etchells phrf

well another season coming to an end. after racing my etchell for 2 summers now i'm getting alot better. i notice guys with huge headsails do really well and i wonder what would a 150 genoa do on an etchells. any thoughts??
 

Sail4beer

Usual suspect
10,060
3,442
Toms River,NJ
2 in our area. One cruises singlehanded and the other races PHRF, both with the original rig. Owner’s brother is an Olympic racer and he does well since he’s a great sailor as well. The boat would probably be way overpowered over 10 knots or so with a Genoa. It would reach well if your PHRF courses were reach and runs.
 

Jethrow

Super Anarchist
Why's that?

Seems like a proper, bigger headsail would do wonders when the breeze is quite light.
I looked for some photos to support this description but below is the best I could find. Have a look at the position of the jib leech in comparison to the shrouds. Now imagine a big genoa having to go outside those shrouds. The foot of the genoa would be a few feet further to leeward than the jib is with a resulting loss in pointing. For the genoa to work on an Etchells the shroud base would need to be brought inboard as a starting point.

1663362872472.png
 
Last edited:

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
I looked for some photos to support this description but below is the best I could find. Have a look at the position of the jib leech in comparison to the shrouds. Now imagine a big genoa having to go outside those shrouds. The foot of the genoa would be a few feet further to leeward than the jib is with a resulting loss in pointing. For the genoa to work on an Etchells the shroud base would need to be brought inboard.

View attachment 541482
Much appreciated.
 

newbury

New member
19
9
2 in our area. One cruises singlehanded and the other races PHRF, both with the original rig. Owner’s brother is an Olympic racer and he does well since he’s a great sailor as well. The boat would probably be way overpowered over 10 knots or so with a Genoa. It would reach well if your PHRF courses were reach and runs.
The Etchells Class used to do triangles and most boats had an outhauler just forward of the chainplates to help with reaching. A 150 genoa would be impossible to sheet unless the clew was highcut: ie a reacher! When we went to windward leewards, we took those off and filed the holes: unnecessary.
An Etchells is incredible fast for a 22/26' waterline as the ballast ratio is so high. I recently saw that Etchells were given a rating of 136 PHRF in Charlottetown. WOW! in the mid-90's my Lake Ontario PHRF cert ended up at 105! And I sailed and Easter Seals Regatta on a 90 or 93 rating post-corrected by the RC. Came third corrected, second home. Another Etchells second corrected, first home. FIrst corrected an X-36 which I beat boat for boat! That's PHRF. The P often stands for Political...

If you want to go faster, to learn to get the most out of the boat, spend the time. Lots of time. I've owned my Etchells for 40 years and I am still learning (could be because I'm a slow learner... ). But to sail to any reasonable rating you need to use the spinnaker too.
Seriously, having helped people new to the class, the most intriguing thing I noticed is that most new sailors DO NOT SET THE SHEETS TIGHT ENOUGH. Especially the jib. Had one guy complain vociferously about weather helm: the jib was light, waaay light. The sail shapes are very forgiving of over-sheeting, but relative to other Etchhells very slow just a few clicks down for there. Use the traveller, *in small increments* to change your point angle and helm.
Your point and the size of the groove is mainly determined by the forestay sag. An overly loose forestay is very slow but very easy to do. The draft goes aft and the chord of the draft becomes parallel to the centreline instead of angled.
To visualize the sag, lie on the foredeck with your head next to the forestay and have someone slowly pull on backstay. At one point you can see the sail suddenly fall into a smooth shape: you have matched the luff curve of the sail to the sag of the forestay. (This is analogous to looking at lower mast bend wrinkles through to mast overbend wrinkles in the main: at one point the luff curve is smooth and the draft falls as the correct depth aft.) The pictures above are good for visualization. The pics are from Andrew Palfrey (sailing.dog). Check out his pages.

Now all you have to do is maintain that sag throughout a range from 2 to 22 knots wind. (YOU THERE! No laughing in class!)
It's easy (for certain recondite and/or sarcastic meanings of easy, but I have seen it done, (ok, sometimes from afar)).
(Above 22 knots you have to move the butt of the mast and maybe move the upper shrouds behind the lowers... graduate PHD stuff.)

