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Home >> General Discussion >> Beginner questions Nr. 2
01/05/2017 08:43:33

Michael
Posts: 13
Hi all
As beginner and fresh RS700 owner two things I particularly struggle with (yes, gusty winds here on Lake Zurich, and coming from a Hobie16 ... so I am a beginner! :-)
 
First I fully respect how important upright sailing is, but whats the order of actions to stay straight?
  1. Helm (head up in gust/bear off in lull quickly)
  2. Sheet (sheet on or ease)
  3. Body (in or out the racks)
Yes clear, it's a combination, but I guess I tried to do too much with sheeting while keeping same direction.
And this usually ended in water as soon as I'm in trapeze :-)
 
Second, I managed for the second time to pull off the mains luff groove from the mast at a lenght of 3ft (or how do you call the rail in English?). I read some hints how important release of outhaul before dropping the sail is (and I am pretty sure I DID release it first). Still it happened. What other things are "forbidden" in the combination cunninham - kicker - mainsheet-  outhaul?
 
Some input would be welcome
Michael 
 
 



03/05/2017 22:18:55

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 60
Michael, 
Welcome to the fleet!  If you're not used to trapezing from the helm in a monohull then the best way to learn is to only try to do it upwind.  When going upwind you have the power to easily get fully out on the trapeze, when fully out you can either luff into wind by small rudder movements and/or ease the mainsheet slightly.  I would avoid trying to reach across the wind on the trapeze if you are new to the class, as it is very difficult to control using the mainsheet, rudder, and your weight.... we all try to avoid reaching on windy days!
Sorry to hear that you have pulled your mast track off.  You have to completely release the outhaul when you raise and lower the sail, and as you do it, check the foot of the sail isn't getting tight.  Apart from this I don't think there are many more forbidden things to do.  I'd recommend easing the kicker and downhaul on windy days before letting the sail fully out... just to make sure the mast isn't under too much stress.  That said, the masts are quite strong and we don't get very many problems with them.
Please feel free to ask any further questions... good luck!
Richard W
720



03/05/2017 22:47:36

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 60
Michael, 
Welcome to the fleet!  If you're not used to trapezing from the helm in a monohull then the best way to learn is to only try to do it upwind.  When going upwind you have the power to easily get fully out on the trapeze, when fully out you can either luff into wind by small rudder movements and/or ease the mainsheet slightly.  I would avoid trying to reach across the wind on the trapeze if you are new to the class, as it is very difficult to control using the mainsheet, rudder, and your weight.... we all try to avoid reaching on windy days!
Sorry to hear that you have pulled your mast track off.  You have to completely release the outhaul when you raise and lower the sail, and as you do it, check the foot of the sail isn't getting tight.  Apart from this I don't think there are many more forbidden things to do.  I'd recommend easing the kicker and downhaul on windy days before letting the sail fully out... just to make sure the mast isn't under too much stress.  That said, the masts are quite strong and we don't get very many problems with them.
Please feel free to ask any further questions... good luck!
Richard W
720



03/05/2017 23:02:07

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 60
Michael, 
Welcome to the fleet!  If you're not used to trapezing from the helm in a monohull then the best way to learn is to only try to do it upwind.  When going upwind you have the power to easily get fully out on the trapeze, when fully out you can either luff into wind by small rudder movements and/or ease the mainsheet slightly.  I would avoid trying to reach across the wind on the trapeze if you are new to the class, as it is very difficult to control using the mainsheet, rudder, and your weight.... we all try to avoid reaching on windy days!
Sorry to hear that you have pulled your mast track off.  You have to completely release the outhaul when you raise and lower the sail, and as you do it, check the foot of the sail isn't getting tight.  Apart from this I don't think there are many more forbidden things to do.  I'd recommend easing the kicker and downhaul on windy days before letting the sail fully out... just to make sure the mast isn't under too much stress.  That said, the masts are quite strong and we don't get very many problems with them.
Please feel free to ask any further questions... good luck!
Richard W
720



