Thursday, February 12, 2009

More on Light Air Sail Setup

I spoke with Jay a bit about the set-up of his sails in the light conditions we saw in FL. To expand a bit on what Craig already said, Jay admitted that the set-up is a compromise when the crew is not out on the wire. The main is optimized towards the higher end of the wind range. In the light, the sail is incredibly deep and needs a lot of mast bend to twist open. I want to explore ways to add bend and reduce tension. As Craig said, the rig tension required to achieve the bend makes the headstay too tight. The tight headstay depowers the jib and results in a very narrow upwind groove.

While some pin the rig up, I like the ability to straighten the mast as the wind strengthens. It was apparent to Ned and me that this adjustability is crucial to upwind speed and height. As the velocity changes, if you do not have the appropriate amount of bend, you are going to get crushed.

The other very 'tweaky' part of this main is as you move from the mainsheet controlling leach tension to the vang controlling the leach tension. Balancing the amount of ram and vang used is crucial and seems to be more a matter of experience and technique. I was paying close attention to the leach-tale and trying to have this fly consistently (say 50% of the time in the light) as the wind ranged from 3 to 5 kts. It was my preference to be too loose and twisted esp. when the breeze was down to 3 kts.

Jay had a look at our set-up and thought it looked good. My conclusions are that upper spreaders would be a great help to speed in the light with the Glaser main. Also, that this sail can be fast in this condition it just requires a lot of attention in terms of set-up.

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