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Thread: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

  1. #1
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    Default Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    My rig is a Welsford Pathfinder and I have her rigged with as a B-lug Yawl, or a B-lug Cat Yawl if you like. Hopefully this will be thread for more advanced techniques for rigging and trimming B-lugs. Letís assume you have some experience sailing a B lug rig and you already know the basics, like you need lots of downhaul tension, and you have also read all the Storer articles as well (which are very helpful to get you going).

    For starters why do I seem to have better windward performance on the bad tack when the sail is pressed into the mast? On this tack I seem to point higher into the whitecaps and my sail seems to shape better??? On the other ďgoodĒ tack I feel like Iím more reaching than pointing? I also have more leech flutter.

    Also, if you donít have plans to reference, how do you know if you have the BEST pick point on the yard? Is getting a crease towards the peak the only criteria? How to you fine tune this point and what are you looking for when you fine tune.

    Any additional techniques on improving windward performance for balanced lugs, please chime in. Iíve recently switched to dyneema for both the halyard and downhaul, but I canít tell much difference overall.


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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    I'd ditch the lug for a sprit rig.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    I have commented on the lug rig's "bad tack" in the past and attributed it to less draft in the sail. On some rigs the difference is enough to want to shift to the "bad tack" on each board, or set it up so that the "long board" is the "bad tack"!

    Edit to add;
    I have gone to some trouble to rig working outhauls on both the yard and the boom, sewn dacron webbing for robands (never lacing), added a powerful downhaul and a rigid attachment for the yard to the mast. I have also used a detachable vang which is mostly redundant if the "hoist" is in the correct place (this varies with wind strength). All of which is mostly "nuts" on a small craft, but I enjoy sailing as well as I can, and have been accused of being nuts more than once!
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 01-21-2018 at 06:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Do you have a collar that wraps around the boom and the mast? I can't quite tell in your photo. That might help when you're on starboard tack and the sail is naturally pushed away from the spar. I use a nylon dog collar.

    Here I am on starboard tack.


    Here I am on port tack.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    I do, and your right, it’s pretty important to keep the boom close to the mast. It also keeps the boom from slamming into the mast when rough, or when power boats throw you a wake in calm waters. I’ve also learned to run that line behind the halyard in case I need to quickly drop the main.
    Last edited by deke; 01-21-2018 at 07:59 PM.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    It's a little hard to tell from your picture, but it appears as if the foot of your sail has very little, if any, foot roach. Usually a balanced lug will have some, in order to give some additional belly to the sail , along with the broad-seaming.

    I'd be tempted to unlace the foot of the sail and see how it sets when only the clew and tack are holding it to the boom. That might move enough sailcloth into the belly to take out that wrinkle at the peak.

    On my foresail, I had to also allow the clew a couple on inches extra slack compared to the tack, in order to get rid of a similar wrinkle. I still had the outhaul tight. It took me 10 consecutive days of sailing and staring at it to figure that out. Try playing with the clew outhaul and clew tie-down (roband I suppose), to see if that improves things.
    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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    What type of line are you using for the halyard, downhaul, and sheet? Low stretch or the stretchy three strand?

    Edited - ahh, I see you're using dynema.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    What size dynema would be best for a downhaul and halyard ?
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by deke View Post
    My rig is a Welsford Pathfinder and I have her rigged with as a B-lug Yawl, or a B-lug Cat Yawl if you like. Hopefully this will be thread for more advanced techniques for rigging and trimming B-lugs. Let’s assume you have some experience sailing a B lug rig and you already know the basics, like you need lots of downhaul tension, and you have also read all the Storer articles as well (which are very helpful to get you going).

    For starters why do I seem to have better windward performance on the bad tack when the sail is pressed into the mast? On this tack I seem to point higher into the whitecaps and my sail seems to shape better??? On the other “good” tack I feel like I’m more reaching than pointing? I also have more leech flutter.

    Also, if you don’t have plans to reference, how do you know if you have the BEST pick point on the yard? Is getting a crease towards the peak the only criteria? How to you fine tune this point and what are you looking for when you fine tune.

    Any additional techniques on improving windward performance for balanced lugs, please chime in. I’ve recently switched to dyneema for both the halyard and downhaul, but I can’t tell much difference overall.


