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Fairlead Adjustment

Discussion in 'Sail Trim with Don Guillette' started by Don Guillette, Jan 8, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,820 posts, 18 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    It's summer in Australia -- right now it's not so much like summer in the North East, but have heart as summer will be there soon.

    A couple of years ago we were in Sydney at this time of the year. While enjoying a "leg of lamb" at a local restaurant, a couple noticed my Catalina 30 polo shirt and engaged my wife and I in a conversation. Turned out that Darrell & Deborah were new Catalina 34 owners and that conversation was the start of a long distance sailing friendship. I'm sure many of you have encountered the same situation. We didn't have time to enjoy a sail on their new C34 but over the past 3 years I feel like I've been on their boat a million times by way of numerous emails and phone calls.

    I tried to sell Darrell on the Garhauer adjustable fairlead system but money is tight for them now so they're struggling with the "pin type system" and are having problems adjusting their jib for 100% efficiency after each tack.

    I provided Darrell & Deborah with a simple adjustment method I use based on how the jib "breaks" but I told them there are probably many other ways (maybe better and easier) that sail trim forum listers use to adjust their jib after each tack and that I'd post the topic and see what methods other sailors have developed. We hope to get back to Australia but the 13 -15 hour flight from LAX is sure a killer!!
     


  2. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    5,961 posts, 591 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Well if you cannot adjust under load, there really is no 'simple adjustment method', as any such method would require moving the car under load, which can't happen.

    While shear can also factor, the biggest factor in adjustment is wind speed. So I would mark the deck next to the pin for a default 'typical breeze' position, and what what wind speed you move back, one, two then three pins.

    'All three sets flying' is the goal in normal breeze, once the breeze come up, twist induced in the sail (pin back) will have the top ones streaming all the time. Once you're at that wind speed, you trim for boat speed and keeping the boat as flat as possible.
     


  3. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    5,847 posts, 104 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Here's a good explanation I found on another forum that describes a method similar to one I used to use before upgrading.

     


    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  4. drdanj

    drdanj

    Joined Jun 15, 2009
    34 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Channel Islands Harbor
    I have had occasion to adjust under what I'll call medium load, as a big guy with big feet, it can be done. Carefully of course, with a bit of good nautical cussing.
     


  5. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    5,961 posts, 591 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    The big problem with pins is of course that they are so rough in their adjustment. Normally an inch is all it takes to get it right, and 6 inches between cars seems like a MILE.

    If your closer pins, great.

    A good thing to look at for the budget-limited is seeing if you can convert your existing setup by removing/disabling the pins, and adding a way to tow the cars forward with a small block system. I know several boats that have done this.
     


  6. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,820 posts, 18 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    I don't think I was clear on what I was talking to Darrell about and I"m sorry I threw Jackdaw off. Adjustment was the wrong term. It was the initial setting a sailor would use going from one tack to the other -- a setting to get him in the ballpark. It's a ballpark because the wind is ever changing but he has to start somewhere. So, when I start out both fairleads are pretty much in the same position and we're probably only dealing with about 6"to 9" of adjustment anyway. I know the number pin hole I'm in (they used to be numbered until I converted to the Garhauer adjustable system) so depending on the way the sail "breaks" I know whether I have to go forward or backwards on the next tack to get me in the ballpark. Stepping on the sheet might be necessary to make the final adjustment -- I never liked that method but it was my only option until I purchased the Garhauer system, which happened to be 3 weeks after I bought the boat.
     


  7. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    5,961 posts, 591 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Ah.

    The starting point is to have your sheet almost bisect the headsail. This will give an even telltail 'break' in most wind conditions.

    [​IMG]
    A clever idea is to mark this line on your clew. Many sailmakers will do this for you, but if not you can mark your own with sharpie, or with strips of sticky-back dacron sail tape. Like this.

    [​IMG]

    Back about here to de-power.
     


  8. Nonsly

    Nonsly

    Joined Apr 14, 2014
    4 posts, 0 likes
    Montgomery 17
    US Duxbury
    Would that line still mark the correct angle on a furling sail as it is furled: i.e., after the tell-tales have disappeared into the furl? If so, that would be very clever indeed.
     


  9. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    5,961 posts, 591 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Of course not. Its a guideline, a starting point. Nothing more.

    Once you're telltails are rolled up, you're trimming blind.
     



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