04/05/2017 19:42:12

Michael
Posts: 13
Thanks Richard
yes probably I was more in the beam reach area :-)
Meanwhile I anyway think my whole setup was somehow messed up (too little cunningham or so), 
 
But you would confirm that  helming is first to keep uprigt, right?
Most likely my brain was anyway too overloaded doing other stuff that my bow was pointing somewhere between dead upwind and Reach without me noticing it really ... So I will try to set more focus on the gentle handling of the tiller extention next time :-)
 
Michael 



04/05/2017 21:08:09

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 60
Michael,
If you are in a relatively steady wind in partial trapezing conditions, whilst beating upwind I would suggest that you first use your weight to keep the boat flat. When the wind picks up and you are fully trapezing, apply lots of kicker to flatten the sail and try to sail with the mainsheet nearly 'block to block'. When a gust comes try to deal with it by heading up slightly to luff the sail and temporarily lose some power. If at this point you realise it is a big gust then start to ease some mainsheet.  The boat goes best when you keep it moving fast, so don't luff up too hard (which heals and slows the boat) luff up slightly and ease the mainsheet.
If you are constantly overpowered and the top of the sail is constantly luffing, then pull on the Cunningham to flatten the sail and de power it.
On the way downwind, don't worry about trapezing until you are confident. You can quite happily sit on the rack with the spinnaker up in big winds.
Regards,
Richard



04/05/2017 21:33:34

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 60
Michael,
If you are in a relatively steady wind in partial trapezing conditions, whilst beating upwind I would suggest that you first use your weight to keep the boat flat. When the wind picks up and you are fully trapezing, apply lots of kicker to flatten the sail and try to sail with the mainsheet nearly 'block to block'. When a gust comes try to deal with it by heading up slightly to luff the sail and temporarily lose some power. If at this point you realise it is a big gust then start to ease some mainsheet.  The boat goes best when you keep it moving fast, so don't luff up too hard (which heals and slows the boat) luff up slightly and ease the mainsheet.
If you are constantly overpowered and the top of the sail is constantly luffing, then pull on the Cunningham to flatten the sail and de power it.
On the way downwind, don't worry about trapezing until you are confident. You can quite happily sit on the rack with the spinnaker up in big winds.
Regards,
Richard



05/05/2017 15:38:20

Michael
Posts: 13
Cool thanks Richard
(your posts are triple/double :-)
Steady conditions? LOL, good joke... never (or rarely) on lake of Zurich
 
This lake is really not perfect for that boat, but hey, it's where I am and I try to have fun despite of it :-)
On the other hand, it's a good boat because often we have light wind only, and I was hoping the Spinnaker  and large mains partially can compensate for this.
 
time will show... 
Michael 
 
 
 
 
 



05/05/2017 20:07:56

Jerry Wales
Posts: 12
Michael
 
I'm guessing that you have Chris Chambers old boat No 811 or 810, either or.   If you do have his boat its not your fault. The boat is so used to being in the capsized position thats really all it knows!
 
You will work out what you need to do pretty quickly, we have all been there and like Chris it won't be long before capsizes are infrequent, but that might be down to his new boat?   
 
We obviously don't know what you are doing or how you have the boat set up so you may have the points I am about to make already covered.   These would be the key things I would suggest a beginner bares in mind:
 
1:   If it really is early days set the wings relatively narrow even if you are light.  You want to make it as easy as possible to go from the standing on the side deck to trapezeing from the side deck to trapezing from the wings and back again as the wind allows.
 
2:  Find a trapeze height that is comfortable and allows you to move in and out easily and without destabilising the boat.   Don't trapeze too low.  I would not expect you would be able to sit on the wings while hooked on, if you can its probably too low.  
 
