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hi, i have a relatively heavy crew(80 kilos) and i am 50, i struggle to keep him out on wire, even in the real heavy winds. is he too big?
or is there any way of keeping him out in 15+ knots?
jake11-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: trapezing
I know that problem. I am a 55kg skipper with an 80-85kg crew. Initially I had a lot of trouble getting (and keeping) him out on the wire. After sailing together for a few seasons we figured a few things out:

~ As soon as the crew can get out on trapeze, the skipper sits right in. Sometimes, if we are racing and lighter crews are trapezing, I sit on the thwart to get him out on the wire. I have seen some skippers who, in light airs, sit on the leeward side going up wind in order to get the crew out, but that takes a fair bit of practice and teamwork.

~ Look for gusts, especially on the shys. It's no good if your crew has to come in every two seconds - when this starts to happen round up and keep him out there. If your boat is powered up you should be able to easily get your crew out on trap in 15 knots, sometimes less.

~ If your crew can't get right out on trapeze, get him to hook up, pull the trapeze adjuster up high (so he is fully suspended on the wire), and put his feet on the centrecase. This gets his weight on the wire even if he's not right out of the boat. Then in the gusts he can walk out - push off the centrecase and onto the gunwale.

~ Don't worry about being a heavy crew, we are competitive in the mid-fleet, often against crews a great deal lighter than us, but it requires a lot of practice.

Vicky13-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: trapezing
its just upwind we struggle with.
jake13-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: trapezing
Hello Jake
If you have a heavier crew then you may need to look at ways of retaining power in your rig. There are a couple of ways to get a bit of extra power. One is to use a stiffer centreboard. You could also look to stiffen up your mast a little. If you sail with a bigger crew you need ways of maintaining pressure in your sails.
When a gust hits you will probably find that mast bends, opens the leech of the sail and effectively dumps wind pressure. If you have a heavier crew on the wire this normally means that you have trouble with the boat being all over the place and hard to keep flat. You need to be able to control the leech of your sail. The first thing I would try would be to use a little boom vang to try and keep the leech under control and try and stop the breeze from detaching from the sail. Another thing you could try would be to move your spreader tips forward a little to try and reduce for/aft bend in the mast. (or even out further to reduce side bend).
I sailed at the last nationals in Victoria in ligher conditions with an 80kg+ crew plus 77kg skipper and managed 4th overall. Whilst you have to work harder to get the boat moving (particularly in choppy conditions) it can certainly be done.
Luke16-Jun-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: trapezing
I suggest that the skipper sits on the leward side both upwind and on the reaches in marginal trapezing conditions so that the crew can atleast high-wire. Also when the breeze is up use heaps of vang to power up the rig.
Ryan K21-Sep-2009    Edit    Delete 

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