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Eliminating shrouds to sail deeper and spill wind while reaching into the dock
So my title nearly sums it up.  I have been practicing sailing on and off the dock more and more and noticed when coming in hot on a reach I don't have many options for brakes. Also I've got my for stay set up nicely for upwind but I'd really like to sail a little deeper. If I just ditch my aft shrouds and beef up the forward ones it should allow my boom more throw. Does anyone think it to risky. Will I lose my rig? 
Instead of retro-fitting your boat try waggling your rudder to slow the boat as you approach the dock.  Not only can you use the rudder as a brake, but you also can make fine adjustments to the angle of approach.  This technique won't stop you dead, but it will give you a fine adjustment to your final approach.  If you stall the rudder it acts just like a brake.  If you find yourself coming in too hot, round up a bit to spill more wind as well as turn away from the dock.  You can also scandalize the main by yanking the peak halyard loose.

I once sailed up to the dock on a beam reach thinking I would spill the main and jib and coast in like I knew what I was doing.  Unfortunately, the main sheet was wrapped around my ankle and I couldn't shake it loose.  I had to abandon my plans entirely and instead, sailed Duckie halfway up the boat ramp.  Everyone that was watching and cheering for me thought that I had broken my boat.  They were shocked when I jumped off it, and laughing, shoved it back into the water.  Once again that mammoth fore foot on the keel saved my boat.  Luckily I had already installed my removable plastic runner shoe on the keel which was the only thing to take any damage. 

I agree with Al, in that sailing tactics will usually save the day (or embarrass you). Coming in for a landing at a dock can be daunting at times, but practice will fix it. When I use to work at a sailing school, I taught folks how to come up to a dock on every wind direction. It's all about timing and knowing how to handle her, for the wind direction and strength.

Coming in or a reach, I like to have the dock to windward, so I don't get nailed to it, when I land. Sometimes you don't have a choice, but the approuch is the same either way. You have a few choices, one is to scandalize the main, killing its drive. The boat slows way down and at the last moment, cast off the jib sheet, timing it to coast to a stop in a boat length or two, right at the dock. The other way is you bear off (away from the dock), then make wide round up into the wind (heading toward the dock), eventually pinching her down to a crawl. Then you scandalize the main and bear off, aligning with the dock (at the last moment), as you cast off the jib sheets. At this point you should be going pretty darn slow, so you just coast to a stop.

It's all about timing; knowing how far your boat will coast in that particular wind strength, the main sagging uselessly and the jib sheet way loose. Other points of sail have different approaches, but much of it are the angles you take at the dock, so you can round up or kill sail drive, just when you need to stop.

I find a reach approuch the easiest. Remember the sheet can be your friend. Sheet in to speed up, ease to slow down, cast it off to stop. Backwind the main can bring you to nearly a stop. In heavier winds, many like to use the jib alone, which works too.

Weekender's mast is so overly big, it could be free standing (no shrouds), but unfortunately, the mast hinge, negates this possibility. The only reason you need shrouds are to keep the jib luff taunt and of course to prevent the mast from falling over, because it's on a hinge. If the mast was continuous from the cabin floor to the mast top, you could eliminate the shrouds. The jib luff would be more slack, but it would work. Moving the shrouds will not let the boat sail much higher into the wind, you'll just heel more, but no better progress to weather. To get higher into the wind, you need more aspect ratio in the sail plan, longer jib and mainsail luffs and more aspect ratio in the keel. Additionally, you'd need less windage in the rig. Gaffers just are well suited for getting very high, so if you can get 45 degrees to apparent, you'll doing about as good as you can.
I just got back from three days on the water, with the last day being a beat to windward almost the whole time.  I found that 45 degrees to the apparent is right in the groove.  The lake I was on is big enough that I didn't have to do a million tacks to get anywhere and because it wanders all over the map, it provided a lot of different angles to the wind.  I finally noticed how much slippage there can be with a weekender, and decided that it was okay because after all I had been accommodating that slippage for the whole time I've had it without realizing it.  Cruising isn't racing. If I had to sail over to a part of the lake that was somewhat out of my way that was just fine.  I suppose that if I had a more weatherly boat I could have gotten back to the landing faster, but that isn't the point. 

If you want to do the best you can beating to windward, don't forget to use that sharp chine.  let it dig into the water, just don't overdo it.  In light wind sail from the lee side of the boat so that the chine digs in and you will notice a decent improvement.  I did that for a while and did notice better performance.  As Paul said, the boat does have its limitations.  What boat doesn't?  For me I wouldn't trade what a weekender does well for better windward performance.  For example, I stuck my beak into some pretty sketchy bays that even motor boats were afraid of.  Weekender excels at gunkholing.  That's a big deal to me. 

I've seen on this forum many times where old timers have advised to spend more time getting used to the boat before making changes to the design.  They are right.  I'm pretty new to sailing, but each year I find myself getting more and more satisfied with weekender's performance. 

Yes as I stated I am happy with with her windward performance. I'm trying to get her sail a little deeper. My thoughts are to ditch the aft shrouds and get my boom out a little further. The docks that I'm landing at don't have a lot of manoeuvring space. Like I kind of have to come in on a rope.  I can stall the boat with the rudder a bit. But I've had a couple times now where I need to depower the main and it just won't go out any farther. My only option is then to point the boat at the dock. It's okay if have someone on the bow. But if it's just me it makes it tough to grab the dock
Try scandalizing the main.  That should do the trick even in high winds.

Paying out the main to decrease drive on downwind courses, doesn't do much, unless you can let the main rotated past perpendicular. This is only possible on free standing rigs. Even with the lowers removed, you'll still not be able to get the main to spill "all the way out".

Scandalizing is the best way to kill drive in the main. It takes some practice, but is easy to do and it'll kill just about all of the main's drive. In higher winds, the windage on the baggy, helpless, scandalized main will drag you down wind, but just standing up in the cockpit will do this too.
Okay I must not be explaining myself properly. I would like to be able to depower via sail trim while reaching. And also I would like to sail deeper on my down wind runs. ( I would like to sail more directly down wind).  What I'm asking is how critical are my shrouds furthest aft?
You can't live without the lowers and if moved forward, they'll lose "purchase" and the boat might need running backs to hold the stick up. I'm not sure why you're having issue with this, as the boat can sail dead before the wind and though the sail rubs the shrouds, it'll sail on this point. As a rule no one wants to sail on this point for very long (chafe). Again, to depower the mainsail (on any point of sail) you can scandalize it. As far as letting the wind spill off of it to leeward, by paying out the sheets far enough, this is only possible on a free standing rig (no wires).

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