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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1
Being the old duffer cruiser that I is I tend not to play around a hell of a lot with halyard tension. I will adjust the main outhaul for heavy/light conditions, ease off a tad on the headsail halyard in light airs, move sheet blocks around but don't play with the main halyard too much.

What do you racing types do ? Loosen off in light airs ? Tighten up in heavy ? Or is the outhaul adjustment all that is required.


(Damn I wish Alex was here.)
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #3
I would set the halyard and use a cunningham for adjustment.
That's something I've never fully understood. What is the difference between hauling the main up to tighten the halyard and hauling it down by using the cunningham ? The only thing I can think of is that using the Cunningham is less stressful is some way as in stress on the halyard or the sail slugs or chord.

Have to work this out I guess.

Current Womboat does not have a cunningham though I guess I could rig one using reefing point.

New Womboat is inmast furled and while that may not last its obviously not a system suitable for a cunningham.

cheers
 

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TD,

You in last post said magic word(s).....in mast furling.

This of course is from a person that knows NOTHING about furling systems, but as I have heard, you want the halyard to be tight, and play with an outhaul to vary the shape etc. IF you had non in mast furling, then yes as NOLAsailing said.

Otherwise, yes you can tighten to a degree with the halyard, tighten more with a cunningham, which can change the CoE easier and better than tightening the halyard. I put a cunningham recently on my boat, a bit easier to work with than the main sail halyard to tighten up the luff if crinkling! or appearing to be loose.

marty
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #6
Halyard on: upwind, breeze

Halyard eased: downwind, light air
So irrespective of wind strength , keep it tensioned upwind ?

I'm guessing here but is this to maximise aerodynamic shape ? Then easing or tightening outhaul is your tuning tool.

Downwind use both outhaul and halyard or cunningham because aerodynamic shape is not so important.

I've tended to be hard on in heavier breeze and ease off in light. Looks like this is not quite right going uphill.

One of problems with not ever racing. You keep on perpetuating errors year after year after year.
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #7
Good grief. I believe we have SailNets equivalent of the Phantom of the Opera.

A certain little ghost in the machine just whispered in my ear.


;)
 

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The strength of the breeze of course plays a role. Tensioning halyard or cunningham will flatten the sail and, in light air, will be slow. Your halyard tension will vary by a couple inches on your halyard. Put the halyard on the winch, ease slightly, and check shape/boatspeed.

The cunnigham is less of a fine touch - in really light air or downwind, you can ease it all of the way (or nearly so, depending on your boat).

Be careful not to overtension the halyard. If you do, you'll notice a vertical shelf form along the luff. Ease until this disappears. If it's light, or you're heading downwind, ease some more and the sail will become a little more full.

Also, you'll adjust the outhaul for the same conditions. Upwind, breeze, outhaul one. Downwind and/or light air, outhaul eased.

Experiment to see what works on your boat in what conditions and, when you figure it out, marks your lines, so you can make fast and easy adjustments.

Just because you're not racing doesn't mean you shouldn't try to sail your boat as well (and as fast) as you can.
 

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I've tended to be hard on in heavier breeze and ease off in light. Looks like this is not quite right going uphill.

One of problems with not ever racing. You keep on perpetuating errors year after year after year.
Actually, this not necessarily wrong, Mr. Wombat. If it's light, you don't want the sail to be flat. Ease off a bit and check boatspeed. Also, foot off a little as you'll kill your speed pointing too high in light breeze. The sail may look a little funny with a few wrinkles, but boat speed rules - keep an eye on the knotmeter.
 

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Telstar 28
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Just remember that as the wind strength increases, you'll generally want a flatter sail shape, and if you have dacron, rather than high-tech or wire halyards and outhauls, they will stretch more in higher winds, requiring them to be tightened a bit more than in lower winds.
 

