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Marking jib sheet position

Discussion in 'Sail Trim with Don Guillette' started by danstanford, Nov 11, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. danstanford

    danstanford

    Joined Aug 2, 2010
    168 posts, 8 likes
    Beneteau 323
    CA Cobourg
    Having never done this, I am thinking through the implications of marking my jib sheet for a beat so that my trimmers can find the starting point really quickly. My question is how different would this position be from light breezes to heavier? Assuming the jib car is further back as the winds pick up, will the sheet be roughly in the same place relative to the winch?
    Looking forward to your answers! Dan
     


  2. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    3,367 posts, 658 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    If you are racing, this is a natural step, especially if you are using pick up crews that are not familiar with your boat or your style of sailing.
    To answer the question about "different positions"... yes.
    You will want to take the boat out and find the settings that work best for you, your sails and your boat.
     


  3. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    1,936 posts, 350 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    And yes, it's a starting point, something to get you in the ballpark. The car, if adjustable, moves as a function of trim, and not so much as a function of wind speed.
     


  4. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,141 posts, 183 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    It is more common to "number" the positions... track pin holes for instance... then note the preferred position for each sail in each type of condition. This info can be logged and posted on a card for easy reference.
    [​IMG]
     


  5. Ted

    Ted

    Joined Jan 26, 2005
    928 posts, 88 likes
    C&C 110
    US Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
    Marking the location of the genoa car is an important part of making reproducible settings that work for different sailing conditions. Marking your sheets might be ok for a really general starting point. I like to tell my crew to trim the headsail by how far the leech is off the spreader tips because proper trim is a combination of sheet tension and lead location. If you mark you spreader at 3" increments from the tip going inboard, it's a good way to gauge how far the leech is away from the spreader tip. If you have double or triple spreaders for instance, you can dial in the exact leech shape by telling your crew to set the leech so that it's 9" off the upper spreader, 6" off the middle spreader and 3" off the lower spreader. It makes setting proper twist for the wind conditions easier to define.
     


  6. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    3,367 posts, 658 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Ted. I would think that is a good way to start, but you eventually want them to learn to read the telltales and adjust the sail accordingly. If your always giving them inches from the spreader your going to need to let them know what your 3” looks like.
     


  7. weinie

    weinie

    Joined Sep 6, 2010
    1,111 posts, 152 likes
    Jeanneau 349
    US port washington, ny
    If your headsail's leech is in front of your spreaders, you can mark your spreaders with electrical tape to indicate how much to sheet it in.
    [​IMG]
     


  8. Ted

    Ted

    Joined Jan 26, 2005
    928 posts, 88 likes
    C&C 110
    US Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
    jssailem, trimming by telltales alone is not going to get your headsail trimmed correctly for all conditions. There are conditions when you will want more or less twist, a flatter or deeper shape and draft more forward or back. You can't define proper sail shape by the telltales alone nor by the shape of the leech alone. Of course the crew has to understand how to read telltales. That's probably one of the most basic parts of sail trim.

    Weinie's drawing above illustrates what I was referring to when I mentioned marking your spreaders. It works for overlapping headsails too. You would estimate the distance between the spreader tip and the sail by comparing that distance to the distance between the marks on the spreader. This is just another method to help crew understand the sail shape you are trying to achieve. It's especially useful to a new headsail trimmer who might not know how to optimize trim for a boat that he may not be familiar with.
     


    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  9. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    3,367 posts, 658 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    The OP is at the starting stages and wants to know about marking his jib sheets. Telltails is an intermediate step to give proper feedback to the jib sheet marking trim. Certainly the ideas of 3” off the lower spreader fits in the grand scheme but at the stage of development expressed it might be difficult for the OP or his crew to know should it be 3 - 4 - or 5” off the middle spreader to get the appropriate level of twist in a given sailing event.
    The marks on the spreaders are not a bad idea, but perhaps there is more clarity needed to make the information relevant to the original question. How it works? What changes are being made to the sail shape? How and when to use the 1st or the 3rd mark? How wide should the marks be for the named boat?

    Just saying.
     


  10. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,490 posts, 361 likes
    Catalina 34
    US Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    The starting point is just the beginning (pun intended). :) Really, that's the easy part. And it would be different for different points of sail, jib car positions and wind strengths.

    Don't bother.

    Learn how to trim the sails, you won't need marks on the sheets, but other marks on the BOAT - not the sheets - as noted, could be helpful.
     


  11. danstanford

    danstanford

    Joined Aug 2, 2010
    168 posts, 8 likes
    Beneteau 323
    CA Cobourg
    Thanks for the input folks, I am trying to digest it all. To be clear, neither I nor my crew have a problem reading the telltales or figuring out what decent trim is....though I am always ready to learn. My question was really more about getting the boat faster more quickly which could be accomplished by having the trimmer go to a marked position to start which I have never done or experienced personally. So the deeper part of the question was what effect does the car position or the wind speed have on this starting location. It seems to me that car location should not change the length of the sheet (merely its angles) so a beating location should be the same regardless of the car setting, do you agree? Secondly, I generally find I need more depth in lighter breezes so I expected you Guys to tell me that the sheet mark should be for some setting, likely mid-breeze levels for us, and then expect to sheet in for heavier breezes and out for lighter. Again, do you agree?
    This is really about getting to good trim faster and easier for the Guys on the winches.

