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post #1 of Old 10-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Pointing Trouble

(As y'all will see, this is a bit about learning to sail, a bit about seamanship and a bit about gear and maintenance, so it landed here.)

Okay, we've had her long enough and gotten enough experience to have learned a couple things and make a couple educated guesses. Let's see if y'all agree.

Facts: Pearson 30. Original sails. Sails are still in good shape, in that they're not blatantly worn or tattered, but I suspect they're a bit blown-out. As I noted in Which Book On Rigging?: The state of our standing rigging is somewhat questionable, as to its tuning/adjustment.

Symptoms: She doesn't point as well as we believe she should be capable. Secondly: She either isn't pointing as high, or we're getting much more leeway, or both, when on a starboard tack as when on a port tack. This is repeatable. You can really see it on a GPS track, where, instead of the track resembling a zig-zag, it resembles "Z"s.

I suspect the general pointing problem a function of the mainsail, in particular, being somewhat (?) blown. We have a new mainsail we can hank on. We've kept the old one on while we learn. Better to beat up the old sail than the new one, right? Secondarily, as we learned racing this last weekend, I think we can point her a bit higher than we've been able to in the past with a bit of fine-tuning of the trim. (Jib trim, fairlead block position and leech line, mainsheet and its traveler, outhaul, vang, etc.)

I suspect the asymmetrical pointing problem is due to the shrouds on the starboard side being looser than those on the port side. When we were bringing her up from her previous home, the PO at one point adjusted the port-side shrouds while we were on a startboard tack. I'm almost certain he did not do the same on the starboard side. And, in fact, when we're close hauled on a port tack, even the top shroud is visibly very slack. Unfortunately, me being the absent-minded type I am, I keep forgetting to eyeball the port shrouds when we're on a starboard tack--to see if they behave similarly.

So, today I'm going to order both Dedekam's Sail and Rig Tuning and Toss' The Complete Rigger's Apprentice, but I'm wondering: 1. What y'all think of my analysis and 2. Are there are any intermediate steps, seat-of-the-pants type rigging adjustments, as it were, I might make now to alleviate the asymmetrical pointing problem?

(As to why I bought neither of the books in that poll yet: Don't ask. The reasons are complex. And perhaps just a bit lame .)

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