Originally Posted by johnsail
This sounds like either a leech cord or a jib lead problem. Either way, it's a simple fix.
If tightening the leech cord (cable) inside the leech (the sail's back edge) doesn't do the job, the jib sheet's too far aft. Move the block (called the lead -- "leed") forward. You'll notice that the jib leech straightens.
The best way to gauge that the lead is set properly is to have three pairs of telltales (lengths of yarn or ribbon) evenly distributed near the luff (forward edge) of the jib. When the lead's set right, the three telltails on the windward side of the jib should all be doing the same thing at about the same time. If you're trimmed correctly, they'll all be streaming straight aft simultaneously. On most jibs, when the lead is colrrect for sailing to windward, it's too far aft for reaching.
Luff telltales don't work on a mainsail because the air flow there is disturned by the mast.
Ummm... maybe you should read the original post again...where it clearly states it is the mainsail leech he's talking about.. .Giulietta has a good answer and diagram for him though, so I won't bother answering it myself.
One thing I would want to mention is that if you have a topping lift attached to the boom, that you make sure you've slacked off on it so that the boom isn't supported by it and not the mainsail. If the topping lift is supporting the boom, it will cause the mainsail to not shape properly and the leech will tend to flog, even when the sail is trimmed properly, since the sail's shape is wrong. In Giulietta's photo, the topping lift is probably the very slack black line meandering down the leech of the mainsail.
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