    Check for twist in the sail, is it the same on each tack?

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    https://www.storerboatplans.com/desi...r-google-docs/
    https://www.storerboatplans.com/desi...-and-lug-sail/

    I've been looking at Storers Articles on Lug Rig's for a bit as I am nearly to the point of needing to buy some ropes and cleats and such to setup my own Lug Rig. He does have quite a collection of information on Lug Rigs. Hopefully some of it is useful to your situation.

    Cheers

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    It's a little hard to tell from your picture, but it appears as if the foot of your sail has very little, if any, foot roach. Usually a balanced lug will have some, in order to give some additional belly to the sail , along with the broad-seaming.

    I'd be tempted to unlace the foot of the sail and see how it sets when only the clew and tack are holding it to the boom. That might move enough sailcloth into the belly to take out that wrinkle at the peak.

    On my foresail, I had to also allow the clew a couple on inches extra slack compared to the tack, in order to get rid of a similar wrinkle. I still had the outhaul tight. It took me 10 consecutive days of sailing and staring at it to figure that out. Try playing with the clew outhaul and clew tie-down (roband I suppose), to see if that improves things.
    Hey Alex, walk the fellow through your procedure for using a garmin gps to really see if you're getting to a mark quicker or just pinching too hard. It's late and it's winter and I'm tired and the correct terminology is slipping away from me. In the opening post, he says it "feels" like he's pointing better on starboard tack than port tack. Maybe he is, or maybe not, ya know? Data would help.

    Separately, I'm curious if the skipper has his weight far enough forward or if the boat is squatting a bit while beating to windward. Maybe a hiking stick is in order.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Hey Alex, walk the fellow through your procedure for using a garmin gps to really see if you're getting to a mark quicker or just pinching too hard. It's late and it's winter and I'm tired and the correct terminology is slipping away from me. In the opening post, he says it "feels" like he's pointing better on starboard tack than port tack. Maybe he is, or maybe not, ya know? Data would help.
    Good points Tim. Data is always good.

    It's simple enough, assuming your GPS has a VMG (velocity Made Good) function on it.

    1. Go out on a day where the wind is fairly steady in both force and direction.
    2. Use your compass to determine the mean direction the wind is coming from.
    3. Set up a waypoint in your GPS directly to windward a few miles (the farther away the better as it reduces the effect of minor variations in steering or pointing).
    4. Sail to windward for a number of tacks, observing your VMG on each tack.
    5. Vary how close to windward you are sailing and trim the sail accordingly, observing the VMG.

    When I do this with Fire-Drake, also a balanced-lug yawl, I find that while I can pinch up pretty close to the wind, i.e. about 45 degrees off true wind, that isn't my fastest progress to windward. Fastest progress to windward is actually about 5 degrees off that, about 50 degrees off true wind. Every boat will be a little different.

    If you are obsessive about best time to windward, you have to pay constant close attention to steering and sail trim, especially in light to moderate winds. Even a little lapse in concentration will lose you 1/2 to 3/4 knot. May not seem like much but in boats like ours, that are going to be sailing between 3-4 kts most of the time, it's going to be noticeable on a long beat.

    This was illustrated for me on my Inside Passage trip last summer, on the last day on the Grenville Channel, when I was trying to get south and around the point and into Hartley Bay. I had the tide with me all afternoon and a nice moderate headwind. I put in a waypoint as above and tacked toward it all afternoon. I found that over about 7 hours of sailing, my concentration frequently wandered and although the sail trim looked OK and the speed through the water felt about right, the objective speed by GPS would drop off. I managed to catch myself after a bit each time, but I probably lost between half a mile to a mile at least over the whole period. How important was this? Well, when the wind died and the tide turned, I was still about a mile and a half short of the point. It was a tough row in the slop to get around it. It would have been much less work had I been able to keep my concentration.
    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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Overall, boat is sailing fine, I’d say she points about 60 deg on the tack where the sail is pressed into the mast and it “appears” to be about 70-80 deg on the other. If I could point 45 deg on both tacks, I would be very happy. My goal is two fold, first increase my knowledge so that I can recognize when an adjustment is required and how to make it. And second, I sail in the Keys where there are lots of tight channels and I always need to get thru at least couple each time I sail, so I need to master windward performance. Even if the wind is off the channel approaching, it always seems to funnel down the thru mangroves once I get there, hence I’m always pinching to make it thru. Add an opposing current and it gets comical.

