Moved topic: Angle of Heel

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Moved topic: Angle of Heel

Postby charlienog » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:25 am

As a newbie, this subject interests me greatly.

Intellectually I understand that it is really difficult to capsize the HR29, emotionally, I'm not so sure :shock: I know that with time and experience, the feeling that the heel angle will just continue until I get my feet (and the rest of my body) wet will fade, but for now it feels real.

Are there any guidelines, or rules of thumb, for what is an acceptable heel angle? I understand that the HR29 heels quite easily to a certain angle, then is stable over a range of angles - but what is the limit, beyond which I need to prepare to get wet?

I understand that sailing with excessive heel is inefficient, that above a certain wind velocity you need to reef the sail and/or run downwind and/or drop (or flatten) the sails - are there any golden rules covering this?


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Re: Angle of Heel

Postby Antti_DD » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:03 am

Hi Charles,

As we know, HR29 is rather narrow or sleek boat in today's standards, which means that it can be sailed in greater heel angles than the modern boats without much impact on the speed or control. As you said, this kind of boats usually heel quite easily at first, but then become more stable in those greater heel angles. What is also remarkable is that 29 has a very large rudder blade which is holding very well, and I have never experienced a broach with this boat. Thus, the boat can keep on sailing in larger heel angles than might be actually comfortable. I have once experienced a heel of maybe around 40-50 degrees, when a strong gust of over 30 knots hit while we had almost full sails. The boat heeled heavily (sidedeck under water), but she didn't broach and the cockpit stayed totally dry thanks to those high cockpit coamings. So I wouldn't worry too much about getting your feet wet due to the force of wind, but waves can of course make things a bit different.

Unfortunately, I don't have any exact angle to give you, but I guess that it might be a good idea to reef, when your crew/wife/girlfriend starts to complain about the heel :D The effect on the speed is usually quite minor or even positive, so it rarely is a bad idea to reef early to make the ride more comfortable. As a rule of thumb, when the tiller becomes heavy and you have to push it to windward from the centerline to keep the boat moving straight means that there is too much pressure from the sails which needs to be decreased. Flattening the sails and moving the mainsheet/traveller to the leeward are the first things I will do. After that I will decrease the size of the furling genoa, and then reef the main sail.

I don't know what kind of sail setup you have, but with the large genoa, reefing the main sail won't affect that much on the speed when sailing to windward, so you can very well do it even in the harbour, if you have any doubts about the weather.
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