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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: Sail twist
It comes from a combination of traveller setting and mainsheet tension. In light air many boats respond well to a traveller position to windward, reduced sheet tension, but the boom still near the centerline.. the reduced tension (with vang relaxed as nola qualified) allows more twist in the sail because luff tension is reduced. Excessive sheet tension in this condition would put the boom to windward of the centerline and likely stall and/or cause excess heeling.
Similarly in heavier air the traveller is set lower on the boat, reducing angle of attack.. the mainsheet tension can be played to the desired twist, but will require more tension to keep the boom near center (until the breeze builds enough to drop the traveller and let the boom fall away...) With a good traveler setup you can 'play the puffs' to control heel with the traveller alone.. much quicker/easier than dumping/hauling several yards of multipart mainsheet.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)