    AJZimm, When I make it out the channels, I will normally sat a course for best speed in the general direction I’m going, I try not to pinch unless it’s necessary. I’ve not tried the VMCG drill, that’s great advice and as soon as I do, I’ll post the results.


    Mr. Welsford, thank you for participating in this discussion. Lets say you do have a difference in a sail twist difference between the tacks, what adjust will fix this? My main is sheeted off the back of the CB box and the block is attached to the end of the boom.

    Here are a few more pics...anyone else who sails a B lug notice better performance to winward on the bad tack?

    Light winds with about a 40% pick point....



    Sail on the good tack...light winds again..looks more like a reach...



    Reaching...




    Second reef in winds about 15...this water is protected by a flat here, no fetch for the wind...good stern shot, I don’t think she is squatting....



    Ghosting into a marina with about a Knot tailwind....I’ve since removed the tells, it didn’t improve my sailing, I just found myself always looking up...

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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Telltales are actually pretty useful for determining whether you have the right amount of twist. Remember, the reason you need some twist is the difference in wind speed between the bottom and the top of the sail (due to drag over the water - wind speed increases with height), combined with the forward motion of the boat, that results in apparent wind on the sails being different over the height of the sail.

    With this rig, you don't have as much control over twist as with a marconi main with vang and athwartships adjustment. However, when beating, you should find that a little bit of difference in mainsheet will change the twist quite a bit. This is where the telltales at the leech come in - you should have them streaming equally on both sides of the sail. If a telltale is curling forward, the air isn't flowing aft properly on that side so let the sheet out or harden it in (as applicable) until it is.

    I find it is not uncommon to be sheeted in too hard and have too much twist so the top of the sail may be set correctly, but the bottom telltale is back-winding and you are losing drive and pointing ability.

    And yes you will find yourself looking up a lot.

    When you are off the wind a little, the weight of the boom has more influence over the twist.
    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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    I would start by getting rid of the sail lacing and switching to individual attachments that cause the sail's head and foot to set in a perfect straight line. Having a matching accurate and adjustable outhaul and a tack that does not impart any twist or distortion is important, as lashings are rarely adequate. Note the face of the yard (and boom) against the sail should be layed out and cut in a straight line, not curved or tapered. Sailmakers will assume this but if not, this can be worked around using sewn webbing for robands. I like a small sliding fitting to hold the clew at the same measured distance as the tack away from the yard/boom. (Some study of performace oriented sails will show careful attention to these particular details. If I ever built another lug rig, I might even consider sail track and slides!)

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Good idea to start this thread. I make lugsails since almost 20 year now and I am happy to add a few things I learned to the other comments.
    1 make sure the luff does not stretch, dyneema is fine for it can easily be sewn in a tunnel and sewn to patches.
    2 when your luff does stretch you can use a regulation line to pull up the yard. You tie this line to the fore side of the yard, it goes around the mast, back to the yard, where you have attached a micoblock, and down to a cleat near the mastfoot. 3 mm line is good. Now you can also make your sail more or less full.
    3 Traditional balanced lugsails have the foot laced to the boom. However a loose-footed sail is faster.
    I have some pictures of the line in point 3 in my blog. www.oarandsail.nl
    Last edited by FF; 01-23-2018 at 08:09 AM. Reason: spelling mistake

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Reading this thread with great interest. My paradox points better on the 'bad' tack too... more apparent in stronger winds and rough seas. The sail pressed against the mast is comparatively stable... maybe has something to do with it. Someone on the paradox builders forum reckoned they had the same experience so I thought this was a weird paradoxism, however it would seem from this thread that it may be a weird lug sail thing. If I could find a way to make my good tack a bad tack to match the other bad tack I'd be getting to windward better.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    This site can’t be reached

    www.oaransail.nl’s server DNS address could not be found.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    This site can’t be reached

    www.oaransail.nl’s server DNS address could not be found.
    Sorry, it should be www.oarandsail.nl
    thanks, Peter

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    FF, thanks for that. The video on the luggers is awesome. Looks like quality work went into those sails.

