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Old 02-09-2008, 09:37   #1
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topping lift, boom vang and reef?

okay first let me describe the set up now

first its a 83 27' hunter

topping lift is a steel cable that is pined with a cleves pin and a cotter pin at top and bottom, so its not removable, at least easily

the reef line goes up the boom to the mast where is exits with a cam and a sheave

the foot has a rope to wire to rope line that goes thru the boom forward to the mast to a cleat on the boom so it could be extended to the cockpit but i wont i dont think its worth it

there is another cam and sheave at the front of the boom for a second reef line ( or what ever )

no boom vang

no travler, center boom main sheet

my problem is i cant get the sail very flat, i have just gone up on deck to the mast and tightened the reef line to get the top of the sail flat at least. what i have thought about doing is cut back the boom support lline ( i wont call it a topping lift because its fixed ) and attach it to a line up the boom to the second cam for a second reef line. or i could run the line over the sheave at the front of the boom down to the deck thru some blocks i could add back to the cockpit, but i kind of like less lines in the cockpit, i dont mind going on deck to tighten a new toping lift, because i need to go up there to flake the sail any way. i need to install lazy jacks too ( no big deal )

and maybe add a boom vang, to hold it tighter but once again fixed boom support would need to be changed. yes i know about ridge vangs but they are out of budget for now.

now i have gotten 5.5 knots on a tack in less than 10 knots of wind, but i cant get a beam reach over 2 knots in the same wind
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:43   #2
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second post i think i can get a decent tack tight in to the wind due to using the main sheet to hold down on the boom there fore tightening the top of the sail via the reef line
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:55   #3
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Well, a flat sail is a depowered sail. On a beam reach you'd want the main to be a full shape. What you did work well for a close reach, but killed you on the beam reach.Is this a new to you boat? If so, I would suggest putting telltales on the sails as described by the master .. Arvel Gentry. The link is here:

http://www.arvelgentry.com/magaz/Che...n_the_Wind.pdf

Luck
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:01   #4
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You should have a purchase at the end of the boom so you can ease the topping lift. If it is restricting the tension on the leech you will never have the sail set properly.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:10   #5
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In regards to a topping lift... If I had to bet a dollar I'd say it is your problem. If you can't remove or slack off the topping lift, you never really get the sail flattened out. Light winds it can be nice to take the weight of the boom out of the picture... but not all the time. If the topping lift tightens up before the sail does...

(Learned about this when I found that the topping lift was being used to lash down an anchor on deck. Took a little while to figure out where that lost sailing performance went...)

I used to sail a boat with a wire topping lift, except instead of going up the mast it was nicopressed to the backstay. I'm wondering if you could do something similar... Lash a shackle to the backstay, run your current piece of wire through it a few feet above the boom, and a headboard shackle on the end like whats used on a lot of main halyards. Mainly thinking you could use a piece of string to keep it out of the way while sailing... and a total parts bill of 10 bucks...

Saw a pretty cool setup on a Pearson Ariel for an adjustable backstay. Fella put a block on the mast, ran a line to the end of the boom... it followed the back stay to a block on the aft deck to a cleat, rather than heading to the mast, and across the cabin top to the cockpit.

A lot less line required, and a few less turning blocks up by the mast.

I'll leave the sheeting in stuff to someone with more experience than I.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:35   #6
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i know a flat sail is not perfect but my sail at 10 knots of wind say on a close reach will not even lift the boom off of the topping lift. my main is in decent shape and battened but it will blow out 3 feet past the topping lift. i guess one day i just need to pull the cleaves pin one day and see how it works.

yes its a new to me boat
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Old 02-09-2008, 13:04   #7
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I put a snap shackle at the end of my wire topping lift. I also put a small cleat, and a bungee cord to the backstay. That way I could remove the topping lift. Yet it was still easily available when I needed it.
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Old 02-09-2008, 16:56   #8
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Get that topping lift off - In very general terms...

In light airs ease the outhaul and perhaps the main halyard. Think about it for a second. A loose foot and luff will allow the sail to puff out and "hold" more air - think big chest. It also moves the deepest depth of the sail forward. If you had a vang you'd also think about lossening the vang.

