Telltails on the main

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May 22, 2004
77
Oday 23 Bullock's Cove, RI
Don, have re-read your book - or at least I speed read it looking for something on telltales and the main but do not see the answer to my question - so here goes. I recently purchased a used main and am currently "playing" with it. Interestingly it came with telltales on both sides of the main at the leech - these are about 6+ inches from the leech so when they are streaming they do not flow past the leech. I have been trying to get these telltales to stream .... but have not had much success so far. - The windward telltales stream but the lee telltales are backwinded/vertical. I have an O'Day 23 - the mainsheet is not on a traveller - it is attached to a triangle plate on the back-stay. The back-stay is not on the centre-line of the boat so getting the boom to the centerline is not possible on a starboard tack. What do you suggest to get the airflow attached to the sail? Also the PO attached some telltales near the luff of the main. Interestingly the lee telltale at the luff is back-winded as well - this seems to say that the airflow in the slot is not very uniform. What do you suggest to improve this condition. I have tried a number of things but nothing has had a major effect yet. Thanks James
 
May 17, 2004
2,039
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Mainsail Telltales

James: I see your sailing out of Bullock's Cove, RI. Been there many times in the early 50's. Having telltales in the wrong place is almost as bad as not having them at all. Remove ALL the teltales on the sail and reattach new ones as none of them are correctly placed. The new ones are to be placed at the end of each batten (only one on each batten). The most important one for the mainsail is the top one. You can attach a set of telltale to each side of the mainsail at about the center of the sail. You read them the same way you read the jib telltales. Some folks think that the mast blocks the flow of air to these telltales but it doesn't. The ones currently mounted on the luff are useless because the mast does block the flow over those. On the problem with centering the boom - I'm not familiar with that set up so hopefully another O'day owner can chime in.
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
The boom is too close to the centerline

Try letting the boom out more. What you have is a stalled sail. Plenty of air flow over the windward side but the leeward side just has turbulent air. This is a common problem as most pictures show the boat close hauled and beating into the wind so everybody wants their boat to look that way on ALL points of sail. In all other situations the boom is MUCH farther off the centerline. The boat will go faster too if you let the boom out!!! Your tale-tails are correctly placed. If you put them on the leach edge you can't tell what is going on. Having one on each side lets you see each air stream separately.
 
F

Frank

How about boats without battens

Where would you put the tell tales on a furling main without battens? and how about those with vertical battens? Thanks
 
May 17, 2004
2,039
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
No Battens

Installations instuctions are provided on the package you purchase from WM or where ever you buy them. Split the mainsail in 1/3 increments and install one telltale on the leech at those points. DO NOT install them in the manner they are are installed on James used mainsail - one on each side and 6" in from the leech. On the mainsail you are reading the exhaust off the sail and trimming accordingly. On a mast head rig, where the jib is the engine, jib telltales are a must. Locate the telltales about 12" to 24" back from the luff. On boats above 35' you can move them back a bit further. Use 3 pairs and and place them 1/4 down from the top, 1/4 up from the bottom and the last pair in the middle. The most important jib telltale is the middle one. The next most important one is the bottom ones and the reason is most jibs have a very fine entry point at the bottom of the sail and if your not careful to watch that telltale the sail will stall there. Telltales are very important and should be on all sail boats. Any sail maker worth his salt automatically installs them. I don't know how sailors without out telltales trim their sails. I can't and I know what I'm looking for. I can get into the ballpark without them but can't make that 100% adjustment.
 
May 22, 2004
77
Oday 23 Bullock's Cove, RI
Thanks for your input

Thanks- I was going to try and give ot a try today but the weather is very iffy - winds between 10 to 25 - sun clouds, rain, downpours! So I'll pass today unless it blows through and give it try over the weekend. As always your suggestions and insights are great - I will move the telltales and then try again. Pink Floyd had it right - Quiet desperation is the English way! but boy its fun trying. James
 
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