H26 rounding up and old mainsail?

Aug 12, 2018
134
Hunter 26 Carter Lake, Colorado
I saw a post by rgranger in another forum about his H26 rounding up until he replaced the old mainsail, so I thought I'd ask here about that.

I have a 1998 H26 with, I believe, the original mainsail. It is a full-batten Doyle with the factory insignia.

She really likes to round up in gusts above 18 kts or so. Even reefed to the one factory reef point with just a little headsail unfurled.

This is our 3rd season on the lake (Carter Lake, CO), and I feel like I've done everything I can with my skill set, so I've been assuming I need to tune the rig a bit, primarily check the rake. But I did do what I could to check and adjust the mast rake when I launched last season, and the headstay is about all the way short.

So now, rgranger has me wondering again just how much I might need a new main.

Looks like a new main from this site would be pushing $2K, with desirable features and options.

Any stories/advice on how much difference this has made to others, especially on any of the water-ballasted Hunters? And how to better determine just how blown-out my old main is? And also any good/bad experiences with a particular sailmaker?

Thanks in advance!

--Tim on About Time
 
May 1, 2011
2,316
Pearson 37 Lusby MD
I can't speak to Hunters, but getting a new main made a world of difference in correcting my boat's bad behavior. :beer:
If you can't flatten the sail significantly with any of the control lines (outhaul, vang, cunningham, mainsheet, etc.), then it's likely blown.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,452
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
She really likes to round up in gusts above 18 kts or so. Even reefed to the one factory reef point with just a little headsail unfurled.
Too much main, not enough headsail. Your rig is unbalanced with all the effort on the mainsail..... flat or fat... you will have way too much weather helm. You could have a second reef put in... will cost about $100. You can also have the main re cut to get rid of some of that excess belly. But for now, play the traveler to handle the gusts... The apparent wind moves aft in a gust... which puts more pressure on the windward side of sail, slowing the boat down and pushing it over(heel) which will lead to a round up or even a broach. So when you feel the excess pressure, drop the traveler down to adjust the angle of attack. As the boat rights itself, it will speed up and the apparent wind will move forward again... so you bring the traveler in a bit to offset the change.
But I did do what I could to check and adjust the mast rake when I launched last season, and the headstay is about all the way short.
Moving the rake back will shift even more effort to the main and rudder, which you don't need. If you make any adjustment at all, reduce the rake by taking in more forestay.
Looks like a new main from this site would be pushing $2K, with desirable features and options.
These guys have good prices, a new mainsail is about half your estimate. Peak Sails N.A.
 
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Likes: gudiss
Jun 8, 2004
8,885
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Listen to the suggestions about the sail being blown out. You said original sail making it 22-29 years old. As for tuning take a photo from the side of your mast and let us see. I commissioned @rgranger boat and he makes good recommendations plus I was a dealer very much involved with the water ballast.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
I got my sail from Bacon Sails out of Annapolis... it is still crispy.:biggrin:
 

Ajp

.
Oct 23, 2019
19
Hunter marine 270 Merrick
Another thought, make sure your rudder is not cut short and is ALL the way down. alan
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,941
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Rgranger's experience is consistent with the dynamics of sail balance.
You can check your sail by looking at it when set and tensioned with outhaul, Cunningham, halyard and vang. If the sail is new or in good shape, the fullest curve in the horizontal cross section, when sighting up, will be forward of the centerline of the sail.

In heavy air, the draft moves back on the sail slightly. In a blown out sail, it moves back alot.

This puts more lift aft and causes more heel than drive. Greater heel, combined with a naturally aft positioned draft causes excessive weather helm. Compensation by the rudder means even more heel and less ability to point well.

Changing your rake can affect the well balanced boat, but it is unlikely to make a significant difference in a boat that is very poorly balanced.

You probably need new sails, no matter what else is wrong, but take some pictures, from the same angle as the above example and let's see.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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Likes: rgranger
Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
What is counter intuitive about rake is that typically you need to move the rake FORWARD however that looks wrong and most people's first attempt at adjusting the rake is to move it backwards. @Will Gilmore 's diagrams show you why forward is usually the answer. If your sail is blown then the draft needs to be shifted forward (or you need a new sail).
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
Another thing that @Will Gilmore 's picture shows is how adding twist to the sail can help aleviate some of the "bulge" up high and this will steady the boat. In many cases you have enough power in the lower part of the sail to drive the boat at hull speed. Unfortunatly you need a traveler to do a good job of adding twist and the H26 did not come with a traveler. I installed a traveler on my H26. I can post pics of the install if you want to go down that rabit hole but if you just want to test the idea and see ... here is a trick that works very well...
Traveler.JPG


The idea is to get the boom to mid-ship while allowing the top of the sail to twist off the wind. Let your mainsheet out a little and then tie a sail-tie to the sheet and pull the boom to mid-ship. If you feel an immediate bump in speed and stability then you have successfully added twist to your bag of sail trim tricks. If this works for you and you decide you want to add a traveler... I have an extra piece of track that I can send to you for postage. I got mine off of eBay and they came as a pair so I have an extra piece of track that just happens to fit perfectly over the companionway bridge deck

Also, on my H26 I notice that the boat does not like it AT ALL if I forget to let out the vang when working to windward. I don't fully understand why but it is noticable.