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Radial kicker, how much is too much?

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    Posted: 16 Oct 14 at 4:36pm

On going dispute at home between an RYA youth & an old fart who knows nothing.

I'm (the old fart) saying that in breeze you pull the kicker until the boom goes out not up when you dump, trouble is to achieve this on the boat we currently own the kicker is going max travel and the boom is looking horribly bent.
The boom is sleeved and the kicker key is difficult to hook in when rigging.
 
How much is too much?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 14 at 4:43pm
If it is that windy that you are maxing the kicker out (as this point I doubt you would get under the boom) then the advice I was given is to ease the kicker back off to 'block to block' and wind the cunningham on as hard as you can (and then some more for good measure).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 14 at 5:25pm
Lasers to appear to be different to every other boat around in how much kicker you put on. Had some coaching in one recently, and even in fairly light winds was being told to whack the kicker on, and it worked. Mad, mad boat! Went against everything I would normally do in a boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 14 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Lasers to appear to be different to every other boat around in how much kicker you put on. Had some coaching in one recently, and even in fairly light winds was being told to whack the kicker on, and it worked. Mad, mad boat! Went against everything I would normally do in a boat.

That's right, as soon as you are sat on the side (perching I guess) then 'block to block' is what you need. When you start sitting in some people can make the boat go very well by having the boom and traveller block about 4-5 inches apart.

It is making the sail work with the mast rather than the other way round. The Laser is a huge compromise rig as you are always having to tweak the controls to try and get the shape right.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 14 at 8:34pm
I keep reading this 'set the kicker block to block then a bit more'.
I take this to mean pull the mainsheet block to block,, and then what?
If it means set the kicker so that the main blocks stay put when the mainsheet is eased then this requires absolute max on the kicker.

Edited by piglet - 16 Oct 14 at 8:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 14 at 9:46pm
Yup, max on the kicker a good 2 wind forces before I'd expect to on the Lightning - so force 2 for a lighter weight like me. The radial might be needing more breeze than that, mind. Feels all wrong.

Also, the outhaul needs to be tighter than I'm used to, too. The coach was behind (in about a force 1) looking at the leech, and the outhaul had to be on almost to the point of creasing before the leech stopped hooking. This weill be because of the tight kicker.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 14 at 7:30am
What are you calling 'Max' kicker Rupert.

I sailed it a couple of weeks back (no crew) and had the kicker blocks about 2 inches apart, I couldn't physically get any more even with the mainsheet blocked out. Getting under the boom was harder but not as bad as the Contender.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 14 at 8:35am
Sounds like maxed out to me, if it won't go tighter. I've resorted to bracing my feet on the bulkhead and pulling as hard as possible.

However, there are people on here far more expert at Laser sailing than I am - I've really just had coaching sessions in them, not raced them regularly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 14 at 10:22am
I've generally only sailed Radials when it's very windy, but I've found that with a lot of kicker on I tended to have trouble going into irons on a tack, something which I didn't have problems with on a full rig even with as much kicker on as I could get. So I often ended up easing the kicker back a bit on the Radial when it was very windy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GybeFunny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 14 at 10:42am
I always thought block to block meant pull the mainsheet block to block and then take the slack out of the kicker. That is my default kicker setting in all wind conditions in my full rig.
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