    Dan
     


  12. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,490 posts, 361 likes
    Catalina 34
    US Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    No, seems most of us don't.

    Why?

    'Cuz if it was such a good idea, all of us would be doing it.

    We aren't.

    The trimmers need to learn to trim. Markings aren't gonna help.
     


  13. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,017 posts, 248 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    Go ahead and try it. Doesnt hurt anything at all and even it you adjust the trim and the mark is not always in the same spot in the cleat, it lets you develop patterns.

    I have a much smaller boat where I dont need a winch for a 110 jib and like the mark for single handing. During the transition I can pull the sheet to the the mark while there is little tension on the sail and then do fine adjustments when things settle down. Fast transitions are a good thing and I think the mark allows for a faster transition when I am single handing.

    Also, when my wife is sailing with me and she wants to be in the cockpit, she runs the jib sheets. She is not that much into sailing (she has no interest in learning fine tuning trim and I am just fine with that) but likes to go along sometimes and she loves the marks for the jib sheets for an initial setting - and also for getting things set during the transition when tension is not so high.

    If you tend to sail on one tack for a long time.. maybe the marks are not so useful. In my case, a lot of sailing is done on a lake that is a dammed river (long and somewhat narrow) so often lots of tacks. The mark doesnt at all eliminate the need for trimming but for my situation, it is convenient for single handing and my wife loves the marks.
     


    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  14. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    2,994 posts, 215 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Allamuchy Barnegat, NJ
    My bet would be that putting marks on the sheet would just waste the trimmers time looking at and interpreting marks on the sheet when they should be looking at the sail for sail trim in the first place. If you are tacking upwind, the trimmers are pulling the sheets in to the "starting point" without looking at the sheets anyway.
     


  15. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Secondly, I generally find I need more depth in lighter breezes so I expected you Guys to tell me that the sheet mark should be for some setting, likely mid-breeze levels for us, and then expect to sheet in for heavier breezes and out for lighter. Again, do you agree?

    With light winds you need to be careful with your sail trim because the lighter the wind the more trouble it has getting around the sail -- too much belly and the sail will stall. Check out boats around you in light condition -- they all are trying to catch what little wind there is with a lot of belly and going nowhere. In heavy wind, when you reduce the draft depth (belly) you're reducing power.so you have to be careful in those conditions. Draft depth is your accelerator.To much or too little can be bad -- or good..

    There a "sweet spot" for 100% efficiency for each point of sail and wind speed condition and the trick is to find it (record it - I have to because I forget easily) as it's different for each boat. That's how my SAIL TRIM CHART came into being -- I found the "sweet spots" for ALL the sail trim controls for the main & jib on my Catalina 25 and later my Catalina 30 and noted them. I even experimented with crew position until I got that right -- for my C30. Experimenting takes a lot of time but you only have to do it once and you're done with it. 50% of the sailors worldwide don't care about sail trim. That's OK - they enjoy the sailing experience but as a lot of you know it could be more fun if they got 100% efficiency out of your boat and you're sails will LOVE you because they don't have to work so hard.
     


    walt likes this.
  16. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Scott: We live in a adult community about 25 miles north of Tucson. One of the many activities we got involved with was theater. I always wondered what went on back stage and to find out we first got involved with props & costumes. You have to start at the bottom and my first job was "curtain puller". The director told me it's an easy job and even marked the cords with tape so I would know which one to pull to open and close. I'm sure you can guess what happened - the first couple of times I got it backwards!! We're all old farts here (it ain't Broadway) so everyone got a laugh out of it until I got it right -- actually it was more laughs when I got it wrong. I've moved into acting bit parts -- 4 or 5 lines but I kind of miss my curtain job.
     


  17. danstanford

    danstanford

    Joined Aug 2, 2010
    168 posts, 8 likes
    Beneteau 323
    CA Cobourg
    I was watching the youtube video of the VOR boats leaving Lisbon and really enjoyed watching the trimmers changing gears as the shifty winds piped up and down. I did notice that they seemed to be paying the main sheet more than the traveller in the puffs and lulls. You could clearly see the correlation between them getting knocked over in a puff and the sails being eased to get the boat back on its feet. The analysts did a great job explaining the struggles they were having with the combination of sail choice, trim, and implications of the decisions on where to go on the course. For the first time, I really was able to see them play the combinations of these things to really retain pressure as they chased and anticipated the puffs.
     


  18. danstanford

    danstanford

    Joined Aug 2, 2010
    168 posts, 8 likes
    Beneteau 323
    CA Cobourg
    Stu, I really have fallen into that camp myself over the many years I have been sailing but I have seen that as we have raced this year there are some teams that find a way to get trimmed faster and the gain they make is impossible to make up. I have competed at everything all my life and for the most part I have succeeded despite having to work harder to be good than some people and it is noticing the little things and doing them well that has been a big part of my ability to succeed.
    This idea of marking the sheets came from this video on youtube and I have seen it discussed elsewhere as well so I want to give it a try so our crew can gain in the tacks rather than losing a few seconds!

     



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