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post #11 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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I thought we would find racers who use them all the time. good comments from them.
When I was racing Solings the first dozen boats would cross the finish within a minute or 2. And now with the competitiveness off shore in long races I wouldn't be surprised to see adjustments after every tack.
Everything nowadays is important.
In the last few weeks I have been racing occasionally on a teeny keelboat andbackstayy tension is just so important and, unless one has a Bob Perry designers eye, its nigh on impossible to get an exact tension - one just gives it a tug, looks up and gets cracking.

Anyway, its another good reason for cruising sailors to go do some racing: you learn about stuff that no 101 course will ever cover.
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

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Originally Posted by jackdaw View Post
That's seriously bad advice.

The majority of sailors who would set and forget their tension have no idea how tight it should really be, and what that feels like. A gauge or a system like the folding rule allow them to get it right.

Most have it set too loose. Too tight is better for the boat than too loose.
Actually, overtensioning the rig is not better for the boat, and it's not fast. Rigging wire is susceptible of a very small amount of stretch. If you overtighten the rig, you'll quickly reach the point where you have stretched it to the maximum. If you tighten it beyond that point, you'll put too much of a load on the chainplates. I have seen the transom gel coat cracked when excessive backstay tension was applied. After you have taken all the stretch out of the wire, if you continue to apply an increasing amount of tension, something has to yield. If the wire can't yield, then the fiberglass will probably yield at the points of attachment.

A boat's ability to point is primarily determined by the boat's geometry, and by the cut of it"s sails. If you have adjusted all the sag out of the forestay, and then continue to overtension it, that won't make it point higher or foot faster. There's a point of diminishing return. Moreover, the whole purpose of a backstay adjuster is to enable you to change from a taut rig to a loose rig, and back, on the fly.

Like Bob Perry, I have also raced very successfully for many years, and have never used a Loos gauge to tune the rig. It isn't difficult to learn how to tune a rig without a tension gauge, but, like anything else, it takes some time and experimentation to hone your skills, and you have to be conscious of the basic goals of rig tuning. A good place to start are the Giulietta and Selden articles, referenced by RichH.

Don't be intimidated by the apparent complexity of those discussions. Think about the most basic goals of rig tuning. Generally, if the mast is erect and in column, and it can't move excessively; and, if the rake of the mast gives the boat a light weather helm, and the backstay adjuster allows it to change from taut to loose, then the boat will at least be competitive within it's class. Overtightening it won't make it any faster.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

Most race instructions prevent adjustments to the rigging after the countdown sequence or, after the start.

Can't tell you the number of times I started a race with tensions for under 10 knots, and wound up spending most of the race in 15+. You get REAL creative with backstay tension and such to avoid the temptation to tighten everything up while racing. It's real nerve racking watching leewards flop though when you are pounding to windward, cause you started with a loose rig due to light air.

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
Actually, overtensioning the rig is not better for the boat, and it's not fast. Rigging wire is susceptible of a very small amount of stretch. If you overtighten the rig, you'll quickly reach the point where you have stretched it to the maximum. If you tighten it beyond that point, you'll put too much of a load on the chainplates. I have seen the transom gel coat cracked when excessive backstay tension was applied. After you have taken all the stretch out of the wire, if you continue to apply an increasing amount of tension, something has to yield. If the wire can't yield, then the fiberglass will probably yield at the points of attachment.

A boat's ability to point is primarily determined by the boat's geometry, and by the cut of it"s sails. If you have adjusted all the sag out of the forestay, and then continue to overtension it, that won't make it point higher or foot faster. There's a point of diminishing return. Moreover, the whole purpose of a backstay adjuster is to enable you to change from a taut rig to a loose rig, and back, on the fly.

Like Bob Perry, I have also raced very successfully for many years, and have never used a Loos gauge to tune the rig. It isn't difficult to learn how to tune a rig without a tension gauge, but, like anything else, it takes some time and experimentation to hone your skills, and you have to be conscious of the basic goals of rig tuning. A good place to start are the Giulietta and Selden articles, referenced by RichH.

Don't be intimidated by the apparent complexity of those discussions. Think about the most basic goals of rig tuning. Generally, if the mast is erect and in column, and it can't move excessively; and, if the rake of the mast gives the boat a light weather helm, and the backstay adjuster allows it to change from taut to loose, then the boat will at least be competitive within it's class. Overtightening it won't make it any faster.

I think you read too much into what I wrote, and took it to extremes to try and make a point.

Clearly tension that breaks gelcoat is bad, as is a lack of tension that allows dangerous mast bending in a breeze. But every rigger I know (plus the Loos manual itself!) will tell you that from the typical set-and-forget tension for a boat, all else equal it would be better to be slightly over tensioned than under-tensioned.

