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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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JMF

A-Cat tacking with central sheeting system

33 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I moved recently to a central sheeting system, largely inspired from advices found here (http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=111713).

 

But the best way to manage the mainsheet during tacking is not obvious to me, as I do not have any more a cleat to block the sheet during the movement (only a cleat on each side to manage the cuni and rotation).

 

Would some of you know about a link on the net that would demonstrate the adequate mouvement ? Or maybe one will be courageous enough to explain in plain text the key elements of the mouvement.

 

My issues:

- I can't reach the wire handle directly with the mainsheet in hand to go in the boat, so I take the sheet with the other hand (tiller), take the wire, switch the sheet again, go in the boat, and then the sheet gets too loose...

- in the middle of the tack, I drop the sheet on the tramp, while turning back to manage the tiller extension. Is it OK?

- to go out, I don't with which hand to take the sheet: difficult to hold it with the same hand as the wire handle, and then it is too short to go out...

 

Basic issues I imagine... But I would be happy to take good habits from the beginning.

 

Regards,

 

JMF

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I'll try and explain what I do to see if it helps.

 

I wait right until I'm about to tack, had a look over my shoulder etc, then I put the mainsheet in my tiller hand, get into the boat on my knees, unhook with my front hand, start going across the boat. As I cross the old windward hiking strap I grab the mainsheet right at the block on the tramp which means I can pull on a couple of feet to power me up a bit more out of the tack, so generally the hulls just flying as I climb up to the new windward side. With the tiller extension just as my hand hits the mainsheet purchase on the traveller I throw the extension straight up, then swing my hand around the back and catch it as its falling, which is not too hard with a carbon extension but a bit tricky with an alloy one. Then at the end I swap hands as I sit down on the new windward side, hit the hiking strap to get moving, then hook on and put my front hand on the handle, then jump off the boat and hope I stay hooked on, then take the mainsheet off my tiller hand.

 

Hope this helps, Tom

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The video does a pretty good job of showing a tack. To make one clear. Do not drop the mainsheet. Note how as he comes in off the wire, Ben raises the hand holding the tiller and mainsheet. This has the effect of maintaining tension on the sheet until you grab the sheet with the other hand, close to the block on the tramp. Also note that when going out, you don't touch the handle. Simply hook on and sit back until your weight is taken on the trap and then push out with your legs. The other skill you need to master when doing this is to allow the sheet to slip through your hand under control. Sometimes you do it at the same rate as you are going out, sometimes less as you pull in mainsheet at the same time.

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The video does a pretty good job of showing a tack. To make one clear. Do not drop the mainsheet. Note how as he comes in off the wire, Ben raises the hand holding the tiller and mainsheet. This has the effect of maintaining tension on the sheet until you grab the sheet with the other hand, close to the block on the tramp. Also note that when going out, you don't touch the handle. Simply hook on and sit back until your weight is taken on the trap and then push out with your legs. The other skill you need to master when doing this is to allow the sheet to slip through your hand under control. Sometimes you do it at the same rate as you are going out, sometimes less as you pull in mainsheet at the same time.

I've always put my hand on the handle just in case something does go wrong and you come unhooked, you have at least some chance of not loosing the boat? Then you can just let your tiller hand slide out the extension with the mainsheet in it?

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Thanks to both,

 

This will be very helpful ! I'll try this afternoon.

 

Kind regards,

 

JMF

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The video does a pretty good job of showing a tack. To make one clear. Do not drop the mainsheet. Note how as he comes in off the wire, Ben raises the hand holding the tiller and mainsheet. This has the effect of maintaining tension on the sheet until you grab the sheet with the other hand, close to the block on the tramp. Also note that when going out, you don't touch the handle. Simply hook on and sit back until your weight is taken on the trap and then push out with your legs. The other skill you need to master when doing this is to allow the sheet to slip through your hand under control. Sometimes you do it at the same rate as you are going out, sometimes less as you pull in mainsheet at the same time.

I've always put my hand on the handle just in case something does go wrong and you come unhooked, you have at least some chance of not loosing the boat? Then you can just let your tiller hand slide out the extension with the mainsheet in it?

