Five of us enjoyed a virtual night on the boat yesterday evening (in the basement with fireplace on) to work through the notions of clear air and shifting gears. A summary table doesn’t do justice to the thoughtful discussion, but here it is nonetheless:
|Starting/ Footing||Go-gear||Pointing||Low Leeway|
|Sail Trim Goals||Windward Telltale||0˚||45˚||90˚|
|Boom||Wide||Just below Midline||Midline||Wide|
|Main Twist||Marked||Minimal||Very little||Moderate|
|Controls (relative to go-gear)||Backstay||Eased||Moderate||Harder||Hardest|
|Jib Car||Forward||Breaking evenly||Aft||Aft|
|Jib sheet||Eased||As needed||Harder||Moderate|
I think the big aha was that we have been sailing 2018 in a sail trim that can best be described as “trimmed for pointing, steering as if we are footing”. As a result we almost certainly sacrificed speed, pointing and leeway. In 2019, for clear air we should be using go-gear settings that are slightly more relaxed and a steering angle that lifts the leeward tell-tale a bit. From there the table summarizes what we need to do to each control to shift into footing mode or pointing mode. In light wind, heavy air, or a heap of traffic, we should shift to low-leeway mode.
I’m sure we’ll need to come back to this table many times to remember it all!