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-   -   Balanced rig/weather helm (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seamanship-navigation/37575-balanced-rig-weather-helm.html)

deniseO30 10-11-2007 11:03 AM

Balanced rig/weather helm
 
I think I'm getting better at tuning the rig on my boat. Last time I was out in winds over 10-15 mph the wheel wasn't much of a problem to handle. Back in June when the sheaves (not pulleys :D ) let go we were in about 25 mph wind and I was wrestling the wheel just before they let loose... Per CLUNK! (thank heavens for emergancy tiller handles :o )

It seems the very slightest adjustment on the backstay really makes big differances! Center of effort and all that stuff :rolleyes:

This winter I really think I want to get the headstay shortened about an inch. The turnbuckle inside the furler is all the way in and the mast still has rake I want to ease out. It's keel stepped. the boom is starting to hit the bimmin top lately too. But when I let the backstay out too much the furler binds up.

Is a backstay adjuster a good idea?

sailingdog 10-11-2007 02:16 PM

A back stay adjuster is an excellent idea. Tensioning the backstay is a good way to help depower the sails in heavy air.

It also sounds as if you need to shorten the forestay a bit. Be careful though, as shortening the forestay may require you to shorten the furling unit's foil a bit as well. YMMV.

jimmalkin 10-15-2007 05:16 PM

Very much agree on adjustable backstay. Also have found that practicing and using a good vang makes a terrific difference in balance and dealing with the dreaded weather helm.

deniseO30 10-15-2007 07:24 PM

I was in a race yesterday. Didn't really plan on placing. me who can hardly stand yet (leg/hip pain) and a friend that hasn't much experiance. But I did practice less jib in stronger winds. yes she points better. winds were about 15-20 and the helm was manageable.

sailingfool 10-15-2007 07:37 PM

Mast head rig...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deniseO30 (Post 205515)
I think I'm getting better at tuning the rig on my boat. Last time I was out in winds over 10-15 mph the wheel wasn't much of a problem to handle. Back in June when the sheaves (not pulleys :D ) let go we were in about 25 mph wind and I was wrestling the wheel just before they let loose... Per CLUNK! (thank heavens for emergancy tiller handles :o )

It seems the very slightest adjustment on the backstay really makes big differances! Center of effort and all that stuff :rolleyes:

This winter I really think I want to get the headstay shortened about an inch. The turnbuckle inside the furler is all the way in and the mast still has rake I want to ease out. It's keel stepped. the boom is starting to hit the bimmin top lately too. But when I let the backstay out too much the furler binds up.

Is a backstay adjuster a good idea?

A backstay adjuster is a good idea, but I don't think on your boat it'd have any effect on the mainsail draft, or the location of COE. Production boats like the ODay have fairly robust mast sections, sort of like telephone poles, which don't bend very easily. Given a mast head rig a backstay adjuster isn't likely to bend the mast atall. Putting the adjuster on pulls the masthead aft and straigthens the forestay which provides a few degrees of additional pointing without any speed loss. Gets you upwind faster...nice to have. Any effect on balance is likely to be in the mind, compared to the use of the other mainsail shape controls: traveller, halyard, vang, outhaul...

tenuki 10-15-2007 07:59 PM

have you fully exhausted the traveler? backstay kinda happens after that in order of effect IMHO.

SEMIJim 10-15-2007 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailingfool (Post 207539)
Given a mast head rig a backstay adjuster isn't likely to bend the mast atall.

I don't know as that's strictly true. We have (or had, anyway :mad:) a backstay adjuster on our Pearson 30, which is a masthead rig. While we didn't get near the bend you'll see on many fractional rigs, we definitely got bend. Was it enough to flatten the main enough to make much of a difference (if any)? Don't know. Was just getting to the point of experimenting with that.

Jim

deniseO30 10-15-2007 10:34 PM

Oh yes.. it bends.. Jim knows what I mean. And it does affect the mainsail trim. I think production boat builders just let the dealers do the furlers back in the day and I can bet the dealers didn't bother to really shorten headstays. Just like car dealers just want to get them off the lot with as little prepwork as possible.
Funny A guy that just got a boat because it has a new engine.. couple of months later.. water muffler goes, raw water impeller goes. (no raw water strainer) and other things. It makes you wonder.

by the way I have a new garhaurer traveler that is mounted in front of the compainion way and It's lines reach back to the wheel for single handing. I use it allot! way way better then the mainsheet wrestle!

blt2ski 10-15-2007 11:15 PM

Denise,

Do not quote me on this, but as I was working on my masthead rig over the last 2 hrs, I am recalling that a boat with roller furling, can not have an adjustable head stay, the "ONLY" way to tighten a head stay is via an adjustable back stay!

So with what the birdie in the back of my brain is telling me, to get a tighter headstay for windier conditions, you would need to do probably all the above mentioned initially, ie shorten the head stay an inch or so, along with a back stay adjuster, be it hydraulic, pulley system or a manual crank system as I have. I noticed a difference a week ago when raceing, and tenuki, crew that day, tightened the back stay in a mid 20+ knot wind. I do not have RF, but the fore/head stay is non adjustable.

marty

SEMIJim 10-15-2007 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 207649)
... or a manual crank system as I have. I noticed a difference a week ago when raceing, and tenuki, crew that day, tightened the back stay in a mid 20+ knot wind.

Don't want to hijack Denise's thread, but what kind of manual crank backstay adjuster do you have, Marty, and how do you like it? Looks like we may have to replace ours due to a screw-up on my part.

Jim


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