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Old 27-02-2010, 09:35   #16
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Hi, Hud:

I think the quote read:

"Now I am not an expert yachtsman. ... I've sat in yacht clubs listening to people arguing in detail about how to get the most efficient 'slot' and things like that, and frankly I do not understand half of it."

Now, 'frankly notunderstanding half of it' is a figure of speech that stands for not understanding, or not caring to understand at all.

The results of such an attitude are obvious from results of Velux 5 Oceans, wouldn't you agree?

But then again, in the mouth of such an accomplished sailor as Johnston, the words sound like false humility and pop-jounalism. He did write the book post-factum, when he WAS an expert yachtsman already...

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Old 28-02-2010, 05:14   #17
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I have to agree with Barnakiel. I'm proud of my boat, and want to show it at it's best, or at least that I understand it, and do my best for it.
I don't usually need that extra half a knot, but one day I will. And the comments on wear and tear are noted too, especially rig loadings and equipment damage.
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Old 28-02-2010, 07:59   #18
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In our last 3 club races we went 1-1-3...

I don't know squat about sail trim but I can drink beer...
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Old 28-02-2010, 14:18   #19
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In this discussion, we must include tuning the boat and rig. How gear is stowed has a big affect on performance. The rake of a mast or its offset to one side or another are factors.

Quick anecdote (why else are we here?) I raced 26 foot one design sloops with a couple. It was in the mid-seventies. We sailed on a boat designed in the thirties. The idea that we were "fast" is folly. We did have fun. The first few years, we stowed all sorts of "critically" important gear aboard. Heck, we could have rebuilt the boat while under way, made a cup of tea and had a nap afterwards. And, we finished way back in the pack in every race. After a few years of that, we cleaned out the boat and started finishing way up in the pack. It wasn't just sail trim that got us there.

I think we had more fun because the boat sailed well than because we were getting a few awards. That is our motivation for keeping Averisera in good trim. She gives us a better sailing experience when we treat her right.

Right now, the boat is under wraps and neither of us are having too much fun. Spring is in the offing, tho...
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Old 28-02-2010, 14:57   #20
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The Belle of Virginia approaching Bequia
She's a sweetheart Hud! Great picture too.
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Old 28-02-2010, 17:19   #21
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As long as the sails etc, aren't being compromised, it's ok to sail like that, but it still reminds me of a
car driving down the freeway with a severely underinflated tire.

BTW, this gives all of you to critique my sail trim in my public profile.
Flame away!
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Old 28-02-2010, 19:27   #22
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It's the incessant "tweaking" to get the Perfect Sailshape for an extra 1/4 knot that some of us find unprofitable.
This is what I love about sailing - two people can both enjoy it, but for completely opposite reasons.

I'm a tweaker - I confess. If I can get a boat humming along under perfect trim (or at least as good as I can get it), I am a very contented man indeed.
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Old 28-02-2010, 19:52   #23
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I did a 45 mile trip yesterday wind about 7-15 knots but varying a bit in direction, maybe a bit due to the apparent wind changing with the real wind speed. As I had the windvane steering on (which I adjusted to course rather than relying on wind direction) I had a bit of time to fiddle with trim. The gain in speed like a good 1-1.5+ just from trimming accurately to the wind changes of maybe 10-20 degrees was quite startling. It would be easy enough to get a 20% reduction in passage time. So sure relax but good not obsessive sail trim seems a good idea.
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Old 28-02-2010, 21:50   #24
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Tweaking sails keeps me occupied while cruising. Cranking in or easing out a sheet, changing the twist, changing the draft or ........ keeps one busy and alert. You also learn a lot about your boat so when another sailboat appears you are ready for that inevitable race you just cannot resist.

One learns which shapes works best for various combinations of wind speeds, angle of sail, sea states, balancing of the helm, minimizes chaff, etc.
A lot of boats at times carry more sail than is required for hull speed which only causes unnecessary wear and tear on equipment.

The more one knows about sail trim which only comes from practice the longer everything will last. More money for Beer, which is the whole point of cruising.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:05   #25
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There is nothing wrong with tweeking, and fiddling with sail trim, so long as your learning what works and what doesnt for the conditions. Eventually you will learn to set your sails and go. If you are tweeking and fiddling years from now, then you have other issues.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:36   #26
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There is nothing wrong with tweeking, and fiddling with sail trim, so long as your learning what works and what doesnt for the conditions. Eventually you will learn to set your sails and go. If you are tweeking and fiddling years from now, then you have other issues.


The "need" to tweak and fiddle isn't going to go away the more you learn about sail trim. In fact, it will probably increase. The question is really how much you care to be anal about it. For me, it sort of depends on my mood and who's with me. If I have a boat full of racers, I instinctively try harder (even if we're not racing). If I have a couple who's never sailed before, I know what is "good enough" for a comfortable sail. It also helps that the passengers are probably not going to know enough to call me out.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:56   #27
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There is nothing wrong with tweeking, and fiddling with sail trim, so long as your learning what works and what doesnt for the conditions. Eventually you will learn to set your sails and go. If you are tweeking and fiddling years from now, then you have other issues.
Go tell this to Russel Coutts. Tell him he has issues ;-)))

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Old 02-03-2010, 13:02   #28
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Yes, you have issues. Like changes in the wind strength and direction. Or a change in sea state.

Of course, perfect trim for cruising might be trim that works for the range of conditions. So that you didn't need to adjust trim for each lull or gust.

While racing you would re-trim for each lull, gust, lift or header.
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Old 02-03-2010, 14:25   #29
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There is nothing wrong with tweeking, and fiddling with sail trim, so long as your learning what works and what doesnt for the conditions. Eventually you will learn to set your sails and go. If you are tweeking and fiddling years from now, then you have other issues.
Having had the boat less than a year and never sailed a cat much I tweak constantly. My wife smiles and returns to her book when I point out a half knot or so. I no longer point out anything under 3/4 of a knot these days.
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Old 02-03-2010, 14:48   #30
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Just to point out that this topic is "Finer Points of Sail Trim for the Cruiser..." not the "Finer Points of Sail Trim for the Racer..."

I race almost everything mono and multihulled up to about 40', so I do understand the need for constant tweaking, as a half knot more speed is important. But keep this thread in perspective... most cruises are not about speed, or maximization of equipment, its about the journey, not who gets there first.

... And I would bet, Russel Coutts, would be the first to admit he has issues
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