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Old 21-04-2015, 15:00   #76
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

I would add to this some more background: I have never been happy with headsail controls. Unlike what you have with the main, you have no control over the sheeting position except to change the sheeting angle -- within the limitations of your track! -- in the vertical plane. It's never in the right position in the horizontal plane. Off the wind, the leech curls inward and just destroys the air flow over the sail. Hard on the wind, it's too far outboard (limited by shrouds, though). It has looked just right, using regular tracks, only on a close reach.

I don't know whether the new setup will work the way I imagine it, but I am dreaming about the possibilities for shaping the leech which will be created by being able to move the sheeting point outboard as far as the rail, and inboard without any limit. It's like having a whole nother control which has been missing all this time.

Hard on the wind, the blade will not be limited in any way by the rigging. Now I know that I can't sheet it off so closely that i close the slot, but the main - even my old baggy one -- can be made very flat, compared to the headsail. I'm sure there's a lot of room for a closer sheeting angle.

The blade is nearly finished and I will be allowed to see it for the first time on Saturday -- can hardly wait!
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:16   #77
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

Update: I have all the sails now, but we have yet to put up anything but the blade. I didn't want to subject the new sails to the wear and tear of a 1000 miles in strong conditions on my way to Finland.

The blade is absolutely brilliant -- better than I ever imagined. I had thought that it would be a bit of a one-trick pony especially for going upwind in stronger weather, but in fact it works brilliantly off the wind as well, easier to trim than the yankee. We had a scorching reach across the Channel on a pace for a 220 mile day, without even really trying hard. That's because the sail seems to pull like a freight train but without generating much in the way of drag or heel, and meanwhile activating the main sail, too, by directing the air over the mainsail smoothly. So we just flew across hardly heeling more than 15 or 20 degrees. The reduced sail area compared to the yankee is also just the ticket for our typical 20 to 30 knots conditions. I have hardly had to reef it. Below 20 knots of wind, of course the reduced area makes itself felt.

The sheet leads work really well, allowing a really good shape off the wind, with lead pulled out to the rail. I think this athwartships adjustment is especially important for this high aspect sail. The only problem I have is that the outboard anchor points are too far aft, so I will have to add some more padeyes. After all the agonizing about how to install them, I ended up just screwing padeyes into the teak rail, and they have proven to be plenty strong, having held well in 24 hours of a F9. Bent one padeye slightly when a knot came loose, turning the triple purchase into no purchase and putting all the load onto one of them, but the attachment to the rail was fine.

I unreeve the sheets and re-reeve them inside the shrouds going upwind, but I have not yet been able to achieve any better performance upwind than what I was getting with the sheets outside. I haven't studied it systematically, but max VMG to windwward seems to be at about 32 degrees (compared to 37 before), which is brilliant -- I will be tacking through 90 degrees or less, which was my dream goal for this sail and this rig. Maybe even better after I figure it out a little more. Part of the dramatic improvement in pointing is the behavior of the mainsail in partnership with the blade. There is no longer any "speed bubble", and I can put the traveller up above the centerline, and so get a lot of drive even at 30 to 32 degrees AWA. And this is my old baggy mainsail, too, which is just transformed in the air flow created by the blade. Can't wait to try the new carbon main. Maybe we'll put it up in Bornholm.

I am sailing with an excellent Danish crew, three Yachtmaster Oceans, great sailors and great guys all of them. One of them doesn't like my sheet leads because of their complexity -- he thinks having anything complex on deck is always bad. He has a point, of course, but I actually only ended up adding one line coming back from the foredeck on either side, which is no more than would have resulted from new tracks with towable cars. I have led this line back through stanchion blocks, a clutch on the rail, and a turning block at the quarter back to the winches. With triple purchase, the action is wonderfully light and precise, and you don't need to take up a winch when you're done since there's a clutch. It is true that the rigging clutters the side decks next to the padeyes, but I don't see how tracks would have meant any less clutter. I will post photos when I have a new computer (old one destroyed in the knock-down).

Thanks to everyone for the excellent help in thinking through the sheet lead issue, which I struggled with so much.

Sent from my SGP521 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:43   #78
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

One thought on your old main.

I'm guessing that when the sail was made the sailmaker used the wrong pattern for the luff. I reckon he used the pattern for a standard mast rather than a furling mast. The luff of a furling main will always be straighter and a standard mast will always bend more. Next time you are near a lawn take over the old main plus a couple of screwdrivers and some string. Peg out the luff and run the string between the screwdrivers.

If I'm right there will be too much round in the luff. Get a long skinny dart cut up the luff just behind the tape and it might transform the sail. It will certainly take the bagginess out of the forward 1/3 of the cloth.
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Old 13-05-2015, 09:38   #79
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

Quote:
Originally Posted by savoir View Post
One thought on your old main.

I'm guessing that when the sail was made the sailmaker used the wrong pattern for the luff. I reckon he used the pattern for a standard mast rather than a furling mast. The luff of a furling main will always be straighter and a standard mast will always bend more. Next time you are near a lawn take over the old main plus a couple of screwdrivers and some string. Peg out the luff and run the string between the screwdrivers.

If I'm right there will be too much round in the luff. Get a long skinny dart cut up the luff just behind the tape and it might transform the sail. It will certainly take the bagginess out of the forward 1/3 of the cloth.
Well, I had it recut once. There was nothing wrong with that sail except 20 000 miles of hard ocean sailing, much of it in F6, F7, and more. It was made by Hood and was a really good sail -- in its day.

The new main is in a bag in the forecabin waiting to be hoisted. On the one hand, I can't wait, on the other hand, I'm in the middle of a long trip (about 1000 miles so far and 500 to go) with a lot of heavy conditions (including 24 hours of a F9 in the North Sea), and I'm glad not to be putting the wear and tear on the new sail.
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Old 13-05-2015, 10:13   #80
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

But what does "recut" mean ?

The usual thing for recutting an old main is to take up the leech seams and that would most probably be what was done. The luff may not have been considered or sewn at all.
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Old 15-05-2015, 06:41   #81
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

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But what does "recut" mean ?

The usual thing for recutting an old main is to take up the leech seams and that would most probably be what was done. The luff may not have been considered or sewn at all.
Well, the old sail is bias cut, so what he took out, as far as I understand, was mostly along the existing seams. It really improved the shape and gave me a couple more years of useful life out of the sail. But Dacron can't and doesn't last forever, nor does any other sailcloth. I am actually still using that sail and it performs much better behind the new blade as the airflow is directed differently. But I will be hoisting the new main pretty soon now -- as soon as it looks like a stretch of reasonable weather.
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Old 15-05-2015, 07:09   #82
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

Congrats, Dockhead! Glad to hear that you are pleased with the blade.

Brad
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Old 15-05-2015, 08:53   #83
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Re: Tracks for Blade Jib

Where are the photos!

Matt
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