Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

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GER170
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Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby GER170 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:42 pm

Hi Iver

Am i right in thinking you are the Iver who was sailing at Kiel this year (going very well top3)?
The reason i am asking is i heard you are 65Kg's is this true?
I am the same weight but have always been told i am too light for the skiff. and i am interested to hear your thoughts on helm weight etc.
My son is also around the same weight and is also very keen to have a Musto.

Look forward to hearing from you

Ian Escritt
Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.


Hi Ian,

that is absolutely right, I am 65kg and have been since I started sailing the Musto Skiff.

A few noteworthy things about lightweight helms:

-You can sail a Musto Skiff competitively at 65kg you just have to be away that there are conditions in which you gain and others where you loose against the average weighing crew. The latter will be slightly more often, but you get rewarded with having more fun and less pain in light conditions! Plus, there aren’t so many in the lightweight range, so that there aren’t many with an advantage when it gets light :-).

-The ideal weight for any boat falls with a rising skill level across the fleet. This is what happened in the 49ers and has happened over the last 15years in the Musto Skiff. I reckon the ideal weight is now about 80kgs (ideally tall, about Frithjof Schwerdts build :-) ), although this much depends on venue etc, see below.

-The Musto Skiff is a very light and mainly planing dinghy and is less sensitive to crew weight when compared to heavier and mainly displacing dinghys like a Finn or a Laser. The sail/rig can also change shape very efficiently with the fully battened design and hence a flat sail as required by light sailors is easily achieved (in oppose to an RS700 where it can't due to only partial battens).

-Having said that 65kg is pretty light and every kg makes a difference. I definitely notice a difference in boat handling and speed between dry and wet, winter and summer sailing kit

-Hence, in races above 8 knts, it is recommendable to make sure your gear is wetted out at about the 5min gun, this gives you the best leverage during the critical start beat

-For a given wind speed, swell and chop require additional helm weight to punsh your way through. Hence, waves exaggerate any weight disadvantage.

-A long course or very constant wind conditions put emphasis on boat speed, again exaggerating any weight disadvantage.

-At Kieler Woche on the last day there was 10-18knts (unfavourable) wind strength but it was shifty and patchy offering big gains. I had a bit of a strain of luck to do quite well on the day. The full racing can be seen here: https://youtu.be/d3y2wPJJPUw

-I believe there is no notable difference in how much wind you can go out sailing in with different helm weights. Above 20knots its all about skill, not weight. The weight disadvantage even diminishes in a blow, because its more about getting around the course neatly rather than about maximum boat speed. You might not win a championship race, but you can be at least in the top 20%.

-A free running cunningham system with high quality ball bearings as well as a McLubed sail track are extremely helpful so that you can effortlessly adjust your cunningham several times on a beat. This is even more important for the lightweight helm as it is for the average helm.

-Always try to pull on cunningham BEFORE heading up at the mark in a blow, otherwise your deep sail will stop you dead in the water. You can easily loose gain several boat lengths every lap through this.

-The daggerboard can be lifted as much as 20cm to alleviate pressure, I do this progressively starting with 10cm in swell/chop above 15knots. Sailors as “heavy” Jon Newman actually does this as well. You can see this here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk7nTORCq78

-having your mainsheet at hand going downwind is also even more recommendable for a lightweight crew as you are even more blow around by gusts (change of direction of travel). Changing main sheet tension will massively help you readjusting your course

-make sure you some well working course adjusters on your trapeze, when you are light you need to wire very low when conditions allow but as high as everybody else when its light:
http://www.mustoskiff.com/pimp-my-skiff ... -lines.htm

-I guess these tack sticks also help lightweight crews although I have yet to try them myself
http://photoskiff.com/sailing/weymouth1 ... opy-sm.jpg

-there are some tips on lightweight rig tuning here:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2494&hilit=crew+weight

-there is also a releted topic here
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1430&hilit=helm+weight

-when talking helm weight I refer to body weight ex clothes.

Sorry lots of detailed stuff here as well but I thought I might as well tell you the "whole story"
New International MPSCA Chairman

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GER170
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Ski

Postby GER170 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:56 pm

Selective media coverage I know, but proves the point about lightweights sailing a skiff in high winds 8)
http://49er.org/blog/2015/07/08/lightwe ... aderboard/
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Ski

Postby mm773 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:27 pm

At 65kgs you clearly can sail the boat as I can see in the results ... but how do you feel you compete in 20 knots?

