

 

Stronger Winds - Waves are larger and medium weather technique is applied more vigorously. If the leeward sponson submerges in gusts, luff a little to ease the pressure and bring it up again. When using the rudder frequent small movements are more effective than large ones as the rudder gives more control and is less likely to stall. It also takes less strength and energy. When bearing away, make sure to let the sail out quickly so that it doesn’t try to resist the turn.

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