Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mandeville, LA
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The strength of the breeze of course plays a role. Tensioning halyard or cunningham will flatten the sail and, in light air, will be slow. Your halyard tension will vary by a couple inches on your halyard. Put the halyard on the winch, ease slightly, and check shape/boatspeed.
The cunnigham is less of a fine touch - in really light air or downwind, you can ease it all of the way (or nearly so, depending on your boat).
Be careful not to overtension the halyard. If you do, you'll notice a vertical shelf form along the luff. Ease until this disappears. If it's light, or you're heading downwind, ease some more and the sail will become a little more full.
Also, you'll adjust the outhaul for the same conditions. Upwind, breeze, outhaul one. Downwind and/or light air, outhaul eased.
Experiment to see what works on your boat in what conditions and, when you figure it out, marks your lines, so you can make fast and easy adjustments.
Just because you're not racing doesn't mean you shouldn't try to sail your boat as well (and as fast) as you can.
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