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Outhaul on a run -- tight or loose?

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mozzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 6:18pm
It depends if you have a centreboard or daggerboard. Lifting a daggerboard does not change it's section so it's quite a viable option.  

In every boat with a daggerboard I've lifted it, but for different reasons. In toppers and laser I lift it on reaches and downwind, as you bear away the leeway reduces and you sit in. The leeway is equal to how much you're hiking. So the more you sit in, the higher the plate should be. Having it down just increases skin friction. However, you still need to keep a little down just to enable steerage.

In a skiff you're 'full' hiking pretty much around the course so you leave it down all the time to reduce leeway. 

You can also lift the plate to depower. Having too much plate in the breeze causes the boat to 'trip' up a bit when gusts hit. Plus, as you go faster you don't need as much plate to create the same lift. 

In the 200 with a centreboard, I agree with iGRF. Lifting it changes the section. It also moves the plate backwards in the boat which makes the helm feel funny. You also have to move it back quite far before you appreciably reduce the surface area. All of that has led to me leaving the centre board down in the 200. I know a few people lift it in the very light winds on the run. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 6:13pm
Yup, not planing then board right down all the way round but we did indulge in what the dinghy bods would refer to as "unlimited kinetics".....  Wink

I think L@sers are impossible to sail without some plate, the Spice certainly is. Plus it if's up much more than halfway you can't gybe as it gets in the way of the kicker (then you capsize).


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 05 Oct 17 at 6:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 4:48pm
Well the logic for boards was dump it completely when windy as it gets in the way of planing, but if there isn't enough to plane, you kind of need it to pull against when you're, ahem, 'helping' the flow attach and re-attach to the sail.

But on say a Laser and I'd be the last person to ask, but surely if it's iffy and you're sailing downwind don't you need the resistance the plate gives to ensure the rig is performing if you have to sail an angle, I realise they sail by the lee a lot, but even then if it's marginal, don't they need some plate?


Edited by iGRF - 05 Oct 17 at 4:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 4:36pm
Bear in mind we are talking specifically about a dead run here.....

When skin friction is the major drag factor (i.e. in a drifter) plate up does reduce the wetted area quite considerably, as does sitting well forward and heeling to leeward to lift the aft planing sections of the hull clear.

Raking the board only changes the effective chord but I'm with you on up or down, the only time on Raceboards I'd rake was to control railing upwind in a blow. Boats are a bit different I think and, as speeds are usually lower, maybe the effect of rake on balance outweighs the other effects? I'll use half board on the Blaze off wind and lift the daggerboard on the Spice when overpowered to help keep the boat flat.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 05 Oct 17 at 4:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 4:29pm
Originally posted by davidyacht


  Kicker and plate make the biggest difference, ]


Plate? What as in raking it back? Don't you find the boat doesn't point as well with it raked?

I get it if it's balls out survival when pointing is the least of your worries, but do you mess with it other times?

We had one cardinal rule with plates on boards, all the way up or all the way down, don't even think about anything in between, it screws with the section.

Just as I never get it when Lasers half lift their plates off wind even in light weather, it must be counterproductive.

Edited by iGRF - 05 Oct 17 at 4:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rich96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 1:43pm
If you watch the best Laser sailors on a run they let the outhaul off

But then they rarely sail dead downwind I guess
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:36pm
Originally posted by iGRF

Took me a long while to get to grips with the fact you dump the kicker on a run, never mind messing with outhaul, to my mind anything that potentially loses focus on what's going on around you is a negative distraction so tend never to adjust outhaul once I've set it for the prevailing conditions. You're more likely to get benefit downwind by focussing on being on the correct gybe in synch with the shifts which I find difficult enough downwind in a dinghy, than messing with the outhaul in the hope for a 0.00001 extra knot.

But as they all say, the logic is sound enough, I just haven't experienced a significant performance gain from bagging out the sail, although it does 'feel' right to do it with the jib on a two sail boat when you bear off.

Calibration is the key ... mark your upwind and downwind settings for your kicker, outhaul, inhaul, cunningham and plate.  This makes it relatively mindless to go to your default upwind and downwind settings, most of which you can set up while you are on the lay to the windward mark, or at a quiet moment on the final run into the leeward mark.  Kicker and plate make the biggest difference, then probably outhaul, cunningham in the boats I sail doesn't make a lot of difference except when you are overpowered.  

If you have got the cunningham on upwind it is vital to dump it offwind, since the compression in the mast bows the mast and depowers the mainsail.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:25pm
I am 100% sure the Olympic level boys have done all that...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:23pm
Would a flat parachute be more effective than a normal mushroom shaped one? Probably not, my guess would be the extra area gained by flattening the sail on a run is almost negligible and even dead downwind some shape in the sail aids efficient. Could be totally wrong mind you......

What's needed is two Laser sailors (the same hight weight and build) in identical boats to line up side by side and sail (without kinetics) directly downwind. The onlydifference being that one has tight outhaul and the other very slack...... Any takers?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:10pm
On a dead run, pulling the out haul on max will present a larger are to the wind, but very fractionally. 

However, it's usually quicker to sail with flow over the sail (like Peter says above). For which you want it to be curved. You may have to sail angles to achieve this if the mark is dead down wind, which means gybing if you have stays, or transitioning to be the lee in unstayed boats like your laser. 

However, the out-haul makes very little difference to overall sail shape as long as it is relatively well set. It only effects the shape of the bottom couple of panels and kicker and Cunningham are far more important. The outhaul probably gets unwarranted attention because is is the most visible part of the sail.

In toppers and lasers I would let if off downwind and on reaches. However, if things were hectic at the mark rounding I wouldn't bother as you'll loose ground moving in / forward to get it which you don't want to be doing at critical times (if at all). 

In 49ers and 29ers we set it for the race. It was in a difficult place to get to adjust anyway, but also you're always sailing an apparent close reach. I think we adjusted jib halyard tension more in races than we ever altered the out-haul. 

In the 200 the crew gets it after rounding the windward, just after hoisting. But, if we're under pressure from a boat behind roiling us we'll forget it and focus on getting the kite set and their weight up if needed. We'd only go back and get it if convenient (a lull where the crew goes back in to the boat for instance).






Edited by mozzy - 05 Oct 17 at 12:13pm
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