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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Ski

Postby paul manning » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:40 pm

You could ask the same question of those at 100kg of how they get on in 5knots...
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Ski

Postby chriswrightlaser » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:34 pm

I have to say in the uk its more fun to sail if you are on the lower weight range, so to me the its the person with the biggest smile on their face at the end of the day that wins the biggest prize.
If it is windy the musto can just be sailed by footing off for the lightweight lots of fun, If its light wind its hard work to sail if you are heavy and not much fun, the lightweights just fly along still lots of fun. (-:
Its a bit sad now that the windguru forcast will stop some going sailing, I think the no wind forcast has the biggest effect so for the lightweight its perfect for getting good results, if its a windy forcast the lightweights can have extra fun but no first place on the offical result but thats not why most of us sail (-:
Win win situations from my point of view being light.

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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Iane » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:20 pm

Well I,ve done it!
I first posted in 2015 And it,s taken me that long to do the deed and buy a boat.
Since then I haven't put on any real weight and I certainly haven't grown any taller. (65kg and 5"4)
On the plus side we now have 6 Musto,s at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club so I get to see how it should be done.
Looking forward to learning a new skill and hopefully people won't laugh too loudly.
Ian Escritt
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:25 pm

Good luck; and don't worry about anyone laughing; we have all be made to look fools by the boat at one point or another ... but also we have felt like gods when it is going well :D

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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby paul manning » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:16 pm

Welcome to the class, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun Ian :!:
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Iane » Mon May 01, 2017 5:17 pm

Just an update that may be of interest to lighter helms.... (67kg,s)
I,ve had the boat two months now and sailed it around 10 times. I,m pretty confident in winds up to 10 mph, after that it gets a bit more hit and miss , the main issues so far have been....tacking but I,m getting through these after some coaching, and kite drops. This is proving a real Achilles to me getting around the course in any style. I,m finding even when I,m dead downwind the main wants to luff me into wind during the drop. Is this due to it not being able to go 90degrees? I also struggle steering during drops. Do others have these issues and how do you combat it?
Anyway still absolutely loving the boat and I can say without any doubt light weight is not a barrier to sailing a
Musto just technique!
Ian Escritt
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Rick » Tue May 02, 2017 6:10 pm

On the drops make sure the kite is sheeted hard in so it is hidden behind the mainsail.

Then make sure the boat is dead downwind before you kneel to drop the kite.

Also - the vang should be off but you will have done that before the hoist ...

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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Whits » Wed May 03, 2017 8:22 pm

On the drops make sure that you're as far back in the boat as you can get. I found that if i was too far forward the bow would catch and steer the boat one way or the other generally resulting in a capsize!

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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Iane » Sun May 07, 2017 11:41 pm

Think I may have found part of the issue my Assy halyard was too long so I was having to pull too much slack before the kite started to come down. I,ll try the other suggestions on my next windy sail. :D
Ian Escritt
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby sten » Fri May 19, 2017 8:11 am

You don't need to pull the slack out before you drop.
Just let the main out all the way. if its not on the shroud you will most likely capsize.
over sheet the kite all the way in.
uncleat the halyard an let it fall half way down.
then pull the halyard to bag it.

the further back you are the more stable the boat is
as said before the bow catches waves if you lead you head forward.

Also key is the boat being very flat.

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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby Iane » Fri May 19, 2017 8:32 am

Update....
Sailed last Sunday in 18 to 20 mph tried the advice given on drops and guess what? I survived!
It,s almost like you guys know what you are talking about :wink: :wink:
Then sailed last night in our club handicap and I think I may have won my first race in a skiff :D
Thanks for the advice guys it,s very welcome.
Ian Escritt
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Re: Lightweight/Female Helms - Is it worth it in a Musto Skiff?

Postby chriswrightlaser » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:27 pm

A great video from Dave for training https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=you ... UWFe9Kkw0Q How much harder is it for the lighter helms to keep the nose up after going over that wave that Dave went over in that race at the worlds. Such a great training video for us all, Thanks Dave :D


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