Adjusting the outhaul - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-31-2007 Thread Starter
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Adjusting the outhaul

Quick question. I am always confused about how much bag to give the main sail via adjustments in the outhaul. I know for heavy wind you depower the main sail by tightening the outhaul to give the sail less bag. But on light days do you also have a tight outhaul? What about medium days. And how many knots of wind constitutes a light day vs med day? And how much should I adjust the outhaul? Any good rules of thumb?
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-31-2007
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Every boat has it’s own characteristics or personality. So their really is no set answer. You have to experiment with the system. The outhaul, traveler, Cunningham, jib etc. etc.
They all work together to get the optimum performance. As for me, The Main sail I have is a monster at over 900 sq ft and is mast roller furled so I have a loose footed main.
My jib is a 110 on a fractional rig. My old boat had a 150 genny on a mast head rig. It trimmed out completely different than the new boat which I’m still learning the optimum settings for the given conditions. What was a stiff breeze in my old 33 is a light wind in my 49

The best answer is to go out and sail and mess around settings and see what works.

s/v "eclipse"
Mystic CT
2007 Hunter 49
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-31-2007
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On my C Scow we adjust the out haul both according to wind strength and wave conditions. In light air we want a larger pocket but would like to keep a smooth shape. We definetly loosen the outhaul some. As we get into medium winds it would get tightened some but if there is extra chop on the water, typically from power boats, we will want to keep a deep pocket so as to have extra power to get through that chop. This is for inland sailing. We can also effect this shape with cunningham and or vang tension. It does take some experimenting to learn what works best for your rig.

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