This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Navigator Tacking angles

On the JWBuilders forum, Robert asked a very good question about tacking angles.  More specifically, do the 120 degree tacking angles that he measured with his compass coincide with those experienced by other Navigator yawl owners.

I've often wondered the same thing.  It is widely accepted that yawls do not point quite as high as sloops, but make up for it on other points of sail.  So I uploaded the tracks stored in my Garmin GPS to have a closer look.

Looking at the tracks I quickly realized that I spend very little time tacking upwind.  This time of year the wind tends to come from the N or NW.  When I have a Northerly, I like to take a lap around Hat Island.  When I have a Northwesterly, I enjoy a reach down to Mukilteo and back rather than sail upwind to Hat.

But on closer inspection, I did find some good examples of Ellie tacking.  Here we're tacking North inside  Jetty Island back to the boat ramp.  The wind is from the NNW.
 And here's a bit of tacking into a Northwesterly.

And finally, tacking into a Northerly, while fighting a little bit of counter current from the outgoing tide.

I don't know what the tacking angles are in these examples.  I'll let you be the judge.  I know that if I try to pinch Ellie any tighter than the angles you see, her speed drops off dramatically.

I hope this helps answer your question Rob. Comments are always greatly appreciated.