My Spanish Sister Ship on the Water

This video is hot out of the camera:

Juan de la Fuente has modified some of my rigging on his boat. See Mirror rigged Tabur 320 (2). For example the side shrouds are adjustable, where my forestay is adjustable and my shrouds are fixed. He finds the boat has lee helm with the Mirror jib. I find the opposite. If I let go of the rudder, the boat luffs into the wind (weather helm), however slowly depending on the point of sail and the trimming of the sails. Last week, in light weather, I let go of the rudder and steered the boat only with the sails and my position on the boat. Odd, because our boats are identical and the mast and centreboard positions are the same.

Perhaps Juan hauls in his jib too much for the point of sail. I find, when the boat is well off the wind, that I need to go lightly on the jib. Take it in just enough to stop it flapping and just a tiny bit more. Setting the jib at the same time as the mainsail has become second nature for me.

Juan seems to have forgotten to tighten his cunningham, because the luff of his mainsail is loose and there are creases in the mainsail when the boat is in a close reach or pointing up. A perfectly set sail is that much more efficient.

All said and done, his boat sails very well, and he is a good and confident sailor.

I still don’t have video, but can take photos, as I will be doing at the end of this month in Brittany at the Route du Sable.

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4 Responses to My Spanish Sister Ship on the Water

  1. Juan de la Fuente says:

    Hi Anthony,
    I think I mentioned lee helm ONLY when the mainsail is reefed. With the full mainsail there is perfect weather helm. Not too little not too much. Weather helm increases with wind force, lee helm increases under light breezes, which of course requires the jib to be more loosely trimmed.
    So no lee helm. It is very well balanced actually.

    I find the cunningham does not want to be too tight, for if I do, it creates a crease somewhere between outhaul and the base of the spar.
    During the test, the luff was tight enough I think, and the lower creases are created actually by the lacing around the for bottom grommets. I might have to adjust those

    The sail itself is, I think, a little bit deformed, -it is about 25 year old if I am to believe the sail number-. It feels a little “baggy” around the luff tack. But that might be how mirror sail are like. Can,t compare it for it is the only one I have. Also the leech is a little bit stretched between battens, and it flaps a little when the wind picks up, -you can see that on video-, but I really wouldn,t know how to tackle that. I don,t think there is any trimming that can correct a deformed leech, not even a tight cunningham.

    From your photos I see your sail is more robust than the Jeckell,s one, which is actually quite light, and hasn,t got much reinforcements.

    I,ll let you know about any further adventures. But I am really happy with this new rigging, and am looking forwards to many days of sailing with it!

    Have great fun sur la route du sable, and make plenty of photos!



  2. Juan de la Fuente says:

    Was checking on the english terms and I see that what I meant by cuningham is not what I meant. I was wrongly refering to the boom vang. Cuningham would then be the luff downhaul.

    (I,m learning all the english terms)

    My luff downhaul is a a simple line and a clam cleat. The luff of the mirror sail is quite elastic, alllowing for a lot of length to be stretched.
    If you were to tighten the downhaul for the luff on an upwind course with strong wind, Anthony,
    How many centimeters would the luff be stretched downwards along the mast?

    I stretch mine some 10 cm more or less. Perhaps I am not stretching it as much as it should?

    • Yes there is a confusion of terminology.

      Boom vang – boom downhaul – hale-bas

      Cunningham – luff downhaul

      Also see Cunningham.

      I have a small pulley on the tack of my mainsail and take the line from the bottom of the mast, through the pulley on the tack of the mainsail and back down to a cleat. On a yacht, the tack of the mainsail is fixed and you tighten the halyard by means of a winch. Tightening the luff fines-tunes the centre of effort in the mainsail for sailing upwind.

      The stretch in the luff would not be very much, perhaps about 5-6 cm. You just stretch it enough to get the creases out. The luff is always tight, but a little looser for sailing downwind or in very light wind.

      I do not use the lacing on the mainsail. It is unnecessary when the luff is tight enough.

  3. Juan de la Fuente says:

    I thought so.
    I could not see much point on that bottom lacing, and it actually creates creases on my sail. I,ll try it without next time.
    Actually I don,t tend to play with luff tension. But I do adjust mainsail outhaul tension on different courses and wind speed to flatten or bulge the sail foot, along with boom vang to adjust leech curve, but not luff tension. Remember my sail is laced around the spar rather than grooved in, so loosening tension on the luff would perhaps not have the effect you describe.
    I,ll have to experiment it, for a Gunter rig “looks like” a Bermudian rig, but it isn,t.
    The only advantage of lacing the sail around the gaff spar is that it allows the spar itself to be stronger, as it is not grooved and glued, for it is a single shaft.

    The 9 grommets on the luff involved in the lacing of the spar, does create very small and shallow creases, as you can see in the video, I don,t feel theese to be very significant.
    The flapping leech between battens is more annoying because a flat leech is very important on air flow. On the video, between 2´38″ and 2´42″ there is a close up of the sail on an upwind course. You can see the flaws there.
    I take careful note of your observations. They are very valuable for me and I read them carefuly.

    Bet I can get some improvement by finer adjustments, but still think an old sail is an old sail and there is wear and tear you just have to live with.

    Best luck in Route du Sable!


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