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Outhaul on a run -- tight or loose?

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12874
Printed Date: 16 Jul 20 at 1:39pm
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Topic: Outhaul on a run -- tight or loose?
Posted By: Eisvogel
Subject: Outhaul on a run -- tight or loose?
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 11:12am
I'm confused. I assumed (as I've been told by an experienced Enterprise helm) that the outhaul should be tight on a run to spread the sail out to the max. Now I just read in a blog post that once round the top mark you'll let the outhaul off when going on a run/reach, and you put it back on tight when getting back on the beat. In my Laser I have always done it the other way round: looser on a beat, and tight on a run.

Is this dependent on which class of boat I'm sailing? Or is it just random? Or wind strength? Or personal preference?


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Enterprise 20361 (Eisvogel), Laser 102727 (Halcyon), Laser 121986



Replies:
Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 11:41am
I am by no means an expert, but my take on it is;

On the beat, default position is with a shelf on the foot, but add more depth for pointing or power by easing, which makes the lower leach stand up.

On the reach, more depth by easing the foot for more power, fetching or close reaching I might  flatten the foot if this makes the boat feel more balanced.

On the run, I am not a great believer in letting the foot off, prefer more projected area of having the sail to the bands, also like to have the top of the sail twisted to the lee, which I think an easier leech will assist.

This is based on the classes that I sail Solos and Salcombe Yawls.  In the Solo the tack inhaul is adjustable, this makes the decision much easier at the windward mark, leave the outhaul set, simply dump the inhaul, then pull it back on at the leeward mark to your preset position ...with no loss of area offwind.


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: PeterG
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 11:47am
I've never been very convinced that having it tight on a run makes much difference, but the logic is sound - maximise the exposed area of sail. That only really applies to dead runs though not to runs and reaches in general. On a broad reach or by the lee on a Laser, which is probably the faster way of getting downwind in a Laser you are aiming to keep flow over the sail, so shape remains critical, and in general loose is better.

Having it loose on a beat depends on wind strength, in light winds you want to keep the draught small, to maximise contact and flow, and in stronger winds tightening the outhaul reduces power and also reduces drag, so you may have the sail full in medium winds but once you have enough power to have the boat moving fully tightening to reduce drag, and then to reduce power helps. How much power you need will also depend on the sea state. 

The same general principals may apply differently to different classes - and I can't speak for Enterprises, but in my Devon Yawl we tend to have the outhaul tight upwind pretty much regardless of wind strength - though we generally sail on sheltered water, in a chop that might not work best.


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Peter
Ex Cont 707
Laser 189635
DY 59


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:00pm
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.


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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Guests
Date 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).






Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date 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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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:25pm
I am 100% sure the Olympic level boys have done all that...


Posted By: davidyacht
Date 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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Happily living in the past


Posted By: rich96
Date 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


Posted By: iGRF
Date 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.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date 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.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: iGRF
Date 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?


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Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date 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).


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Guests
Date 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. 




Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 6:28pm
The shape of the hull also makes a difference, leaving the board down in an Ent on a run is a capsize waiting to happen if there's any wind. Half  board on reaches and fully up on runs was what I was taught. Of course it's hard to ruin the profile of an Ent foil more than it is by design Wink

The Spice copes well with full board until you're getting overpowered so I generally set it for the wind strength and leave it unless it changes.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: By The Lee
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 8:00pm
To be fair that is one of the most common mistakes by club laser sailors that they lift the daggerboard to high on a run


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 9:23pm
Lifting a centreboard 2/3 up also increases longitudinal stability, which seems to stop the boat from broaching or rolling too much on the run. Firefly death rolls are scary things. Board up too much, and there is too little resistance to the roll, too vertical and the balance is all wrong and a broaching she will go. In very light winds, 3/4 up will be ok.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 9:48pm
The other point is that raising a centreboard will shift the centre of lateral resistance.
To turn a dinghy downwind, raise the centreboard (pivot the blade backwards) and it's easy to turn downwind as well as acting more like a long keel design.

Just for Rupert - we used to reduce the Firefly death roll by having the crew sit out to leeward, helm to windward and not, emphatically not, to move body position. Ie don't try to keep body upright, roll with the boat. Also, don't try go correct the roll with the rudder! This increased to moment of inertia sufficiently to increase the period of the roll and make it less deadly. Techique was used with the old spoon rudder...


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 06 Oct 17 at 7:51am
Sprint,
Beating, fully tight.
Reaching, adjust to suit conditions
Running, fully tight.
Centre board, short legs, leave it fully down.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 06 Oct 17 at 9:59pm
Colprice, yes, moving is a deadly sin! Spreading by the weight sideways, but as close as possible fire and aft, pulling the mainsheet in and clenching ones buttocks also helps!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 06 Oct 17 at 10:34pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Sprint,
Beating, fully tight.
Reaching, adjust to suit conditions
Running, fully tight.
Centre board, short legs, leave it fully down.


With such a long boom, things are a little more complex than that to get the most out of a Minisail or Sprint. Outhaul is totally wind strength dependent. In a blow upwind, it will be tight enough to be right on the boom. As the wind drops, shape needs to be created, as the wind isn't doing it for you. I set reaching very much by feel, cracking off a little to create as much fullness as I happen to want at the time. Running, I really don't want a totally flat sail, I just don't want to lose masses of area. Probably set a little like a lightish wind beat, in, but no creases.

Centreboard, adjust unless the time spent adjusting isn't worth the concentration lapse, which would be roughly what you said, 4320.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 07 Oct 17 at 8:39am
Rupert,
I have found Sail pretty much works with settings used by Laser sailors, especially round our small lake, haven't tried it on long reaches etc, you would get more of a feel of what is happening.
Beating and running, I set it tight enough so you can get your fist between sail and boom.
The problem is it's an untested design, theirs no data from when it was first used, controls on my boat also substantially more powerful than original, larger stiffer boom, centre main instead of off the boom or aft main, wings instead of sliding seat.



Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 07 Oct 17 at 7:22pm
What we need to do is get together again and test your theories!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 07 Oct 17 at 8:21pm
You would have a better idea than me, needs a couple of knowledgeable sailors to test it, over a couple of days, new wings make it so easy to sail even in strong winds, you can reach past a Laser sitting up, Laser helm is out on his toes.



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