Why put a Cunningham on a Genoa? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2008
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Why put a Cunningham on a Genoa?

Hi guys -

I just got my new 170% Genoa from the sail loft, and it has a cunningham eyelet (or what I presume is a cunningham) just above the tack.

Maybe I'm being retarded, but why put a cunningham on a Genoa? Should I consider rigging to use it this year? Is it a cunningham in the first place?

Thanks for any ideas!
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Old 04-14-2008
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I've seen a cunningham on some one designs where the jib halyard hoist is fixed - the cunnigham is used to tension the luff as the halyard cannot do so. A 170% genoa is pretty unusual, nowadays even serious racers don't seem to go over 153%...was the sail custom designed for light air, where the luff length may be max? If so, the cunningham would be used to adjust luff tension. If your halyard can tension the luff there is no need for a cunnigham. Sounds like a pretty unusual sail.
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We have the same setup on the shark. A 180 frac rig genoa with a cunningham cringle above the tack. We never use it but other sharks do.
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Old 04-14-2008
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It is a reef eye ? some large genoas have them
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No, not a reef eye. It is a light air sail, and custom made. Last year, we used a heavier 170 which kicked butt (4.2 kts on the gauge in LIGHT breezes where everyone else was hardly making way).

SF, that sounds plausible - I'm using halyards, so I won't need it.

Thanks for the help, it was such an unusual thing to find!
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Old 04-15-2008
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I was in Puerto Vallarta last year when the J Boat worlds were being held. Went down to the docks to look at the boats and every boat had a genoa cunningham. I've never seen one anywhere else so I guess you have to be a pretty serious racer to use it.
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Ask your sailmaker. Likely they installed the cunnigham to allow you to move the draft forward by further tensioning the luff after you have achieved maximum hoist on the halyard.

The sailmaker should also be able to advise you of the amount of mechanical purchase required.
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Old 04-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiprichard View Post
I was in Puerto Vallarta last year when the J Boat worlds were being held. Went down to the docks to look at the boats and every boat had a genoa cunningham. I've never seen one anywhere else so I guess you have to be a pretty serious racer to use it.
It is becoming a trend in the small/medium racing classes to use a cunningham ('downhaul', really) on the headsail. The Hartley 16's have been using downhauls for many years. Two reasons:

1. It's easier (and safer on a small boat!) to adjust a downhaul for headsail draft control than to retension the halyard - particularly if you don't have a halyard winch - and

2. Using a downhaul, you can alter the draft without changing the rig tension at the same time

...but, yes, you've got to be a pretty serious racer to make it worthwhile.
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Last edited by Classic30; 04-15-2008 at 07:37 PM.
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