Sailing News 2005 Archives
From the President
Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks
Below we have gathered a variety of sailing related tips
and tricks to help make your sailing experience more enjoyable. Some
of these tips are specific to the Flying Scot while others are generic to
sailing. If you have any questions or additional tips you would like
to share then please feel free to email us.
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us your tips and tricks.
- The 4 inch transom port and bow flotation bag were added around 1992 as additional safety items. If the Scot becomes swamped, the bow bag holds the bow high above the water to make towing the Scot easier. The 4 inch port was added to aid in removing the bulk of the water. If opened while being towed, the bulk of the water can be drained before reaching the dock. Once the water is below the centerboard trunk, the Scot can be bailed by hand and then sailed. To insure the transom port opens easily, it is recommended that it be cleaned and lubricated. Check that it can be opened before each sail, and only install it hand tight.
- After a day of sailing in salt water, it is recommended that you rinse your boat with fresh water. One area often overlooked is the toggle fittings under the foredeck. There are two small holes where the jib halyard and forestay pass through the foredeck. Either run water down the holes or spray from the cockpit to rinse the salt water off the toggle fittings to prevent corrosion of these fittings.
- Typically the mainsail has a telltale on the end of each batten, with the top two being the most important. The jib will get a set of telltales on the luff and one on the top batten. Place them along the jib luff about 1/3 and 2/3 from bottom of the jib and about 8 inches in from the luff. Make them about 6 to 8 inches long. Use rip stop nylon cut into 3/8" wide strips for the mainsail, and use wool yarn for the jib. Wool is used because it will not absorb much moisture in the rain and will not be affected by static electricity like synthetic materials. Sail maker's repair tape with adhesive on one side works best to attach them to the sail.
- The tuning guides recommend setting the mast rake at 28 feet 5 inches when measuring from the top of the mast to the aft deck. If you do not have a long enough measuring tape, then use the main halyard. However, you will need to add in the length of the shackle and swage (approx. 3.5”), which now makes the target number 28' 8.5”. Set the main halyard to the length of the mast plus step (25' 7.5”). Adjust the length of the main halyard and lock it off so the shackle just reaches the deck beside the mast step with a little tension on the halyard. While holding tension on the halyard, walk to the transom and you should be able to measure 37 inches from the pin on the shackle to the aft deck.
- A safe place to store the wind indicator when not in use is between the two foam blocks located behind the seatback. Just forward of the cockpit, next to the forward locker, are two blocks of foam that run behind the seat. Don't stab the foam, but slide the shaft of the wind indicator between the foam blocks. This will keep it from being accidentally smashed and out of the hot sun, which can warp it if left on the dashboard. Also, it is less likely to be left at home.
- Carry spare parts and tools for unplanned problems. Winch cranks, pliers, screwdriver, knife, shackles, several short pieces of 1/4 line, and strong tape. Some sailors even carry an extra tiller extension. These are lightweight and can come in very handy when the unexpected happens on the racecourse or when just cruising the waters.
- The boom vang is used to adjust the top batten and the fullness of the mid 1/3rd of the mainsail. This controls the power of the main. A loose vang will allow the top batten to twist off and keep the mid section of the sail full. A tight vang will close off the top batten and flatten the mid section of the main. It is easy to see how the vang controls the top batten. The mid section of the sail is flattened when the mast is bent back. In heavy air, when the main sheet cannot be trimmed as hard, the vang will help to bend the mast and flatten out the main. If over powered, tighten the vang and ease the main a bit. As the wind subsides, then ease the vang to build more power to accelerate.
- The centerboard trunk can do a number on your legs. The extra padding of wearing long pants can help, but it is not always fun during the summer. For women, you can use men's football forearm pads on your legs as shin or calf guards. Add kneepads for additional protection. These pads can be found at most sports stores.
- Not only the skipper, but all members of the crew should read the sailing instructions, review the course diagrams, and attend the competitors' meeting. On the way out to the racecourse, decide which member of the crew is responsible for reading the course board and who will set their watch and call out time during the starting sequence.
- In general, it is hard to pass a competitor by following them around the course. By splitting tacks you can possibly gain on a shift. The same holds for the competitors behind you. Early in a series you can take bigger gambles, but as you get close to the end of a series, stay closer to your competition to avoid potential losses.
