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Date Posted: - Sunday - 04/11/10 - 10:18pm
Author: Lyle Harris
Subject: Up wind, up mizzen; down wind, down mizzen

my wife and I were out on our M31, Graywolf, in about 18 kts wind yesterday. with the mizz up, and the wind from behind us, the boat kept trying to head up into the wind, or at least turn sideways. I took the Mizz down, and we sailed much better.
Later, tacking back to the marina with the mizz still down, we struggled to get over on our tacks, and were only able to do so by letting the headsail fly loose on the tack. i put up the Mizz, which helped carry the stern around on the tack, and it was much easier.
anyone else have this experience? I'm trying to get the feel of the boat, and what it wants.
cheers,

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Replies:

[> No experience with sailing with a mizzen yet -- Paul M31 #106, - Monday - 04/12/10 - 9:52am

but that seems to make sense... while looking for, and buying my Ketch, I did quite a bit of reading on the expected behavior of the boat with different sail configurations and there was one particilar article that went into detail explaining how the mizzen should be used...

Bottom line (in the article) was that, once the Main was set for close hauled sailing, the Main would almost certainly block the Mizzen and leaving it up will cause it to back wind and slow you down.

As close reach can be done with the Main slightly looser than the mizzen - pretty much as one would do with the genoa and main.

Beam and Broad reach - all sails come to their element.

Wind aft of beam gets tricky and can cause the boat to become round up, especially in gusts - not a bad idea to drop the mizzen for stability - much as you stated.

I can't wait to get her out and try for myself - and report back, with pictures, of course.

I am hoping to get a chance to fly the Mizzen Staysail as well...

Just three more weeks... ;-)


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[> [> mizzen -- Doug Wilson, - Monday - 04/12/10 - 4:13pm

I have sailed down wind "jigger and jib" quite a bit, and it seems to work well.
I have also used the mizzen on anchor in the brisk north winds here in Mexico. It does slow the swing, holds the boat more into the wind.


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[> [> [> Sail combos -- Craig M31 #25 Hibou, - Tuesday - 04/13/10 - 9:32pm

I generally sail with my mizzen on all points of sail (on my Force 50). Last weekend we set the yankee, reefed main, and mizzen and made 6 knots into an 18-20 kn breeze. Later we shook out the reef and set the staysail for the broad reach home averaging 8.7 kn, and we did go over 9 kn for a little while.
Jib and jigger worked well on Hibou; staysail and jigger on the Force 50 doesn't work.
The mizzen isn't so much a drive sail as it is a balancing sail, easing the pressure on the helm.


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[> Lots of solutions -- Randall, - Monday - 04/12/10 - 9:27pm

Lyle,

I find running the trickiest point of sail on my Mariner, especially a stiff breeze on the quarter, but I don't find that a function of the mizzen, particularly. In fact, I'm with Doug, and often sail with jib and mizzen only. On my boat, the genoa is the most powerful sail, and in a quartering wind the main can steal its thunder. I hazard a guess that you experienced more control on dropping the mizzen because 18 knots **apparent** can be a bit much for full sail on our boats. But you could have dropped or reefed the main with similar results.

As to tacking, our long keel does mean we're slow to come about, and without a full head of steam, Murre can get caught in stays if bucking a stiff chop on the tack. The mizzen can help push you bum around, as you saw. Another technique is to tack without releasing the jib sheet; let the sail fill and pull your head around before hauling it in on the leeward side.

When close hauled the mizzen can absolutely block the airflow from the main if the boom is hauled in too much. But we always sail slowly on a very tight, close hauled course no matter... One option is to fall off a bit and loosen things up. Every boat will beat you home, so relax and enjoy the sail. :)

I find this isn't much of a problem in very light air. In light air you need all the sail you can get. In a moderate breeze when I need the mizzen, but when it's starting to back noticeably, I reef it. This flattens it out tremendously and stops the breaking action. As wind pipes up, I'll reef the jib and then the main. Even in a stiff breeze, the boat balances really nicely on three reefed sails.

Having three sails opens all kinds of opportunities those poor buggers with just two can't imagine. Wait till you run wing and wing ... and wing past the yacht club. The commodore will drop his gin and tonic, I promise.


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[> [> Mizzenthrop -- Lyle Harris, - Tuesday - 04/13/10 - 1:25pm

Hi Randall,
thanks for the additional discussion on sail options. I'm having a lot of fun getting to know the boat and how she sails.
That said, my sails are shot, and that is working against me. I have only a tiny hank-on jib, a taped up Main, and see-through Mizzen. I can't tighten the leach on the main, and watched in bewilderment as the sail shook out one of its battens.
I've purchased newer sails, made for a Cal 33, which I'm going to cut to size for the Mariner. That's taking some time.
A genoa; my kingdom for a genoa.
Lyle.


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[> [> [> Mizzenthrop. A genius word! May have to steal it. -- Randall, - Wednesday - 04/14/10 - 1:00am

I hear you re old sails. My main and mizzen are in fair shape, but the genoa is, well, flabby. Makes pointing a bitch. Have had to hand stich the leach twice now. Can't complain. I still go.


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