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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:20 pm 
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Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Anyone have tips on Tiger sail shape? Such as:
1). How are you setting it up -- what are you looking for in draft position, sail twist, and flatness?
2). How do you know when it is right?
3). How do you experiment, two and/or single boat, to find the correct settings?
4). What are you doing at the start, the run upwind and the run downwind -- how are you changing gears through the different phases of a race?
5). How about shape on the jib?

And so forth.

Bruce


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 Post subject: Hi Bruce.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:00 pm 
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1) We set up our mast with 1 3/4" of spreader sweep and the same amount in prebend. This gives a great sail shape and it is powered up enough in lightish stuff, but will flatten out nicely in a breeze - just pull more luff on and once that is maxed out start sheeting softer - only in super extreme conditions will we ever dump the traveler - and even then its just a couple inches max!

2) Dunno - it's been fast for us with the above setting.

3) Two boat tuning is great if both teams are equal in speed usually - and weight about the same, only then does doing two boat tuning really work - then one boat stays rigged the same while the other does a change then goes again - we always train harder upwind to find speed as this is where most of the race is won (or lost) you must be fast uphill so as to be towards the top of the fleet at the first rounding - then you can cover from the front, much easier than trying to come through the fleet from behind.

4) The biggest thing is just having the downhaul on - and early - if a puff hits you and the downhaul is pulled on too late you lose all the effect and you get no squirt forward, you'll just fly the hull and be forced to steer up, then crash down and bear away - this is slow, we find that getting the luff on early before the puff hits and if you can look on the water and see if its going to be a header or a lift that it will help you steer accordingly. (i.e. if the puff hits and its a header - you don't have to sheet out and or steer up as drastic since it won't have the same impact as a lifted puff will, those hit with more force requiring you to make a more dramatic change of course and sheet further out (we're talking higher winds here, not sitting on the boat) While I mention that - if you aren't trapping, and you are sailing in mild winds, look to the main leach tell tales for guidance - you want them disappearing 50% of the time and flowing back 50%...kind of flopping - too much straight back and you're sail is too open - if they are always hiding behind the sail you are too tight. And keep the jib tails both flowing back straight....once you are trapping, the visual aids aren't really as important, and heel angle is - the tell tails will point slightly upwards on the windward side, that is normal trim.

5) Jib shape is kind of built into the design of the sail and not much you can do to change it besides pulling slightly tighter on the luff which will flatten - this is good for flat water and it gives you a higher angle upwind - (but this still needs to be balanced with main shape - i.e. too full a main with a flat jib won't be good and vise versa)

A slightly fuller jib shape might be a little better in waves - I'm imagining though that you will always sail in flat water since you're inland sailing mainly.


Last edited by Jbernier on Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:20 pm 
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Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Thanks Jacques. Yes, you are right -- I'm a flatlander! Our waves would having you east and west-coasters laughing! :-)

Last season we had a starts, on a crowded line, in 10-12 MPH of wind that did not go well. At this regatta we were probably 380 - 390 lbs. New crew. I would get good position on the line -- first row, clear to my leeward, fell off for speed, and hit the line running. Within about one to two minutes the fleet separates and I'm in the second group.

I've read an airticle by Frank Bethwaite about wind barriers for winds in the 10 MPH range, on a crowded line, and how the wind influences the first row (he says point initially). But this is counter to general opinion.

I think my first problem is that I may not be footing for speed. I'm also curious if there is something in that first one or two minutes where I need to be shifting gears to keep up -- say as I foot for speed, etc. Do we have the jib in too tight? Are we handling the jib wrong, like sheeting in too quick? Maybe I need to be doing something with weight position, like weight back a bit before the start, to get the hulls up so the wind will push them down, and then slide forward at the start?

I'm still not clear on setting the jib correctly during the run upwind. How does one tell?

So the question is really aimed at the first few minutes after the start. What can I work on come spring?

Interestingly, in winds 15-18 we do very well. Out point the Nacra F18 and good speed.


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 Post subject: Rick's Book
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:25 pm 
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Location: League City, TX
The best thing you can do and the best $30 you will ever spend is to get "Catamaran Racing for the 90's"!!!! www.catsailor.com online store. It is THE Bible of sailing books. There is a whole chapter on the 18 by an expert. You will learn more reading and practicing what it says than you could in three years on your own.

