Downhaul question??? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 08-01-2003
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Downhaul question???

Oday 25 tall rig
Sort of new sailor / Why, when I sheet my main in tight for sailing close hauled, does my downhaul loosen? Is this a problem? Should I go forward and pull slack from downhaul when this happens? I feel that the luff should be as tight as possible unless I''m on a run and need some draft. I like to sail the main as high as possible so as to clear my bimini. Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2003
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Downhaul question???

What may be happening is cranking down on the mainsheet is bending the mast aft, reducing the distance between the masthead and the downhaul attachment point, creating some slack in the luff. It''s not a problem unless you are trying to depower the main (high wind, for example), if so, retightening the downhaul may help further flatten the sail.

Does this make sense, resident message board sail trim experts?

This discussion could also belong in the racing category, I suppose.
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Old 08-01-2003
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Downhaul question???

Most of the boats I work on have fixed goosenecks or a stop of some sort. You may want to figure out the right height for the biminy and then position your gooseneck there.
If the mast is moving noticeably when you sheet in the main, then your standing rigging may need to be tuned. Do you have a vang of any sort?
If you plan to race the boat, then you will have no shortage of people with valuable experience willing to help you learn all the finer points.
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Old 08-01-2003
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Downhaul question???

Sheesh! I didn''t think about the possibility of the mast flexing. Given that I don''t have a winch on the mast to tighten the luff, I thought maybe that the mainsheet system was able to pull harder on the leach than I was pulling on the luff, and consequently, the luff loosened when sheeting tightly. My main is old and stretched, so I want to flatten the main as much as possible. I agree, deciding the elevation of the boom and then installing a stop might be the way to go. Yes, I do have a vang, but I usually use it only when the boom is swung out in a reach. Correct? I don''t race yet, but I do wish to cruise as fast as practical. Thanks much
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Old 08-07-2003
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Downhaul question???

I really don''t think this is mast bend.

As you turn up wind to a close hauled course, the apparent wind speed increases as you are now heading upwind. In higher apparent wind speeds you need more luff tension on the mainsail to remove the horizontal wrinkles.

Basicall the sail has more force on it, so you need to apply more force to the luff to keep it straight.

On race boats you routinely tighten the luff (with halyard or cunningham) going upwind, and slacken it off again going downwind.

What you''re seeing is quite normal. The same effect applies to genoa luff tension also (but you may not notice if you have a roller furler

Simon
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Old 08-07-2003
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Downhaul question???

Gwp, I have a 16í Hobie cat and was sailing it 2 weeks ago on a very windy day.

I always crank the downhaul tight enough to put a slight bend in the mast when rigging the boat.

When we sailed the boat close to the wind a big gust would hit and the mast would want to rotate the other way and bend like you canít believe!!

At that point the downhaul goes slack.

To find out, have someone lay down under the mast and look up. If thereís more bend than when you are off the wind, thatís whatís happening.

Do you have a fractionally rigged mast, meaning the forestay doesnít go to the top?
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Old 08-12-2003
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Downhaul question???

Mine is not a fractional rig. Went out yesterday and noticed that when I tighten the mainsheet the downhaul loosens???? I didn''t have time to study it, but could the halyard be stretching? When raising the main, I pull rather hard on the halyard to tighten as much as possible and then cleat it off. Oh yea, I even have wire/rope halyards, so I know the wire isn''t stretching? This is weird.....Gary
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Old 08-12-2003
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Downhaul question???

Actually wire halyards can be pretty stretchy at least as compared to some of the new low stretch line. When you over tighten the mainsheet you can exert a lot of force on the halyard and stretch the halyard enough for the head to drop and the the gooseneck to lower. That would be my first guess if you don''t have a bendy rig.

Jeff
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