The mystery of rig tuning

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Phil Herring, Feb 4, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,230 posts, 3,247 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI

    But Will, I already HAVE a full time job!

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  2. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,666 posts, 2,621 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    You may need to think about cutting back on that. After all, I wouldn't expect you to cut back on your sail time.

    And where were you for the exciting "Wow" thread? Definitely a vacuum there without your input.

    -Will (Dragonfly)

  3. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,742 posts, 1,716 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    I have a simple old boat. Drop the tree in the hole...
    Mast out Email .jpg
    After it's all loosely connected, I go somewhere by myself to tighten things. It only takes a few minutes but inevitably, I tighten the rig after sailing a bit.

    I look for a straight spar (sighting the mast track), mast and mizzen plumb, leeward stays only slightly loose in 15 knots or so.

    The more important point is, what coin do you place under your step?
    Mast base.jpg

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  4. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    like guitars and pianos and all things with stretched steel cables, you will want to check the tune for every song for the best music.
    we eyeball what the rig is doing during every sail. the alden with it's telephone pole like mast is pretty easy to keep in tune. the ascow needs adjustment with every tack. different hulls flex in different ways. it's not just the rig.
    for me, having the vessel performing at it's best is one of the most fun parts of sailing.
    adjusting leach lines on the sail happens constantly as well. halyard tension, outhaul tension ..... always tweeking :)
    remember the kid in third grade that always had his zipper down from lack of awareness.
    no one wants to be that guy :)

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  5. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    yeah! what tom said :)

  6. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    1882 silver dollar. the year gramma was born :)

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  7. victorhoisington


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    239 posts, 56 likes
    Islander Freeport, 41 Ketch
    US Longmont, CO
    1949 Canadian silver dollar - the year the admiral was born, and it has a ship engraved on it as well.

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  8. Sandy Stone

    Sandy Stone

    Joined Jun 2, 2007
    345 posts, 48 likes
    Beneteau First 375
    US Slidell, LA
    These are the instructions for the MK 3 furler. Mine is older, a MK 1, but is pretty much the same. Page 23 describes adjusting the headstay length using the integral turnbuckle. (Evidently there are two page 23's, the description is on the page with pictures.)
    If your model is different, then never mind.
    Oh, and pay close attention to the adjustment range, to make sure you have enough thread engagement. It's all in there.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  9. markwesti


    Joined Jun 24, 2014
    80 posts, 33 likes
    Westsail 28
    72 Us Long Beach , California
    Fairly easy to do on our boat , It was a lot easier before we put on the roller furling . Fortunately for westsailors a user manual has been written and a nice description of the mast tune operation . Something you guys might find interesting , after you get the mast straight port to starboard you hang a weight from the back of the mast on the main halyard . The weight is lowered to just above the boom , you rake the mast aft so there is about a 8" gap between the mast and halyard .

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  10. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,958 posts, 943 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    You never miss a beat, do you?

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  11. RussC


    Joined Sep 11, 2015
    1,230 posts, 573 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Oregon lakes
    Best explanation ever! :laugh:

  12. DrJudyB


    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    372 posts, 290 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA
    Leech lines are for stopping fluttering of the leech tape, not for trimming or sail shape. High speed leech flutter causes the panel fabric to rip parallel to the leech, right next to the tape.

    Judy B

  13. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    doc. you are correct, of course, for your stated function of the leach line. it is adjustable for that reason . no one yanks it tight and leaves it for the season. that's why my leach cords are adjustable. over tightening it is SLOW. just like dropping the flaps on a plane. so why do i adjust so much. well, i have five jibs to choose from. hank on sails. foils are too much work and i am not a roller reefing kind of guy because its slow. that's right , i said it. i'm more than willing to do the work. well, as the wind changes, and the jibs change each hoist will have a different halyard tension. just like we change the main halyard tension for different wind speeds. well you set the leach after you set the halyard and the sheet. you pull the leach till it just takes out the flutter AND NO MORE, cause it's slow. all the endless contraptions to ease sail handling, well............................................... none of then ever claimed they make you go faster. if you choose to sail dynamically, as i do, then of course you will be adjusting the leach cord with every sail. the adjustment will be different with the same sail for a hard on beat then for a reach.
    now, these are all choices, and nothing more. i choose to sail dynamically. but that's only for me. i and my crew like doing the work. we think it's fun. i am fully aware that most sailors could care less about adjusting all the little nuances, but we love doing it. most sailors don't want their bottom racer smooth, we do. we love getting out of the cockpit and dialing her up.

    so yeah, we adjust the leach cord as it was designed to do.

  14. Daveinet


    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    1,032 posts, 216 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    I find that tune relative to the condition of the main sail. As the sail get a little bagging, putting a small amount of bend in takes the bag out. I don't know if the sail was made for pre-bend, but it is now. Since this is a trailer sailor, the mast is put up every time I go out. Since the baby stays never see any real tension, I can use those for a guide as to how much pre-bend the mast should have. If they both clip into place relatively easy, but have no slack, then I know the mast is where I had previously set it.

  15. mm2347


    Joined Oct 21, 2008
    232 posts, 27 likes
    oday 222
    US niagara
    First, start by I. your rigging wire. Stretch can indicate the amount of load . Find the amount of stretch that happens at a given load for a given length. This info. is available in a number of tuning guides online. The measurement can be done with masking tape and a tape measure. For example, your 7 x 19-316 S.S. 1/4 wire stretches 1/16 of an inch at 15% load for or every 10 ft of length. (made up numbers) Pay close attention to how the specs. are written. Start w/ a just snug rig and mast in column. At the proper dimensions put fine line marks on the wires. Start low and tighten in small equal amounts side to side until the desired stretch is reached.
    Many lee side stays on boats with deck stepped masts will be slightly loose in stiff winds. This is probably the cabin top and or deck sides adding much to the overall flexing. Do Not tighten your stays past the recommended amout given by the wire (or rope) manufacturers. As to what is max amount of stretch? Anything over 25% I would double check at other resources. If I did go over 20% I would back it off after the race.

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