    I’m not a 100% sure I follow you on the extra regulation line you mention. Is it seperate from the halyard? Any chance you could post the pictures here, I couldn’t find it on the website. You use this extra line to peak up the halyard more?

    Unfortunately my sail was made traditionally to be laced to the boom, the next sail I have made will be unlaced for sure. I also have a leech flutter issue in high winds, not sure if it’s the sailor or sail yet, I’m working on it.

    Also the reef in that video is very neatly rolled up, not sure how you did that either.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    What size dynema would be best for a downhaul and halyard ?
    I just ordered 8mm New England Endura Classic with dyneema core for both the halyard and downhaul. I’m finding the dyneema without the cover is to slippery and I have to put several wraps around the halyard cleat to keep it from creeping loose. I think my mast would shoot thru the bottom of the boat before the dyneema breaks. Too small of a diameter makes handling awkward.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Subscribed.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by deke View Post
    FF, thanks for that. The video on the luggers is awesome. Looks like quality work went into those sails.

    I’m not a 100% sure I follow you on the extra regulation line you mention. Is it seperate from the halyard? Any chance you could post the pictures here, I couldn’t find it on the website. You use this extra line to peak up the halyard more?

    Unfortunately my sail was made traditionally to be laced to the boom, the next sail I have made will be unlaced for sure. I also have a leech flutter issue in high winds, not sure if it’s the sailor or sail yet, I’m working on it.

    Also the reef in that video is very neatly rolled up, not sure how you did that either.
    Your sail might have grommets along the foot but that doesn't mean it has to be laced to the boom. A stout outhaul will handle the foot and allow you to manipulate the belly of the shape. Stuff that looks traditional doesn't always work well in practice.

    If you're absolutely wedded to attaching the foot of your sail to the boom, then consider moving to individual robands. Still not really optimal though, as its nice to have control over the belly of the lugsail. But robands might give you a more control than lacing.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default

    The dyneema cored endura classic is what I have been using for halyard and downhaul on Waxwing for the past 4 seasons, and I like it—negligible stretch, easy on the hands, attractive.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by John hartmann; 01-23-2018 at 12:38 PM. Reason: tapatalk mangles punctuation

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by deke View Post
    FF, thanks for that. The video on the luggers is awesome. Looks like quality work went into those sails.

    I’m not a 100% sure I follow you on the extra regulation line you mention. Is it seperate from the halyard? Any chance you could post the pictures here, I couldn’t find it on the website. You use this extra line to peak up the halyard more?

    Unfortunately my sail was made traditionally to be laced to the boom, the next sail I have made will be unlaced for sure. I also have a leech flutter issue in high winds, not sure if it’s the sailor or sail yet, I’m working on it.

    Also the reef in that video is very neatly rolled up, not sure how you did that either.
    Deke, roll sail around pvc tube . Am very unskilled with posting. But on my homepage you find button with 'blog' . You find regulation line in the blog aforementioned and in post of 'A lugger of my own'. And a good boatbuilder/ sailer reported also better speed with sail on 'bad' side of mast. His explanation: the sail can twist better. And do you have a leech line ? Tighten it a little bit to stop fluttering. Got to stop now to do my homework

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Reading this with interest as I plan to launch my Pathfinder, balance lug yawl rig, soon.

    Thanks for raising the issues and seeking solutions.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Bob, good to see you are launching soon. Looking forward to comparing sail performance and helping each other out. Feel free to email anytime with questions. I’ll be doing the EC in the Pathfinder in March, I should have good sailing reports after. I feel like she is pretty dialed in right now, just trying to tweak a little more out of her.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    2 thoughts, for what they may be worth.

    It seems to me that if the boat end of your sheet is attached on the centreline of the boat, then you are more closely sheeted on one tack than the other. At the mast your sail is offset maybe 3 inches to one side. I think that makes for a 6 inch difference in sheeting angles between tacks. I wonder if that accounts for the difference in performance?

