Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reef

When the wind gets higher, Speakeasy begins to heel and it is difficult to control. Reefing the foresail and mainsail helps a great deal. We have only one foresail, a 155% genoa that can be furled on a roller. To reef this sail, we roll the sail so that the sail area is smaller. With a smaller foresail and a reefed mainsail, Speakeasy can sail smoothly in 30 kts or more.

At about 15 kts, Speakeasy likes the main to be reefed. At 20 kts, it likes the genoa to be reefed too. Beyond 20 kts, Speakeasy requires even less foresail until it might be completely furled.

Sue, our sail trimming expert also got Speakeasy sailing better in a light wind by reefing the foresail. This seemed counterintuitive to me, but she reasoned that the large sail was collapsing in the light wind and causing turbulance that slowed the boat. Decreasing the size of the sail increased our boat speed that day by 0.4 kts--quite an increase at 3 kts.
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