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post #11 of 18 Old 06-16-2007
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A very broad general rule is that, when you're sailing to windward, the sound of the wind and the feel of the wind on your arms and face and in your hair are the most pronounced. When you turn downwind, the sound and feel of the wind might almost disappear, and you might think the wind died. (Usually, the wind didn't die. Since you're sailing with the wind rather than against it, you don't hear it and feel it as much.)

Through experience and practice, you'll learn to combine all your observations of the sound and feel of the wind, the behavior of your telltales, and the appearance of your sails, and together they will tell you the wind's direction.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-16-2007
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Stryker,

You're sailing a dinghy with a smaller mast that sees a very small difference between the angles and strenght of winds aloft and winds at the water level. In fact with that mast height, they are almost negligenciable.

Just rig your boat, as you normally do, stand up near the shroud, raise your arm and install on each side, at the height of your finger tips, a silk strip of cloth as shown bellow on both shrouds. You can even get a green and a red one for port and starbord.

That is the best option for your boat, and believe me I have had my good share of dinghies!! Sailed a few, ehehehehe

Even today, sailing on larger boats, that is what I use, I use them more often than ST60's, windexes and mast indicators (in fact my windex disapeared mysteriously lately) and all the other fancy crap...the silk strips are inexpensive, they are also at my eye level forward of the helm, thus the efort made to look at the wind indication is minimal, and I get not distracted.

With time, you will learn to look at them, and evaluate the wind strenght by the way they are flaping and moving.

On some boats, the leeward one can actually tell you how the Genoa/main wind slot is behaving...a good thing.

West Marine sells a pair of wind indicators mounted on a wire that coils around the shroud.. (see here) I like them, but they get damaged with use. SILK IS THE TICKET, cheap and just tape it to the shroud or use a clamp, like I do. Also bought this one at Westmarine, but clothes pegs will also do the trick, as you can remove them upon removing mast. I used clothes pegs for over 20 years.


As far as weatherhem and leehelm, in your case and for the wind speeds you mention, its just a question of main trim. Dont worry with rake and the rest...you are simply either undertrimming or overtriming your sail. Outhaul, boomjack, main sheet are your tools, learn how to increase bag and curvature in your sail, how to twist the raoch, etc.... Move them, pull here and there and learn on your own...that is the fun part of it. Your not triming right, that is all.

50 cent Tell tale worth a Million Dollars:

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post #13 of 18 Old 06-16-2007 Thread Starter
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you all are a great help!

Thanks for the great replies! I am off this morning for some more sailing. I will be sure to try what has been mentioned.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-16-2007
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Another resource for you ...

You've gotten some good suggestions and encouragement so far. I just did a quick Google and found these tuning tips on the Butterfly class association web site.

http://www.butterflyer.org/bftun.htm


Sorry if you've already explored this, but it looks pretty comprehensive. You may also want to check out sailmakers sites to see if they sell sails for your boat and offer tuning tips. My class has some great information on the North Sails web site.

Have fun figuring it all out.

Kurt
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Poltergiest, I have looked at that site and have done pretty much every thing he recommended but thanks for the suggestion. I will also looking into some sail makers site to see if there is more information to be had.


Todays sail was a fun one. the winds were about 7kts. I cruised up and down the lake a few times. a lot of tacks a I was able to run on a training run. A straight run doesn't work because my sail hits the shrouds and it really spills the wind.

I did look like an idiot a few times as I went to jibe and when I sat on the other side of the cockpit, I slipped dropped the tiller, therefore the boat went spinning around. Moral of the story... never wax the deck. Actually I am trying to come up with something that will offer a little more friction.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-16-2007
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[QUOTE=Stryker72]Poltergiest, I have looked at that site and have done pretty much every thing he recommended but thanks for the suggestion. I will also looking into some sail makers site to see if there is more information to be had.


Todays sail was a fun one. the winds were about 7kts. I cruised up and down the lake a few times. a lot of tacks a I was able to run on a training run. A straight run doesn't work because my sail hits the shrouds and it really spills the wind.

I did look like an idiot a few times as I went to jibe and when I sat on the other side of the cockpit, I slipped dropped the tiller, therefore the boat went spinning around. Moral of the story... never wax the deck. Actually I am trying to come up with something that will offer a little more friction.

Try surfboard wax....
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-16-2007
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I did look like an idiot a few times as I went to jibe and when I sat on the other side of the cockpit, I slipped dropped the tiller, therefore the boat went spinning around. Moral of the story... never wax the deck. Actually I am trying to come up with something that will offer a little more friction.

With small boats, it is usually easier to tack into the wind...
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-17-2007
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They make non-skid wax.

The portagee's suggestions are good ones. (Believe me, it there was a $5 million wind indicator that worked better than his silk underwear, he'd find a way to have it!) The reason he recommends silk is that it is light weight and "breathes". The need for light weight is is obvious. The "breathing" is important because silk does not hold moisture as cotton does. Wool breathes also, but Giu has a voluminous supply of designer underwear he can apply to the situation, hence the ability to rig red and green tell-tales. Rumor has it that he carries tell-tales in "international orange" for foggy conditions, but this has not been verified.

Sounds like you're having fun. Figuring this wind stuff out is a challenge, especially on a lake where it can vary so much. One of the best ways to 'learn" is to find another similar sized boat to "race" against. That may seem funny when you are just trying to figure things out for yourself, but, in practise, what will happen is you will observe your boat and the other, noticing how he is moving and how his sail is trimmed. Often you feel you've got her trimmed just right-but you look over and you're falling astern of him. This provides the impetus to try a little different trim to wring some more speed out of her. And, of course, when you look over and he is falling astern, there is no better feeling you can have with your clothes on. Trust me. All these guys on here, be it big boat, small boat, cruiser, racer, or barely afloat-when another sailboat comes in to sight, they're thinkin' "let's beat 'em". 99% of sailors race, if only casually, the other 1% are aground, probably from racing.

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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