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Headstay Tension #16245
05/07/15 10:02 PM
05/07/15 10:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 164
Portland, ME
JBiermann Offline OP
Senior Member
JBiermann  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 164
Portland, ME
Last season was my first in the racing division in our local wednesday night PHRF fleet. A more savvy and determined crowd than the cruisers I was used to by far. Needless to say, our first season with the spinnaker would not read like a hopeful underdog-cinderella story found in so many b grade movies. We had a pretty rough year.

Obviously hoping for a little bit more edge this season, I'm paying particular attention to tuning the rig. Measuring my forestay, I noticed is was considerably short of the 35' 10 1/2" max yet even with my buckles backed almost all the way off I continue to be slightly short (about 35' 8"). What's more, my forestay is feeling feeling considerably looser, even with my rear shackles tightened all the way in. Not floppy exactly... but definitely looser.

Is my fore stay supposed to feel a little loose? Will being a little short of 35' 10 1/2" make a huge difference? Anybody have the secret to becoming a drastically better beer can racer? Shrouds are at 1050 outer and 950 inner.



Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16246
05/07/15 10:39 PM
05/07/15 10:39 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,656
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Offline
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Offline
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,656
Portsmouth, RI
Josh,

Make sure the forward edge of the mast base is positioned 1" back from the molded lip at the base of the mast. This needs to be set correctly. It sounds as if the mast base is too far back (make the mast top too far forward). Also make sure the mast is centered and blocked at deck so the dimensions are 3505 + 13mm = 11'6" + 0.5" stemhead tip to mast front edge ( Rules paragraph 5.7.3).

By centering the mast, it means a straight line from bottom of keel, through center of boat, to top of mast - all in line. This can be done on the hard with a plumb bob sighting about 60 feet behind the boat, or a laser level. Note that the mast may not be centered in the partners when this is done.

Re: Headstay Tension [Re: Rhapsody #348] #16247
05/08/15 06:41 AM
05/08/15 06:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 164
Portland, ME
JBiermann Offline OP
Senior Member
JBiermann  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 164
Portland, ME
Thanks Bill, I will double check those measurements though I believe that it should be set correctly (with the gap ahead of the front of the mast and centered). I should have been more clear, both the headstay AND the back stay (untensioned) feel loose compared to where I had them set last year. Headstay turnbuckle is backed way off and backstay buckles all the way in.

I dont know if you can tell anything just by looking but I will attach a photo with the rig in it's current configuration.

[Linked Image]

Attached Files
onthemooring.JPG [118.85 KBytes] - (677 downloads)
Last edited by JBiermann; 05/08/15 06:50 AM.
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16248
05/08/15 10:14 AM
05/08/15 10:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 493
Chicago, Il. USA
D. Bartley Offline
Governor at Large
D. Bartley  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 493
Chicago, Il. USA
With the adjustments to forestay and step position, you'll probably be needing more upper tension than last year.

Once you have enough upper tension, you may find your backstay quite floppy, even with the backstay turnbuckles maxed. The standard backstay was usually cut too long for this sort of tuning. You'd probably have to put quite a bit of backstay on before it does anything at all really. And you'll also not have much adjustment. What you might have to do is cut the backstay shorter. It's a little bit less expensive to have the top cut, rather than the 2 legs.


Dennis Bartley
Planxty, s/n 23994
hull 205
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16249
05/08/15 10:16 AM
05/08/15 10:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 675
Maryland, USA
Bob Rutsch Offline
Governor at Large
Bob Rutsch  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 675
Maryland, USA
In case you missed it, there is a wealth of advice in the various tuning guides on the main J/30 page.

Backstay doesn't really factor into rig tune. It should be loose enough to wobble sailing upwind under 10 knots. A quick flick should be all it takes to clear the backstay from the mainsail top batten during a gybe. Adjust turnbuckles so that the bridle blocks, when loose, return to connector plate at the top of the split. Tension using the purchase as breeze increases and the boat becomes over-powered to flatten the main. In a blow, tighten the turnbuckles so the backstay purchase is more powerful. To set shroud tension start with the lowers, then tighten uppers, sighting up the mainsail luff groove in the mast to keep the mast in column.

There should be some play in the headstay once the shrouds are set. It won't be bone tight. It can be difficult to get an accurate measure of headstay length with the rig up. The method described in this post works well enough for me. You can attach a dumbbell or jug of water to the halyard to maintain consistent tension as you measure. There are two schools of thought on headstay with some always at max and others, myself included, going tighter as the breeze increases. Looks like you have roller furling, which probably means set it and forget it, but 35' 8" is very tight. Could you add a toggle to extend the headstay?

Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16250
05/08/15 02:09 PM
05/08/15 02:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
Steve Buzbee Offline
Senior Member
Steve Buzbee  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
Along with all the good information above-you shouldn't just set shroud tension to base and leave it. We re-tune between every race (unless conditions are exceptionally stable)more or less following the North tuning guide you can find elsewhere on this website. And to re-emphasize what was said above-the position of your mast step and partners is critically important in order to have all the other rig tune information work properly. Bear in mind that just 1/2" of fore/aft adjustment at the mast step will move the rig forward/aft over 4" at the forestay attachment point. This will make a huge difference in all your settings. You want to set the loose rig up with the maximum rake permitted by class rules-the boat is power hungry with very light helm feel in lighter air-getting the rig back will help point, and give you a much better feel on the helm.

