Tuning Debriefing - SD NOOD 2002

All I can say is that UFO started out with a very loose rig and a jib car setting we moved backward after each race. We struggled to point and keep up with the other boats on Friday and Sat we were working very hard just to keep up with everyone. Sunday morning Chuck and I talked about the rig tension and decided to tighten things up a little. The learning curve on UFO went like this. Friday we moved the jib cars back several times each time Chuck noticed a positive change in the drive ablity of the boat and the crew noticed a more consistant pointing angle with the rest of the fleet. Friday the crew hiked out from the main cockpit area. Saturday we moved the jib car back even father and one crew sat against the stays just forward of the cockpit. Both crew and Chuck noticed a dramatic difference in boat speed and pointing ablity. The rig was still very loose. Sunday we snugged up the rig and moved the jib cars back to about as far as I would go the jib had a very flat shape. We had great speed and Chuck said the boat was much better to drive than the previous two days. I'm not sure we had our actuall rig tension measured. We were going off of feel and Chucks previous experience with the rig settings. We had a dramatic jump in performance and positioning in the fleet with each adjustment we made so I'm confident that we were on the right track. If we had one more day of racing I'm confident we would have been able to put considerable pressure on the two front boats in the fleet. The jib car postioning seemed to have the most noticable results. We started off with way to much shape in the jib. Looking at the trailing edge the jib had a hooked inward shape. After moving the cars back to the point where the jib had a flat nonhooked inward shape the boat had a very nice pointing ability and speed. I think the driving groove was narrower, but the boat seemed to be easier to keep in the groove with this setting. All of us were shocked at how far back we had to move the jib cars before the boat started to really perform. A flat jib and not so loose rig seems to have been the answer for the boats in the San Diego NOOD. Hope this helps. We moved the jib car back 3-4 holes. We actually ran out of 1/2 hole settings on the first day. We tried a few different things with the boomvang and traveler. The overall agreement was to have the boomvang loose during the upwind run especially in the heavy air on Saturday. The traveler was used to center the boom. The main sheet was used minimally after setting the inital trim. On many of the large boats I've sailed on the boomvang isn't used much going up wind and will actually make the boat more difficult to drive if synched up. When going down wind we cranked on the boomvang and played it constantly. The boomvang is like your gas peddal when going down wind. The tighter you crank on it the faster you go. If the boat is on the verg of crashing you dump the boomvang and hope the driver can dive deep to get the boat back under the sails. The boomvang use tends to be standard for all sailboats. Trent Watkins.

I don't trust the low rig tension idea. I generally go by the Ultimate 20 setup guide that is posted on the web site. Hence my settings were for medium air. Uppers: 420 pounds, acutally increased to 520 pounds for Sunday when we thought we would have heavier winds but that didn't actually happen. Lowers: 320 pounds, increased to 400 pounds for Sunday. We moved the jib cars all around, actually my crew did as I was specifically told to drive the boat. This is why I gave the crew all the credit for the races on Friday. They did find that keeping the jib flatter in the heavier wind kept good sail shape. I did have a fairly narrow groove to sail in but I've grown accustome to this. Fortunately for all of us, the waves were not that great and we didn't have to actively sail over them and hence I got away with the narrow groove sailing mode. As you can see, I did increase the rig tension for Sunday which then turned out to be a lighter wind day anyway. This didn't appear to hurt us as I think we were just as fast up wind as the day before. The reason we did increase the tension was because Saturday in the 20 plus knots of wind, my crew was worried about the mast inverting going down wind. After what happened to Clifton's boat, we didn't want to take any chances and hence the increased rig tension. Regards, Bob Aman Rogue #71

Trent, Thanks for the additional data. Just so it's clear why I mentioned the boom vang for upwind work... We found that the boom vang had a pretty significant affect on lower mast bend. I had heard of using the vang to bend the rig in dinghies but had never experienced it until I pulled hard on the vang on Cinderella Story. It's amazing how much the vang forces the boom forward and thus bends the lower section of the rig (noticeably flattening the bottom of the mainsail.) We play the vang upwind in changing conditions almost like you would a typical backstay on other boats. Who knew? John Andrew #153

John, I have had the same experience with the vang. When going to windward in heavy air you have to put it on really hard to get the mast to bend. The resulting sail shape is extremely flat with no twist. I honk on the Cunningham at the same time. The lack of twist makes for a narrow groove, but I find the flat sail to be more desirable than twist. Without a backstay you are forced to choose between flatness or twist. You can't have both. Two years ago at the Detroit NOOD I was getting creamed in 20-25 knots of wind. A boat with only a two man crew blew by me to windward. They had an extremely flat sail with the vang on hard. I have been doing it that way ever since. David Crall