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Too tight for a sym

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timeintheboat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote timeintheboat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Too tight for a sym
    Posted: 10 Aug 10 at 9:49pm
Mostly in a Lark...

Fairly high up the list of things I keep getting wrong is either going for the kite on too tight reaches only to have to douse it - or failing that to keep on persisting with the kite as it gets tighter when it would be better to drop and pop after the next mark.

I don't recall having this problem in my Furball days - but that was a long time ago.

Does anyone have any rule of thumb about when the kite will provide some benefit before launching it and what the first signs are that it isn't paying?

Thanks

Like some other things - sailing is more enjoyable when you do it with someone else
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Contender 541 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender 541 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 10 at 7:53am
General rule - IMHO - if the pole is on the forestay, the spinny is doing bugger all but making your day difficult
When you find a big kettle of crazy it's probably best not to stir it - Pointy Haired Boss

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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 10 at 9:16am
If the kite is tight in and the mainsail is backwinding, chances are it isn't that useful!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 10 at 9:54am

How far the jib and main are sheeted gives us an indication, we also have bits of wool on the shrouds which I find very useful for down wind. The pole on the forestay (not hard) works for us but the L2 kite does reach very well, so maybe not good for all classes. If there is a doubtful reach we don't fly the kite on the first lap of the day, we may decide later to give it a go once we've got the feel of that particular reach (or if we're not in front )

I suppose (for us anyway) a conservative approach works well, we don't bother unless we're sure it will benefit. The time lost faffing is much greater than the possible gains on a marginal reach, particularly on port tack for us.



Edited by GK.LaserII
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patj View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote patj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 10 at 1:22pm

to keep on persisting with the kite as it gets tighter when it would be better to drop

We have done the same thing in both the Lark and the Merlin for some years. Generally when the pole's on the jib luff and I'm having trouble keeping it full, then it's time to drop, yet the helm keeps saying "just hang onto it" so we always go on too long.

I've had the pole on the forestay and the guy eased out so the kite foot is a couple of feet further out still and it's just silly.

It's not something that is quantifiable, but with more experience now, I look at the wind angles and how other people are doing and how much the wind has shifted since the last lap on that leg before deciding whether to give the kite a go or throw the teddies out and insist it's too tight a reach!



Edited by patj
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fireballdan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 10 at 6:11pm
i would say if its not up to start with and your unsure,
leave it down. have you tried dropping the head right at
the end of the leg to get into the mark on tight reaches?
that might work and its a good way to get water at the gybe
mark
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winging it View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote winging it Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 10 at 9:31pm
the other thing is, it may be that the kite you could get away with tight reaches in with the fireball was cut for just such a purpose.  The kite you have now may be cut differently and so make it more difficult.
the same, but different...

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 10 at 8:06am
Originally posted by Contender 541

General rule - IMHO - if the pole is on the forestay, the spinny is doing bugger all but making your day difficult

That's, shall we say, a very suprising rule of thumb and not one I could recommend...
Its just a question of learning when the boat is over pressed, but the smart money is that if its jammed in as hard as it will go its doing no good. In general folks do seem to hang on to kites too long... It will depend on boat and nine billion other variable, but I reckon a foot of kite sheet to play with is a reasonable start point.

Remember in most performance boats you'll be going faster on a perfect direction two sail reach than you will overpressed and struggling with the kite, because thetwo sail rig is far less draggy. So my rule of thumb is if its a hoist leg I would start by sailing two sail just as fast as you can. If you are climbing upwind of the mark then don't worry, just carry on until you are confident that its a really hot reach with the kite up and hoist then.
If its a drop leg then the reverse applies - don't try and struggle up to the mark, blast off downwind as the gusts take you, and drop when its a real blitz two sailer to the mark or a beam reach, whichever comes first. You'll find its amazing how much ground you can make back to windward in the lulls anyway...

Edited by JimC
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Post Options Post Options   Quote timeintheboat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 8:36pm
Thanks for the comment - the recent problem was in
handicap racing and the only sym. So judging the angle of
the boats ahead down tidal reaches - was the info I was
using to make the call. Once the damn thing was up the
temptation is to leave it up.

I have tried the trick of letting the halyard go to hide
the kite behind the jib, perhaps it's rose tinted glass
that makes me think it was more effective with the
Fireball and GP than the Lark, or perhaps it's the spinny
downhaul with the chute that is making some difference.

Like some other things - sailing is more enjoyable when you do it with someone else
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 10:15pm
The Fireball kite is often cut very flat to allow them to race tight reaches. It is certainly a lot flatter than the geeps.
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