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Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Sun June 26th, 2011, 6:08 pm
by grjack

I could not find the answers to my questions in the archive,I do apologize if they have already been answered.

I recently took my golden hind out and sailed into a 38 knot gale. With roller reefing equivalent to at least 2 reefs, I found I could not tack or sail anywhere near to the wind. With the wind from the sw the best I could point was ESE and NNW. Also it was not possible to tack across the wind, I could only gibe, due to apparently too much windage.

what could I have done wrong ,is this a trait of the boat/sail?

Hope this makes sense.

Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Sun June 26th, 2011, 11:50 pm
by GHM

Something’s wrong somewhere and you will be able to do a lot better. There is a lot missing from what you have said. First, I assume you are talking about a GH31, sloop rig and the 32’ mast as most were, but it’s all relevant. Second, you say roller reefed. Is that the old roller reefing boom for the mainsail or headsail reefing, or both?

To cheer you up a bit, I’ve built and sailed the 31’ in sloop and cutter rig with 32’ 36’ 38’ and 39’4” mast rigs, plus the 26’. They all sailed within 90deg, ish to the wind, or better, and tacked OK, although, depending on the rig, there can be a knack to the best way.

Generally, she sails best fairly upright, but the boat is so forgiving that it’s easy to do what I often did when learning on my first one, thinking she’s a good solid boat and overpressing her without realising because she didn’t really complain. She tried to keep going (often with a big genny up!), even though she was on her ear and the water was nearly coming in the windows!

If you’ve got a big genny up and a rolled main you will have a problem and she won't point well eother. She needs to be driven through the wind and is better with a smaller headsail and plenty of drive in the mainsail. With the old roller reefing boom, I also found that the reefed sail shape was poor and lost a lot of power. I could easily keep the full main, with a working jib, in a force 5 with the 32’ (short) mast.

Interestingly, I often found that, in sailing close to the wind, if well balanced, I could do my best on the helm, then if I let go of the tiller, she would hesitate for a few moments before sailing 5 deg or so closer to the wind than I could manage, and faster??

On the short rig sloop it is possible that she won’t come round but, when I got used to the boat, I could sail her single handed through crowded mooring in Poole harbour, tacking through the moorings with no problem. She was slow but very predictable and that was her strength.

My technique was to always have reasonable way on and feel the sense of drive through the helm. This often meant bearing away very slightly, just before tacking, to gain a little speed. It was fatal to put the helm over gently because she would often slowly loose way, with the inevitable result. Feel that she has drive through the helm, rather than feeling dead, then push the helm FULLY over, HARD, and keep it there until she starts to pay off well and the sails begin to fill on the opposite tack, before centering the helm. It can be useful if she is sluggish, perhaps in very light conditions, to hold on and back the foresail slightly to help her round.

I would experiment with sail plan options, try keeping the main up at the expense of the foresail, snug her down too much if necessary until she feels almost too comfortable, and see if she will point better. If you achieve that, then experiment with tacking technique.

If I can help any more, I’m more than happy to try, but much more info on the boat, rig, mast, sail plan, reefing system and so on would be useful.

Finally, in my part of France without broadband, I have a minor problem logging on and e-mailing, so, if you do get back, please bear with me if it takes a while.

Good luck!

Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Mon June 27th, 2011, 1:03 pm
by grjack
Thanks for the reply.

I am sailing a masthead sloop 28'6" Golden Hind #7 made by Hartwells.

I have not had such poor pointing characteristics before when sailing in lighter wind.

In this force 7/8 storm, I had a number 2 storm jib, and a deeply roller reefed main sail. I was maintaining about 4-5 knots without much heel. I was using the extent of the weather helm and the amount of heel as my guide to how much to reef.

What I think may have happened was the reefed main was too flat and shapeless and the draft moved and pointing ability was lost. Also, although the boat felt well balanced , there was insufficient power wrt the wind speed to enable it to tack. The wind kept blowing it back off the point of tack.

I must add that I had removed the topping lift(it had become tangled in the swivel and I cut it loose) and when the main sail is roller reefed, the sail wraps further and further away from the end of the boom and hence the boom sags. This may have the effect of spoiling the sail's efficiency ?

I am going to have to change something, because having only 90 degrees to sail through does not tend to get you where you want to go :)

Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Mon June 27th, 2011, 1:07 pm
by grjack
BTW I must add that the boat handled the rough weather extremely well. At no time did I feel that it was going to lose it. I now have great confidence in its durability.

Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Sat July 9th, 2011, 12:40 am
by Fiddler's Green
I wonder if you have a short bow sprit fitted?

Our Eventide 26 stretched to 27'3 and has a 3'6" sprit. Very similar to the early GH 28'6" hull form as well..

It has been found that in normal sailing this assists as they perform far better with a large genoa and it helps to off set any weather helm. Then you can rig a storm sail inboard to the stem head. (or a strong Staysail) however the extra windage of roller gear may prevent her pointing as high...

