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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    244

    Default Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    I think the post title describes my problem correctly - I can't get the wrinkles out of the bottom of my mainsail, at the front.

    Even if I haul the mainsail halyard so right that it's making pinging and creaking sounds, to the extent that the line feels distorted by the tension once I take it off the winch, I am still seeing this.

    I hope these photos are helpful:







    I'm not sure what that cringle is for - my boat isn't set up for a cunningham, and it looks a bit too high for that, anyway?

    As always, I appreciate any advice or suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    35,587

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    If the halyard is tight but the bottom part of the luff isn’t, clearly something else is holding the head of the sail down.

    Excessive friction in the sail sliders / batten cars? (How easily does it come down?)
    Clew end of the boom too low when hoisting, so the leach of the sail is taking the tension instead?
    Halyard coming up hard at the masthead before the sail is fully hoisted? For example a too-large knot that jams in the sheave too early, or even an incorrectly-cut sail that’s too long in the luff?

    If I had to guess I’d start with the boom angle.

    Pete

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Me; Nth County Dublin, Boat;Malahide
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    No, that cringle looks to be in a similar position to ones I have seen. Many boats have a sail with a cunningham cringle but no other infrastructure.
    A little experimentation with a piece of cord of suitable diameter might reveal some pointers.
    Feed one end of your cord through something convenient at the mast foot, ( the shackle securing the kicker, for instance) then make a loop in it. Take the other end up through the cringle and back down through the loop. Pull on the working end until you see the wrinkles flatten, then tie it off (to the loop or the shackle).
    If this experiment works for you, you could set up something more permanent with a couple of suitable blocks, one of which should i corporate a clamcleat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    West Australia
    Posts
    11,664

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    First thing is that it looks like the reefing line for the first reef tack is too tight. It should be completely free.
    However it is obvious from the pictures that your tack attachment is too long/high. The bolt rope is pulling out of the boom track. The tack eyelet should be in line such that there is no pull on the bolt rope. Either shorten the shackle or I would make /get 2 plates to attach to the pivot point for the gooseneck (the one that allows vertical movement) perhaps with a bend or cut out to clear the boom end. In any case get that eyelet lower. ol'will

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Deale, MD, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    Quote Originally Posted by William_H View Post
    First thing is that it looks like the reefing line for the first reef tack is too tight. It should be completely free.
    However it is obvious from the pictures that your tack attachment is too long/high. The bolt rope is pulling out of the boom track. The tack eyelet should be in line such that there is no pull on the bolt rope. Either shorten the shackle or I would make /get 2 plates to attach to the pivot point for the gooseneck (the one that allows vertical movement) perhaps with a bend or cut out to clear the boom end. In any case get that eyelet lower. ol'will
    This. Easing the #1 reef and lowering the tack may be enough.

    And yes, that is for a cuninghham. Run the line up through the hole and back down for an extra 2:1 purchase.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Bewdley, Worcs
    Posts
    508

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    Tack hook is too high, run a line up to the FIRST cringle, the one about a foot up the sail, and use that if you cannot shorten the hook.

    Actually, if you just ignore the "ring" and tape at the bottom of your sail and simply hook the sail directly onto the goosneck, that may be enough.
    Last edited by rszemeti; 18-09-19 at 01:34.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    So, to summarise:

    1 - The reefing cringle is too tight. Slacken it off but make sure your halyard is the correct tension and has taken the sail to the top of the mast.
    2 - Just because your boat isn't set up for a cunningham doesn't mean to say it shouldn't have one. If appropriate to set and depower your sail correctly, fit one.
    3 - Secure the tack of the sail in the correct place (both fore/aft as well as up/down). You would be surprised how much sail performance can be gained/lost with the position of the tack.
    4 - Be honest. How old is your sail. If you are looking for good performance you won't have a sail that is more than about 3 seasons old. The older, the lesser performance. I recently viewed a boat that had 20 year old sails that were 'very good'. Yeah, right. They were good for the bin.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    1,715

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    Yup, tack's too high, and possibly slightly too far forwards. There's no significant tension in the reef line chaps, look above it. Could be that the head of the sail is actually at the top or that the,end of the halyard is at the sheave. If not, then silicone spray up the track may be needed. Actually, if you haven't already sprayed it, do it anyway because it makes life so easy. Then rig a Cunningham! They too make things a doddle, halyard just lifts the sail to the top, cunningham is for tension.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,079

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    looks like the reef tack line is tight and the sail hasn't been hoisted far enough?
    As other have said, try rigging a simple cunningham.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    35,587

    Default Re: Lack of tension in tack of mainsail

    Quote Originally Posted by anoccasionalyachtsman View Post
    Yup, tack's too high, and possibly slightly too far forwards. There's no significant tension in the reef line chaps, look above it.
    There's some slack in the luff above it, but there's a lot more below. The reef pendant isn't the whole problem but it's definitely not helping. If this picture is after hoisting the sail from stowed, not from shaking out a reef, then I wonder if the OP is "stowing" the reef pendants by pulling them through to the cockpit every time, and then working against them every time he hoists the sail. I've seen it done.

    Agree with the advice to ignore (or even cut off) the spectacle rings in the tack, and put the shackle pin through the tack cringle itself.

    Pete

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