When sheeted for any point of sail between close hauled and a close reach near the beam, and the sail trimmed properly to the bottom telltale, the top half of the sail is almost always backwinded about a foot back from the luff.. .. even sheeted in as tight as she will go closehauled the full top half of the sail is backwinded several inches back of the luff,
What do the experts have to say?
I don't know as I'd call myself an "expert," by any stretch of the imagination, but it sounds to me like too much twist in the top. Move the fairlead forward until it stops. If you cannot find that happy place where all the telltales are streaming happily (the inside ones, particularly near the top, may be allowed to flutter up--as a rule), then it tells me
the sail is cut wrong for the rig. (See below for more.)
i've read a couple places that it could be that the leads are positioned too far aft.. skip and helm say they are fine, ...
Waitaminute... Do you mean to tell us y'all haven't tried
running the jib fairleads forward? They're where the skipper and helm think they need to be, so no need to mess with 'em? On a new sail? Really?
Expanding on my initial comments: Here's how you set the foresail fairlead position:
- Assuming the optimum isn't already known: Draw an imaginary line from the middle of the sail's luff, thru the clew, extending to the fairlead car track. That's the best starting point.
- On a close reach or above: All the telltales should flow back--possibly with the middle-thru-top inside ones allowed to flutter up "some." (More on that below.)
- If, when trimming or easing the foresail, the top telltales start fluttering before the bottom ones: There's too much twist in the top. Move the fairlead forward.
- If, when trimming or easing the foresail, the bottom telltales start fluttering before the top ones: There's too much depth in the bottom. Move the fairlead back.
As for the top, and perhaps middle, inside telltales being allowed to flutter up "some": That's dependent on the sail, the boat and the conditions. But, often, some upward fluttering in the top, inside telltales is desirable. Your knotmeter, VMG, tiller, what-have-you, will tell you that.