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 Post subject: Stuck in IRONS
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:11 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 5:16 am
Posts: 1
Disclaimer - i am an FNG, i have sailed monohulls before but not a cat so learning by jumping in the fire.
All advise welcome, feel free to direct me to other posts that I may have missed them in my searches.

I took my (new to me) hobie 14 to a local lake for the first time, sunny day with lots of wind.
I ran into several issues primarily around getting into and out of irons.
On my first couple tacks, I did fine then I got a bit further down the lake and it seemed that on every tack i would get stuck in irons. I had my wife with me, so 2 people on a 14 for my first time out.
When in irons I did - backwind the main (as there is no jib) and reverse the rudder.
This worked several times, however there were a couple times when the bow actually turned back into the wind, and no matter what I did I could not get out. Eventually the wind pushed me over to a small island where I was able to walk it to a place where I could catch the wind broadside - yes walking a sail boat

On my tacks I was as aggressive as i could be and still lost too much speed and wound up in irons.
the main was hauled in on the tacks to maintain control of the boom

Here is what I think was going wrong - corrections, advise, links to other posts welcome;
- 2 people on the boat had the bow riding higher, need to have the second person further forward
there is a post in Hobie 18, that discusses 3 people with the bow riding high
- lake was a bad choice, even with 12-15 mph winds, the trees caused odd wind patterns and it was only 1/2 mile across
- Tacking when I got within 100 yards of the shore
I'm guessing the trees killed the wind and cause unusual wind patterns, multiplying my frustration

hoping to learn from my frustration and yours.

 Post subject: Re: Stuck in IRONS
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:43 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 781
Location: Clinton Lake, KS
By " I was as aggressive as i could be" I assume you mean you tried to turn the boat quickly through the wind?

Try heading up 'slower' and smoother. There can't be anything really "aggressive" about tacking a H14.. You are just stalling the rudders and losing speed.. Try entering the tack slowly 'adding rudder only as the boat begins to slow.

It helps when having a 14 overloaded (is is going to sail best with 160lbs or less) to shift your weight back some. (not to far you can wheelie) to help get the bows up and let the boat 'spin' on the rudders a little bit..

Make sure once you have gone head to wind you use your shoulder or whatever to run out a good bit of main sheet.. especially on a 14 the second the main fills it is going to want to head the boat back up into irons.. Make certain you have 'fallen off" far enough before attempting to sheet in...

Shifty winds near shore can be your best friend or your worst enemy.. Little lakes like that with shifty crazy air will make you a great sailor.


 Post subject: Re: Stuck in IRONS
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:44 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 788
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
ryanm4 - get use to reverse rudder turns and practice them. When it is blowing it can be very hard to complete a regulat tack jibless. I've been sailing cats (H16 & H17Sport) for over 30 years and when it is really blowing (20+), I'm jibless (furled) and only complete about half of my tacks. I've done enough reverse rudder turns than I can usually complete one in less than 20 seconds. Once you get them down, you will never get 'stuck' again. I like to sail for long periods of time and sometimes purposely put my boat into irons to take a break. :wink:

Tip: After reversing the rudders, start to let out the main as soon as you are being pushed backwards, the bow will fall further off. When the boats slows (in reverse) streighten the rudders and sheet in just a little, if the boat starts to go forward, sheet in some more. If not reverse the rudders again, loosen the main again and fall off a bit more and try again. Good Luck

 Post subject: Re: Stuck in IRONS
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:03 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am
Posts: 592
Location: Knoxville, TN
I'm probably a little more aggressive about letting out the main as I near head-to-wind. I'll let my traveler out half way to the end of the track. Nudging it over with the shoulder, as Ron mentioned, helps get it out there. The object is to keep the sail from acting like a weather vane and pointing the boat back into the wind. If you loosen the main sheet or the traveler, basically the sail remains weather vaned into the wind while the boat continues to pivot around it. Once around on the desired tack, sheet in slowly. Coming out of the tack, if you oversheet and the boat is moving slowly but rudders don't seem to have any affect in turning you back off the wind, your boat is still trying to weather vane back up into the wind. If this happens, just let out some sheet. The boat will again pivot around the mast and allow you to fall off again. Then sheet in once you are moving and have regained rudder effectiveness, and point upwind as desired. You'll just have to experiment with all this. Once you learn to tack the Hobie 14, you'll be able to tack anything.

Mark Van Doren
H16 Seabreeze #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
H14T Fantasia #47787
San Juan 28

 Post subject: Re: Stuck in IRONS
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:37 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:43 pm
Posts: 31
When I sail my 18 on windy days and furl the jib how I turn is very important.It's more of a curl, turn the boat just under where it loses speed and as it loses speed you can turn sharper.The trick is to feel the edge of the speed loss and to keep track of how much further you need to turn.This might just be a long winded repeat of ronholms response but I hope it helps.

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