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Old 18-03-2011, 01:55   #1
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Upwind Problems


I'm currently skippering a First 27.7. Downwind and on reaching legs we easily keep with or are faster than the fleet. However upwind we loose lots of ground. We are always a minute or two behind the fleet even if we win the start.

I've noticed that on port tack we sail as much as ten degrees higher than on starboard and can usually average about a knot more boat speed!

Any ideas as to what this might be? I've ruled out some of the obvious issues like weight imbalance, jib sheet track position etc... could it be a rig problem?

All comments welcome!

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Old 18-03-2011, 02:23   #2
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Re: Upwind Problems

Mark some thoughts.

IS the rudder and the tiller pointing the same direction. I know ours is slightly off, but since we have a wheel as well I don't worry. Our wind gauge is also very sligthly offset.

How about using the spinnaker halyard and checking that the mast isn't leaning to one side by checking various points on both sides of the hull.

Final thought, do you have a rig tension gauge to measure the tension in the shrouds? you can use a tape measure as an alternative. There are some good articles on the Selden website about rigging a mast.

Seldén Mast AB


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Old 18-03-2011, 06:15   #3
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Re: Upwind Problems

First 27.7 should be a pretty good upwind performer. We used to race a lot against a certain First 31.7 and she did it pretty well upwind, way too well for our taste...

For me, this sounds like a rigging problem. As Pete7 suggested, it’s a good idea to check that mast is not leaning to one side. You also want to check that the mast is straight and not curved to port or starboard or even both. On our racing boat, we have a pretty complicated Bergrstöm&Ridder rig with seven individual shrouds on each side. It’s a lot of work to get everything right: rake, pre-bend, straight mast, and equal tension.

We also once had an issue with keel causing similar problems. We grounded just slightly and checked the keel by diving only. After tuning the rig endlessly for nothing, we finally found out, that the bulb had got loose just enough so that it had been able to turn about 5 degrees to port. For some reason, the offset did not cause such problems when reaching and running. I do not recall, if the lifting keel on 27.7 has a bulb or not, however, you might want to check the keel as well.

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Old 26-10-2012, 01:16   #4
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Re: Upwind Problems

they got there engines running
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Old 26-10-2012, 04:05   #5
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Re: Upwind Problems

When you say that you're higher and faster on one tack than the other, I presume you're measuring this against other boats sailing near you on the same tack? Disregard your sail instruments and speed log, since they may not be accurate. I would start by tuning the entire rig: mast rake, symmetry, straightness, and rig tension. Talk with some winning First 27.7 owners and see how they're set up.
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