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Playing the main

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Mister Nick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mister Nick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Playing the main
    Posted: 03 Feb 13 at 5:41pm
I helm an RS500 and when it's windy (20 knots+) and gusty, I really struggle to play the main quickly enough to keep the boat upright. I find that when a big gust hits and I have to ease the main quite a lot,  I just can't pull it back in fast enough to prevent the crew getting dunked. I just find the boat heeling backwards and forwards all over the place. My hands get absolutely knackered and it just makes the boat so hard to sail. It's only going upwind where it's a problem, everywhere else I'm alright. 

I've tried changing the vang, outhaul and cunningham settings and that's helped but it hasn't solved the issue. I've also started bearing away a degree or so when I sheet back on after a gust has come through to get the boat going again, which seems to work but I'm not sure if that's the best/easiest way to do it? I haven't had this problem with any other boat that I've sailed.

Has anyone got any tips? Thanks! :)




Edited by Mister Nick - 03 Feb 13 at 6:13pm
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Do Different View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 13 at 7:46pm
Never sailed an RS500. But my 2 pennies worth from a few others classes would be. Set your mast rake back (if you can in a 500), raise the board a little to move the centre of resistance aft and up and sail a bit freer and faster. Plenty of vang helps to make sheet loads easier in big winds because then main sheet only has to pull the boom in to change the angle of attack and not down to close the leech. 
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Quagers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Quagers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 13 at 9:18pm
Lots of Vang as suggest above. Also try to anticipate the gusts rather than reacting by having your crew look upwind and call them, should make the ride smoother.
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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: 03 Feb 13 at 9:21pm
Are you allowed to give the crew the mainsheet? Its by far the best way to play if the class rules don't stop you.

Edited by JimC - 03 Feb 13 at 9:25pm
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NickM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 13 at 9:27pm
This is probably completely the wrong technique but on a Contender yonks ago this worked for me.  After the gust has passed, crack off a bit so you are not spilling so much wind and at the same time sheet in by taking coils of rope around your hand in a continuous movement and slowly harden up.  When you are back on track, cleat the sheet briefly to shakie out the unwanted coils. Oh, and wear gloves.
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RichTea View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RichTea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 13 at 9:27am
I am not a fan of wrapping the main around the hand. It is a habit young sailors do when learning. You are not able to dump the main quick enough when needed and could end up bruising your hand.


Edited by RichTea - 04 Feb 13 at 12:27pm
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ifoxwell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifoxwell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 13 at 10:48am
For me it sums up the frustration of sailing a SMOD. Simple changes would make the sailing experience much more enjoyable but when your stuck with the off the shelf equipment you have to compromise your sailing technique to deal with the inadequacies of the design.

Not adding anything to the above I guess just venting and its not targeted at the 500 itself just the whole concept of not letting people tinker with designs for the benefit of all.

Sorry

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PhilHigh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhilHigh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 13 at 10:49am

In a strong breeze we have found its very important to make sure you don't over sheet the Jib upwind.  This is very easily done in the 500 due to the fixed poisition of the Jib Cleats.  If its to tight the boat struggles in the gusts, if the jib is correct the boat flow and you need to play a lot less mainsheet to control it.  The difference is often only an inch or so out on the jib sheets. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote BBSCFaithfull Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 13 at 1:12pm
I would suggest removing the cleat if possible? 

Maybe also gently luffing into stronger gusts and as it subsides bear away again if you're struggling with the loads
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PeterG View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 13 at 7:16pm
I am not a fan of wrapping the main around the hand. It is a habit young sailors do when learning.

It's also a habit the elderly pick up when their arthritic hands stop stop them grasping a rope properly! Not ideal, but it keeps us on the water.

And remove the cleat - you've got to be kidding Confused


Edited by PeterG - 04 Feb 13 at 7:17pm
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