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Rudderless Sailing Options
SailorTom
Posted: Friday, January 9, 2009 5:19:11 PM
Rank: Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 5/6/2008
Posts: 13
Points: 39
Hi,

Just read your articles on rudderless sailing and would like to add a few points. Firstly though I would recommend everyone to try it out.

In my experience the best thing to do with the rudder when practising is to tie the tiller central with some bungee cord, then it'll act as a skeg so will hold you in a straight line more. There are good and bad points to this. It makes the turning affect slower which is good for practise as it eliminates over steer, but you'll probably find it tricky in lighter winds - the boat won't turn, or very slowly. I think once you got the hang of balancing the boat and sailing without using the rudder, then you can lift it out for the next step up
N.B you can also grab the rudder and steer away when it all goes wrong.

The main reason people should learn how to rudderless sail is it applications in racing. Everytime you use the rudder to turn, it acts like a brake and slows you down, if you can turn the boat without using the rudder your not going to lose any speed. It also makes your turns, tacks and gybes a lot smoother and easier, especially in a single hander. If you've ever been trying to gybe in a strong wind but the boat just doesn't want to, a bit of heel to windward (over on top of yourself) and sheeting out a little will help immensely. It all comes from rudderless sailing. Also if you can get you boat sailing in a straight line just using your balance and sail, your not going to be fighting the turning moment with the rudder which slows you down. It may seem like a small thing, but it all adds up, and you'd be surprised how much extra speed it gives you especially in the lighter winds.

Also just to point out that going upwind, your never going to get as close to the wind rudderless as you normally would, so don't try. The best your probably going to manage is a close reach. Keeping the speed is more important than how high your pointing.

A single hander rudderless is much more susceptible to balance than a double hander, try and use the sail as much as possible, one step at a time. You might find it easier to start lying to, then bearing away to a run as well.

Hope I haven't duplicated any points from the article.

Also is there a method for posting comments directly on the articles, either bring the article text to the forums or adding some comment functions to the articles?
RichardH
Posted: Friday, January 23, 2009 6:47:03 PM
Rank: Administration
Groups: Administration

Joined: 4/15/2008
Posts: 21
Points: -663
Location: West Midlands
Hi Tom

All great points, I've added it to the bottom of our rudderless sailing article as what you've said is so informative.

As for commenting directly on articles, not yet - doesn't mean it can't be done, we haven't yet as there are other things we want to do first (and you'd probably be the only person commenting at the moment!)

- Richard
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