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Old 10-12-2011
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Loose leeward shrouds?

So, we were sailing close-hauled the other day and noticed that the leeward shrouds were slack - I mean flapping in the wind, loose piece of yarn kind of slack. Details:

Catalina 27, standard rig
Full main and 150 genoa
Approx 12 kts mostly steady wind
Heeled 18-20°, making a little over 5 knots.

We've been sailing this boat all summer and I can't believe I've never noticed this before. I guess this is the first time we've been close hauled on a long sail. Usually when we're close hauled we're in our inlet, doing a lot of tacking and spending the straight portions focused on sail trim. Guess I just never looked at the shrouds. This time, we were on the one tack long enough to look around.

So is this normal in these conditions, or is the rig too loose? I've read contradicting stuff online about whether you want a loose or tight rig. Where do most of you have your shroud tension?

And if we want to tighten this up, is it safe to just equally tighten each shroud turnbuckle, say one turn apiece to start, till things behave? That should keep things in balance, right?

Thanks...
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Old 10-12-2011
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Driver:
That is not unusual. Just make sure the turnbuckles are still attached to the chainplates.
If your mast is in tune and the masthead is staying on centerline when you are hard on the wind you don't need more shroud tension. But if they are in fact "flapping" around then you may want to address how your mast is tuned. They are only going to go slack if the masthead is flalling off to leeward. This is not good and can result in giving you more weather helm.
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Old 10-12-2011
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They should not be slack. If your mast was tuned, you have to increase the tension on the leeward turnbuckles, then tack and make the same amount of tensioning to the other side. Tighter the better. Do not worry you can not tighteen them more than needed.
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Bob offers great advise. Leeward shrouds will go slack under sail.

Tuning is a great term for testing shroud tension. Tap the starboard and port equivalent shrouds with a wrench. Like a tuning fork they have the same tone.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
Driver:
That is not unusual. Just make sure the turnbuckles are still attached to the chainplates.
If your mast is in tune and the masthead is staying on centerline when you are hard on the wind you don't need more shroud tension. But if they are in fact "flapping" around then you may want to address how your mast is tuned. They are only going to go slack if the masthead is flalling off to leeward. This is not good and can result in giving you more weather helm.
This.

If the tip is falling off, bad things can happen if it goes far enough. They will get soft, but not flapping like you say. They should [I]definitely[I] not be bar-tight.

Hopefully they are equally flapping whether you're on port or stbd tack. If so, then take an equal turn on each turnbuckle and observe the result. Repeat until they only get soft, instead of flapping in the breeze.

Or just consult your rigger.
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I prefer to make sure the mast is centered, take a loose guage and have all my shrouds at about 15-20% breaking tension, along with having a person aloft, checking the center and ends are equal distance from the deck at the spreaders...if this is all equal, then I might on windier days have some looseness on the leeward shrouds....

Sounds like things are potentially a bit loose! there is also a really good tuning sticky at the top of one of the sections, or look up and see if a tuning guide exists for you boat, mast manufacture etc.

marty

here is linky for the adjuting your rig sticky
Adjusting Your Rig
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Last edited by blt2ski; 10-12-2011 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-12-2011
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Try laying your cheek right up against the mast and looking up the entire length on both tacks. This is the easiest way to see if your mast is bending to leeward. I think you are getting some good advice here.
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Quote:
Try laying your cheek right up against the mast and looking up the entire length on both tacks.
Oh, that cheek.
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Old 10-12-2011
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Barq:
Yeah, well do you need to be able to do this in the marina so,,,,the other check.
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Bottom line here is...ya gotta learn how to tune your rig. You'll be surprised to learn how easy it is and you're going to feel good about it when you're done. And your boat's going to sail better, too.

Go to the Selden mast website and you'll find an excellent method for tuning a rig.

The truth is, there are a lot of rigs out there that aren't tuned properly, cuz the owners don't know how to do it. It's an easy skill to learn and uses a minimum amount of tools.

A Loos gauge is a nice but expensive way to go. If you do the Selden method, all you need is an inexpensive set of vernier calipers....digital is ideal.
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