Everybody I have ever studied doesn't use the handle to go out. I know for sure that Glen and Stevie don't and as we see from the video, neither does Ben. If you are using a standard cat system, I would have thought using the handle increases the chances of coming unhooked. By hooking on and dropping your arse over the side until the system "bottoms out" and then kicking out with your legs, you are keeping tension on at all times and it simply cannot come out. I also note that you physically unhook. I don't use the conventional cat system (old skiff sailor!) but I believe that if it is set up correctly, when you come in the act of standing up unhooks you, which is another reason why using the handle could lead to coming unhooked. It's why you stand up and then kneel back down. Ben's certainly seems to work like that.

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Hate to say it Tom but I think he's right. If your trap is set for a flat trapezing height, grabbing the handle on the way out is as likely to cause you to come unhooked as it is to save your arse.

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If you ever get a boat Dougy you could show him how it's done.

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I see what your all saying, I grab the handle and pull it sideways to keep the slack off the system just as I step off the boat. I don't go out on the handle 49er style then drop down, that's asking for trouble.

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I used to do the exact same sailing kid, but found as the others have that it is better to go out without the handle as you keep smooth control of the mainsheet and save a step or two. The foot strap technique is particularly good for going out downwind.

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Thanks to your advices, I tried the technique last Week-end.

 

So now, I understqnd what has to be done, and need a lot of practice.

 

Going out is OK. Bus going is still at high risk ;-) I looked again at the video, and I understand taht I have to come back on the tramp before really tacking. At the moment, getting on the knees, I already push too much the helm, and land with the boom in the face and 0.5s to unhook. I did not capsized, but it was not really safe.

 

Big thanks for the help.

 

Regards,

 

JMF

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Another good idea might be to visualize your tack, so you know how you tack and when you change hands. Forcing yourself to think through the whole tack insures that you do the same moves on each tacks (a lot of people tack differently depending on which tack they start on)

 

Since I am forced to live without my A 6 out of the 12 months i have used mental sailing a lot, it has helped me a lot and actually improved my boat handling although you also need to get in the water and do it in real life.

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Another good idea might be to visualize your tack, so you know how you tack and when you change hands. Forcing yourself to think through the whole tack insures that you do the same moves on each tacks (a lot of people tack differently depending on which tack they start on)

 

Since I am forced to live without my A 6 out of the 12 months i have used mental sailing a lot, it has helped me a lot and actually improved my boat handling although you also need to get in the water and do it in real life.

I visialze driving a f1 car all the time! When i get that shot im guna be a gun!!!

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what do you mean that you're guna be a gun. You are already. A Legend in your own mind. Bet you couldn't get top 3 in any A class regatta or should that be not even top 10 in a 9 boat fleet. :P

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U find me a boat and i will race you anytime anywhere

Optimists? That's about the right age group for you :P

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Do whatever works for you and then do it 1000 times. There are plenty of great A-Class sailors who use the trapeze handle going in and/or out. I've seen pictures of Landy, Mischa, and Outerridge using the trapeze handle.

 

Try to shoot for being from full speed coming in to the tack to full speed on the next tack in less than fifteen seconds initially. Be cognizant of your tiller angle at the beginning and end of the tack. Think about looking forward as much as possible and not down at your hands and feet (you will be amazed how well that works). When you can complete tacks in less than 15 seconds (again full speed from one tack to the other), you are tacking the boat well. The best A-Cat sailors are probably doing it close to 10 seconds each time. I'm happy to be consistent at sub-15 second tacks.

 

I've always used the handle going in and out. If I change my technique, I think I would try to not use it going out as I should be able to sheet the main in quicker. I come in on my butt, just can't get comfortable with coming in on my knees. Coming in on your butt seems to work well grabbing the handle. I sail against Ben Moon a lot and I think I can tack the boat as well even though our techniques are different.

