Forestay tension = pointing - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-22-2010 Thread Starter
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I just re-read your PM from over a year ago. I don't know if I responded to that but I would really like to take you up on your offer. Boat should be in the water mid April.

Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-22-2010
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I've been having some of the same types of issues with my boat, ie in heavy air, we do pretty well, light, we get beat. A number of folks have mentioned my traveler/main sheet is too tight and the boom is too centered, along with some other main sail issues. I went out the other day with a fellow and got a few things figured out, going out sat in a 3 of 4 race series sat with another club member, and will see what else we can straighten out.

I've read the north along with any other sail trim book I can get ahold of, some works, others you have to play with it etc too. Not to put it on/in your shoes, but I have no issues looking in the mirror and realizing I/crew are the could be you, and do not be afraid to ask for help if offered etc too.


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I drives me dinghy!
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-22-2010
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Send me a PM about that time and we'll try to find an opportunity to practice in light air.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-23-2010
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Matching forestay sag to luff hollow .....

There is one and only one tension in a forestay (headstay on a cutter, etc.) that will CORRESPOND to the 'luff hollow' - the long smooth curve that the sailmaker cut into the luff. The luff hollow is cut from the front panels to compensate for the EXPECTED sag in the forestay.

If the forestay is not precisely tensioned, then the angle of attack attainable from the sail's geometry is lessened. Same applies equally to: too-tight and too-loose.
Too loose a forestay and the angle of attack (ability) lessens, draft goes aft, and the CE .... moves to leeward !!!!!!! Result: aggressive heeling, keel begins to SKID off to leeward or minimal LIFT development, s-l-o-w-s.

For PRECISION matching the luff hollow TO the correct forestay tension:
(If you dont have the sailmakers original values of luff hollow). Take the jib and lay is on clean & FLAT ground, make a 'bifold' along the luff so that the luff section is FLAT on the ground with ALL wrinkles out of the luff section... the 'bifold' will allow the partially spherical sail to lay flat along the luff .... the mid & leech sections will have some wrinkles.
Then pull a string taught between the head and tack connection, then from the taught string put a few (perpendicular) marks all the same distance from the string well 'into' the luff. I sew down a long 1/4" wide (grey) tape along these marks .... all the way down and a few inches back from the leading edge of the luff. You can use a few 'dots' of 'permanent marker'. If you have ANY QUESTION during racing, etc. of correct backstay (forestay) tension, simply walk forward and put your eyeball near the tack of the sail a "look up" - if the added 'luff hollow stripe' is STRAIGHT .... then the forestay tension is ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY PERFECT .... and you cant get it any better because the luff section of the sail is EXACTLY at the shape that the sail designer cut into the sail. When 'looking up', your eyeballl must be perpendicular to the 'side' of the luff ... not from behind like when sitting in the cockpit.

Set the forestay tension CORRECTLY (depends on conditions, sail loads, sea-state, etc.) so that the SAG in the forestay EXACTLY matches the luff hollow hat the sailmaker cut into the sail ..... and the sail's luff shape will be fully optimized. The boat will point like a banshee, the keel will LIFT, and the wake of the boat will be coming straight out the stern of the boat, etc.
Warning --- dont overcrank on the jib winches as this will also increase the forestay sag, etc. ... if so (as indicated by the luff hollow stripe) then you need to add more backstay.
This is a simple VISUAL way to get correct backstay/forestay tension each and every time out that does not involve 'guesswork'.

hope this helps.
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