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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default pointing ability - what affects it?

    My boat should point well, at least according to the tests at the time it was introduced. "Tack though 80 degrees" for example.

    But the race yesterday showed pointing ability much the same as a good bilge keeler. So what's wrong with the boat set up?

    Mast rake and bend are correct and the rigger thinks I have the tersnions OK. Sails are good, relatively new and in decent condition.

    Any other things to look at?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Cunningham, outhaul, main sheet, traveller, halyard tension and jib sheet lead spring to mind.

  3. #3
    sarabande's Avatar
    sarabande is online now Registered User
    Location : up on the moors.
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    it sounds as if the sail(s) are in too tight if you are not pointing.

    What's the speed like relative to other similar boats?

    Have you checked leeway by visual inspection / trailing a long thin line and a small float ?

    Is the underwater hull fair, and clean ?

    Propellor in the optimum position ? Rudder not too heavily engaged ?

    Any other drag factors - eg rope round keel ?

    Have you got telltales on all sails at the important places ? Are you using them ?

    I'd try to get the boat footing freely and then play with one item at a time, logging the difference it makes.

    The old adage "If you don't measure, you can't manage" applies to racing as much as to business. Keep records.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarabande View Post
    I'd try to get the boat footing freely and then play with one item at a time, logging the difference it makes.

    The old adage "If you don't measure, you can't manage" applies to racing as much as to business. Keep records.
    That's the way to do it.
    Apartment for rent in Klosters, Switzerland http://goo.gl/HKIcgK

  5. #5
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    Oct 2005
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    Hull shape, rig set up, crew skill factor, sail shape, sea state. Not necessarily in that order.
    PM me for marine LPG

  6. #6
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    Heel. Did you have anyone sitting on the rail, or were the crew in the cockpit? You should have them sitting on the rail if you can.
    Sail shape. Just because the sails are new does not mean they are setting well. Check the lead for the jib car, traveller, cunningham, outhaul, sheet tension (twist). Sometimes moving the traveller up a bit can make a big difference to pointing - but be careful not to overdo it and choke off the power.
    Apartment for rent in Klosters, Switzerland http://goo.gl/HKIcgK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jason -and the arguenauts View Post
    My boat should point well, at least according to the tests at the time it was introduced. "Tack though 80 degrees" for example.

    But the race yesterday showed pointing ability much the same as a good bilge keeler. So what's wrong with the boat set up?

    Mast rake and bend are correct and the rigger thinks I have the tersnions OK. Sails are good, relatively new and in decent condition.

    Any other things to look at?
    Tensions ok according to rigger, but Ok for what wind strength? Big difference to being Ok for 20 knots and Ok for 10.

    Assuming you've got the absolute basics (clean hull, folding prop, mast straight and in the centre of the boat, even rig tension, sails that have the right shape) then forestay sag and jib halyard tension are number 1 culprits if you're talking setup. Jib sheet trim and car position are the leading contenders if it's a trim issue, closely followed by mainsail leach tension.

    Then you cannot overplay the value of a good helm. Just trying to point straight out of a tack will never work, you must get the boat up to speed before trying to point or you will just go sideways.
    Knowing when to foot for speed and when you can point are just some of the things that separate the competent helms from the ones with all the silverware.
    You never know, I might be right!

  8. #8
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    I've always considered an eye for detail and a decent set of oils absolutely essential to demonstrate painting ability!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default

    How much weather helm is there? None or lots is usually bad, a few degrees of rudder is good in many boats.
    You say the rake and bend are 'right', where do these measurements come from? If its a class boat, then maybe try some two boat tuning.
    There is no substitute for hours of practice, keep an eye on the speed log, if you have a digital apparent wind, try to build a picture of apparent wind v boat speed. Try to do this before each race.
    Also, if you are pointing a little lower than the oppostion, do not drop into their dirty wind, that will only make it worse! Tack for clear air then tack onto a parallel course and work to keep above their line.
    Allowing waves to stop the boat will also damage average pointing compared with sailing around the waves.
    Keep the trimmers informed about what you are trying to do. Mark and calibrate everything so you can get back to your best setting and work from there. Then you can stop thinking about all those bits and concentrate on the tell-tales!
    Think about borrowing a good/different helm for a practice session, this allows you to move around the boat, viewing things from different angles, experiment with things and understand the other jobs on the boat.
    Or go to SIBS and buy a more competitive boat?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    861

    Default Pointing ability

    It's barnacles and that sea-lettuce stuff that clobbers my pointing ability at this point in the season - must get under with the garden hoe again!

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