Skerry sailing

Hi All,

I did my first CLC build this winter (Skerry with lug rig named "Polariton").  All in all it was a success and it's a fun sail.  We were sailing in Galveston Bay this morning, we had 15 kn winds with some stiffening gusts later in the day. Add to this 3-4' of swell/chop. Made for a nice outing and great social distancing...although a number of other folks would cruse up to check out the dude with the cool wooden boat!  Granted, sailing on Galveston Bay on a typical day is probably close to the outer limits of the design specs for that boat. GB can be choppy and gusty and storms can pop up with out much notice.

I have couple of issues, however, regarding the handling I'm noticing and I'm wondering how to correct.

1. Tacking can be a challenge, and we tended to stall midway throught the manoever especially if the wind and currents are stiff.  

2. In coming about to tack to starboard, I tend loose rudder control since it tries to angle out of the water.  I mounted thegungeons as per the design, but it seems a higher pivot point would help.

It seems that most of the issues could be solved with some tweeks to the sail rigging.  I'm wondering if others have had similar issues and their solutions.




5 replies:

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RE: Skerry sailing

   Yep, that sounds familiar to me!  Search for my earlier posts on my skerry sailing learning curve.  I'm coming down from bigger, fin keel sloops and it's way different.  You really have to sail through irons with some speed in those conditions.  I even get to practice some of the roll tacking I used to know in Laser/Sunfish a lifetime ago.  And sometimes it just ain't happening.  Reef that lugsail early.  It gets grossly overpowered above 12 knots true which just adds to the challenge.

RE: Skerry sailing

It took me a while to learn how to sail my Skerry through a tack.  You want to fall off a bit first to gain some headway, of course, but the Skerry is so light that she doesn’t have a lot of momentum.  Putting the rudder over hard introduces a lot of drag, which slows her down pretty quick.  I am much more successful if I don’t try to come about quite so abruptly.  And sometimes I have no alternative other than a controlled jibe if I’m getting too close to shore or to another boat.  Practice, practice, practice.


RE: Skerry sailing

   Yep, jibing around is sometimes the thing.  "Wearing ship" as it was called in olden days.  That's when you need to have the reef in if it's blowing.  The skerry is so light, if you are overcanvassed, the lug sail has too much turning moment against the rudder and it won't jibe cleanly.  I accelerated past hull speed creating a hole between bow and stern waves and the rig tried to drive the boat down in to the hole in the water. I didn't have time to get the sail centered like I would on a keelboat.

RE: Skerry sailing

   Yes, that happened to me y'day, when doing a tack, having to wear ship instead, due to sudden high winds.  I'd forgotten to shift my butt over to the windward side, and so, gulp, gulp, in came a few gallons of water.  I'd done several of these long-way-around tacks already y'day, and had become too lackadaisical about it. Oh well.

As to conventional tacking, falling off first, yes, does help. At least 2+ mph speed on the gps.  As well, be sure to let the mainsheet go, at the beginning of the tack, so that the sail provides no drag, during the turn through the wind.  If you hold onto the main during the tack, it'll only impede the turn through the wind.  

Last but not least, have a paddle handy.  W/no engine aboard, no pride lost in forcing her over to the other side with a few well timed strokes of the wooden auxiliary.  

RE: Skerry sailing

To Mummichog re reefing early, after y'day, am in total agreement.  Was out in 5 to 15 for 3 hrs, and with a reef tied in, for first time while out in my Skerry, found the sailing to be considerably better than with no reef.  

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