- May 17, 2004
The first thing you should do is add telltales to your main & jib.Ordered the book and charts today. Assuming it will take a few days to get here, what advice can you offer for this weekend?
OK, here's a couple of things you can work on assuming you'll have above 4 knots of wind to work with. Raise the main only and set up for closehauled. Since you asked about the traveler, move it along the track and see how it changes the ANGLE OF ATTACK. Ease the sail out and pull it in and see how the boat speed and heel changes.
I don't know if you have a boom vang. The boom vang adjusts TWIST. What's Twist you might be asking? It's better to see it so form your right hand as if you were going to salute. Now turn your finger only to the left. What you're seeing is the top 1/3 of the sail opening up and spilling air thus de powering the sail. Turn your fingers to the right and see the top of the sail closing or powering up. Maybe you don't have a boom vang. OK, just grab the boom and pull down on it while looking up at the top of the sail and observe what's happening.
Next, I assume you have a outhaul to adjust the foot of the main. The outhaul adjust draft depth (belly). Take the salute hand and place it in front of you. Now cup your hand in and out -- see the belly developing. Now on the boat, adjust the outhaul along the track and watch the belly develop. A flat sail is less powerful. A sail with about 25% belly is a more powerful sail.
That's enough for one day. I assume you'll have your wife or girlfriend with you. Go back to the dock and both of you should mellow about what you've just learned. Chill out with a "tinny" (Aussie for beer) -- life is good!!