But that's not what we are talking about now. We're talking about rig tension and its effect of performance. Picking a single tension (like you suggest) on most raceboats ends up being serious compromise in performance potential. Too tight for light airs, to loose for a breeze. I know Bob and Giulietta very well; I doubt either would disagree with me. Alex and I have discussed rig tuning often. Picking a baseline based on expected breeze gives you a range of sailshape centered on that breeze, effected by the rigging you ARE allowed to adjust while racing, namely the backstay. With our light days tune we can shake our forestay over a 16 inch circle. This gives a very full shape. On very breeze days almost none; allowing us to depower and keep the rig safe.

Its not just me who thinks this; Google 'north tuning guide' and you will find charts like below for many boats. Each shows rig tune deltas from a base in windspeed bands. This is simply what you must do to be fast, end of story.



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Last edited by jackdaw; 01-05-2016 at 10:15 AM.
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

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Originally Posted by jackdaw View Post
Picking a single tension (like you suggest) on most raceboats ends up being serious compromise in performance potential.
You're obviously confused, because I never suggested that one should "pick a single tension."

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There is even one for your 7.9. I know the current 7.9 national champ (he's from my club), and I can tell you he does not leave the dock without adjusting his baseline base on the days breeze.
Now I know you're confused, because I don't own or sail a 7.9. Schnool races an S2 7.9, and, re-reading his posts in this thread, he didn't recommend "picking a single tension" either.

My post #3, which you characterized as "seriously bad advice," wasn't intended to comprehensively address the whole subject of rig tensioning in two brief sentences. If you'll read the Giulietta and Selden articles, they also take considerably more than two sentences to cover the subject comprehensively. My post was intended to start the conversation about rig tensioning, not to be all-encompassing.
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
You're obviously confused, because I never suggested that one should "pick a single tension."


Now I know you're confused, because I don't own or sail a 7.9. Schnool races an S2 7.9, and, re-reading his posts in this thread, he didn't recommend "picking a single tension" either.

My post #3, which you characterized as "seriously bad advice," wasn't intended to comprehensively address the whole subject of rig tensioning in two brief sentences. If you'll read the Giulietta and Selden articles, they also take considerably more than two sentences to cover the subject comprehensively. My post was intended to start the conversation about rig tensioning, not to be all-encompassing.
In my original post I did confuse Schnool's boat as yours. Once I noticed that I corrected it right away. An you are right, he and I are saying the same thing.

This post quickly turned to optimized trim, which in fact I know is what the OP was asking about anyway.

But you did say this:
Quote:
As for tension, the stays should be snugged down just enough to keep the rig from moving around in a chop. If they're any tauter than that, they're too taut, because they put too much of a load on the attachment points.
That IS bad advice. And it implies a single set of tune. I would be very interested to have you quote the sections of your post where you recommend or suggest or even mention tuning a rig based on wind conditions.

The Selden 'beginners' guide is designed to allow a boat to be setup in a SAFE manner that left in that state all season. But its not fast and if you think it is you are simply wrong. Its why tuning guides exist, and if there is not one for your boat you would would be faster if you created your own, if you care about such things.

Its kind of funny that you keep mentioning Giulietta and I should read his stuff. I don't really need to; I know the man and we have discussed this topic many times. And I think he would find this conversation funny.

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Last edited by jackdaw; 01-05-2016 at 01:41 PM.
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

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Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
Saw this just now over on Sailing World's website. $140 from APS...

Making Sense of Rig Tension | Sailing World

Looks to be geared more towards racers that always tune the rig before a race. I know a few people that do that. I am not there yet.
That ones good to 3/16" wire FWIW
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

Here is an example of how setting your rig tune to dial conditions can drive your performance.

The picture below is the start of a race. 12kts building to 17. We are the blue First 36.7 in the middle, our nemesis 36.7 is windward, a same-rated Schock 35 is leeward. You can see the other 367 has more sag in his headstay, his rig was incorrectly tuned as the skipper later admitted. Even with backstays on, our genoa is flatter and not backwinding our main to anywhere near the same degree. At the windward turn in 3 miles, he was 200 yards behind us and could do nothing to keep up.

The trick is if you do not have a OD fleet or a high quality same-boat competitor this is very hard to see on the water. Your best solution is to try and get polars for your boat, and use those as a baseline.

A single set rig tune (like the Selden guide suggests) is good and safe. But its not fast.
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: New Rig Tension tool

I'm glad there is a competitor out there in the market. How could anyone trust a rig TENSION gauge from a company named LOOS anyway? :-)

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Re: New Rig Tension tool

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
I'm glad there is a competitor out there in the market. How could anyone trust a rig TENSION gauge from a company named LOOS anyway? :-)

MedSailor
Indeed. An ironic name for sure!

Also funny: About a year ago I had a long chat with their VP of Engineering. Mostly about a new gauge they were thinking of building (they didn't). Very smart man, but I was amazed to hear that he had NEVER BEEN ON A SAILBOAT. He said that years ago out of the blue sailors started buying their gauges, which were designed for architectural installers. Only later did they start to market the same gauges to sailors.

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