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Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:41 pm

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I finally decided to give it a try. In my opinion it makes sense if you have a small boat with a modest rig that is somehow under-canvassed.
The boom and things like the outhaul,cunhinham and all are really there to control an overpowering sail by flattening it up. Some boats would really benefit from a free breathing main sail that liberates some more driving power. The boomless main is the ultimate loosefooted main and it works just fine.
I can only invite small boat sailors to give it a good try and let the wind do the job!... :)
These three clips show my boat in various wind conditions with the boomless main sail. I used no reefs by purpose even when I should have just to test the driving power of the sail as opposite to healing force.
http://youtu.be/smBxenB8GvI
http://youtu.be/m6x2L1BQ684
http://youtu.be/F8ScqZ0Qo5s

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Michel Boulet
Ex: "Mari-Bell" Sandpiper 565 (18.5367454 ft)
Now: "Papou" Tanzer 16 dinghy
Montreal
"Let the world say what it will"
~~_/)~~



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Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:02 pm

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Great videos, and great music as well, Michel. She seems to like going boomless.



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Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:00 am

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Thanks Steve!
You are right. She loves it and so I do! :) 8-)

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Michel Boulet
Ex: "Mari-Bell" Sandpiper 565 (18.5367454 ft)
Now: "Papou" Tanzer 16 dinghy
Montreal
"Let the world say what it will"
~~_/)~~



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Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:06 am

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Michel wrote:
The boom and things like the outhaul,cunhinham and all are really there to control an overpowering sail by flattening it up. Some boats would really benefit from a free breathing main sail that liberates some more driving power.


I'm not wanting to argue whether to go boomless or not. That's sailor's preference, I think. But I'm going to have to differ with you on your analysis. The fact that flattening the sail helps to depower is a side effect of the main reason we have booms and outhauls and cunninghams. The sail is an airfoil. Those controls are for shaping that airfoil so it is efficient. Just as on an airplane, a fat "high aspect" airfoil is very efficient for slow speed and high "lift," while a narrower "low aspect" airfoil is more efficient for higher speed. The cunningham is mostly used to control draft position, which actually makes a lot of difference in efficiency and performance. There are reasons that these controls evolved rather than just setting mains flying like jibs.

Without a boom, you have no way of controlling your leech, angle of attack (sail position), and draft differently. In fact, you have no way of controlling some of those at all on most points of sail.

Now, that said, if you're not racing, and are happy with some loss of efficiency and the ability to tune your sail to the conditions, and would prefer not to have a boom swinging around above your head or too many strings to pull, then there's no reason not to go boomless, as I said to start. If you just want to sail around without worrying too much about speed or pointing, which many of us do much of the time, then there's probably not a big loss on nice days. But I'd think that reefing is more of a pain, and, for me, reefing is something I do a lot of, as I sail in widely varying conditions.



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Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:48 am

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Hi Griphos! :)

I am still experimenting with this age old concept. I invented nothing!
But so far I can say that I lost no pointing hability at all, the draft is always in the first third of the sail like if it was automatic and I gained some speed at all points of sail!
I point out that I went trough all kinds of winds without any problems with it.

I put this on the fact that my small boat is undercanvassed and my main (still in very good shape) was not able to release all it's potential in the "normal" settings.

I am sure that it depends greatly on the individual boat. Some, may lose some by going boomless and may need all these adjustments to be efficient.
I respect your point of view. :)

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Michel Boulet
Ex: "Mari-Bell" Sandpiper 565 (18.5367454 ft)
Now: "Papou" Tanzer 16 dinghy
Montreal
"Let the world say what it will"
~~_/)~~



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Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:08 am

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I forgot to mention that I sail on the St-Lawrence, near Montreal. I have to fight a steady 1½ to 2 knots current all the times. The added drive I got from the boomless main is evident for me. :)

Just to give an idea. My boat at maybe 1500 pds has the same sails as a 16 feet dinghy!... It is rigged about the same as a Wayfarer!...

How many mini-cruisers are rigged like dinghies and are not moving as well as they could?... ;)

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Michel Boulet
Ex: "Mari-Bell" Sandpiper 565 (18.5367454 ft)
Now: "Papou" Tanzer 16 dinghy
Montreal
"Let the world say what it will"
~~_/)~~



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Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:41 am

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This time I was able to test it in brisker winds with a reef on.
You can see that the speed is good. The healing in insignificant even in gusts. The sail shape is great and is controled simply by using the sheet. The upwind performances are excellent. Heaving to is as easy as usual.

I will keep it that way from now on! 8-)
http://youtu.be/RIsWPayrNqE

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Michel Boulet
Ex: "Mari-Bell" Sandpiper 565 (18.5367454 ft)
Now: "Papou" Tanzer 16 dinghy
Montreal
"Let the world say what it will"
~~_/)~~



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Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:21 pm

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There's an awful lot of twist in the leech of that sail. You're spilling a lot of wind at the top. From the waves, the breeze looks fairly moderate. That's the reason for having a boom and traveler, so you can set the twist with the mainsheet and sail position with the traveler to balance the helm. What kind of helm characteristics are you seeing using only the sheet?

Again, I'm not trying to talk you are anyone else out of your experiment, but even the jib has more control over sail shape than your boomless main. With the jib, you can move the cars along tracks to adjust twist and so efficiency. With your current main control exclusively the sheet, all you can really do is haul in or let out the clew. You're sailing fairly close-hauled a lot of the time in that video, and have a lot of twist. I'd imagine the twist becomes even more problematic as you let the mainsheet out. This would mean that only part of your sail is really driving the boat, even if none of it is luffing.



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Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:12 am

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I know Griphos! I am aware of all thoses "laws" and I was following them the best I could. But my little boat sails so well this way!... What can I say?...
I truely see a difference when going upwind while fighting the almost two knots of current of my region on the St-Lawrence.
I have no racing nerves in me but I am very happy when my boat is simply getting me where I want to go! ;)
I don't know about the future but so far, I have a lot of fun and I believe that's what small boat sailing is about. :)

BTW, there is no fetch when there is a SW in my region. Waves are not an indicator of the wind. ;)

_________________
Michel Boulet
Ex: "Mari-Bell" Sandpiper 565 (18.5367454 ft)
Now: "Papou" Tanzer 16 dinghy
Montreal
"Let the world say what it will"
~~_/)~~



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Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:33 am

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Waves are always an indicator of the wind. Fetch determines their size, not their character. Even with no fetch, wind over 10 kts will have whitecaps on some of the waves. You're sailing in 7 kts of regular wind (not counting gusts) at most in that video. Do you carry an anemometer? There are some nice inexpensive hand held ones.

Like I said, I'm glad you're enjoying your sailing. That's what counts. But you're not defying the "laws." You are sacrificing performance to sail that way, but what does that matter if you're having fun.



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