Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Use this thread to share technique tips or ask questions of the experts. Also discuss boat modifications and rig tuning.
JIH-US568
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Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:19 pm

I have had the opportunity to sail my new skiff about 5 time. Most have been in light air which has been a balancing act. It is like 2 hrs on a Bosu ball. I have had one day where I could trapeze which was a gas. Yesterday was a marginal trapezing day with winds varying from 4-9 knots with quick cycles. I capsized three times to weather.
1) I proved that when the boat starts to roll on top of me, bearing away is WRONG. I had enough time to think about the blades stalling before I went for a swim (and strafed my left shin down the rack).
2) I proved that sitting on the rack in such conditions is also deadly as I cannot move fast enough when the puff dies.
3) I achieved a first in my sailing career. I gave myself a black eye...literally. I have no idea how I did this, but it is a first.

A few questions:
My main halyard is VERY hard to hoist. I was thinking it was the excel pro halyard (stiff and tends to kink). I cannot drop the main on the water as I have to pull the sail down, very hard, to get it down. I have lubed the luff rope and track with McLube. Other ideas.

I set the spinnaker for the first time the other day and it too was very hard to pull up and down. I now think the halyards are twisted. Looks like I have to pull the halyards and re-feed them. Any pointers on this. I have done this on many other boats but I thought I would seek advice before I just learn by trial and error.

Thanks,
John Howell
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby paul manning » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:01 am

Hi John

As you've found out, don't sit on the wing in light airs, you NED to set the trapeze high enough so that when you are hooked on your leg is bent at the knee to around 45 degrees. If you trapeze lower than that (ie knee at 90 degrees), you won't be able to stand up and move in and out. If it is very light and you are already near the centreline of the boat and it is still rolling over on top of you take a big step aft, this will sink the wide aft sections and make the boat stable again...

Re. checking twisted halyards. Tip the boat over on its side and pull the main halyard up to the top, cleating it tight at this point. Now try pulling the spinnaker halyard up and down. If it is free running there is no twist, but if it isn't free running do the following.

Drop the mast and remove the 3 screws which are holding the mast foot In place and remove the heel moulding.
Cleat the main halyard tightly and look up the mast from the heel end (you may find it easier to shine a torch down the tube). You should see wether the spinnaker halyard is twisted around the main halyard (but it's important that the main halyard is tight).
If there is a twist, pull the spinnaker halyard completely out. Using a thin cord, such as sipping twine, tie something small and heavy, such as a 6mm 1/4" nut to the end and drop this in the spinnaker halyard exit hole at the upper end of mast. By tipping the mast up and shaking it the nut scold drop to the bottom. Tie the bottom end of the spinnaker halyard to the twine and pull through. Re-thread through the bottom exit sheave (which can be a little fiddly and replace the heel.
Paul Manning
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JIH-US568
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:44 pm

Paul,
Great advice. When I was trapping in light air, I was clearly too low and was definitely having mobility issues.

I will check the halyards tomorrow as you have suggested.

One last question. The line for the halyard is excel racing line (I think). It is very stiff and prone to kinking. What type of line are people using for new halyards (mine is brand new but I am not a fan of the line). Has anyone gone to straight dyneema?

Thanks,
John Howell
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby DangerBoy » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:22 pm

Have you pulled all the kinks out John to make sure it's not got any permanent twist? Never coil a kite halyard to make sure it doesn't link.

Excel racing should be fine, maybe a tapered end to the head of the sail will mean lighter, thinner more flexible rope through halyard blocks

Mark
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:16 pm

Mark,
Ovington sends the boats with a tapered spin halyard.

After using spray lube on the main and re-running the spin halyard the friction is less but still quite noticeable relative to other boats I have sailed. The spin halyard exits the mast above the forestay and goes to a bail. Should there be a block on the bail or is the halyard intended to just turn over the bail? The mast was fully rigged when I received the boat from Ovington without a block, but again this is another source of friction.

Thanks,
John
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby DangerBoy » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:46 pm

Should most definitely be a block up there John, it's normally a swivel based harken 340 29mm carbon thing like the link.

https://www.roostersailing.com/pd/Harken-340-29mm-Single-Carbo-Block-with-Swivel_100413.htm?ne=AQAAAA4AAAAEBkhhcmtlbg==

Hopefully that makes the hoist much easier.

Mark
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby PaulM » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:17 am

To add to Mark, yes it should be a block. Assuming from your boat number you got new, the block is supplied loose and needs fitting.

Paul
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby Rick » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:02 am

If you run the halyard out of the mast then through a hole in the stainless fitting above then I would think that would be almost unusable ... as others have said there should be a block fitted.

You may find it worth reading the rigging guide.

http://www.mustoskiff.com/downloads/Mus ... e-v0.4.pdf
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:48 am

I added the block just before leaving to sail at Riva del Garda (VX One). Nathan from Ovington is here. He was surprised that the mast was fully rigged but the block for the spin halyard was not put on. I will add this when I return to the US.

I have read the rigging guide several times, but I must have missed any comments about a spin halyard block. Paul, you are correct, without the block it is almost impossible to get the spin up. I have not tried in anything but light air so far. I am confident the block with greatly improve the run on the halyard.

As usual, the input is greatly appreciated.
John Howell
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:22 pm

Sailed with new block on the mast. Much Easier!

Thanks
John Howell
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JIH-US568
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:00 pm

Great day of sailing yesterday. 5-10 knots of breeze. Marginal trapezing to windward.

Trapeze height was set so legs were bent when on deck (about 45 degrees). Lots of mobility and easy to go in and out from the trapeze.

I did find that when I was hooked to the trapeze (say port side), my forward arm would naturally be forward of the trap wire. When I would clear the trapeze to tack I would always end up with the trapeze line trapped between my arms since I still had the mainsheet in my forward hand. Eventually, I would transfer the sheet to my tiller hand to begin the tack and this allowed me to clear the trapeze line when I would tack. Is this the best practice?

Also, the wind was light enough (or I am heavy enough) that most of my trapeze time was at a fairly high position. In this position, I could not cleat the mainsheet so I just hand held it. Although this was great for keeping the boat flat, I felt like I was letting too much mainsheet out when I would tack. Any suggestions for cleating the mainsheet when traping in very high positions.
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby Rick » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:46 am

When trapezing high just push the sheet in the cleat with your foot or rotate your upper body and do it by hand.
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:43 pm

Rick,
Thanks for the input. I was high enough and/or not flexible enough that twisting the body would not be an option. Using my foot is something I have done for years and is clearly the best option.

One other question. What is the current logic about bridle length. I replaced the original bridle with an adjustable bridle. I have only played with it a little. My default would be to make the bridle tight so I have more options for mainsheet tension, but this may not be as critical as often the sheeting angle appears more open than on conventional (non-apparent wind) boats. Any logic would be appreciated.

Thanks,
John Howell
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby paul manning » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:36 pm

Hi John

The strop length is very much dependant on the individual sailors weight and the rig tension, plus the age of the sail.

As a guide, with around 1/2 cunningham and 1/2 kicker you should be able to just about pull the mainsheet block to block.
Paul Manning
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JIH-US568
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Re: Results and questions from a learning skiff sailor

Postby JIH-US568 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:39 pm

Great advice Paul. Thanks
John Howell
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