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Author: Frank Lawler
Subject: Rig tuning
Info: (2269 views) Posted: Saturday 10-4-08 09:15:13 PM

:: What tension are you guys using on the cap shrouds,
:: lower shrouds, forestay, etc. Is looser better? Does
:: having a looser forestay allow you to point more? Also,
:: how do you tune? With or without a tension meter, how
:: often, etc.

I don't have a tension meter, but I like tight shrouds. As for relative tension between caps and lowers, it's in the proper relationship if the mast shows no sideways bend above the spreaders in normal conditions. In strong stuff, or reefing conditions, you should see the top of the mast fall off to leeward a bit as the longer cap shroud stretches more than the lower shroud. This helps to depower and already overpowered boat. As for the forestay, when loose it adds depth and power to the front of the jib, which is a good thing in light air. But once you have enough wind for good boatspeed, then its time to think about pointing. This means tightening the forestay. My preference is for maximum forestay tension (which I seem to recall is 1,000 lbs ) as the apparent wind reaches roughly 14 knots (my best seat-of -the-pants estimate). Other racers may prefer more wind before maxing out the forestay, but I think all would agree that a loose forestay hurts pointing ounce the boat is up to speed. I am assuming that you have some sort of backstay purchase on your boat. It would be unwise to set up 1,000 lbs of forestay on a fixed, permanent basis.

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