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

Tacking performance

Post by Macsailing »

Greetings to you experienced sailors...let me caveat this with, i love my 26m, understand its performance short comings under sail compared to keel boats, but love the way it sails in any conditions.

My question for any experienced hull design guys is, when i follow a keel boats tacks', i just cant seem to get going after the turn as fast. I entered my Mac in a race in San Diego last week, oh what fun. Well i dont know anything about racing so i decided to follow a friend on a 32 foot Morgan. Everything was great until the first tack. He turned, and the boat effortlessly kept going...i turned at the same spot, but just sat in place for about 30 seconds untill the boat picked up momentum again? I have never noticed this when sailing as a single boat, but when following keel boats it was pretty obvious...

Does anybody know what is going on? It does not bother me, and I dont need it fixed, unless it is Skipper error, but i would like to know what causes it?

In addition i learned, following keel boats around a bouy means i either hit the bouy or miss it, i have to go farther before tacking?
2010 26m, suzuki bf70a.
San Diego Bay
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

Keel boats have an when tacking advantage by virtue of their sheer weight, which helps preserve their momentum when tacking. Also, how smoothly you tack and how quickly you get the boat powered up after the tack play a significant role.

While a lighter boat can turn on a dime in comparison to a keelboat, doing so can kill boat speed. The trick is to make the turn as smooth as possible, not so slow as to allow the wind to slow you down too much as you turn through it, and to allow as little time as possible with no wind in the sails.

A common mistake is to try to get back to close-hauled immediately after coming through a tack. A better approach is to let the boat fall a little bit off close-hauled with the sails a bit looser than when close-hauled. Once you have regained boat speed, gradually trim up to close hauled (if that's the course you are aiming for that is).

In a nutshell, make the turn smooth and time the release of the loaded jib sheet and loading of the leeward jib sheet so loss of power is minimal.

Keelboats generally point better than centerboard boats, so it may be that in trying to sail the same course you are sailing closer to the wind than is desirable for your boat.

Also, it may be that with the M having two rudders your turbulence is doubled when turning. I'm not sure if this is actually true, though.

Learning how to avoid hitting the buoy is a matter of practice.

My advice would be to not try to follow in a keelboat's footsteps. They just handle differently. Better to get a GPS knotmeter (if you don't have one on the boat, that is), and experiment to see what you need to do to maintain as much speed as possible through a tack and get back up to your original speed after tacking.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
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 »

Well thank you for the well articulated response. I think you nailed it, i turned to fast, to far and lost momentum. And i agree i wont follow another boat again, i assumed that since he was a racer he could find a better tack than me, but i did not take into account the fdifference in the boats...

Thanks again...
2010 26m, suzuki bf70a.
San Diego Bay
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 »

Also, when you tack, don’t release the head sail until it starts to fill again. And in an M, always be going more than 2mph (1.7knots)

In a Mac you can cheat, motor sail. If you have your motor at 1000 RPM’s, no one will know. :evil:
Ray ~~_/)~~
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 »

I like it...
2010 26m, suzuki bf70a.
San Diego Bay
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

NiceAft wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 3:56 pm Also, when you tack, don’t release the head sail until it starts to fill again. And in an M, always be going more than 2mph (1.7knots)
Good that you mentioned this. Backwinding the jib is a good way to get the bow of the boat through the wind more quickly. It requires good timing. Tricky even with a well-trained crew and very tricky if you are single-handing. I would say maybe reserve this technique for light wind when you are having trouble with that.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
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 »

Would you mind detailing "back winding the jib"
2010 26m, suzuki bf70a.
San Diego Bay
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Tacking performance

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

Macsailing wrote: Mon Mar 25, 2024 9:09 am Would you mind detailing "back winding the jib"
It's the practice NiceAft was referring to (I think). When tacking, one would not release the loaded (windward) jib sheet until just a bit after the bow has passed through the wind. This causes the wind to fill the other (back) side of the jib and helps push the nose of the boat through the wind. It can be tricky because if the loaded jib sheet is not released soon enough, the amount of tension on the jib sheet increases significantly. If the sheet is not on a winch it can be difficult to release the sheet from its cleat and in high winds VERY difficult (ask me how I know). The crewmember manning the leeward jib sheet has got to be ready to haul in the jib sheet the split second the loaded sheet is released if he/she hopes to set the newly loaded jib sheet without having to winch it in.

This is a practice usually reserved for situations where the boat stands to lose a significant amount of speed in the tack, such as in low wind situations. Otherwise the forward momentum of the boat is sufficient to achieve a quick enough turn.
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 »

I believe the simplest explanation is when you tack, pay attention to your headsail. As you go through the tack, the sail will luff, and then begin to fill again. At the moment you see the sail begin to fill again, quickly steer into the wind, all the while prepared to counter steer quickly to stay on the intended course. Adjust the sheets. This is easier done if all line are led aft. Bills’s EZ Cleats make this easier. I think BWY sells their version.

Several years ago we were on a sunset sail in Barcelona, Spain. I asked the captain if I could take the helm for a bit. He had disparaging words to say about MacGregorsailor and their boats, but let me take the helm. He had me go through a few tacks. Using the above technique, I passed his test. He felt so assured of my abilities, that he took a nap on the boom. I had the helm into the evening.

True story.
Image
Ray ~~_/)~~
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 »

Thank you, i clearly understand now, an will practice this weekend.

I also notice that with the boat being light weight, it sails backwards on some jibes, confused the heck out of me?
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 »

Also, if you want to win races in your Mac, go on races in very light winds.
Light boats like Macs will whiz past those leaden-hulled monstrosities.
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'
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: Sun Mar 24, 2024 3:01 pm A common mistake is to try to get back to close-hauled immediately after coming through a tack. A better approach is to let the boat fall a little bit off close-hauled with the sails a bit looser than when close-hauled. Once you have regained boat speed, gradually trim up to close hauled (if that's the course you are aiming for that is).
This.

Unless you're in a nice, stiff wind, come around to a close reach, wait to pick up speed and then harden to a close haul.
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'
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 »

Are you gentlemen ever in San Diego? Would love to learn more on the water. :macm:
2010 26m, suzuki bf70a.
San Diego Bay
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 »

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.
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 »

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
Ray ~~_/)~~
Post Reply