Doug Snell
Hobie 17
Soon to be Nacra A2 or Blade
www.tcdyc.com check out our site


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:32 am 
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Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Thanks Doug. I got it and other of his books; you need something here in the midwest to keep you busy during the winter! You are right; his set of books are great! I'm re-reading it as we speak. I even took Rick White's course. Maybe I need to go back?

But I'm one of those damn engineers who loves catamarans. There's always the sublties of boat handling that are unique to each class. Rick does not cover the Tiger, obviously. I've spent the winter season exploring what factors lead to the fleet splitting at the start. I'm now curious as to what people may be doing with their sail trim and settings as they sheet in at the horn. These starts I'm referring to are typically very, very crowded. Boats moving slowly near or parked on the line.

I'm still the single Tiger on our lake. So I have to travel 4 hours to get to an F18 class. I don't get to work against another boat. So I have to think early about what I will try during he regatta should I fall behind.

In the heavy air, I squirt out with the lead boats. In the lighter air I get left behind. It only takes 2 minutes and the fleet becomes two. Heavy air seems forgiving to me. The strength of the winds make up for a lot of mistakes by the crew -- you just power through. Or, on a tight line the heavy wind is powering through the density of the sails so very little disruption in flow. In the lighter air, every mistake seems amplified. Frank Bethwaite's book, "High Performance Sailing", has a very interesting discussion about wind barriers, particularly what a large fleet does at the line as it sheets in.

The Tiger sail seems very flat -- it is built for speed. Jacques' comment about getting the luff set early is very interesting and something we need to employ. Leading the puff with steering, too. He also went immediately for what would have been my next question -- the leech of the sail and the potential to hook it or have it too tight. The top of this sail seems very, very flat. Does it need more shape up there in the lighter air? I thought a square top is meant to give you drive forward in the lighter air, when it is eased out a bit. Is this ture? I wonder if the leech is too flat and is in too tight for the speed of the boat, that the top is stalled?

I definitely want to play a bit with the draft, as Jacque comments about. I can sometimes run a crew weight that is too heavy for this boat -- over 400 lbs.

I'm sensing that our jib may not be set right. I just don't have a sense of what the air is doing around it. Weight position may be subtle and important. All things to explore and understand, but are only suggested by Rick's book.

I sure could use some advice.


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 Post subject: Some bad news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:03 am 
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Hi there Ray -

I have a little bad news - about your crew weight...at 380 or 400 lbs you will definitely suffer upwind in lighter air. This is probably the only thing wrong at this point if all other tuning aspects are in the range I gave in my first post (about prebend and sail trim)

The jib trim is such a minor thing I wouldn't worry about it - this Tiger jib is small - and does not overlap (as you know since it sheets to the front beam) We usually run our jib traveler car to the inside post - normally just straddling it (not sure how many inches out that is - Greg says it's four fingers width in from the out side;-) That's how accurate we get about that...not a big deal.

The biggest things for upwind off the starts are a clear lane, being on the favored side of the line and going to the favored side of the course. Sailing on lakes you should probably sail lifts on the beats upwind. Since on lakes the winds shift more - when you get a decent header (over 5 to 10 degrees) you might think about a tack - since these boats tack so quickly, you don't lose much time.... but again..I fear that most of your speed issues would be related to weight and not trim or angle. (Reason being that you state when the winds come up you do better)...that would be correct. The windier it is the better the extra weight is - upwind that is. Still, downwind you'll suffer speed and angle to a lighter teams, I'd say.

Since you said that you can out point the other boats - I'm a little suspicious that perhaps you are not footing enough. We normally don't outpoint anyone in the fleet. I always think that we are footing, but because our speed is higher we can then use the foils for lift - if you are watching us go upwind from another boat you might think we are sailing higher - but trust me, were are trying to point the boat further down for speed and getting a higher angle from the lift in the foils instead. The thing that people do that is a mistake is to just point the boat higher upwind, by having a flatter jib and so on (from my first post) but that will just limit your speed, if you foot slightly you'll generate the speed to get a higher angle - kind of like steering up slightly downwind to increase apparent wind to go faster and deeper.

You might try and sail with other boats for practice - I know you mentioned that it's a four hour drive - Greg and I drive nearly that far for most of our races too...that's what it takes sometime to get better. You will likely always have issues unless you get tips and sail against faster teams, this is a way to progress your sailing.