Last edited by Steve Buzbee; 05/08/15 02:11 PM.

Steve Buzbee
Blue Meanie J/30 #485
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16251
05/08/15 05:58 PM
05/08/15 05:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 164
Portland, ME
JBiermann Offline OP
Senior Member
JBiermann  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 164
Portland, ME
Thanks guys, I appreciate all the input. I will double check that I have the correct spacing between the front of the mast and the "lip". I have the sail tuning guide as my sherpa though this process, that is what prompted me to measure my forestay.

My rig currently is not what I would consider "floppy", There is no sag in the forestay and the backstay block pops up pretty close to the "y" when it is loose. It is just looser than how I had it set last year, maybe I just needed to hear that this is alright.

I will look into having my back stays cut so that I have more tuning room but the mast looks, to my eye, raked much farther back than last year. If I can get the back stays shortened I will add a buckle to the forestay to get that extra 2 1/2". For now, even if I'm a little loose, I guess I can just play my backstay hard if the breeze comes up.

Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16260
05/11/15 11:03 AM
05/11/15 11:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
Steve Buzbee Offline
Senior Member
Steve Buzbee  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
Remember that the backstay will not affect the rake of the mast-only how much bend there is in the rig. The rake is predetermined by the position of the step and the partners.


Steve Buzbee
Blue Meanie J/30 #485
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16532
10/26/15 01:49 AM
10/26/15 01:49 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 74
St. Helens, OR USA
Koesh Offline
Senior Member
Koesh  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 74
St. Helens, OR USA
How does your helm feel with the current set-up compared to last year? In 10-12 knots I like to be able to feel just the start of some weather helm with the boat fairly flat. That tells me where my mast rake is as much as tensions. I keep the headstay at max length (35'-10.5") and tension the rig according to the wind conditions. 'Course, right now it's all sitting on the trailer while I do core repairs, but that's the intention once she's back in the water smile


Doug Marshall
Koeshtkah #207
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16534
10/26/15 02:12 PM
10/26/15 02:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Honolulu, Hawaii
Erik Offline
Member
Erik  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Honolulu, Hawaii
Sorry to hijack this thread, but what about for those of us racing PHRF only, without the possibility of one-design racing. What is the optimal position for the mast step? Is the one inch aft rule because that's what the one-design rules permit or is it because that is the optimal position?

Erik
Honolulu
'Mango Madness'
#185

Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16539
10/26/15 05:20 PM
10/26/15 05:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
Steve Buzbee Offline
Senior Member
Steve Buzbee  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
The one inch aft rule is only a class rule. If you sail mostly in heavy air, moving the step further forward won't help you much-in fact it may make you overpowered. If you sail mostly in very light air, having the step another 1/4" to 1/2" forward would probably be a good thing. Of course, if one design is not a concern, you could install an adjustable step that would allow you to slide the step position forward for light, and aft for heavy.


Steve Buzbee
Blue Meanie J/30 #485
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16543
10/28/15 02:53 AM
10/28/15 02:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Honolulu, Hawaii
Erik Offline
Member
Erik  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Honolulu, Hawaii
Steve,

An adjustable step would be great. Currently it's set up about 2" from the edge. I think the previous owner did that for the pacific cup race to Hawaii (downwind all the way). I get loads of weather helm and from what I understand, moving the step to 1" will only give me more weather helm. At this point I'm tempted to get a balanced rudder. The trade winds here are fairly heavy, 15-20 kts, usually more on Friday nights.

Erik

Re: Headstay Tension [Re: Erik] #16545
10/28/15 10:14 PM
10/28/15 10:14 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 74
St. Helens, OR USA
Koesh Offline
Senior Member
Koesh  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 74
St. Helens, OR USA
I've found that going to a #3 in higher winds not only eases the overpowered weather helm, but gives me about 3 degrees better pointing over, say my 130. Might be a little smaller, but it gives me a huge tactical advantage by pointing higher and being able to do those really quick tacks. 'Course, I didn't have a huge crew to stuff out on the rail and hold her flat, so thatlimited my sail area a bit, too.


Doug Marshall
Koeshtkah #207
Re: Headstay Tension [Re: JBiermann] #16546
10/29/15 11:49 AM
10/29/15 11:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
Steve Buzbee Offline
Senior Member
Steve Buzbee  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 454
Highland Park, NJ
2" is WAY back at the step. Having the mast that far back at the step probably makes any rig tune guide useless-the recommended headstay length (35'-10 1/2") is probably much too loose with the step in that location. You probably have a huge amount of pre-bend in the rig. I would recommend setting everything per the class standard (step at one inch back, heavy air rig tune at 40/40, headstay at class max). Then play with extra pre-bend by wedging the mast forward at the partners. I have found that the boat balances quite well upwind with those settings (and maxed out halyards and outhaul). What is your rig tune set at usually?


Steve Buzbee
Blue Meanie J/30 #485
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