High winds you tighten things up as suggested and depower the sail.

It's strange not to have a vang. Has there ever been one?
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Old 02-09-2008, 17:15   #9
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nope never had a vang. the big problem is to tighten the leach i would say the boom would have to drop 6 inches plus, it literally is so loose i thought the sail was blown
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Old 02-09-2008, 18:16   #10
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I don't know what I am talking about

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty View Post
nope never had a vang. the big problem is to tighten the leach i would say the boom would have to drop 6 inches plus, it literally is so loose i thought the sail was blown
Rather than keep throwing guesses out there I googled some images of your baot to see how they are set up.

It looks like no vang, center sheeting and, strangley, the topping lift is an integral part of the boom system - go figure.

It doesn't look like the topping lift is removed while sailing on this boat.

Without a vang or rodkicker your sail trimming options appear more limited but it seems to be just a part of this boats design.

Going back to your original question -

"In 10 knots of wind you cannot get more than 2 knots boat speed on a beam reach. However when close hauled(?) you can get 5.5 kts - correct?

In ten knots of wind you definitely shouldn't have to be flattening the sail (depowering) or reefing (depowering)

In fact for me in 10 knots I would be trying to power up more - with teh controls available I would try loosening the main halyard and outhaul and trying to get a "bigger" chest in teh main sail. This also puts the center of effort more forward in the sail.

How old is the mainsail - it is also quite possibly blown out. If Hunter designed this so the distance from the mast top to the clew is fixed - i.e. fixed topping lift - then the length of the leech is pretty critical.
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Old 02-09-2008, 18:24   #11
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the age of the main sale is unknown but its is in great shape with the exception of some stains that i need to scrub out. the sail is still crisp if you know what i mean. i will take her out tommarrow and try a few things like temp disconnecting the topping lift just to see what happens, as well as take a few pics
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Old 02-09-2008, 18:27   #12
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Dan, A blown out sail would show it's age when close hauled. A beam reach would love a baggy sail. He's close hauling fine. I've been sitting here trying to figure how I can stall my sails to the point that I can only do 2 knots on a reach. The only controls I can think of that would have that much effect would be the mainsheet, right?

I stand by my first suggestion. get Arvril Gentry's paper: read it and debug the sails.

Why not, it's free and there is no better authority.
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Old 02-09-2008, 20:59   #13
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Rick good point - I am think about stretch along the leech in a case where there is a limit on boom travel. Not sure if I thought it out all the way through but it an extreme situation would allow the sail to twist right off, especially as the boom is not holding the leech down in this case because the fixed length topper is holding hte boom up.

Hmmm...
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Old 03-09-2008, 13:20   #14
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Odds are that the bottom of the fixed portion of the topping lift had a block on it at one point. A line would have been dead ended at the end of the boom, passed up and over the block and back through a shive on the top of the boom end and than back through the boom to a cleat on the side or bottom of the boom. That would have given a 2 part lift at the boom end and yet allowed you to release the boom entirely when appropriate. This was a very common place arrangement in the 70's and early 80's, before rigid vangs came into favor.

If you cannot entirely release the topping lift your mainsheet has no effect on the shape of the main as others have noted. Tightening the sheet merely hauls down and aft on the masthead while the leech of the sail twists off. If you do not want to pop for the cost of a Vang, try the above arrangement. (Although a Garhaurer Vang for your boat would be very inexpensive).

Once you have delt with the topping lift issue, if you still cannot get good tension on the sail, see if your sail has a cringle a foot or so above the tack. If so, you can fit a 4-part tackle with a reefing hook through the cringle--i.e. a Cunningham--that will allow you to flatten the sail. A Cunningham sometines leave a bit of loose material along the foot of the sail but that doesn't matter.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 03-09-2008, 14:43   #15
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Hylyte,

Thanks for that about the cunningham. I struggled with that on the old boat and never quite figured out how to get purchase on it...

(May have to change this threads title to: The art of sailing old boats...)
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