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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:05 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Melbourne, Australia
As far as gybe angles are concerned nothing beats experience. In a breeze that will fly a hull off wind I look straight across the boat and the lay line is slightly less than 90deg from the side. After the gybe, it first looks like you have gone way too early and you are pointing too high. In hull flying conditions I find pointing even higher gets the apparant wind happening and that in turn drives us lower and lower. In a recent race I was bog last (terrible start - don't even ask) and at the top mark the fleet gybed nearly immediatly. I sailed 100m down past the mark to get clear air and then used that techniue to be right on the tail of the lead boat at the end of that leg. It is almost a case of the faster you go, the lower you can go.

Unfortunatly wind strength, wave conditions and teamwork between the skipper and crew all have a bearing on when you should gybe off the breeze. Ive been sailing these boats for 12 months now in all conditions and that has what has worked for me. Fortunatly we have a fleet of 6 (soon to be 9) F18's and we are working very hard training together to raise the standard of our entire fleet.

Now if anybody could help me to get the bastard to sail upwind in light airs I'd be appreciative....

Michael


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
I'd like other boats to chime in on this discussion. Since I'm a fleet of one boat, until we build our fleet, I'm not sure how much my experience counts. As far as sailing upwind, I have found the Tiger's sensitivity shining. The Tiger is the first boat I've sailed where upwind sailing is nothing but fantastic: every adjustment in trim, both weight and sail, makes a difference. So if your question regarding sailing upwind in light airs refers to trim, start with Greg's earlier suggestion. I found his comments to be very useful.

In light air absolutely be easy on the rudder. Keep the rudder as still as possible. Rudder movement kills boat speed. How effective are rudders in killing speed? To stop leeward moment of the boat the force generated by the boat's sails must be countered by those of the boards. Visualize the total area of the sails laying against the total area of the boards under water. Just guessing, the sail area is what, 25 times greater than the board's area? Therefore the sticks under the water have the potential to produce forces 25 times greater than the sail. While these forces can help you to leeward, they work against you when it comes to drag (disrupted laminar flow on the boards): turning the rudder needlessly creates relative drag forces that are best described as extremely disruptive to speed. Think of it as if they are 25 times more (probably incorrect) likely to kill any good thing you might accomplish by trimming the sails. With the Tiger's small jib, the drive force is not available to get the laminar flow re-established on the surfaces below the water after disrupting with rudder movement. This means that the drag will persist. So when Greg says 'be light on the rudder', wow, he means it! That's the first thing to pay attention to upwind in light conditions.

Second, weight is key. How much and where you put it means everything on this boat. Be as close to the minimum weight as possible. Without shaking the sails, move weight in any direction during light airs to get the boat's stern out of the water and quiet. You'll feel the boat point better when the weight is in the right place. Do not be afraid, in very light conditions, to move weight laterally to reduce the amount of wetted surface area. I've won races on this boat by doing the wild-thing upwind.

Fall off to gain speed, don't pinch. We are talking about a very narrow range of angles here. In fact, at all times keep that lower tell-tale flowing. And most definitely avoid stalling the jib; a stall is the invisible anchor. Get into the sweet spot and let the boat hold itself there (low rudder movement). Look way down course to hold a steady angle.

Play with the mast rotation, slot, and adjust the out and downhauls to move the sail depth back. You can feel this boat respond to trim, of any kind, in low wind conditions. Keep you hands on the sails and SLOWLY AND SLIGHTLY move them has the wind changes speed and direction. Keep the boat moving in a straight line.

I have not played with mast bend in light conditions, but I would imagine that getting the stick standing up would power you up a bit, but be careful about the sail depth and position. Here others to should help with their experience.

But has I said, I'd like other boats to chime in with their experiences: both upwind and downwind. I'm not sure I understand managing the downwind angles yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:00 am
Posts: 383
Location: Long Beach, CA
:idea:
I think that most people can find the way upwind. That is what is common to all the catamarans you have sailed. If you come directly from a 14 or a 16 that does not have daggerboards you may feel differently. This boat, Tiger, will tack through about 90 degrees as a general rule. If you are a pincher, you know who you are, you can tack under another but it is critical to not let them near you for bad wind. I have found the Tiger likes to foot. Like a Hobie 16 you will get more speed out of it. I could not find any speed advantage footing a Miracle 20. If I overstood a mark on the 20 I lost that distance. On the Tiger it is less critical. If you like to power up by footing I think you can do pretty well with it.

