On the Water Sail Handling & Tuning day with North Sails

Published by xyoaadmin on

On a glorious Friday before the Autumn Rally, a group of 11 XYOA members took to the water with Jeremy Smart from North Sails, to learn more about sail handling and tuning.  With 12-18 kts blowing, the session started on Xp50 Tean, learning techniques for hoisting and dropping asymmetric spinnakers in a snuffer.

Having got down wind, we explored mainsail and headsail trim when fully powered up, and techniques for depowering and reefing.  The returning back along the Easter Solent to the Hamble provided a great opportunity to try out an outboard headsail sheet in reaching conditions to provide a better sail shape.  After lunch, we swapped yachts to X4.3 Clara to contrast a different set-up.  We hoisted a Code 0 and learnt how to trim the sail for both close reaching and deeper off-wind work.

There was lots of discussion on board during the day, sharing ideas and learnings under the expert guidance from Jeremy.






A few of the learnings that members took from the day include:

  • Code 0 furlers are not to be feared, as they do not need a huge effort to furl
  • Backstay is super critical to delivering the sail shape needed to keep the boat at optimum angel of heel
  • the effect of the backstay for main trimming
  • the correlation between the traveller position and main sheet tension
  • On the head sail, the effect of the car position on the genoa shape and the intricacies of trimming to get the high level ‘tell tale’ flying correctly
  • one of the many things I learnt was to ease the main sheet in the gusts and leave the track
  • in heavy airs upwind, I need to use more main halyard tension to get a flatter main, and have just enough vang on to hold a stable shape up the leach
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