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Old 12-25-2010
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Mast rake

Hi Everyone,

I've been trying to figure this out for a very long time and have talked to alot of people who have told me different things with different justifications. I know this forum doesn't specialize in dinghys or racing but I thought I would post it up here and see what you guys think since the concepts are the same. Here is the question:

In what position do you rake the mast in light/heavy air?

Assumptions:
1. Using small boat with fractional rig, no backstay (420 specifically) but also FJ, etc.
2. Only available controls are vang, outhaul, and cunningham.
3. Sailing in areas with minimal wave action

In a larger boat with more controls like my Lightning (let's say we can add traveler, adjustable backstay, jib cloth and jib wire adjustments) where positive and negative prebend, etc. are options, how should these be used in coordination with rake? What about when chop/swell are an issue? Which rake position will make it easier to power through?

On a masthead rig how does all this work?

Whenever I am racing 420 I noticed that the best teams always rake the mast pretty far forward. I usually rake the mast farther forward in lighter air and farther back in heavier air because in heavier air to balance the boat bow to stern while going downwind. On the other hand going upwind how will the laminar flow, turbidity, and break away forces be affected? Will rake allow me to point any higher?
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