Thought for the day - Test the boat for leaks and more thoughts on rigs

Happy St Patricks Day.


Today I leak tested the boat. I have quite a few pin holes in it, so i polished the hull and filled the pin holes with polish. No leaks so far except for when I pressure tested the hull by pushing it down. Suddenly I had a massive leak and thought disaster had struck. It was only water shooting up thought the rudder stock. Silly me. Other than that the boat was dry.


The rigs arrive tomorrow and I had some more thoughts on setup. Key to the setup is to get the mast bend to match the main luff curve. If you read articles by Brad Gibson on tuning and see the latest interviews with New York Central Park MYC then you will hear how precise his setup is.


1 There is no heavy use of the Cunningham

2 His sails are very smooth

3 The main foot is set at the same depth for all conditions

4 The backstay will be adjusted by 2 to 4 mm only through the range of conditions.

5 He follows his own measurements for starting setup.


The key message here is to have a fixed setup. BG has been at this game for a long time and knows a precise setup to go fast. We can short cut the experience learning by following the setup notes on his web site or from the designer of whatever boat you sail. The Kantun has a similar set of setup numbers and instructions from the designer that are delivered with their boats. Other designers have done similar.


Now is the time to get your boat rigged in the house and practice setting up the main and jib with the boat on its side so you have the same precision and measurements established, so when you go to the club for the first time at the end of the month or in April, you can get on with the business of sailing rather than set up. If you want some ideas on how to setup your boat indoors see HERE.


Remember if when your boat is on its side, you have trouble with hard spots on the luff of the main that have to be removed by excessive Cunningham, then you will need to tweak the variables available to you to get rid of the hard spots. They are:


The mast is upright

Spreader angle (and check they are symmetric, i.e. your mast hasn't rotated)

Mast ram

Shroud tension

Soften or harden the prebend


If you are still having a problem, check the mast is straight up to the point of prebend, your prebend is progressive rather than a sudden bend.


Of course, if your sails are old, they may have stretched and it will be hard to achieve a perfect result.


I will show you my setup once the masts are built tomorrow or Thursday. I will have a PG rig from Potter Solutions with Housemartin sails. The settings are from you know where.


You might get the impression at this point that I am a BG fan. It is because he has pulled together all the relevant setup information on his website and it is the best I have seen in my travels across the internet but similar to Kantun. He also has the closest design to a BritPOP available (Alternative) for home build which I have.

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