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Forums / Racing / Downwind  
The discussions for this thread include the following:

Posted: 20 May 2007 at 7:40am
So, anyone out there have any good advice for sailing downwind on the dolphin? With or without a spinnaker. How are you rigged? How high can you carry the chute when reaching? How high does the wind have to get before you say screw this and just leave your jib up. And anything else I didn't think to ask yet!

Posted: 22 May 2007 at 6:49am
Hi Mahew
Sorry no one is picking up on your questions. Its going to take time before the word gets around about this site - and there are not that many of us anyway.

We like Marionette's downwind and very broad reaching performace better than her close reaching performance relative to other boats we are racing. With the typical windward/leeward courses being set these days this helps. We have a max'ed out chute and with our high roach main have a lot of horse power. We watch carefully for shifts and with our top crews aboard jibe frequently.

Our big chute is good to about 10, max 12 knots apparant which is 16-18 true. We have a smaller chute for a stronger breeze but we are not going to fly a chute anyway on anything much stronger. This boat does not surf so if we are doing 6+ we are not going to go much faster except when we catch a wave.


Posted: 22 May 2007 at 11:42pm
Well, I figured I could try to start some activity here! I was curious how some of the other Dolphins were rigged. I had to add all of the running rigging for the spinnaker on mine. I added a topping lift run inside the mast (that was fun), a downguy, and a halyard. Also, wondering if you use twing lines or a snatch block or something on the afterguy?

How about going wing and wing? I have played with it a bit, but I am no expert on proper trim for this type of sailing. I have a whisker pole I use, and it seems to be faster with the headsail just a bit into the wind rather than dead down. This sound about right?

I guess that's it for now, trying to watch a John Wayne movie!

Yankee Dolphin Hull # 203

Posted: 23 May 2007 at 9:02pm
We use twing lines as described in Marionette/Restorations. We don't use a downhaul for the spin pole unless its blowing pretty good and we are reaching. Because we use it so infrequently, our downhaul set up is a simple block tied to the main cleat up forward. The line leads from the mid pole down bridle, throught the block and back to the cockpit and ties off at one of the cleats on the outside of the combing.

Fow wing on wing we use our adjustable whisker pole clipped to the spinnaker pole track eye. We try to keep the upper leach of the jib from blowing off which means that the whisker pole outer end is often low. We always set up so the jib draws clear of the main as in a very broad reach, over trimming the main on the weather side some which will want to jibe when the boat rolls to leeward. The main is vanged back to the rope eye at the bottom of the upper shroud - the same eye used for the twing block. Ideally, someone plays the main easing and snugging up the vang.


Posted: 25 May 2007 at 5:42pm
I was debating on whether or not to install some twing lines, between you and checking out how some other boats do it I think I will. I would like to get a smaller chute for heavier air reaching, but I am wondering if it is really any faster than just using a genny. I figure that 16-18 range I am getting over powered on a reach with the chute.

Also wondering, do you raise your centerboard with the spinnaker up? I find that over 10 in my area the wave action causes a lot of pitching and rolling. (Typical for the Great Lakes I believe.) I have been told that having the board up helps to calm things down a bit. I think the theory here is to come up a bit to keep good pressure on the sails and work it down with the larger waves to catch some surfing action. I think I mentioned before, I am still learning to be a good helmsman and.......huh, I think I see another thread coming!

Yankee Dolphin Hull # 203

Posted: 27 May 2007 at 8:38pm

The centerboard issue in a strong breeze downwind gets a little deep for me - no pun intended. I think playing with the centerboard helps the rudder get better control but usually what I am thinking at this stage is that a broach is something I want to avoid at all costs while my experienced racing crews like to live on the edge - rolling downwind is fast but scary. "Tripping" on your centerboard and broaching is something I have heard about but not experienced.

My philosophy is that Marionette is a 50 yr old, 24' boat that can't be beat if we just sail her fast in her conditions, be smart and sail the right course, avoid mistakes/ problems and play safe in conditions where she might get in trouble. This is not a Melges 24 which is very exciting but which also gives a Dolphin 24 so much time its embarrassing. Don't give up that time doing something really slow - like rounding up with all sheets let go, dead in the water with a ripped spinnaker...


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