    Im not convinced about dyneema on this small a boat. At this size your line size is determined much more by comfortable handling than by strength or stretch. Why spend the extra money, and why deal with downsides like the slipperiness and tendency to creep that comes with dyneema. The balanced lug is lovely, but it's not a high tensile highly tuned racing machine.

    60 degrees or whatever you said on each tack seems way big. Something must be fairly fundamentally wrong, or else you are the only honest sailor on the planet. Youve got your centreboard down, right? Only once I forgot to put mine down after rounding the leeward mark in a race. I was winning until then.

    OK 3 thoughts. The last one was for free.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    No dyneema on my 80 sq ft balanced lug, mostly low stretch yacht braid.
    45 degrees on a regular basis is very close, not something I am used to achieving with this rig . . .
    In the 16 what helps as much as anything working to windward, is getting my weight close to midships.
    Definitely lose the foot lacing.

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    My mainsail is 145 sqft, and the mizzen is 32. I think the higher performance lines will help some. I was using 3/8 POSH from RB ropes for both halyard and downhaul, great stuff.

    In the right conditions , 8-10 knots, protected water, I can point higher for sure. The other day when I was sailing 60 degrees off, it was 15 knots and the water was a choppy 2’. I may have been pointing a little higher on the bad tack, but I try to be conservative with my sailing reports. More importantly, and the reason I started the thread, I know I could have trimmed my sail better or made an adjustment somewhere. I’m trying to improve the sailor more than the boat for sure. Hoping to get some discussion from those that have lots of time sailing these rigs on what adjustments they make, how they do it and why.

    What adjustments can can be made to a lug sail? What effects do these adjustments have on the sail and how do I recognize when to do them.

    Adjustments while Rigging — the sail, the pick point, the outhaul tension on the top yard, how the sail is laced to the top yard, downhaul location, sheeting location on both the boat and boom, type of line used

    Adjustments while Sailing - downhaul tension, outhaul tension on the foot, sheeting angle, amount of CB, weight distribution, reefing

    Being able to look up at your sail and know that it needs an adjustment and also knowing how to, that’s the end goal.

    Would be easier just go sailing with John Welsford a few times.


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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by deke View Post
    In the right conditions , 8-10 knots, protected water, I can point higher for sure. The other day when I was sailing 60 degrees off, it was 15 knots and the water was a choppy 2í. I may have been pointing a little higher on the bad tack, but I try to be conservative with my sailing reports.

    Adjustments while Rigging ó the sail, the pick point, the outhaul tension on the top yard, how the sail is laced to the top yard, downhaul location, sheeting location on both the boat and boom, type of line used
    With my previous boat, I found I lost pointing ability when the water changed from flat and smooth to any significant amount of chop. I convinced myself that that loss was due to a CB foil that wasn't think enough and didn't have enough area compared to the amount of sail area. In my new boat, I design a board with more area (nearly 4% of sail area) and a thickness of 12% of chord depth - ie a NACA 012 section. Whether that's the cause or not, my new boat does point better and don't lose it once it gets choppy.

    As for rigging adjustment, I found this in my files from about 3 years back. I have no idea who the author is or where I got it from. Someone will likely recognize the source so that it can be credited properly. In any case, it gives pointers on how to set up the sail on the yard, in particular separating the yard tension from the downhaul tension.
    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

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    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    I note that you removed your tell tales. Coming from a racing background i really like them and have several rows on both my standing lug and square sail. I can't tell from your pics, but a tiller extension is also really handy as boat trim fore and aft as well as heel angle are pretty important in these little boats.

    One of the things that can be really helpful is finding a friend with a similar boat and doing some two boat testing. As long as the boats are similar in speed you can get good data, boats don't have to be identical.

    Storer has some of the most comprehensive information on balanced lug rig tuning; I think he refers to the British class of small one design lug rigged boats which I can't remember right now. I think that there have been some articles about them maybe by Nic Compton.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Los Osos, CA
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Alex: Thanks for digging that sketch up. I will have some fun with our rig setting such an arrangement up.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

    Alex, good information, thank you for posting.
    "There are many sailors at the bottom of the sea that are smarter than you or I"

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Advanced Balanced Lug Sailing Techniques

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

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