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 Post subject: Our site
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:20 am 
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Go onto our site. www.tcdyc.com register and send a PM to Chris Green. He is our local Tiger guy. He is going to the Worlds. He would know the Tiger as I do not.

Doug Snell
Hobie 17
Soon to be Nacra A2 or Blade
www.tcdyc.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:32 am 
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Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Jacques,

Thanks again. Very interesting. Actually, there were two races involved here. The light air day I had a different crew member. We were about 380 lbs. Light being 10-12 MPH. Probably still on the heavy side. The heavy wind day I had my regular crew and we run over at about 410 lbs. Yep, we are too heavy.

I definitely thinking I'm not footing enough. In fact, the other thing I was thinking about doing was raking the mast a notch more forward and changing the prebend on the mast to get a bit more power. I'd change the rake because I'd notice that the boat creeps up into a pinch when my attention gets pulled off. So I think I (and too a lesser degree, the boat) have a tendency to pinch. But your comments are enlightening! I'll have to work on getting this foil-lifting effect! Interesting.

How about the square top? It seems so flat. I thought that square tops had the benefit of pointing some of the force vectors down the course line, helping with drive. Or, do you play with the draft that's up there from condition-to-wind-condition?

So much of our fleet sail to the layline off the start. 5-10 degrees, ey? You're right -- this boat does tack fast. I'll hunt down some friends to so some speed drilling.

This is a big help! I appreciate your time.

Bruce


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 Post subject: A couple of things
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:08 pm 
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As for weight, at even 380 that is high - a target weight is from the light side around 320 - 350 on the high end...no change of prebend will account for the extra 30-60 lbs - plus just going fuller doesn't necessarily mean fast or more power, it also means angle of attack and pointing ability - draft issues and back winding problems between the main and jib - all of this doesn't really mean much...the most important thing is boat speed and getting a good start - so as long as your combined crew weight is that heavy you will have some speed issues - trim, boat handling, and tactics will not totally cure those deficiencies. (sorry to say) (other heavy teams can comment or rebutt)....I'm sure there are other things that you can improve on and for sure proper trim and tactics and handling are going to add up, but perhaps not enough to win races still if you sail at the high end of the weight limits of the boat. (at least in light air regattas, if it blows you'll be all good)

Now for the square top - yes, it is fairly shaped at the head in light downhaul sailing, however once you increase luff tension the top will actually flatten and twist. This is a benefit in heavier air as you lose much of the top forces which cause you to heel, and in lightish air it will aid you to pop a hull out sooner, so it has a double effect.

Make sure you are using the soft battens on the top two, the hard ones are pretty stiff. (maybe that's why you think it is too flat) If you have to sand down the battens or find some softer ones.

We now have the STX sail which is even larger towards the top - but not sure if buying a new sail should be considered seeing that your current one is probably still good. There is a very minor difference in performance between the two - which you either would or wouldn't realize, since at the moment there are other factors still limiting your results...

More practice and more wind are what you need it sounds like - finding a way to trim crew weight would also be of a benefit - but that is not something that is easy to do (especially since we're talking up to possibly 60lbs between ya)

These are my opinions, just giving you what I have experienced in my years of sailing that boat. Hopefully something in here will be of help, sometimes too much info is a bad thing, it really is just a matter of practicing and racing as much as possible with faster teams to push you to a higher level....beyond that it is all theory.

I could read dozens of books on hang-gliding, but I wouldn't be any good no matter how much I read. The thing that would help me the most would be practice - the same would hold true for sailing as well.

Good thread.

JB


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:42 pm 
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Excellent thread! Lots of food for thought. Ooops. Your point is that's the last thing I need -- food. We should open a thread on weight loss. 6' 2" inches does not help.

This has been a great discussion...

Can you comment on two remaining questions:
1). What are you guys doing with your weight position before and as you start?
2). Do you have any recommendations regarding sheeting in at the start with the Tiger. Or, are you always making a run at the line and its just boat speed. I gotta believe that at times you get into a crowded line, your re parked, and getting the boat moving -- acceleration -- is very important.

Thanks Jacques.


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 Post subject: Got to our site
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:56 pm 
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Jacques:

Go to www.tcdyc.com register and PM Chris Green. He is the expert on Tiger. He is going to the Worlds in Spain.

