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Old 15-08-2014, 17:29   #31
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Re: Still rounding up...

I'd vote for tuning the rig. It really doesn't sound like the owner would notice. You may want to buy a few beers for somebody who knows what they're doing. The tape is there to keep the cotter pins from snagging lines and sails (and sailors), not to prevent tampering. You can always re-tape.

The first reef will reduce your sail area, but it will also flatten the sail. It might be worth a try. Who cares if you're the only one with a reef if you start placing better? Likewise, the 110 may be underpowered a bit, but it's likely to have spent most of its life in a bag, so it might be in really good condition. You might get much better pointing.

If your foil is a double foil (as many are), do you have a second jib halyard? Or is it possible to hoist a jib using the spin halyard (depending on geometry of the crane)?

You should be able to use the foil just like a regular racing foil (just drop the top swivel to the bottom and hoist the sail directly). That way you can do a peel as you approach the mark and lose little if any time. It will also keep the foredeck crew busy so they won't spend all their time front seat driving and whining.
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Old 15-08-2014, 17:36   #32
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Re: Still rounding up...

Do you have anything down at the base of the mast that could be used to tie off a cunningham?

A few wraps of masking tape would even give a clove hitch enough bite to do something... Particularly if you put the squeeze on the bitter end with a winch and leave it bar tight.

Even a truckers hitch would give you enough pull to flatten out the luff of the main a bit, and wouldn't bind up terribly if you had some 1/2 inch line to use.
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Old 15-08-2014, 17:39   #33
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Re: Still rounding up...

A trick I have used on full batten baggy sails is to taper the batten to the mast end with an orbital sander, forcing the draft more forward.
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Old 15-08-2014, 17:50   #34
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Re: Still rounding up...

In your photo, it look like you have a furling genoa. Have you tried taken a couple of turns on it for the upwind legs and letting it out on the downwind?
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Old 15-08-2014, 18:04   #35
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Re: Still rounding up...

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
That struck me too.

At 12 knots true /12.5 apparent to 15/15.5 you are sailing with an APPARENT wind angle of 70 to 75 degrees. Your TWA is over 90 degrees - you would actually be sailing slightly downwind.

I'd suspect that your wind instruments are totally screwed up and you have no idea of the actual wind strengths/angles.
Wouldn't surprise me a bit...and another reason why professionals can sail by looking at sail shape only while amateurs such as myself are watching telltales, masthead fly, digital instruments, etc. all while trying to steer efficiently.
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Old 15-08-2014, 18:12   #36
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Re: Still rounding up...

Ignore the wind instruments and sail the wind... Buy a handheld anemometer and shoot the wind on the prestart. Write the HTW angle down then monitor shifts during the race.

Some pictures of the sails in this condition would be useful.

Trim the genoa cars so that the tells break evenly top to bottom or stall slightly at the top first. As I said closing the leech of the genoa even further (cars forward) should produce more force forward of the mast.

Head up more. I am becoming sure that you are not really on a close hauled heading. Think about it. If everyone else is close hauled and you are 10 degrees off them, by definition you are not close hauled.

If you are not winching the vang/mainsheet in 15+ knots you are not trimming the main hard enough. We also winch the outhaul. The mainsheet and vang should "twang" like a piano wire... (OK at least a low "E" note - LOL...)

You are able to get 6 knots boat speed in 15 knots wind. A very simple exercise is to head up (somewhat smartly) until the genoa tells luff and the boat stands up - then "smartly' again - head down 1/2 the distance you headed up.

Monitor boat speed & heel. If excessive heel head up again and then back down 1/2 the angle. Eventually you will be steering a very narrow zigzag, controlling heel and boat speed with helm. As the driver, you are locating the point at which the sails stall. If you cannot locate that point you cannot successfully race close hauled.

It will feel like an unnatural act because I suspect as you head up the first time the boat will heel even more and it will feel like you are doing the wrong thing.

7 year old sails are bad but not terrible. My main is now 10+ years old and until replaced 4 years ago my genny was 6. We were placing well and getting podiums.
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Old 15-08-2014, 18:14   #37
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Re: Still rounding up...

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In your photo, it look like you have a furling genoa. Have you tried taken a couple of turns on it for the upwind legs and letting it out on the downwind?
We have considered and discussed it but have not tried it. Might be a better solution than sailing the whole race with the 110 jib.

It sounds like you are suggesting the larger genoa is contributing to weather helm rather than mitigating it and/or keeping us from pointing as high as we might with a smaller headsail.
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Old 15-08-2014, 18:14   #38
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Re: Still rounding up...

Looking at the bene323 it is a finot design with outboard shrouds and a 110% jib sheeting well inboard of the shrouds. Any attempt to sail the boat to windward with a large genoa led outside the shrouds is going to lead to dismal pointing. Try the designed 110 and let us know how she goes. With a SA/disp of 17 and a 25% ballast ratio she should go well in 15 knots without a lapping genoa.

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Old 15-08-2014, 18:22   #39
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Re: Still rounding up...

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We usually have the cars further back to tighten the foot and twist off the genoa. We tried something different this week hoping the extra draft in the headsail would help us power through the chop but I suspect the rigging is loose (relaxed headstay) and therefore moving the cars forward only exacerbated the problem. If we have the same conditions next week we will either move the cars back or go to the smaller 110 jib.

Thanks for the comments
If the headstay is loose tighten the halyard - except if this is a furler. You can break the drum.

Can you get the backstay on to compensate?
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Old 15-08-2014, 18:49   #40
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Re: Still rounding up...