 

A couple of tools to help you would be to get a Speed Puck or similar where you can download your GPS tracks and then replay with a software like GPS Action Replay. You can zoom in on your track during the tack and see exactly how long it takes you to go full speed tack to tack and also check how you are steering the boat during the tack. Great tool. And a GoPro mounted on a hull is a great compliment to that to see your moves. Both are not bad investments in your training for being under $800 total.

 

Good luck.

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USA230 I hope that you don't actually mean 15 seconds (full speed to full speed) for a tack. Assuming full speed is 11 knots upwind with a 10-15 knots wind, even if I am already on the wire after the tack, I would probably need more than 15 seconds just to reach these 11 knots and sometimes much more.

I assume that by full speed you only mean 80 or 90% of top speed.

Personally during a tack my speed goes down to about 4 knots (minimum speed with speed puck). Can you keep a much higher speed during the tack?

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If you want to hang with the big dogs, you have to master the wire to wire tack. 15 seconds or less is achievable. I sailed for 3 hours last night and I was averaging 16-17 seconds, had a couple at 13-14 seconds (looking at my GPS replay). There is a video of Glenn Ashby sailing in France several years ago in breeze. They start a training race with several boats and Ashby is ahead and to leeward on starboard. It looks like he cannot cross if he tacks but he suddenly just explodes across the boat and crosses on port. Under 10 seconds, fastest tack I've ever seen but unfortunately too far away in the video to see his choreography.

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This is the video of Glenn sailing in France in a borrowed boat. (sorry I don't know how to embed)

 

 

Watching that, you will see that the first tack that A Class USA 230 mentions isn't shown in full, but Glenn comes out ahead because they are tacking on a 20 degree shift, not because of a super quick tack. However, I agree that about 15 seconds is right for a good tack, and if you time the ones on this video, that's about right, depending on when you really think the tack starts and when he is back to full speed

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Check out the video above, Ben Moon does two tacks that by my count are less than 15 seconds each. At about 2:00 minutes, you see the first boat tack ahead and to leeward. Turns the boat fast but stops. That's me doing the shitty tack. Ben rounds in 3rd at the weather mark just behind Matt Struble and I. The good old days, when I could keep up with Moonie upwind!

 

In that video, Ben and I are sailing the ASG3's that we modified by moving the front beam forward 200 mm and moving the daggerboard trunks aft 100 mm. We also replaced the daggerboards with Hall C-boards. The changes really transformed that boat. We were also just starting to learn how to trapeze downwind. The small transoms of the ASG3 made that difficult. I've wondered if adding winglets would make it feasible.

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At the 2007 Worlds Jan and Meade Gougeon said that Ashby tacked 2 seconds faster than anyone else.

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I'll eat some humble pie. Last day on the water yesterday before prepping and packing for the trip to the west coast for the NAC. Nice 6-9 knot breeze with flat water and trapezing upwind 60% of the time. I decided to try tacking by coming in off the trapeze on my knees rather than my butt. It seems faster as it is easier to get across the boat. A bit more awkward a couple of times to unhook but overall seems quicker and smoother.

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I'll eat some humble pie. Last day on the water yesterday before prepping and packing for the trip to the west coast for the NAC. Nice 6-9 knot breeze with flat water and trapezing upwind 60% of the time. I decided to try tacking by coming in off the trapeze on my knees rather than my butt. It seems faster as it is easier to get across the boat. A bit more awkward a couple of times to unhook but overall seems quicker and smoother.

The unhooking can become automatic if you can get a few things aligned. First, the handle has to be at the right height. Second, you actually have to slightly stand as you come in before sinking to your knees, so that your hook is higher than the handle. Get these 2 things right and you should automatically unhook almost every time. I think the biggest problem people have is to have the handle a bit too high, meaning you stand up too much. Of course, if you have it too low, its a pain.

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Any pics of the central sheeting block.

 

Is there no camcleat to put it in, I do not assume one keeps it in hand all the time

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Any pics of the central sheeting block.

 

Is there no camcleat to put it in, I do not assume one keeps it in hand all the time

There is no cleat for the main. Never let go of the mainsheet (unless in a panic! :D )

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Not sailing the upwind legs with the traveller?

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