Going downwind is not like any non-spinnaker catamaran that I have sailed. In most of those boats jibing angles in all winds are about the same once you find the one for that boat. Spinnaker cats change in wind conditions. In medium winds, 10-15, the jibing angles are just a hair under 90 degrees. If I see that I am coming up to a mark and it is just about 5 degrees in front of 90 I will jibe. You do have to be willing to heat up the boat to get the apparent wind going, then you can drive down a bit.

In heavy winds, over 20, I sail much lower than normal. The jibing angles seem to get as low as about 45 degrees…that may be a couple of degrees exaggerated. I was not going to fly my chute the first time Eileen and I encountered those conditions. We were about 1/3 the way to the leeward mark when we felt that the boats with the spins up were pulling away, but not fast. We decided then to see if we could play that game. The boat actually likes the chute up in heavy winds. It sails flatter or something, I cannot explain it. Anyway after that we do not hesitate going up with the spinnaker in heavy winds. I do not mean nuts heavy I mean anything, at this point, up to about 25.

Light winds, 5 and under, daunt me. It is really hard to decide if sailing higher to try generating wind is that much faster. It seems you have to keep going up and up, then you are sailing so high that you wonder if you will ever be able to sail to the leeward mark. Fast in the wrong direction is what it starts to feel like. This is where you have to pay attention to the speed of the other boats on the course and be able to decide if they have a better VMG to the mark. You cannot have a GPS on their boat transmitting that data to your boat…too bad! You just have to eye it.

Later,
Dan
:D


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
I've seen the 45 degrees. We were light and the winds gusted near 20 on one leg. So we saw the deep downwind action and just as suddenly the wind dropped. We went back to the 90 degrees. I was uncertain what happened. Thanks -- this helps.

You said that you tend to foot. How to you judge footing versus pointing?


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 Post subject: Footing and Pinching
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:00 am
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Location: Long Beach, CA
:wink: Sailing-a-Ray:

You asked,"You said that you tend to foot. How to you judge footing versus pointing?"

I do not really consider myself a footer. If I have to then fine, but I stay more in the middle to the high side. The reason is that I sail a bit light compared to others.

I presume you can tell if you are sailing with others whether you are pointing more than them or footing, so I will talk about when you are the only boat you can judge from:

Pointing, also called pinching, is when you are sailing along to the weather mark and you point the boat more toward the weather, upwind. Do so until you feel the boat slow down just a bit. Then crack off slightly until you feel that you are moving through the water more than you are stalling. It takes a very fine touch to be able to sail a whole leg this way, and it is exhausting on the brain. There are not many times that I would recomend sailing this way. If you are under someone before the start and you do not want them there, you can pinch to make them go away. That may be the only one that I can come up with.

Footing is when you sail to a point that feels as though the boat will not stall and pull the tiller down a bit more. You will feel a bit of acceleration. If you are sailing in about 15 MPH winds you will be double trapped, have to downhaul pretty seriously and maybe even crack the main and/or the jib occasionally. That is if you and your crew are 315 lbs on the boat. If you weigh more and you are not double trapping you should consider footing to get to that point.

By the way 15 MPH in my area is when there are whitecaps. I sail mostly on the Pacific Ocean and the swells are normally 1 to 4 feet.

I think it is much easier to foot as you will be able to keep speed up and the groove, little variance of the speed of the boat, is larger to sail in. Of course you cannot just reach around the course to weather, so do not go overboard. The Tiger is a good boat to foot in two circumstances. Right off the start line for a bit, it will get you moving nicely, then you can trim the boat and sail the sweetspot. Another place to use it is to make sure that there are no boats that can tack on top of you for the weather mark. Being a little conservative there by overstanding does not hurt much, if at all.

