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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-23-2009 04:32 PM
sailingfool Properly tuned, the uppers will always have more tension than the lowers, as they need to carry more load. Uppers will often be one wire size up from lowers.

Sounds like your uppers are too loose, tighten them a turn at a time, on alternate tacks, until the mast stays in column. While there will always be "some" leeward slack in rigging, if the stays are loose enough to flop about, then adjust uppers/lowers together until the rig shows just a "little" leeward slack.

I see little value for a guage for the annual tuning of a cruising rig, if the rigging isn't keeping the mast incolumn, you tighten the stays until they do. A gauge is an important tool for racers who tune the rig to match specific conditions, where a gauge lets that change be done dockside.
04-23-2009 01:32 PM
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Things are pretty snug (I have no gauge) the lowers are tighter than the cap shrouds.
Unless the diameter of the lower shrouds is larger than the upper shrouds, they shouldn't be set up tighter. In my opinion.
04-23-2009 10:42 AM
tommays My jib haylard is centered and i use that to measure down the to the chainplates to get the mast centered and then start going at the uppers and lowers a bit at a time while using the main haylard to see if the mast is straight and how much prebend it has

On my mast there is a good chunck of it above the uppers and if its straight
when things are tight and your not sailing then it is going to move a bit when your are
04-23-2009 10:34 AM
badsanta ZZ, I have the analog gauge. If you want to borrow it give me a call. I will be in colonial beach this weekend.
04-23-2009 10:15 AM
zz4gta Ok, so I'll always have slack on the leeward side to some extent. But should the top half of the mast be bending to leeward? Or should that be adjust to keep it straight under load?
04-23-2009 09:27 AM
tommays The loos guage is fine

You will break the boat before you dont get slack on the leward side

I dont know your wire size BUT on the J24 upper 30 is freaking tight and you still get slack

The headstay on this mast should be able to get on the silly lose side in light winds and get tighter as wind speed goes up using the backstay adjustment

The tuning guides are USELESS unless you own that SAIL as they set the mast up for how it was CUT with the current correct J24 being settings being compleatly different than the old ones
04-23-2009 09:20 AM
Rig tuning help

Ok, so I have a Merit 25, very similar to a j24. Rigs are very similar but the merit has a 15/16 factional rig. The rig is made up of the following:

Cap shrouds (chain plates up to the masthead)
Lowers (tie into same chainplate as cap shrouds)
aft lowers
adj. backstay

I had an aft lower and a cap shroud made over the winter (slowly replacing old rigging with new) and now that the mast is up, all is well, sorta. Things are pretty snug (I have no gauge) the lowers are tighter than the cap shrouds. The aft lowers a little loose to allow mast bend with backstay on. Sighting up the mast it looks like my mast is bending to leeward above the shrouds while sailing. Does this mean I should add more cap shroud tension to hold it in column? Only rig tuning I can find that is Merit specific is below:

Fishmeal's Algorithm for Tuning the Rig:

1) Loosen everything, and make sure there are no twists in the wires.
2) Set headstay length to be slightly longer than the current class
3) Tighten the uppers until you are afraid something might break,
making sure that the masthead is centered (use tape measure from main
halyard, wind must be nearly calm).
4) Tighten lowers to about 2/3 tension of uppers, sighting up sail
track to keep mast in column.
5) Tighten backstay until you are afraid something will break.
6) Adjust aft lowers for desired mast bend.
7) Go sailing. If uppers on leeward side go slack in less than 15 knots
of wind, they are too loose.
8) Adjust lowers so that mast bends only in vertical plane (check by
sighting up sail track).
9) If you have ever seen a boat of the same size and type with less
headstay sag, then the backstay is too loose.
10) Tighten aft lowers if you need a fuller main, loosen if you need
a flatter main.
Not exactly the technical approach I was looking for. My only other option would be to mimic the j/24 tuning guides and buy a loos gauge. Which brings me to my next question. I know a digital gauge is obviously a lot easier to use, but I've seen some analog gauges for hundreds less. Can I get similar results with a analog? Or should I just poney up the boat bucks for the digital (especially if I'll be racing)?

Thanks for any insight.

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