Tacking performance

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats
Macsailing
Chief Steward
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2023 8:56 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Valley Center

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Macsailing »

My 2010 has cabin top racks for the foresail.
2010 26m, suzuki bf70a.
San Diego Bay
DaveC426913
Admiral
Posts: 1795
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:05 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by DaveC426913 »

I tried the cabin-top fairlead tracks on my :macx: once, hoping for improved pointing. I gave up on it. I do not remember exactly why, but I did not get the improvement I'd hoped for.
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

Dimitri-2000X-Tampa wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 4:59 pm Lots of good comments on how a mac compares to a keelboat but also don't forget that the headsail type makes a big difference on a mac. Most of us (myself included most of the time) use a genoa sheeted outside of the shrouds. Whereas if you use a 100% jib (like the stock jib) sheeted inside the shrouds (using cabin top tracks), I've noticed about a 10 degree improvement in pointing. Even with keelboats, a shorter bulb keel doesn't typically point as well as a fin keel which doesn't point as well as a full keel.
Excellent point!

I'm not sure how much sail choice is playing into the OP's tacking issues, but proper choice of sails makes a huge difference in performance and handling.

Overloading the sails can lead to excessive heeling, sideslipping, and rounding up, all of which hurt performance. I will assume the OP is using roller furling for the headsail. Unfortunately, furling the jib is not a very good way to manage sail power, as the sail shape suffers significantly, so reefing the mainsail becomes the first step in managing overall sail load. There are roller reefing systems that allow for changing out the headsail, but I am also going to assume the OP does not have such a system.

The question then becomes when to reef, and the answer is before you set out. Reefing on the water is doable, but difficult. It is easy enough to shake a reef out while underway, so when in doubt, reef. Generally speaking, when winds get above about 15 MPH you are going to be much more comfortable with the mainsail reefed.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 6192
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Tacking performance

Post by NiceAft »

NiceAft wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 5:37 pm My :macm: is still wrapped up. As I sit here thinking, do :macm: s have cabin top tracks. I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember. Since I have never used cabin top tracks, I don't think :macm: s have them, only :macx: s.

It's dark and cold outside, so I will check in the morning.


Image
Son-of-a-gun, they’re there :!:
Image

I never had reason to pay attention to them. Never had a Jib. Always a 150 Genoa. Twenty years of traversing the deck, and looking right through them :D
Ray ~~_/)~~
User avatar
Tsatzsue
Chief Steward
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 4:22 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Charlton, MA

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Tsatzsue »

Dimitri-2000X-Tampa wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 4:59 pm Lots of good comments on how a mac compares to a keelboat but also don't forget that the headsail type makes a big difference on a mac. Most of us (myself included most of the time) use a genoa sheeted outside of the shrouds. Whereas if you use a 100% jib (like the stock jib) sheeted inside the shrouds (using cabin top tracks), I've noticed about a 10 degree improvement in pointing. Even with keelboats, a shorter bulb keel doesn't typically point as well as a fin keel which doesn't point as well as a full keel.
If running overpowered with my genoa or if I need to point better I use the cabin top fairleads. Since I roller furl it is easier than changing sails. That is the one and only thing I don't like about furling. The M is so much more tender, running to the bow is a LOT different that on my V25. I am still getting used to how it seems to be more tippy. I also bought the genoa track fairleads with cleats. A game changer if anyone beside you wants to sit in the cockpit. BWY has them. Other than that furling when you need it is irreplaceable.....KB
User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 6192
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Tacking performance

Post by NiceAft »

I also bought the genoa track fairleads with cleats. A game changer if anyone beside you wants to sit in the cockpit. BWY has them. Other than that furling when you need it is irreplaceable.....KB
I believe they are the same as Bill’s EZ-Cleats. Many of us have been using them for years. As you say: .
A game changer
Ray ~~_/)~~
DaveC426913
Admiral
Posts: 1795
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:05 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by DaveC426913 »

Stickinthemud57 wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 6:46 am The question then becomes when to reef, and the answer is before you set out. Reefing on the water is doable, but difficult. It is easy enough to shake a reef out while underway, so when in doubt, reef. Generally speaking, when winds get above about 15 MPH you are going to be much more comfortable with the mainsail reefed.
As the saying goes: "If you're wondering if it's about time to reef - it's time to reef."

But even that's a bit risky. Reef *before* the wind builds. Yes, reef at dock. You can always shake it out.
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'
User avatar
Dimitri-2000X-Tampa
Admiral
Posts: 2043
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 5:36 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Tampa, Florida 2000 Mercury BigFoot 50HP 4-Stroke on 26X hull# 3575.B000

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa »

DaveC426913 wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 7:26 pm I tried the cabin-top fairlead tracks on my :macx: once, hoping for improved pointing. I gave up on it. I do not remember exactly why, but I did not get the improvement I'd hoped for.
Were you using the stock 100 jib? If you tried doing it with the genoa for example, it would not work as well. The jib is a much flatter sail than the genoa so not only do you get the advantage of the cabin top tracks being quite a bit inboard from the genoa tracks, but you also get a much flatter properly shaped sail that will point a lot better (and do much better in higher winds than a partially furled genoa - although I will sometimes run a partially furled genoa from the cabin top tracks to point a bit better but still not as good as the jib because the loss of shape).
User avatar
Be Free
Admiral
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:08 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Steinhatchee, FL

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Be Free »

DaveC426913 wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:11 am
Stickinthemud57 wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 6:46 am The question then becomes when to reef, and the answer is before you set out. Reefing on the water is doable, but difficult. It is easy enough to shake a reef out while underway, so when in doubt, reef. Generally speaking, when winds get above about 15 MPH you are going to be much more comfortable with the mainsail reefed.
As the saying goes: "If you're wondering if it's about time to reef - it's time to reef."

