Craig Richards Tuning guide (Page 1)
My Thanks to Craig Richards to allow me to copy his guide that he posted on facebook following his win at the 2023 Global Championships at Fleetwood.
The mainsheet bridal is not your friend. It can burn out winches if incorrectly set and if that does not spoil your race then it has sneaky ways of snagging your mainsheet, which it will always do at the bottom mark when you are in the lead!
I think I had one of the loosest mainsheet bridle setups at the Globals. I will show detail later of what the bridal looks like with each of the rigs, but its not something I adjust. It stays the same for all rigs.
Mine looks like this:
The first snag is probably only on the older boats. The bridle eyes were originally a bit larger and not always screwed all the way into the hull. Because they stood slightly proud, the mainsheet could loop around them and snag. This could be fixed by tacking away if lucky, but often the boat will stall head to wind and it is very difficult to recover from quickly.
If you don't realise what has happened and continue to sheet in and hope for the best, the winch is stalled and may overheat etc.
The fix is to screw them in all the way and fill the recess with epoxy glue.
This is about as close as I will ever sheet in. There is never less than about 5mm between the bridle eye and the boom fitting.
The starboard bridle line is slack, so this is as high as you can get the bridle eye off the deck.
There is almost no vertical mainsheet tension so the winch has very little load and fine adjustments to the sheeting angle are possible without affecting the mainsails leech tension.
The port bowsie should be hard against the deck eye, but I mucked with it for demo purposes and have not fixed to my preference yet.
With a straight run for the jib sheet, it can get a bit snagged against the mast. Yes, jib fairlead is glued as well. I'll do a section on each rig, but the further forward you move the jib boom sheeting eye the further the jib will go out on the run. I've set mine so that both the main and jib reach 90 degrees at the same time on the runs
This is how I run my sheets.
It's not optimum from a friction point of view, but there is a tradeoff between reliability and the jib setting slightly differently on port and starboard tacks.
If I only use the front jib sheeting deck eye then the jib boom goes slightly further out on the starboard side. It's a small amount, which is reduced by going through both eyes ... at least I think it does.
I put the jib sheet through the port bridle deck eye to keep it away from the mast. In light conditions the thin yellow line (0.20mm) gets snagged between the boom gooseneck and the deck.
It's only slightly sticky, but enough to stop the jib going out on the runs occasionally.
Its not necessary for stronger conditions, but I stick to one way of routing all my sheets just to keep life simple.
The A rig:
I'll be posting some measurements, so just want to show what my masthead crane looks like as some of them sit a bit proud of the plastic mast insert.
I think the standard sail templates have too much luff curve. I have a 'custom' luff curve from Catsails that has about 2mm less mid mast.
I run the top of the sail at the bottom of the silver band and the attachment point to a second hole in the mast crane. I think the top of the sail behaves better with this setup.
I run the mast gate as far back as possible and never touch it. It stays like this for all rigs.
The DF seems to want as much aft rake as possible. So I rake it as far as it will go.
I would rather take luff curve out of the front of the sail than bend the mast further. Too much mast bend means you need more vang on the beat, but this can lead to too tight a mainsail leech on the runs
With no Jib Forestay tension I want the mast curve to match the front of the main sail as far as possible.
The curve I settled on was to tighten the backstay until the second attachment point from the bottom was just behind the mast (NB, remember I have about 2mm less luff curve than standard). This was easily repeatable without needing rulers etc.
I then marked the backstay adjustment lines and always adjust straight to this point. I never change the backstay again except at the very top of A rig I might add a mm or two.
The measurement from behind the bow bumper to the front hole in the masthead crane is 1140mm. This may seem further back than the rigging guides, but remember there is no forestay tension at this point.
With a flat edge behind the mast, the mast curve is only 3-4mm, which is less than I was expecting.