Doug Snell
Hobie 17
Soon to be Nacra A2
www.tcdyc.com


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 Post subject: It depends
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:08 pm 
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Obviously in lighter winds our weight will be further forward on the boat - like the crew sitting on, or in front of the main beam and the skipper just at, or in front of the shroud. In heavier winds in the normal spots - and just sheeting in at about 6 seconds to go, from about a boat length off the line and accelerating to it with the bow down and jumping onto the wire at the gun or just before - all the while getting trim on and luff on and so forth...While sailing trapped upwind I'll be at the shroud and skipper behind - and move back from there - never forward at all - I sometimes see people trapping at the front beam - that is too far forward.

The big thing about accelerating from a stand still at the start is boat angle and positioning prior to the start. (rarely are we speeding down a line without traffic - we are normally parked still at the line with more than a minute to go - in a Worlds and larger fleets if you aren't able to control still and maneuver slightly upwind and point the bows down you'll be second or even third row)

Creating some space to leeward and forcing the windward boat up will give you room to maneuver after the gun. You must have some space directly to leeward - or make sure that you are pointed bow out of that guy so that you can roll him directly after the start - if he pokes out on you it will be impossible to hold your lane and likely you'll be forced to tack straight away to get clear (bad deal if you want to go left - not so bad if you're planning on banging the right) having the guy to windward very close will cause him to go slow too - but be sure that you poke out ahead of him or he will roll over the top of you - it's a tricky balance - sometimes we'll try and sail high after the gun to cause a person on top to pinch up in and attempt to slow them, or sometimes we'll run away from that guy (if we have room to leeward) so that we can sail free - it kind of depends on who you start next to. If you find a nice cushy spot on the line next to lets say a slower team - that's a great way to maximize your chances of getting off the line cleanly and holding your lane longer - if you start directly next to a faster team you'll likely be toast sooner - so look at where you are on the line with relation to the other racers.


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 Post subject: Jacques
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:40 pm 
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Just in case anyone wonders who Jacques is...Jacques Bernier is one of our Hobie in-house gurus. He sails with Greg Thomas (also Hobie staff).

Just for those who may not know... Greg and Jacques are the current US Multihull / Hobie Alter Cup Champions, North American F18 Champions, 2nd at the Tiger Worlds in Singapore and first Americans at the last Tiger Worlds in Santa Barbara (they were fouled and lost first or second). 4 time Tiger North American champions. Former Hobie 20 North American Champions among others...Both are heavily experienced on Tornado. Jacques was a North American Champion. Both were on the US sailing team on Tornado.

They know their stuff.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Not looking
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:55 pm 
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I meant one asking questions. Sorry Jacques. Chris Green would still be a good one for the other person to talk too. He will probably see Jacques
at the Worlds in Spain. Plus we have a fun forum.

Doug Snell
www.tcdyc.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Matt,

I've had the privilege a couple times to catch either Greg or Jacques' attention; those discussions are all captured on this forum. When they (in fact, you guys) take the time to field silly questions from Hobie drivers nothing could be better for us owners. I, of course, really like the more technical discussions. I think that this thread was super; Jacques' contribution was outstanding! I was trying hard to make it relevant and therefore appeal to the various skill-levels of as many readers as possible; maybe I should not have clouded it with our crew weight. The information captured in this thread should be a big hit!

Jacques, thank you very, very much! I sure appreciate it when you or Greg take time from your busy day and throw a little advice to us wanta be's! I could tell from your writing that you put both a lot of time and thought into your experiences. It must have absorbed your day: "I wish this guy from Iowa would just go away." I would think that the essence of this discussion would make for the next great Jacques Bernier article, to be authored for Sailing World -- "Getting Away Cleanly and First to the Mark!" (Matt, you forgot to mention that Jacques has "published"!)

You guys are my heros! I wish I could be just like ya, but obviously I'm too heavy! But whenever you share this stuff, we all get better. Even if we are too heavy. :-)

Go get 'em at the Alter Cups!

Bruce

P.S. DougHobie17 -- I know you guys are having a good time down there in Houston, Tx getting good at racing. I had airplane tickets to come down and crew on a Tiger during one of your end-of-the-season regattas, just so I could witness the fun and share experiences. Hurricane Rita swung through and I was forced to stay in Iowa. Of course, when I got Jacques' attention, I'm gonna stay focused on the man. I've heard the name "Chris" before, but never have talked to him. Maybe some day in the future we will meet. Now, I gotta go read everything that Jacques shared with us.


Last edited by Sailing-a-Ray on Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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