But even that's a bit risky. Reef *before* the wind builds. Yes, reef at dock. You can always shake it out.
Standard procedure for me is to reef at the dock and then strike the sails. Once I have a clear shot out into the Gulf they come back up. The only real question is, "One or two reefs?". It's a lot easier to shake one out than to put one back in when you are the only one on the boat.
Bill
2001 26X Simple Interest
Honda BF40D
"If I were in a hurry I would not have bought a sailboat." Me
DaveC426913
Admiral
Posts: 1795
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:05 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by DaveC426913 »

Dimitri-2000X-Tampa wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:29 pm
DaveC426913 wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 7:26 pm I tried the cabin-top fairlead tracks on my :macx: once, hoping for improved pointing. I gave up on it. I do not remember exactly why, but I did not get the improvement I'd hoped for.
Were you using the stock 100 jib?
Yes, I used the 100. I pulled the genny off the furler and put the 100 on it. (Had no choice; my furler is my forestay.)

(It never been used; still had the ribbon and bow. It crackled so much passersby on the dock commented.)
Dimitri-2000X-Tampa wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:29 pm If you tried doing it with the genoa for example, it would not work as well. The jib is a much flatter sail than the genoa so not only do you get the advantage of the cabin top tracks being quite a bit inboard from the genoa tracks, but you also get a much flatter properly shaped sail that will point a lot better (and do much better in higher winds than a partially furled genoa - although I will sometimes run a partially furled genoa from the cabin top tracks to point a bit better but still not as good as the jib because the loss of shape).
I'm not sure it would even be possible to put a 150 genny on the cabin top tracks. It would billow like a spinny!
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

DaveC426913 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:57 am I'm not sure it would even be possible to put a 150 genny on the cabin top tracks. It would billow like a spinny!
I did BWY's Big Jib rigging and sail mod, and have since traded my 150 genoa for a 150 drifter. I used to run the sheets to a block on the track, but my tracks ran aft almost to the winches, so that's an important factor. I found that I could run close hauled with a few inches of sheet to spare between the blocks and the winches.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
User avatar
Dimitri-2000X-Tampa
Admiral
Posts: 2043
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 5:36 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Tampa, Florida 2000 Mercury BigFoot 50HP 4-Stroke on 26X hull# 3575.B000

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa »

To use the cabin top tracks with the genoa, you have to furl it to the size of a 100 jib...You get a bit of an improvement but not as much as a real jib because the shape is severely compromised when its furled that much.
DaveC426913
Admiral
Posts: 1795
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:05 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by DaveC426913 »

Stickinthemud57 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:04 am I did BWY's Big Jib rigging and sail mod, and have since traded my 150 genoa for a 150 drifter.
What is a drifter that a genoa is not?

It sounds like a cross between a genny and a spinny.

I wonder if I could run one up the spare halyard in a light wind.
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

DaveC426913 wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 8:28 am
Stickinthemud57 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:04 am I did BWY's Big Jib rigging and sail mod, and have since traded my 150 genoa for a 150 drifter.
What is a drifter that a genoa is not?

It sounds like a cross between a genny and a spinny.

I wonder if I could run one up the spare halyard in a light wind.
A drifter is essentially a lightweight genoa. Being made from .75 oz nylon, it fills much more easily in light breezes than a genoa of the same size. It has a heavy rope luff, so it hoists on its own halyard set at the top of the mast. So, yes, if you have a spare halyard up front then that's how it is typically flown (as opposed to hanking it to the forestay like a regular jib). I found it is a little difficult to manage when taking it down, so I made a dousing sock for it. Much easier. Drifters can also be flown from their own furler, simplifying their use even more.

Describing it as a cross between a ginny and a spinny is accurate, particularly the way I use it. It is an excellent downwind sail, but I don't use it in winds any higher than about 12 to 13 MPH (at least yet). Any higher than that and I find that the boat performs well with just the 104% "Big Jib" and main. With winds below 6-7 MPH, it can mean the difference between sailing and just bobbing around.

When I decided I wanted a light wind sail, I researched different options and went with the drifter over a spinnaker for ease of handling since much of my sailing is single-handed, and my racing crew is, frankly, not up to the task of managing a spinnaker.

I consulted with Mike Lipari (new-ish owner of The Sail Warehouse) and he worked with Rolly Tasker to design what is referred to as a "Code C" sail. It does not have the girth up high that a spinnaker does, so still qualifies as regular foresail, and has no effect on my PHRF rating.

Something a drifter can do that a spinnaker can't is reach. I have found that I can get almost to a close reach when using it. Of course, it's billowy shape is not ideal for reaching, and when the wind gets up to about 12 MPH it can make the boat hard to handle. When in lighter breezes (like those encountered one evening on Lake Texoma) it performs remarkably well, impressing even my wife whose eyes usually glaze over when discussing matters of boat performance.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
Post Reply