Home > general update > Tell tales

Tell tales


I have been spending a lot of time looking at the mainsail telltales  whilst going upwind and trying to get them  to fly. I can get the leech tell tales to fly easily enough, however, much of the time the lower leeward tell tales on the mainsail are stalled. According to Bethwaite’s book this is because there is too much twist in the sail and in effect the lower mainsail is being over sheeted. I wonder however if the separation bubble from the mast is bigger than usual because of the gnav arms and perhaps the lower leeward mainsail tell tales will never fly…..However the gnav arms are quite a bit lower than the telltales so I’m not so sure. I have tried adjusting kicker, cunningham, out haul but not really found a solution.
Anybody got the answer?

Categories: general update
  1. FAB100
    24/05/2012 at 6:59 pm

    How much wind are you talking and how hard have yo got the gnav on?

  2. jo90asyc
    25/05/2012 at 7:02 am

    Low end of force 2 (5 mph). I tried various amounts of gnav. Most I tried pulling on was half on (strops at maximum length), but because it was so light thought sail was too flat. Do you think I should have put more on?

  3. FAB100
    25/05/2012 at 9:22 am

    Does sound a bit strange. Forgive the obvious question, but does it remedy itself if you ease at the mainsheet?

    I would not over-kicker in the light stuff, its too easy to get the leech to hook and stall, which would be the greater of 2 evils

  4. andrewhisc
    26/05/2012 at 9:50 am

    the key in light breezes like that is to use the mainsheet as the rig tensioner, you only need to set the kicker at about 2 inches purely to stop the strops from falling out of the grooves in the roller when you flatten the sail.

    sail with the mainsheet fairly loose (i.e. boom relatively central but high and a deep powerful sail) until the boat gets moving then gradually grind on the sheet tension to pull the end of the boom down. doing this flattens the sail and reduces the hook/drag of the sail so allows the sail to exhaust.

    • andrewhisc
      26/05/2012 at 9:52 am

      oh, and then ease the sheet again as the boat slows / wind dies to make the sail full again…

  5. jo90asyc
    26/05/2012 at 9:07 pm

    Getting there but still not entirely sorted.
    Force 1 this one afternoon so time to look at those ****** telltales again. Before leaving the shore, let the tension off all the battens, which appear to invert with no wind in sail, raked the mast back to position 6 on the gate (had been in position 4), put shrouds in hole 3 as per guide. Think this reduces the mast bend which will result in less less twist but at the time I didn’t look too closely. Still struggled to get lower leeward telltales to fly, however, boat speed better and first round the mark against well sailed Blazes. Perhaps its unrealistic to expect lower part of sail to work that well in light airs. Lower telltales were annoying/distracting and I am tempted to tape them up in such winds and just concentrate on squeezing mainsheet in and out as boat speeds up and slows as suggested by Andrew

  6. jo90asyc
    27/05/2012 at 5:19 pm

    Instrument failure.

    Light airs again and sunshine. Great for our junior regatta. I didn’t go out but put mainsail up and fiddled around with it again.

    Noticed someone had a cassette tape in their tool box and after falling about laughing at anyone still using such old technology was intrigued to hear that he used the tape for tell tales.

    Stuck a cassette tell tale next to my recalcitrant lower tell tales, which needless to say were refusing to budge from their hanging down position. Low and behold the cassette tell tale started to fly in response to careful trimming, whilst wool tell tales continued to do nothing.

    Needless to say have replaced all wool telltales with ones made from cassette tape. Thank you Brotherhood of Man (not my tape I hasten to add).

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