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Laser Mainsheet

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jumps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Laser Mainsheet
    Posted: 18 Jul 19 at 8:22pm
Hi All,

One of 'pupils' on my sailing class (he's a good sailor and helpful guy) reccomends putting a Fig 8 knot in the mainsheet when the boom is at 90 degrees,

I did this and had no problems in light winds,
In stronger winds I thought about this and decided that the Knot would prevent me easing the sail if I get overpowered on a run.
further thinking.. if I let the boom past 90 degrees it will be pulling hard on the cleated control lines.

Is the 90 dregrees stopper knot a good or bad idea ?

Also whist tacking around a course, I frequently look down and realise I've been 'knitting' with the loose ends of the mainsheet and tied my ankles in a knot! LOL

Does anyone have any suggestions


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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: 19 Jul 19 at 7:44am
If you stop the boom at 90 then you limit your options for sailing by the lee.

However, letting the boom out beyond 90 on a run when you are overpowered is likely to lead to a swim, so I wouldn't recomend it as a way of depowering, you just make the boat less stable. If things are dodgy downwind it's safer to pull the sheet in.
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Ardea View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ardea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 19 at 7:56am
I used to tie the very end of the mainsheet around the toestrap so any knot would be a loop.  You do need to make sure have another actual stopper knot (which should allow the boom out more than 90 degrees as mentioned above) to allow you something to hold onto when the boom is fully out.

edit - by used to I don't mean I have a better solution now, just that I don't sail lasers anymore!


Edited by Ardea - 19 Jul 19 at 8:04am
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 19 at 9:18am
You can't spill wind on a dead run. If you let the main out beyond 90º DDW the effect will be to roll the boat to 'windward' instead of to 'leeward'. As PeterG says, the normal and seamanlike technique is to sheet in a little and generate some heeling moment to leeward whilst heading up just a little.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 19 Jul 19 at 9:20am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bustinben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 19 at 10:07am
If it's windy, boom past 90 is a recipe for disaster.  Don't forget that with kicker eased most sheeted out point of the sail is about 2/3 of the way up and will be well beyond 90.  You don't need to do it anyway, if you're running that hard by the lee in the breeze you should probably gybe and get the bow up.

You can either set the knot so that it lets the boom go just past 90, and if really soaking in lighter suff go for a very eased kicker and in heavy winds just make sure you never drop the sheet (instant wipeout).  Or set your knot for super light winds but add another stopper further up if it's windy.

Like people have said, depowering downwind is achieved by sheeting in and also pulling a little more kicker/outhaul on, but really your best bet is just to go as fast as possible and be confident in your boat handling to sail a path around the waves  Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jumps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 19 at 10:23am
Some great insights here - many thanks everyone.

I hadn't considered that past 90 would kick me off to windward
You've saved me swim !
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 19 at 12:14pm
In light airs up to around 100 can be very quick sailing by the lee. In heavier winds, with the kicker off the leech twist will almost certainly end in a death roll to windward.

When I had a Laser I used to have it about 100 and work out how much I needed it pulled in to be at 90 and put a small mark on the rope.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 19 at 5:27pm
re, Knitting and standing on mainsheet tailings, always an issue with centre/aft rigged boats, my Aquabat had same rigging, I was halfway through designing a retrieval reel when I sold boat and thought perhaps I was wasting my time, knowing class associations would probably ban it  Angry
This would have been similar to a air hose reel you see in garages.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 4:41pm
Top tip from some laser site,  before the start when close hauled trail the mainsheet behind you to eliminate twists. It appears to work but hard to quantify. Just saying as it conflicts with the tying to the toe strap.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oatsandbeans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 8:09pm
This is really interesting.All the posts so far have been spot on. This is exactly how it is taught, but the good guys sail in big breeze with the boom off at 90 degrees a floppy leach and going like a train with reverse flow ( and not capsizing) so should we teach this at an earlier level and get them to miss out all the unlearning and relearning of the “best” way to do it? I have no idea at all, maybe you have to learn in the way that we all have-I am not sure!
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