Riding Sail

H260_riding sail.jpg (100007 bytes)  

I've studied the sailboats in our harbor and have observed some sail on the anchor more than others. The H260 seems to swing more than most boats. Maybe it has something to do with the freeboard? Unless my wife complains, I try to ignore this situation.

Swinging on a mooring is an irritation and those subject to seasickness can be affected. I've found attaching the mooring pendent to the bow "U" bolt instead of the forward cleats or rigging a bridle reduces swing somewhat. 

Swinging at anchor is another matter. As the boat hunts back and forth, exposure to the wind is increased thus effecting its holding power. Many cruisers use a riding sail to reduce swing. A riding sail lessens yawing by bringing windage aft. Any sailmaker can make a riding sail or they can be purchased. Google on "Sailrite Riding Sail" or look into the innovative "FinDelta" by Banner Bay. The riding sail should be tight and as far aft as possible. Most boats attach the riding sail to the back stay but since the H260 does not have a backstay I use the topping lift. 

Normally the riding sail is aligned with the boom and boat centerline. Another option is to sheet the forward part of the sail to one side so that the boat is actually sailing to one side of the anchor rode. The boat should swing out until it reaches an equilibrium between wind and topside windage. Locking the rudder a few degrees to one side may also help keep the boat pointed in the same direction. 

Adding chain to the rode and/or lowering a “sentinel” or “kellet” to increase the curve or centenary on the anchor line is also an effective means of adding weight to the anchor and reducing swing.