The rest of the course should be sailed as close the sweetspot, not pinching or footing, as possible. Always look for pressure. If you are not on a lake, which I do not understand, sail toward where the water looks darkest, due to wind.

Hope this answers your question,
Dan


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 7:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
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Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
What is everyone's experience with weight on the Tiger and racing? We are racing with 430 lbs. on the boat. At design speed (usually 12 mph) we would expect the boat to be on its feet, with the crew at their windward positions; maybe not even single trap'd. We are seeing huge angles on the boat: tacking and gybing; probably due to our weight. At this windspeed and weight it seemed that the crew needed to be inward to get the hull out of the water. As the wind dropped to 6 mph we spent most of our time on the forward and leeward side of the boat, trying to keep the speed up. That's difficult to control and adjust the boat. Just guessing, I would imagine that our weight is calling for 18-20 mph before the crew really begins to double trap. I understand that minimum weight is always best and that more weight usually gives an advantage in the higher blows. I understand that moving the forward is important to not drag the hulls. But this boat seems more sensitive to weight than I remember with my Hobie 18. Am I right; what is your experience? Was this purposely designed into the boat? Is this due to the size of the jib? The desire to have certain types of crews? Or, is there something we need to be doing (yea, lose some weight :-) )?


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:05 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I race with 5 other tigers in our fleet and we are towards the heavier end of the crew weight. IMHO the boat is less sensitive to crew weight than the 18 (did 3 seasons in 18's before getting the tiger).

In most situations i think weight is 1% of the overall package and we should concentrate on the other 99%. Having said that, if you can loose a few pounds it wouldn't go astray.

Upwind in light situations we do sit forward to get the sterns out of the water & I have found the most importatnt thing is to err on sailing slightly too low rather than too high in order to keep the momentum up (I'm only talking a degree or so here at the most)

Michael


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Thanks. Yes, I think we are footing. I make all the tell tails fly, being careful to not stall the sail. When the lower jib upwind tell tale flutters I ease us downwind to get both upwind and leeward tell tales flowing. We are working very hard to keep the boat moving steadily, with minimum rudder movement. I understand your comment about the 99% focus rather than the 1%. Very true. Strategy, tactics, and errors play a big role. But the fact that we are continuously hugging the front and lower end (cough) of this boat makes me think that we have something worng.

One thing we could do is to change the pre-bend on the mast. It is probably on a more middle weight setting. We probably need to power up the main sail?

Have you seen competitive crews in our weight range?


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 3:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:05 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Melbourne, Australia
We are around 380lbs and run about 40-45mm (from memory) spreader rake and just enough mast prebend so that in 5 kts all the leech tell tails set evenly (When the mast was too straight the lower 2 used to stall earlier than the others which indicated a hooked leech to me). I run less mast rake than most to really power the thing up.

This setup gives me as much boatspeed as anybody in my fleet and am going in a few weeks to have a shot against the best OZ has to offer. Hopefully we won't get whipped like last time.

Michael


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 Post subject: On The Wire Downwind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 6:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:17 am
Posts: 60
Location: Clear Lake, Iowa
Questions:
1). Anyone out there getting or recommend two people on the wire when going downwind on a blustery day, during a race?
2). Does this change the downwind angles to where you'd not recommend it and prefer to head more downwind for the mark?
3). Finally, how does the crew get out there (see below)?

Situation: over 15, probably 20 MPH, and spinaker is deployed.

We currently have just one crew member on the wire and are considering moving the crew out. However, so far he has had to brace his feet on the mast to hold the spinnaker while gripping the sheet very hard. With both his hands and feet busy, he feels awkard making the movement outbound to the wire. If so, how does the crew make his way out there? Do you have to delay the movement from directly downwind (while hoisting) to upwind (heating the boat up) beore or afte the crew is in position to trap out?


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 Post subject: Weight distribution
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 12:33 pm
Posts: 5
I race the boat since 3 seasons now. The more I do it, the more I think that weight is not a problem, but distribution of the weight is very important. The boat is very, very sensitive to this. In other words, i would not sail under 335 lbs, and more does not hurt if the crew is mobile enough.


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