Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sail trimming on a sprit boomed yawl

Joel has been taking a look at my videos and offered some much needed advice on how to do the sail trimming a little better. Two minor adjustments were suggested. The first I was thinking about. I'd already got the little cord with carabiner clip attached ....ready on the luff around the first reeling point. My aim was to attach it around the mast pulling the luff closer. Tightening the down haul further would help as well. This would eliminate the crease in the sail. Well creases actually. It was a good spot by Joel.

His second point has really made me think. I've never fully understood how sprit booms are supposed to work but my understanding is improving thanks to the patience and generous inputs of Joel and John.

Joel suggests......

"Raise the front of your boom higher up the mast.  If you have a look at your "Sailing to Salcombe" video, at 1:04 - 1:10, you can see your boom bobbing up and down with each puff of wind. You're looking at wasted energy.  Preventing the boom from moving up and down will divert that energy into moving the boat forward instead".

Apparently the foot of my sail does the same thing as a vang on the boom I.e. it holds the boom down.....but this necessitates the foot of the sail being really tight.

Joel went on to explain that the boom needs to be a higher position on the mast. In this way it will be harder for it to rotate. He suggested "The plans show the sprit boom crossing the mast right about where the first reef line is, but I'd try a bit higher than that.  It might take a bit of experimentation.  Too low and the boom can more easily bob up.  Too high and the boom might spoil the sail shape.  But there’s a spot in between that’s Just Right". 

I don't know whether Joel has ever taught but he should do. Simple, clear, concise explanation with an annotated photo......and I understood it immediately.
And so the learning curve continues.

Thanks Joel for taking the time to explain things so simply and clearly.


Rik said...

Awesome. You found the vang! I learnt a lot also from you and Joel. Thank you. Cant wait to see the difference...

steve said...

I know - Joel's 'the man'
you had me worried when you said vang last week - now I get what you were talking about...sorry to be so dim!
Yeah - I'll get out as soon as work allows it and see what difference it makes. a huge amount I suspect given it was also Joel who basically taught me how to let Arwen steer herself!NBow that was a revelation as well!!
We all need a 'Joel' in the background somewhere in our lives
Well done Joel!
PS and thank you!!

Joel Bergen said...

Oh Man, I really hope this works! It's gonna be awkward if it doesn't after receiving all that praise! :-D

steve said...

It will work. I have complete faith in you and I was already heading to do one of the things you that one is on me! As for the makes sense and its worth a try....and since I hadn't even thought about it or understood the principles behind sprit booms.......trying your suggestion is a huge positive step forward irrespective of whether it works or not.......if it doesn't then we know that something else needs to be tried and that is immediate progress in that I now know what doesn't make a different and that is as equally as important. Some of our best inventions came off ideas which sounded right but turned out slightly different; and at least I better understand some of the theory thanks to you so again 'quids in' on that one too
So......thank you
In hindsight maybe I should have waited and tried first....sorry Joel. But I was so excited at learning some ing new and that someone would take the time to help.....that I. Got slightly carried away.........sorry!!!

P.s. it will work I know it will because the stuff you did with me last time worked......brilliantly!

Joel Bergen said...

No need to apologize! I'm very confident and excited too, that the changes will result in some improvement. But I'm no expert and there's a small chance it won't. Those pesky creases are especially good at leaving one scratching their head, long after you think you know what's causing them. I have them at my clew and really have no idea what to do about it. But raising the boom on the main is really just duplicating what has already been done on the mizzen, and we know it works well there. Can't wait to see how well this works out!

steve said...

I'd like to say this weekend......but having just seen the weather forecast - I think not!! I'm now worried that our summer may have just come and happened like that the year before last - a lovely easter period and then awful summer with severe flooding in august around the UK

the optimist in me struggles slightly on the weather at the moment!!

However, the moment I can see a break in the rain at a weekend - I'll take it.