Learning the Ropes

十一月 3, 2007 at 13:51 | 張貼於sail trim | 發表留言

Learning the Ropes: “With my partner making large adjustment changes, I could sit forward and watch mast, main and jib changes. When he pulled on the boomvang, the mast bent low, the main flattened, the leech got tighter and the jib luff sagged off. When he pulled on the mast fore puller the mast bent lower, the main flattened, the leech got looser and the jib luff sagged off. When he pulled on the mast aft puller, the opposite happened. When he pulled on the main cunningham the draft moved forward, the leech got looser and the sail got flatter as the mast section above the hounds fell off to leeward. When he pulled the mainsheet in, the mast bent, the mainsail got flatter, the leech got tighter and the jib luff got tighter. The opposite happened when the mainsail was eased. With this knowledge, scenarios developed in my mind. As the wind builds, the mainsheet gets trimmed tighter and both sails flatten simultaneously. Perfect reaction. However, when the mainsheet must be dumped for larger puffs, both the main and jib get fuller. Bad reaction. To combat this we can use the vang, which flattens the main but makes the jib fuller, To improve this we can tighten the aft puller, which flattens the jib but powers up the main. Using both the boomvang and the aft puller, their negatives and positives combine to create the best compromise to flatten the main while controlling jib luff sag. With the mainsheet in tight, the main and jib are flat. When the main must be dumped in a puff, the aft puller and the vang help maintain that sail shape. In real high winds you also pull the main cunningham hard to flatten the top of the sail. These discoveries dramatically improved my heavy air speed.

                            CAUSE AND EFFECT

Vang bends low flatten, leech tight sags
Fore Puller bends low flatten, leech loose sags
Aft Puller straighten low full, leech tight tight
Main Cunningham tip to leeward draft foreward, leech loose --
Mainsheet--in bends flatten, leech tight tight
--ease straightens full, leech loose --

Heavy Air--Combine these for maximum effect

Vang flatten full
Aft Puller power-up flat
Main Cunningham flatten top

Problem solving is part of sailing. Knowing the effect of all your adjustments and confidently making these changes during a race is part of the success formula. In shifty, puffy winds it is better to set these adjustments for the lighter end of the wind range instead of making an adjustment for every wind change. Too much time is spent making sail adjustments and not enough time keeping track of the next wind shift. Setting your adjustments for the lighter end of the wind range is best as it is easier to keep your boat speed up in heavy air when setup wrong than it is in light air. Do your best to set up correctly but be wary of losing track of the race.

Successfully racing your boat should be much like sitting on the couch at home. There you have the TV clicker and the cordless phone within reach and you know how to lie on it to be the most comfortable. Your boat should be the same. All my Snipes I have either rigged myself or specified where the hardware would be placed. Rigging is highly personal and must adapt to the interests of each team of people. Decide who is going to do each job and place the controls near that person. Every adjustment must be positioned to make sense relative to when it is used. The upwind adjustments must all be within reach when hiking with the downwind or light air upwind adjustments put inside the boat to avoid deck clutter, putting too many adjustments in one place requires a distracting glance to confirm that you have the right line. When action is quick in a race, a well thought out deck layout is worth boat lengths on the course.

Good sailing


Craig Leweck is a sailmaker for Sobstad Sailmakers in San Diego. Craig has been US National Champion twice and has won the North American Championships. He has represented the US in two World Championships, and continues to finish in the top at regattas on the US Circuit.

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