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Everglades Challenge 2019

Alan Stewart

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We have routes saved to go between each checkpoint but we don't always stay navigating on the route all the time. It's nice to break it up into smaller chunks so you can say, ok 4 hours until we reach (whatever the next milestone is) and i just use the route as a guide and set my own "go to" point. The route is a lot less important for us since depending on the wind direction we might follow the route exactly or be tacking wildly across it in which case it is not helpful to have closely spaced points along the route and better to keep picking a point up ahead say 5 or 10 miles distant. Otherwise as you pass each point vmg drops to zero and the gps is telling to you turn 90 deg to be on course while in actual fact you might be just sailing past one of the route points. The garmin decides when to navigate you to the next point on the route which is annoying sometimes because you can have a gap in the heading information until the gps picks up the next point on the route which is why i like to have my go to point always distant. If your navigating through an inlet though you're going slower and have to be more mindful to stay on the route exactly especially at night. 

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On 3/20/2019 at 4:40 PM, Alan Stewart said:

Also if you're sailing upwind hard and the boat is trying to sail on her ear too much it will cool right off if you just crack off on the mizzen just a touch. 


Thanks, Alan, for all of this useful info.  I have a question about this particular comment.  When I am sailing to windward, I usually sheet both sails to where they start to luff at the same time and steer just on the other side of luffing.  Do you tend to oversheet your mizzen slightly so there is room to sheet out slightly and not luff?  Is that trim more efficient with a cat ketch?

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My experience has been that the boat is ever so slightly faster (or at least feels faster perhaps due to the added weather helm) with the mizzen sheeted in just a touch extra. That being said, it's easy to take it too far and if the boat starts feeling slow again I let both sails out and start again. Sometimes the boat just starts bogging down from being over sheeted but it's hard to know sometimes unless your able to sail along side another boat for reference or you are glued to the gps for speed.


A few times this year on the EC when we had a long beat after CP2 to Cape Sable and we were trying to keep up with the Highlander I would reset our average speed on the gps and sheet something just slightly or adjust the snotter and then see the effect on average speed after say 5 min. I'm not sure it was any better than just "feeling" if the boat was faster but we had nothing else to do and were sailing too high to use the spinnaker at that point


The mizzen operates in the backwash of the main especially when beating so I've always felt that it needed to be sheeted in a bit more than the main. Sheeted in just past luffing might be the right spot but I think a better way to think about it is to be sheeted in to "just before stall" which might be 2 or 3 or some other number of degrees past when the sail looks like it's not luffing. In other words I think there is a range (maybe 5 deg) of sheeting angles that will look fine (telltales flying nicely) when beating and which one is best? I don't know. Having a lot more tell tales would be nice to try sometime and do some testing. Like taping a bunch of 4" long pieces of cassette tape (if you can find one) to the sail near the mast. Also I think in stronger wind the effect is not as bad since the area of backwash from the main is moving faster and has less effect on the mizzen (just a guess) so then the mizzen becomes more effective and the boat starts to feel the extra lift which is sometimes too much. That's why I think the boat really pops up when you get a gust while going upwind so sometimes i'll crack off on the mizzen just a bit to depower it a little whereas otherwise I would keep it in that little extra bit. Still rounding up in the puffs to keep from capsizing of course but it seems to me that the mizzen wants to be in a slightly different spot compared to the main when the wind picks up if that makes sense. 

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