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Thread: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

  1. #1
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    Default Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Took advantage of some good winds today (20 knots) to see how my Pathfinder handles the conditions fully reefed.

    I discovered that I have really bad leech flutter close hauled in these conditions. The reef was tied in good and tight and plenty downhaul tension. I tried to vary the outhaul tension, but this did not solve it. I reattached the halyard about two inches aft and went back out, this did not solve it. Under normal condition with full sail there isn't any flutter.

    Anyone know of which adjustments, if any, can fix this?




    Last edited by deke; 10-22-2017 at 06:46 PM.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Sometimes these things can take a lot of staring and thinking and experimenting to sort out. It took me 2 weeks of steady sailing and staring and thinking before I figured out how to eliminate a throat-to-clew wrinkle on my new balanced lug.

    It may be that you actually have the sail a little too flattened, even for 20 kts.

    You say you increased the outhaul tension. Have you tried varying the clew downhaul in combination with the outhaul? It's possible if you let out the downhaul a little it may allow a little more shape in the centre of the sail and not leave excess at the leech to flutter.

    I'ts difficult to tell from the picture, but are you tying the reef point nettles around the boom as well as the gathered-up sail? If so, try just tying the nettles just around the sail and don't constrain the foot to lying along the boom. Again, that should allow a little more sail shape in the centre.

    Keep experimenting.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    I added a leech-line to Rowan's sail after seeing this problem develop over time with Dragonfly's balance lug. I think it had to do with the different tensions and stresses that show up after sailing reeefed down a whole lot. It's not a hard mod to add if you have a decent sewing machine, and it solved my issue utterly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    James makes a good point. I have leech lines on my foresail, built in to the sail from the start, but it's new enough I haven't had the need to use them yet.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    The nettles to not go around the boom, just the excess sail. I'll try easing the outhaul. I just moved the halyard forward about 6". See how that works too. It seems to me that if I move the fulcrum forward (halyard forward), that should give me more peak.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Is the leech cut hollow? Some mains suffer the same issue as a large roller reefing genoa in that they may set well in one position, but are compromised when reduced. I have not had the issue on my family skiff lug, if anything, when reefed i cant get it flat enough, but the hollow cut leech has never been an issue. Thats a nice looking sail.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Your sail looks rather new, so why not ask the sailmaker to put in a leachline? And when you are the sailmaker you could do it yourself. I would use a thin polyester line, 2 mm., and small cleats for you want to keep the leach as light as possible. Frank van Zoest

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Could it be that the reef points are a bit too high, so that when the nettles are tied (even though they are not tied to the boom) the sail is flattened leaving the leech a bit slack? Try tying them really loose, or not tying them at all and see what happens.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    I agree with what the other folks mentioned. There are a lot of teeny adjustments that can be made. I used prussic knots to fine tune some things on my boat because they are very adjustable with no hardware needed.

    It could just be my sail, but when fully reefed, it just isn't as effective or adjustable as at any of the other configurations. I think James once told me that when it's time to put in the third reef, it's probably time to get off the water!

    Also, looks like a nice boat you've got. Maybe you could share some other pictures with us.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Yeah, by the time you need that third reef in these itty-bitty boats, the sea state itself usually ain't particularly recreational, and you're looking for an island or a cove with a lee, hopefully one you can make on a reach or lower. Yikes!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Same conditions today, made some adjustment and re-attacked. Moving the pick point of the halyard ultimately made the most difference. It didn't relieve the flutter close hauled, but I got much better overall sail shape and she appeared to point higher. Maybe the flutter is slightly better. Releasing the reef nettles made the sail too baggy.

    Here is a shot with the halyard attachment moved aft. This definitely increased the peak by tilting the whole sail more nose down. With a forward pick point, the boom was more parallel. I was much happier with the performance of the boat with the pick aft vice forward, but still lots of flutter closed hauled, reaching is fine.



    Here is full sail with the pick point in the aft location. You can see the boom is tiled more nose down, giving me more peak.



    Wondering if my Snotter needs lowered? Is this too much of an angle on the boom?




    Bruce, thanks you for the compliment , there is a full build thread of this boat on the forum too, but here are a couple...







    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Leach lines can work very well! It does look like the peak is under a bit of tension. A little easement on the peak via the spotter in conjunction with a leach line might be the ticket.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 10-23-2017 at 08:24 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Personally, I doubt you can ever completely remove the leech flutter just by tweaking when reefed so heavily. Leeches are hollowed via ratios anywhere from 1" in 6' to 1" in 10' of the entire unreefed leech length. Your third reef is so high that you essentially have most of your hollow either bundled up next to the boom, or so low on the working leech that it isn't doing much. This leaves you with a long expanse of minimally-hollowed lugsail leech in high winds, which is likely going to flutter. About the only way to prevent that with the vertical cut would be to hollow the individual sections between the reefs, just as we do on some battened sails. A leech line would probably help, as long as it isn't overused (which a lot of people tend to do). A little bit of flutter is generally far superior to a hooked leech eliminating flutter, but acting as a brake.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    On RAN TAN which has a very high aspect ration fully battened rig, with three potential reefs, we put a short batten in above the third full batten. It is a nuisance when putting the sail away as it has to come out for a nice roll, but it sure keeps leech issues under control. I know your sail is a soft sail but a batten pocket above your third reef band might not be a bad thing and easy for you or your sailmaker to add.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    . A little bit of flutter is generally far superior to a hooked leech eliminating flutter, but acting as a brake.

    This ^^^^

    A hooked leech is bad news. I can tolerate a lot of flutter before I would harden up the leech much.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Thank you for that input Todd, was hoping to get your opinion. I've read all of your posts on lug sails and they are very informative. I added tells to the sails after reading your post on sail twist, but now I'm looking up all the time ��.

    Do do you have any opinions on the boom angle on the mizzen? Maybe a little high? Was thinking of lowering the Snotter arrangement.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Balanced Lug on Pathfinder Leech Flutter

    Maybe a bit. Any undesirable symptoms going on with it? As long as both the leech and foot stay reasonably firm I would think it is OK. The current, steep angle might put a bit more boom weight on the clew, possibly flattening the sail a little more than ideal, but without actually playing around with it, it's hard to say whether or not that is even an real issue.

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