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1997 Dehler 33
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TDW, did you use the cunningham on Giulietta, or did Alex outright refuse to depower the boat at anything less than a full knockroach. :D
 

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Shields Racing

When setting the halyard tension in a Shields we look for the position of the maximum draft about 2/3 up the mainsail in combination with the windspeed. The tighter the halyard the more the maximum draft moves forward. We try to keep the maximum draft about at 50%. The stronger the breeze the more halyard tension is needed. It gets complicated since the shape of the sail is also strongly effected by the backstay tension and also the forestay length. For less breeze we look for a deeper sail. The Cunningham tends to get used in a strong breeze to effect the lower portion of the sail and move the draft forward. Other boats would be trimmed differently but the universal point is the desired shape of the sail is the goal for the particular windspeed and heading.
 

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Telstar 28
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Backstay tension is something that only really affects fractional rig boats. However, it does help flatten the mainsail and headsail considerably.
 

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Backstay tension is something that only really affects fractional rig boats. However, it does help flatten the mainsail and headsail considerably.
I found a backstay adjuster helpful on my former masthead rigged boat. The rig was adjusted so that, when I applied backstay tension, it exerted force downward on the top of the mast, and so that the only way the midsection of the mast could bend was to bow forward, pulling the midsection of the mainsail with it.

You can see how it works by putting one end of a slender dowel on a table, and pushing down on the other end with your hand. The dowel will bow in the middle, out of column. It bends more easily if you start it off with a little pre-bend. I adjusted the mast's rigging so that it could only bend one way, and so that it could only bend so far, and no farther.
 

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One other thing to keep in mind, along with wind speed, is sea conditions.

In general, you want sails fuller in light air and flatter in heavy.

But also, if you're trying to punch through a sloppy sea, you need the sails a little fuller than in a calm sea, think of it as a lower gear on a car or bike, to give you more power when the seas make your trip a little more "uphill".

Windspeed is the primary factor, but sea condition, though secondary, is still important.
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #18
TDW, did you use the cunningham on Giulietta, or did Alex outright refuse to depower the boat at anything less than a full knockroach. :D

Played around with outhaul mainly. Alex set the halyard relatively hard which was apt for the conditions. I don't recall him pulling on more cunningham . He did drop in a reef when it really piped up.


In general people, don't misunderstand me, I do like to sail as efficiently as possible. Lets face it , its probably more important to get a slow boat moving as well as possible than it is a fast one. Of course its also often the case that a fast boat is more temperamental than the slow.

What I didn't fully understand was the halyard v outhaul adjustment. Couldn't quite see how the halyard was effecting the draft of the sail. Outhaul yes, halyard no but since reviewing Alex's vid and following up on advice received here I think I get it now.

Hey, you never know, might make a sailor of me yet instead of a lazy old fart , half asleep , steering with his foot and just letting the world go on about it's business.

I do have to say that sailing G was something of an eye opener. I'd never sailed so consistently fast for such a relatively long period of time. Don't think I'd ever get obsessed with it, but it was fun even though everything happens just a bit too quickly for my liking.
 

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Backstay tension is something that only really affects fractional rig boats.
Not strictly true. As it applies to the main: Yes. But backstay tension affects the forestay tension on a masthead-rigged boat, allowing you to adjust the headsail's depth. (We have a backstay tensioner on our masthead-rigged boat.)

However, it does help flatten the mainsail and headsail considerably.
It's my understanding backstay tension has little-to-no effect on the main on a masthead rig.

Jim
 

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al brazzi
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Not strictly true. As it applies to the main: Yes. But backstay tension affects the forestay tension on a masthead-rigged boat, allowing you to adjust the headsail's depth. (We have a backstay tensioner on our masthead-rigged boat.)

It's my understanding backstay tension has little-to-no effect on the main on a masthead rig.

Jim
If so equipped<<
I always understood the Baby stay did two things, allow the mast to bend (in the right direction) with backstay tension and strengthening the mast while running a spinnaker. Surely there is more to it than that but without this stay you're not in control of the mast column with backstay tension. All the resulting advantages to backstay adjustments are not controllable unless stays (and spreaders) are swept back, without a baby stay.
 
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