Couple of tips for upwind...
1. Dont think of your sails as two separate sails - think of them as one large sail
2. You cant learn to trim if you cant see what you are doing. Add tell tails to your sails
3. Very generally – flatter in heavy wind, fuller in light wind. When the wind pipes up tighten all your control lines such as outhaul
, downhaul/Cunningham and vang (however with vang in really heavy air you want to open up again…
: 3 sets of 3 tell tails on each side – use different colors such as red/green
Set 1: 1' aft of the luff spread vertically from the top 1/4 of the sail to the bottom 1/4.
Set 2: mid way between luff and leech same height as the 1st set
set 3: 1' forward of leech spread same as previous two
Main: Depending on size usually 3 sets of 3 or 4
Same spread as above on head
Set 3: should be attached to the leech of the main. Be carefull how you attach them so that there is not a bias to the way they stream - this will make it hard to see trim in light airs. You want them streaming off the end of the sail. Also if you have battens you want them off the battens and importantly off the top batten.
4. There are three sides to “white” sails and each generally has a line that controls it.
Leech: Boomvang, Sheet and Backstay
Foot: Fairlead and to some extend Sheet
Basic trim tips for jib:
All 3 sets on both sides should be streaming aft. Ideally the ones on the windward side should be just “lifting” – ie pointing just above horizontal. Ease the sail towards the tales that are not flying.
To get them all flying you will need to adjust the fairlead. Trim the sail until the bottom tales are flying. If the top tales on the inside are not flying then move the fairlead forward until they do., if the ones on the outside are not flying ease the fairlead back until they do.
4. Always optimize your headsail before your mainsail
Basic trim tip for main upwind:
Tip 1: You want the telltales that are streaming off the leech to be flying 50% of the time. That means you don’t want them streaming hard aft instead you want them to fly, drop, fly, drop about 50% each. This gives you your optimal attached flow and entry angle for the main.
Tip 2: Once you have the tales flying you can optimise the sheet and vang tension based on the angle of the aft end of the top batten.
In light airs (0-8kts) it should point 5-10 degrees to weather (0degrees would be parralell to the boom, this can be seen by looking up the sail from under the boom and once you get used to it you can spot it easily from the helm)
In Med Airs (10kts -15kts) it should point parallel to the boom
In heavy airs 15kts+ it should point to lee of the boom.
Triming the main pulls the batten to weather (once already close hauled) and easing it opens to lee
Tip 3: Use your traveller
To get the above right your traveller needs to be involved. You always want your main as close to the center as possible until it creates too much weather helm. Generally in light air you will have the traveller all the way up on the windward side of the boat and the main centered and in heavy air you will want the traveller all the way down on the lee side of the boat.
Tip 4: Weather helm is dangerous, hard on your equipment
and slow – fix it to go fast
you never allow more than 5degree of weather helm going up wind and it is a good idea to stick to that as well when cruising as it will save wear and tear and power drain on your autopilot
as well as slow you down.
Quick adjustments to solve weather helm issues using main
1. “Drop” the traveller – lower the traveller to lee until the helm feels more balanced
2. Ease the vang, ease the sheet, or tighten backstay – this opens up the leech at the top of the sail and depowers the top of the sail. As this is a long way from the center of effort the power up here creates a lot of heel and even a small depowering by opening up the leech works wonders.
3. Shift the draft
of your sails. By tightening the luff of your sails you move draft
forward by easing you move it back – you can work this one out on your own boat
Number One Tip: Look at what you are trimming.
If you look at the sail when you are adjusting it you will clearly see what is changing. For example if you look at your main when it is sheeted really hard in and you ease the sheet even a couple of inches you will see a dramatic change in the position of the leech and it is clear what adjusting that line, even a bit does.
My quick brain dump – hope it helps someone…