Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
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Smack, If you are looking for some simple formula that says for a given windspeed and AWA, put X pounds on the rail, you are not going to find it. Too many variables. Optimum sail selection, trim, heel and rudder angles are all part of the dialing in process when preparing for the racing season. For example, when I went to a tapedrive main, I had to readjust my whole game plan especially for stiffer wind conditions. You can certainly flatten the sails in order to depower them, but you will bleed speed when you do. You trim for maximum power and use your rail crew to flatten the boat and reduce weather helm. As a helmsman, I want to start putting guys on the rail when I start seeing a rudder angle in excess of ten degrees. When the wind is blowing twenty-twentyfive plus, I will have everyone on the rail and use only one guy to do all the trimming. I will also sit on the rail. I even do this when doublehanding. Read the RRS’ pronouncements and you will see that a lot of appeals have centered around the use of “moveable ballast”. It has a big impact even it you can’t distill it into a single, simple formula.
In regards to light air conditions, inducing a heel will generate weather helm which will get the boat pointing more efficiently and increasing VMG. The big difference between a cruiser and a sportboat, is you can induce heel with only the forepeak and mastman on the lower side (and hidden behind the genoa, he, he.) on the sportboat.
Last edited by GeorgeB; 12-16-2010 at 05:43 PM.