Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Cruiser/racer IOR boats of that era are very hard to sail competitively. They are not great light air boats because they are comparatively heavy weight and have a lot wetted surface compared to more modern designs. They were not great heavy air boat either. IOR penalized stability too heavily and so stability was purposely reduced as a part fo optomizing the boats under the IOR rule. These boats were heavily dependent on a lot of weight on the rail in high winds. I would guess a crew weight of 1000 lbs to 1200 lbs or so would be the general range in heavy air. (1000 lbs. is the recommended crew weight on my current 4100 lb 28 footer in a breeze.)
The other issue with IOR era boats is that they depend on comparatively large jibs and small mainsails. Consequently it becomes very important to have the right jib for the conditions. Race boats of that era had huge sail inventories.
It was not all that unusual for a full race IOR boat of this size to have a Light #1 155% genoa (in the early 1980''s typically mylar with a scrim but later kevlar), an A.P. #1 155% genoa (in the early 1980''s typically dacron but later Kevlar), a #2 genoa between 125% and 130%, a Blade (#3) which was 100% to 110% (dacron but later would often made of Kevlar), a working jib 95% or so, a radial or star cut reaching chute and a radial head downwind chute. (I once owned a 25 foot IOR quarter tonner which had all of that plus a drifter, spinacker staysail, and a blooper.)
It is no coincisdence that trin foil headstays came into being during this period. Typical sailing on these boat as the wind built (assuming you had the wrong jib up) was to tension all halyards and outhauls. Tighten the backtays (These boats had enormous backstay tensions up wind except in a chop). Tension the baby stay if you have one to induce a little bend. Drop the mainsail traveller and crank on the of mainsheet.
As the wind built further, you would pull in a flattening reef. This was a second outhaul that was lead to a cringle about a foot or so up the leech of the sail. As things continues to build the jib lead was moved slightly aft to open the head of the jib.
If it was gusty, the mainsail vang was hauled down on really hard when the mainsheet was tight, and then the sheet would be eased in the gusts. This is classic "vang sheeting" In gusts it was not all that unsual to ''flag'' the main and just drive under the jib in the gusts, feathering as necessary.
In a steady state breeze, or too much wind the next step would be to reef the main, followed by a ''peel'' down to a smaller jib. In short course racing a peel probaly costs more than it''s worth (especially since you can make the change when under spinacker). On a distance course, then the peel will pay off.
I don''t know if this is helpful but equipment wise a good vang, and a good backstay adjuster are a must.
Feel free to Email me if you wish to discuss this further, or we can continue do this here where it might help others.