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Reaching in a single hander

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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 11:23am
Originally posted by laser193713

I would say the best tip I ever had was to do with kicker tension. It seems to be the driving factor when it comes to boat speed in single handers. Experiment with it but the sweet spot always seems to be that point where the leech can't quite decide whether it wants to be open or closed. Particularly noticeable on a run too, ease the kicker until the leech falls forwards, then pull it on a touch and it will start moving around a lot by its own accord. This always seems to work for me, no matter what class. It's particularly noticeable in boats with no kite, but works in all boats.


That seems entirely logical, Contender folk in our changing rooms speak of sailing the boat from the kicker in mid range winds.

I often wonder why, since it is so important and I now understand why it is so, but why has nobody come up with a calibrated kicker system?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Noah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 11:46am
Originally posted by iGRF

... why has nobody come up with a calibrated kicker system?


If you look at the boats at the top of any fleet they will have all their controls calibrated.

This is not something that can be replicated in a standard way across all classes (I know how you hate that word), or even within a class because the variables are too great: Flat water, chop, big waves; wind speed; crew weight. And where the class allows choice in mast and sail vendor these will impact sail settings, too.

So on your pond in a F3 #4 may be the 'right' setting. For someone who weighs more, or in different conditions the magic setting will be different.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote laser193713 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 12:15pm
Originally posted by iGRF

Originally posted by laser193713

I would say the best tip I ever had was to do with kicker tension. It seems to be the driving factor when it comes to boat speed in single handers. Experiment with it but the sweet spot always seems to be that point where the leech can't quite decide whether it wants to be open or closed. Particularly noticeable on a run too, ease the kicker until the leech falls forwards, then pull it on a touch and it will start moving around a lot by its own accord. This always seems to work for me, no matter what class. It's particularly noticeable in boats with no kite, but works in all boats.


That seems entirely logical, Contender folk in our changing rooms speak of sailing the boat from the kicker in mid range winds.

I often wonder why, since it is so important and I now understand why it is so, but why has nobody come up with a calibrated kicker system?

Ummm, nearly every boat I have ever sailed has had its kicker calibrated. Normally by bands of tape or whipping around the primary part of the cascade. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 12:15pm
It also seems to be different for different classes, a L@ser will respond differently to kicker settings than a Solo or Blaze. I don't know if there are any singlehanders that use a 'tight' rig but it has been discussed elsewhere on here that slack rig boats use the kicker differently to tight rig boats.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 27 Jan 17 at 12:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ardea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 1:11pm
Leech streamers are your calibration, just play with the kicker until the top one just starts to stall.  The kicker tends to affect the sail shape & twist more than any other control when reaching.  Leech streamers will give you an idea of what the flow of air off the sail is doing (equally as important, or possibly more so than what's happening at the front).  My simple analogy is that you want to deflect the wind as much from it's original path as possible for max power.  You do this by adding as much curve to the sail as possible whilst still having the flow stick to it.  The leech streamers will let you know when you are starting to get flow separation (or vortices/stalling depending upon your language of choice).  Max power is at the start of flow separation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 2:26pm
I didn't mean by bits of bloody tape or whipping twine you cavemen. I meant by a system of levers or calibrated dials with numbers of them.

Leech streamers doh that'll take me back 40 years... Topping lifts anyone?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 2:59pm
Well, if you want to be clever, where legal, just use a loadcell. Only 1200. Cheap at twice the price. 




Edited by Presuming Ed - 27 Jan 17 at 3:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon1277 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 4:24pm
Grf
If you have a look at some boats they have rigged a line that comes from the kicker to run along the boom to give you a heads up view of kicker tension.
You will have to go and look at some well bimbled boats to fully understand what I mean unless someone has some pictures.
More importantly I have calibration and tell tales on my boat and am very happy to use this efficient system to improve my reaching.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 4:42pm
Calibration (I just tend to use the relationship between blocks in a system) is a fairly crude measure when wind speed and direction are totally variable. I'll adjust the kicker on a reach till I can feel the difference it is making. The wind drops or moves aft, you can feel the sail suffocating till you ease the kicker. Too much, you can see the boom rising and sense the loss of power. Not the sweet spot, and the boat feels alive, the opposition left floundering. Not something you can use a ruler for, but you can teach people how to sense all this, provided they have the patience and concentration. And time in the boat.

Change classes, and you have to spend time figuring out what fast feels like, but the basics are still the same, usually.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 7:20pm
Kicker is key. The RS600 taught me that. In the Laser, fireflies etc. Id ease the kicker before the windward mark. I did it in the 600 and got rolled down the reach. Very quickly I learnt to only ease a small amount or sometimes none while still on the reach to keep the power in the leech.

Once you notice it then you learn to feel where the tipping point is.
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