The main should be reefed to be as flat as possible, a roller reefed main will probably not be at all efficient, slab reefing is far better in these conditions. i have 3 slab reefs, but have retained the points so the sail can be tidied... The draft of the sail must not go aft, as it will with roller booms, nor should the boom be allowed to drop, as this can be dangerous to crew...

I have only once or twice been out in weather that bad and now have 3 rows of seefs in the main after the first time. There can now be a tiny triangle of main and I was using a small boomed staysail, not a storm jib. I could point, but only 80 degrees or so to the wind, especially when she rolled off a wave and the head paid off!

Was very uncomfortable and these days avoid like the plague!

We also increased our ballast to 1 ton, far more than the standard E26 which may only have 1660lb, wonder if additional ballast might help...


Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Tue July 26th, 2011, 4:42 pm
by grjack
Thanks for the replies.

I may have discovered the problem. I have too much weight on the stern. extra fuel tanks, paint cans, spare water containers, and two crew in the cockpit.This causes my bow to lift a few inches higher and may be causing the bow to be easily blown off the wind. I know for sure this is a known reason for poor pointing, and I think this is my problem.

Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Tue July 26th, 2011, 6:29 pm
by Eventide Owners Group
Certainly that will do it, I added weight forward in the form of internal lead ingots fastened to the keelson, so when I leave the boat, it is very slightly nose down, but the weight of crew in the cockpit cancels this.

Batteries and tanks are stowed amidships, I built them in that way after learning that from an earlier Eventide, that was far to heavy aft with water, fuel and batteries! Had to add several hundred ponds to her to off set it!
Hope she performs better now.


Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Thu April 18th, 2013, 5:24 pm
by Tusk
There is certainly something wrong if a Golden Hind cannot go to windward and tack in 38 knots. I suspect the boat is over canvased for the conditions. When we took delivery of our GH31 in 1980 Terry Erskin told me to sail the boat at a heel of not more than 15 degrees for best results and this was good advice. In 38 knots I am usually down to three reefs in the main and a working jib, but possibly a storm jib if the seas are rough. Progress in these conditions is slow, but windward progress and tacking is possible. It also helpful to allow the jib to back a little to help the head around in big seas. It is worth considering using the engine to assist in the tack if conditions are really difficult and the size of the waves and the timing of the swell is causing the head of the boat to be pushed back before the tack is completed.

Brian Cook
GH31 'Tusk'

Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Fri April 19th, 2013, 10:10 am
by Eventide Owners Group
The same goes for the Eventide, if conditions are really choppy, backing the head sail or in real extremis, putting the motor on, but that I have only done once or twice because I was close to a sand bank and dare not bear away!

Agree with the 15 degrees of heel too, MG told me the Eventide should never get to 20 degrees and 15 was the optimum. (one of the reasons I like the design, having sailed some boats where putting oilies on below became a real challenge at 30 drgrees of heel or more!).

I would add to this that tired old sails with loads of bag in them and poorly set up rigs are often a large part of the problem. Though I note you say you thought your sail was too flat when reefed. So would not have thought this a problem, the flatter the better...normally.

Wonder if your mast is set up correctly.... A mast should not be straight when the boat is at rest! You have to get a pre bend in it!! See the Hints and tips page for setting up the rig, makes a world of difference, takes the bag out of the full mainsail, thus making the boat closer wind and more efficient.

All we need now is better weather here, to go out and sail!


Re: Sailing characteristics Golden Hind

Posted: Tue April 23rd, 2013, 11:05 pm
by Chris Clement
Hi Guys,
This thread seems to be continuing. It's all physics - get the Centre of Effort (CE) behind the Centre of Lateral Resistance (CLR) and she will turn up into the wind. Dear old Imshallah (GH 66) has the stumpy mast, we've treated her to a new main with 2 (each relatively deep) slab reefs and she has a 1.5m ish bowsprit carrying a Yankee jib and a Staysail from the stemhead. If we are playing about everything up well into a 5 is OK - but not cruising - I absolutely agree with many of the above - more than 15 degrees of heel is a pain for the breakfast chef (me) and also causes worry about outcomes for your beer. So, normally, at 5ish, take in a slab and furl the Staysail, - Jib seems to enjoy the fresher air and all is good. Tacking - you need a good man on the Jib sheets - take pressure off but with minimal flapping, a quick but firm harden on the main moves the CE back and she'll go if you've got a bit of speed. Later, 6 and over and another reef in the main, swap back to the Staysail, furl the Yankee and the rig all comes back inside the boat - she should be a pleasure to have some fun with! We came back from Scillies to Bristol Channel after a night to forget sawing at the mooring buoy in St Mary's in a gale - twix Longships and Cape Cornwall en route to Padstow, loads of wind up our chuff, surfing at 10 knots - felt that on the tiller - good as gold, barely a teacupful of water on the aft deck. New main courtesy of Hong Kong Sails, other perfectly lovely sailmakers are available (we had a lovely suit of sails from Kemps in a previous life).
Keep playing with things - remember - it's a bad day if you don't learn something - and that usually means making a mistake!