But when you hit the sweet spots the boat just wants to go, and there is NO helm load. You can steer with your weight. One of the reasons we do roll tacks.
 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
My goal is always close to no helm. Although I noticed more wind, more helm. Is it possible to achieve close to neutral helm in 20kts?

I was always told that you want a little bit of weather helm upwind, to push against, and stay in the groove of maximum pointing angle and speed. In 20 knots the backstay and traveller must be played constantly if it's at all gusting. If it's a steady 20, set it and forget it. But you should still have a bit of weather helm on the tiller.
.
 

newbury

New member
19
9
An Etchells always go fastest with NO helm: the rudder is just a continuation of the skeg. When you are hunting for the groove it does not hurt to have a little weather helm. If you want to gauge up from someone to leeward, then you will want a little helm, induced by bringing the traveller up, *just a little*.
If it is gusty then yes, play the backstay and traveller. But not too much change in the backstay as that induces too great a change in the shape of the main. Then traveller down 4-6", then ease the mainsheet about 6".. Everything in moderation as someone once said. In those conditions you will end up with helm, as the trim is almost always wrong for the wind, as it changes so fast. Personally I have never been out in a 20 knot breeze that was actually steady!
And yes you can have zero helm in 20+. When you get above 16 knots of wind you cannot sheet as hard as in 10-12. You need to have twist in the sails, so the mainsheet is eased relative to 12 knots, and the traveller is down, but not so far that the main backwinds from the jib. It's a delicate balancing act.
Around 22-24 knots you get terminal lee helm because the jib becomes too full, unless you have (pre) tuned for that condition, by moving the mast butt forward, and/or bringing the upper shrouds behind the lowers, or both. Some call for shortening the forestay at the turnbuckle, by 1/4"-1/2" (depending on how far you move the mast butt). You want to stiffen the lower mast section, so as to straighten the forestay, without inducing overbend in the lower section and messing with the main's luff curve.
Note that adjusting the forestay, moving the mast butt and moving the shrouds are not allowed *while racing*. If you get into moving the shrouds, even if done at the dock, you ought to carry a number of spare clevis pins! Tethered quick-pins are recommended. Regarding those adjustments, John Bertrand stated, in an interview just after he won the Etchells Worlds (for the 2nd time) in 2016, that they never adjusted the forestay or the the mast butt during the regatta.
Once you get to 12 knots and more, you have to be very proactive at checking for lateral mast bend and adjusting the shrouds. Above 16 knots the lowers need a lot more tension than (relatively) they need below 12. The leeward shrouds should not be slack when going to windward. Otherwise the mast bends laterally and pumps.
 

Livia

Super Anarchist
4,013
1,082
Southern Ocean
Only two done so far
The Whalespar mast section has now arisen it seems
Illegal as well
Can’t wait for the Australian justification
They have already used the better sailor defence
Then again pretty easy to develop a new faster rig when it does not comply with the rules
 

Hale Moana

New member
34
39
Morro Bay
I had a soling that I beer can raced out of Dana Point Yacht Club decades ago. Dana Point is a light wind area most afternoons. I had a 155 genoa. To get it to sheet properly I moved the lower shrouds inboard so the sail could sheet between the upper and lower shrouds going to weather. The leech was cut so that it just kissed the spreader when close hauled. Also had to have a new main designed to work with the 155. It was a rocket ship in light air. PHRF didn't change the rating with the 155. I recall that the boat rated 150 under PHRF. Won a lot of beer can races with that boat. The area under one of the floor boards held a case of beer and a bag of ice. Got to have beer on a beer can race.
 

Sinn Fein

New member
12
7
New Jersey
You have gotten some great responses from people who know these boats…I would just add that if your boat is older before they moved the keel position your upwind in medium to heavy will be slower. Also if you have an older mast section that will also cause problems with tuning guides and using the best / recently designed mainsails. You should look for a ride on one that does class racing…you will get a crash course on what makes these boats go …implement that in your local PHRF fleet and your corrected times will improve.
 




Top