Thought for the day - The best rig set up

Someone asked me today If the BG set up numbers on his web site and video zoom were good for any boat?


In my opinion the setup numbers are all perfect for the Alternative and Britpop designs and I happily interchange rigs and use the same setup setup between the two boats. For me the key setup number is the mast rake. The Britpop and Alternative have a measurement from the bow to a mark on the mast. Get this right and the boat is nicely balanced assuming you got the dimensions of the hull and fin location on the home build Alternative right.


I think I mentioned on the web site that it is best to get the set up notes from each individual designer as the balance of the boats and setups will vary.


I was surprised when I transferred my Alternative rig to the Britpop, I made no changes . BG says try the set up numbers as a starting point and adjust from there which is precisely what I do. There is no claim they will work on other designs but I am sure those designers will be able to help point you in the right direction to get the right base set up. The key is to get the mast rake right which gives the boat balance going upwind. I think the foot measurements for the main and jib will be much the same across any of the designs. Once I set the boat up I rarely change it unless conditions change radically.


BG sails need a little bit of mast bend and are great through a wide range of conditions. I have settled on these.

I have observed the 3d moulded Kantun sails need a straight mast as the sails have little or no luff curve. They have A rig sails for light, medium and strong breezes and an all around sail. They certainly look impressive.

I have also use Housemartin sails which I found to be excellent all round sails.

There are many other sailmakers and all have their own nuances but I have not used them and cannot comment on them.


Key questions to answer to get the right setup are:


What hull design are you using and whose sails?

Have you got the rig set up plan for the design?

If not, have you approached others with the same design or the designer or sailmaker for help?


Get the balance right and the boat will steer itself then all you have to do is concentrate on where to point the boat for the next shift. If you have no information, sail your boat to windward in steady condition and move the mast rake until the boat sails to windward without any intervention from you. Measure the distance from the boat bow behind the bumper to the jib entry point and record . Check the rake in a variety of conditions. In theory you should not need to change the rake.


Regarding twist in the sails, after setting the kicker for the run, I adjust the backstay for upwind sailing until the top batten of the main is parallel to the centreline of the boat. I then look at the boat from behind and to leeward and set the jib leach parallel to the main. There is a full description on set up on the web site.


Whatever you do, sail fast and enjoy the moment.



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