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Ignore the wind instruments and sail the wind...

OK

Trim the genoa cars so that the tells break evenly top to bottom or stall slightly at the top first. As I said closing the leech of the genoa even further (cars forward) should produce more force forward of the mast.

We do... and we did this week. Others have suggested that was the wrong thing to do. Better to twist off the leech than increase the power when heeling excessively. Coincidentally we do point higher with the cars further back. We have tested that empirically.

Head up more. I am becoming sure that you are not really on a close hauled heading. Think about it. If everyone else is close hauled and you are 10 degrees off them, by definition you are not close hauled.

Maybe it's only 5 degrees and it might be semantics but if the other boats point higher because of their design and/or better sails does that necessarily mean we are not close hauled? I always defined close hauled as pointing as high as possible relative to the wind on a beat with the sails trimmed in tight and the boom mostly centered, not by how many degrees off the wind we sail. We point as high as we can without luffing the genoa.

If you are not winching the vang/mainsheet in 15+ knots you are not trimming the main hard enough. We also winch the outhaul. The mainsheet and vang should "twang" like a piano wire... (OK at least a low "E" note - LOL...)

You might recall that this all started with Dockhead's thread suggesting that contrary to popular opinion the way to solve excessive weather helm was to travel up and twist off the main. We tried it last week and maybe it settled the boat down a little and made the main trimmer's job easier but it did not solve the problem. Next week if the conditions are the same we will go back to trimming hard...or perhaps even harder as you suggest.

You are able to get 6 knots boat speed in 15 knots wind. A very simple exercise is to head up (somewhat smartly) until the genoa tells luff and the boat stands up - then "smartly' again - head down 1/2 the distance you headed up.

Monitor boat speed & heel. If excessive heel head up again and then back down 1/2 the angle. Eventually you will be steering a very narrow zigzag, controlling heel and boat speed with helm. As the driver, you are locating the point at which the sails stall. If you cannot locate that point you cannot successfully race close hauled.

It will feel like an unnatural act because I suspect as you head up the first time the boat will heel even more and it will feel like you are doing the wrong thing.

You are not the first to suggest this and I will work on it...

7 year old sails are bad but not terrible. My main is now 10+ years old and until replaced 4 years ago my genny was 6. We were placing well and getting podiums.

8 years old but who's counting...
As usual, thanks for taking the time to comment.
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Old 15-08-2014, 19:06   #41
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Re: Still rounding up...

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Looking at the bene323 it is a finot design with outboard shrouds and a 110% jib sheeting well inboard of the shrouds. Any attempt to sail the boat to windward with a large genoa led outside the shrouds is going to lead to dismal pointing. Try the designed 110 and let us know how she goes. With a SA/disp of 17 and a 25% ballast ratio she should go well in 15 knots without a lapping genoa.

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For what it's worth there is a strong probabilty that will be the way we will go next week and perhaps for the duration of the series (4 more races). We tried it once before in much lighter air (so excessive heeling and rounding up were not an issue) but the last 1/2 of the race is in the channel and mostly downwind in lighter air and the other boats killed us. The larger headsail improves our speed for that part of the race. Others have suggested swapping the sails while on the downwind spinnaker leg but we only have one halyard on the foil and the bolt ropes are pretty tight in the foil so we don't switch the sails very quickly; it takes us about 10 minutes (on a good day) when we're in the slip let alone out in the swells. Like I've said, not our boat and access is limited so we wouldn't be able to practice that much even if we wanted to. Might try it once just for giggles so the crew can see what it's like to suit up and play like the big boys.
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Old 15-08-2014, 19:17   #42
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Re: Still rounding up...

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If the headstay is loose tighten the halyard - except if this is a furler. You can break the drum.

Can you get the backstay on to compensate?
It is a furler so I don't want to mess with that. We don't have a backstay tensioner on this boat.
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Old 15-08-2014, 19:21   #43
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Re: Still rounding up...

The large 135 is the reason you are having problems to windward. Its not the tension on the whatsit or the adjustment of the thingamyjib. It is simply that that boat is not designed for an overlapping sail. The sheeting angle is far too wide to be remotely effective to windward. Nothing can be done to fix this except use a smaller sail that sheets inboard.
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Old 15-08-2014, 19:31   #44
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Re: Still rounding up...

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The large 135 is the reason you are having problems to windward. Its not the tension on the whatsit or the adjustment of the thingamyjib. It is simply that that boat is not designed for an overlapping sail. The sheeting angle is far too wide to be remotely effective to windward. Nothing can be done to fix this except use a smaller sail that sheets inboard.
Understood. Choosing lessor of two evils since 1/3-1/2 of the race is downwind in the channel (depending on the course) and the smaller headsail kills us (or the large genoa helps us).
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Old 15-08-2014, 19:48   #45
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Re: Still rounding up...

Good, sorry for the grumpy reply, not directed at you, just that in 4 pages of all sorts of tech talk nobody bothered to look at the basic design (myself included). Until you dropped the titbit about the orignial boat having a 110%. Anyway, now we can at least try to sort out how to make the downwinds faster with an effective upwind sail.

A barber hauler on the 110 will make a world of difference on a tight reach, and a pole will make it nearly as effective as the genoa on a run.

It may be possible in a light winds to set the old genoa flying like a kite, if the rules allow. It will be tough on the luff tape. So don't overtension anyting or use it in stronger winds.

Make sure you lead the 110 sheet inboard of the shrouds, for windward stuff, and then take a lazy sheet outboard of everything to a block on the toerail for the reaches. All the best.
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