Skandia Team GBR

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tension...Rake...How Hard? How long?

Ok, so some of you won't be understanding the terms above 'cus you sail a Laser or something, that you just sit on and it goes forwards when you pull the sail in and you just have to keep the white bit above the wet blue bit etc etc. No Rig Tuning required :-)

...Sorry Tillerman, that may have been a little uncalled for?

But for the rest of us this is an essential and stressful activity that we all have to endure from time to time! This is especially the case when you get a new boat and you have to ask yourself:

  • Is it set-up right?
  • Did the last owner go fast?
  • Have they "nobbled-the boat" to slow you down?
  • Do I have a clue what I'm doing, should I be fiddling with these things?

Well unfortunately I can't help it! Despite the current focus being just to get out and sail with the kids I can't help but want to go as fast as the bloody composite thing will go...

So I checked the rake... Mast was too upright.

So I checked the rig tension... Shrouds were too loose.

Of course this was my opinion, the boat was I think going OK before I had it, it could be that I'm interpreting the settings wrongly, but sod it I decided to fiddle anyway, I always find that a boat "feels better" when I've tweaked it with the random guesses that go with 27 years sailing experience...

So I spent a couple of hours with a cold F4 blowing from some Northerly direction, fairly flat water and not a bloody soul out sailing or windsurfing (it's a real crime that the water doesn't get used all the time, even though it's available)... stood on shore, fiddling, checking, measuring, swearing, eating my sarnies, more measuring, looking, grunting, eating my Snickers/Marathon... dropping the shrouds down a hole, increasing the tension...

But it was great fun, I enjoyed wrestling with the boat to get it to be set-up how I thought it should be.. tweaking here and there so that other adjustments could be made in the future, thinking things through...

  • Inexperienced crew
  • Experienced helm
  • Light Crew
  • Sailing on mainly flat water
  • Decent/new sails
  • Sailing (in the near term) in only probably light-moderate conditions (unless my boy decided to brave a blow?)

All these things make a difference, all were factored in to me arriving at the following "magic" set of Miracle Rig Settings:

Rig Tension
190lbs (19 on the rig-tension gauge )

Jib Tension
No.3 on the rack (not that that means anything to anyone else!)

Main Halyard
No.6 on the rack (not that that means anything to anyone else!)

3rd hole down (not that that means anything to anyone else!)

Mast Rake
18 Foot 9.5 Inches (to where the aft mainsheet track would be)

I feel refreshed, happy, in tune with the boat, ready to race (or cruise) and confident that things are as they should be.... although I may be wrong!

See you on the water...


Tillerman said...

I guess there are two kinds of sailor...

a) Ones that enjoy spending hours worrying about mast rake and shroud tension and jib tension etc. etc, etc., and then more hours fiddling and tweaking all those settings before they go sailing, and then spending all the time they are racing wondering whether they got all the settings rights, and then working out after every day's racing what was wrong with all the settings that caused them not to win the race.

b) ones that just enjoy sailing.

Sorry Ant, that may have been a bit uncalled for.

Seriously, I can sorta kinda see the attraction in what you were doing here. It's just not my thing.

Ant said...

Just to clarify to you my friends, although I may seem a little "excitable" about the rig-tension etc, it's because it's a new boat... new boat, need to make my mark, its now mine not the Huett's... So it should be rigged like my boat, sailed like my boat and tuned like my boat...

Thats what I have done, made my mark and as long as it isn't slow or un-responsive that will be it...

Soulsailor is a saling sailor, not a technical sailor or a cheque-book sailor, I sail as my instincts, brain, heart and soul tell me to..


Ant said...

...and I enjoy my sailing..