trimming the mainsail

I've read at under Performance Sailing, chapter 6 that in heavy air (6.5 Reaaching and Running Trim) that they recommned "dump the vang to spill the leech when overpowered, and be prepared to dump the sheet to prevent a broach." I've also seen that advice in the Highlights of Scot's and Water. Most other places, like Kelly Gough's advice, is to tighten the vang, and when in doubt, tighten further. Is there a nuanced distinction that is not named here when we use one method versus the other, or are these differences of opinion? Thoughts anyone?


Its a matter of context.

Its a matter of context. When you are overpowered and want to flatten the boat, follow Kelly's advice and tighten the vang. However, when you hit the point where you either need to dump the main or go swimming, ease the vang before you ease the mainsheet; otherwise you can break the boom.

Thank you--helpful.

Thank you--helpful. So we do not need to loosen the vang to simply manage keeping the boat flat; we tighten the vang and flatten the sail to keep flat. Only if the boat is threatened to capzise do we dump vang and then sheet. Is that correct?

Yes, that's correct.

Yes, that's correct.

Frank, Actually you are talking about two different things, u

Frank, Actually you are talking about two different things, upwind and down. Going down you need to ease that puppy, there can be a ton of load if you do not. Now, in breeze I will set my vang prior to rounding the weather mark. I will ease about 6- 10 inches from max trim up wind and then ease the vang to that point. That should open the leetch but not too much where she get squirly. Now if you are max on and go to bear off and you are healing over and have not eased the vang and try to ease the main, yikes. A little vang ease right before is a great way to pick off some people at the top mark. Now upwind if you are really overpowered, pull it as hard as you can; per Kelly. I think we are using a 6:1 and in 18+ we are pretty much max on (we weigh 380). We have really have three gears upwind with the vang...loose, snug, and max; they only exception would be if it is blowing 12 and really puffy; they we will vang on to a medium setting in the puff and ease to snug or loose in the lull. Hope this helps Travis Weisleder 5341