J 33 Mainsail Trim

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We bought a used 33 last year and had a lot of fun racing it.

We did not embarrass the competition but we had moments and races where we all thought wow, this boat can really win.

The main is such a big part of this design - more so than on a J 35 as a % of sail area.

I read on SA somebody had made a point of commenting that over trimming the main on the 33 would absolutely kill it.

I was wondering if anyone had some firsthand experience with mainsail trim on the 33 and could share some information?  

Sail trim and or set up.  Thanks

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Sailing season is over for us here in Toronto, so I have time to look at a computer again.

Wee Beastie J33 

I can offer no golden nuggets of information regarding sail trim, but I have found in light to medium conditions we are faster and point consistently higher with the traveler above center.

Our new dacron main seems to perform better with slightly more outhaul on. As compared to an older stringy kevlar main.

Due to some undiagnosed halyard issue, we rely on the cunningham a bit more. 

Pay attention to batten tension in light air.  Not so tight.


Unrelated but worth sharing.

Loving the extra 14" of bowsprit.  We now extend 38" (PHRF 3 second penalty).

New asymmetric A2 for next years racing is currently in my basement (another 3 second penalty).

Some great results this season. Susan Hood race which is a 75 mile overnighter.  We rated one second faster than the two J105s.  We crossed the finish line 6 seconds behind the faster of the two and held our time on the chasing 105.  Great race.  Double handed race in 20 knots. 17 miler.  Slowest rated in the division, but first to finish with no spinnaker issues.

Even around the cans we did not suck at this year.

This is our second full season with the asymmetric package going downwind.  Owners are loving it and the crew are into it.  Everybody is safe and having fun.

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I've owned and raced a J33 in Long Island Sound for the last 4 years.  By no means an expert, but I rarely trim the main tight upwind because the groove is so sensitive, more power in the sail makes it more forgiving to the driver.  Traveler up to centerline the boom.  Top batten parallel to the boom.   The only time I the top batten to windward to sling bad air at someone on my windward hip.

I think the rig likes to "breathe", and performs better slightly eased, bow down.

Looking forward sharing info with fellow J/33 owners.  The boat is 30 years old and still holding its own.  We started sailing this year with a 4' fixed carbon sprit and 1200 SF A2.  Results were mixed but trending up over the course of the season.








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Sirius is hard to get by,  so don't want to give away the store...  Our J/36  is fractionally rigged, so main trim is key.  We find that adjusting the traveller by as little as four inches  makes a big difference in vmg upwind.  When we pass guys who paid four times what we did for their boats, (J/109's anyone?) it is particularly satisfying.  When we don't actually pass them, we usually beat them on handicap, and enjoy our full galley even more with muffins or lasagna hot from the oven afterwards.   

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