- A sea breeze or southerly breeze will tend to follow the sun throughout the day. This is a persistent shift to the wind. This persistent shift will make the right side of the course favored. This is because the new wind or puffs can come from the right side throughout the day. An approaching weather system can affect this, so keep an eye on the weather from the West or the North.
- Windward jib sheeting is used to round out the bottom of the jib and pull the clew in board. Apply only a small amount of windward sheeting by pulling on the windward jib sheet. Then ease the leaward sheet so that the top batten is not stalled or poping in ward towards the main sail. Windward sheeting cleats can be installed on the deck just forward of the jib track. Angle the cleat to be perpindicular to the lazy jib sheet when tensioned around the mast. When tacking the sheet will pop out of the cleat as the new jib sheet is pulled tight.
- Knowing the wind and weather forcasted will give you an advantage over others. Search online for weather forcasts. Look at an hourly forcast. Wind strength forcast is important for determining crew weight and number An hourly forcast for wind direction will show if there will be a presistant shift right or left through out the race times.
- Clearing the centerboard after rounding the weather mark insures that the centerboard gasket is positioned properly around the centerboard. As soon as possible after rounding the windward mark or offset rase the centerboard to reduce drag and weather helm. To insure the gasked did not invert as the board was raised, raise it completelty and the lower it to the desires position. This allows the gasket to form tightly around the centerboard to reduce drag.
- The main sail floataton provided 30 lbs of boyancy at the top of the mast in the event of a capsize. This added boyancy will increase the time it takes for the Scot turtling, and under most curcumstances will prevent turtling all together. The main sail flotation is an option and can be easly installed on days where capsizing is more likely to
- Mast rake balances the helm. A nuetral helm is when the driving force of the main sail and jib are balance about the center of effort of the centerboard. If the mast is raked to far aft then the force from the mail sail drive the boat to round up. To counter this you will have to pull on the tiller thus draging the rudder through the water and slowing the boat. Reduse weather helm by makeing minor adjustments to mast rake about the published tuning guide numbers for your most typical wind speeds for your area. As the wind increases so does the driving force of the main, and therefore weather helm will increase. To rebalance the helm use the mainsheet, boomvang, outhaul, main halyard, and cunningham to flatten and reduce the driving force on the main to reduce weather helm and keep the boat properly powered up for the given
- Life vests are importent for the obvious reasons and should be onboard at all times. When sailing in the spring or fall where air and water tempertures can be cool or even cold try placing your life vest under your foul weather gear for added warmth. If raining or there is a posibility of spray over the bow then put the life vest on under your faul weather jacket or spray top before it gets wet. If it will not fit comfortable on under your faul weather gear then simple place it on over your gear. This will still add aditional warmth.
- Inspect the polypropeline line or nylon srtap on your trailer trailer winch. The polypropeline line and the stitching on the strap are subject to UV damage. If the poly line is old and fraying replace it with new line or a new strap. If the stiching on your strap is fraying or damaged then cut about 12 inches from the end of the strap and retie the hook to the strap with a
- cover your halyard winch box when storing your boat to protect the phenolic sides. They are not UV resistant. Lubricate the spools with oil on the bearing every spring. Coat the inside of the spools with white grease to prevent corrosion in salt water conditions. Slack the halyards when the mast is down to minimize corrosion to the spools.
- Dry Teflon spray, like McLube, applied to the inside face of the luff rope on the main sail allows the Cunningham to more effectively easing when released. If the cunningham does not appear to ease then give the mainsheet a quick release and re-trim. Otherwies release the mainsheet while taking. Releasing the mainsheet takes the presure off the leach allowing the luff to strech back to normal.
- Spray WD40 between the leaf springs of the trailer to eliminate squeaking when the trailer bounces on the road.
Lubricating the caster nose wheel will allow it to swivel properly.
- Sailing the Scot flat in most condition is generally the fastest way to sail. When the boat is flat the helm is most neutral, but in light air this can reduce the feel of the helm. So in light air you might want to heal the boat a bit. This will also allow gravity to shape the sails.