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2547 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  catamount
I crew on a Pearson Flyer (30 footer). We have done pretty well over the last few years in Jib `n Main so we moved up to the spinnaker division this year. Our overall performance was rather disappointing.

We have three Pearson Flyers that race regularly at out club. One in JAM, one in spinnaker and us. We were always on the stern of the JAM boat. This year we can barely keep the spinnaker boat in sight far ahead of us.

The skipper has replaced the baggy main with hi-tech. The sail maker has been out to tune the rig and we are using a barber haul to adjust the slot (the other boats have dual genny tracks).

I have noticed that the other boats seem to position crew differently than us on any given tack. Our people head for the high side (or low) to control/induce angle of heel but we don't do anything regarding positioning crew fore or aft. I think correcting this failure might be a key to better overall performance.

Are there any “general rules” on where to position crew (fore or aft) on any given tack?
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In light air, sailing to windward, I like crew weight to be to leeward, inducing the boat to heel, because it reduces drag somewhat and gravity causes your sails to hang in the curved shape that drives the boat, instead of hanging limp, like a sheet on a clothesline. It also helps keep the boom from swinging from side to side in the light air and boat wakes. Also, I like crew weight to be slightly forward, on the leeward side, at about the shrouds, because it raises some of the boat's fat stern out of the water, reducing wetted surface (which reduces drag).
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