3:  There are some aspect of sailing the RS700 that you can be taught, but there others that you have to learn.  So balance, how much leverage you can apply in varying condition is something you have to learn, but we can teach you some tricks to make the learning process as short as possible 
 
I would suggest that you sail around for a while with your proverbial foot just pressing on the proverbial clutch.   That means you sail with the main slightly spilling wind most of the time and that your trapezing position allows you to move in or out as the pressure changes.  If you trapeze position is set correctly you should be able to easily move your weight up and over your feet to prevent some of the tendency for the boat to capsize on top of you.
 
If you have a bit of play in the main while you are getting used to the boat you have the option of powering up the boat as well as depowering.  The more options you have in the early days the better. 
 
4:  A lot of beginners forget that they have knees that bend.  Your first port of call is alway body movement. , followed by playing the main, followed by change in direction to keep the boat flat, but sometimes its a little of all three.
 
5:  It's a shame the boat is comfortable to sit in because mobility is the key to sailing the RS700.  Practise just standing in the boat and when you are just flapping about try to stand for as much of the time as you can.  Ideally you hook on to the trapeze from the standing position , or from one knee on the side deck.  Never from the sitting position  - its just to low.
 
6:  Use the trapeze handle to lift and unhook  - don't sit on the wing and then unhook.   If thats what you are doing you are trapezing too low and your mobility about the boat will be compromised. 
 
7:  The key to doing anything in the RS700 is to do it slowly.   If you want to tack fast do it slowly and so on.  Find a stable position before you change anything.   Make sure the boat is running hot straight and stable before you start your tack or gybe.   Keep the boat straight while you unhook before a tack.  Keep the boat running straight and stable while you step onto the side deck and then turn the boat through the tack while keeping it upright.
 
When you exit the tack make sure you let enough main out so you can step on the new side deck before the main starts to power up - if you don't you will be straight into irons.
 
Don't be in a hurry and you will progress quickly.
 
I would take Lake Geneva as a place to learn to sail the RS 700 anyday.
 
Good luck
 
Jerry 
 
 
 



15/05/2017 15:27:29

Michael
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the good Inputs Jerry.
 LOL, I also thought it is the boats fault... no, kidding of course... I simply tried it in a 3Bf+ gusty condition, which is anyway nonsense for a beginner.
 
In lighter wind 1-2Bf, I pretty much did what you suggested (standing upright, agile, playing with the trapeze in almost upright position), just to get used to it. This was pretty stable, never capsized unintentionally.
 
Then I god carefree during that gusty windy day and went straight out into full trapeze like I did in the old days with my Hobie... well the rest is history.
 
I guess my biggest issue at the moment is that I am accidentally  push/pulling the helm while I move. this can only end in water :-)
 
Talking of rig setting: I have changed the originally setting for less power according to this nice rigg setting guide PDF (more deflection of spreaders).
The only questionmark I still have is why the cunningham can only be pulled down to label Nr. 4 (out of 8, where 0 is at the beginning of the mast guide). I hoisted the main fully up, is that too high?
 
Cheers
Michael
 
 
 
 



16/05/2017 11:02:54

Jerry Wales
Posts: 12
Michael
 
To answer your question about the downhaul:   Sails slowly shrink over time, so its sounds ok that you cannot pull the downhaul down very far.    Its best to hoist the sail to the top of the mast.   
 
As long as the sail is hoisted to the top of the mast I would not worry to much about how far down you are able to pull the sail.   The downhaul is a means to an end:  the "end" is how pulling on the downhaul effects the sail.
 
Its hard to give specific advice from a distance.  My experience with older sails is that you don't need very much down haul.
 
Applying lots of downhaul will drag the camber forward and flatten the sail, but a sail that loses power too quickly can be as difficult to sail with as a sail that is overpowered.   I am guessing that in the conditions that you are sailing in, a powered up sail (to a point)  will provide a more stable learning experience.
 
Good luck
 
 
Jerry 
 
 
 
 



02/07/2017 15:24:54

Michael
Posts: 13
Ok thanks Jerry