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Vang, main sheet, and traveler #17968
08/13/18 08:38 AM
08/13/18 08:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
N
nathankt79 Offline OP
Senior Member
nathankt79  Offline OP
Senior Member
N
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
Good morning all,

I'm just going to go out on a limb to say my fiancé' and I are newbies. We've been out a number of times on our J30 with very gracious guidance from the previous owner and a couple other new sailing friends. We had her out a week ago...our first solo (just the two of us) cruise. This past Saturday, we put both the main and jib up. It went pretty well considering there wasn't much air...6kts max.


With all of that being said, we got good opportunities to start understanding a little better what makes power and what doesn't Another post here helped me make power with the jib by moving the jib sheet car forward. Now, I'm kind of at a loss with using the traveler and main sheet. I tried to play around with positioning port to starboard, but with the light air, I couldn't really tell what effect it had most of the time. So, we were relegated to trimming with the mainsheet while tacking. It was a good day.

Now, I'm looking up vang use and am wondering how I was supposed to use it...if at all.

So, are there any rules of thumb that I can start with as far as main sheet, vang, and traveler position for properly trimming the main? We were getting around 4kts in 6kt-ish air...so I'd like to think we were doing alright for newbies...but just the same, I'm missing something....or a lot of somethings.

Thanks,

Nate

Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: nathankt79] #17971
08/15/18 09:19 AM
08/15/18 09:19 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,561
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Online content
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Online Content
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,561
Portsmouth, RI
One thing that may help you trimming is to make sure your jib and main are fully "instrumented" with telltales. The main will typically have telltales on the leech. You can augment that by sticking telltales to the main, starting 6 " behind the luff then horizontally aft equally spaced so you have 4 telltales in a row including the leech. Set this up with three rows equally spaced from the top to bottom.

The jib would have telltales a couple inches in from the luff tape (Upper, middle and lower 3rd) , and matching telltales on the leech.

Ideally you want good flow across the main. By adjusting the various line (sheet, outhaul, traveler, vang, halyard... ) you will see the effect of your trim adjustments under various conditions. If you have instruments, record boat speed, wind speed and wind angle. Try and match the profile of the jib and main so if you were behind the boat, looking into the slot everything would be parallel.

What you'll find is there is no single correct trim. It will change with wind speed and chop. Over time as you gain experience you'll see what works better (when to twist off the main, when to twist of the top of the jib to dump air, when to put the traveler down, etc.).

If you have the benefit of someone in a second boat (best if another J/30 but any boat relatively close in performance will work), you can do two boat tuning. Both sail upwind, one keeps everything constant, and the other make adjustments noting differences in relative point and speed.

Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: nathankt79] #17972
08/16/18 08:33 PM
08/16/18 08:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 359
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 359
Rockwood, MI, USA
Nate, welcome, to sailing, and again, welcome to the j30 community.
It seems you've mastered sailing 101 and are ready for the next semester classes.
I was once told learning to sail is like learning to play bridge. You can learn how to sail/play bridge in a day. But, it takes a life time to prefect it.

Regarding the main; it is the ultimate infinitely variable air foil. There are at least 12 controls that can affect its shape. 6 internal controls and 6 external. Before I list them below - for anyone reading this try to name them all before continuing on. And, if I've forgotten any, please feel free to jump in

Internal controls (those directly connected to the sail):
Halyard, out haul, Cunningham, leech cord, foot cord, battens (thickness and tension)
External controls
Main sheet, Traveler, Vang, Forestay length, back stay, shroud tension

BTY - all 12 are interactive

There are 100's of books and 1000's of articles written on all of these controls, their interaction and ideal shapes for wind, wave and other sailing variables. To attempt to address them all here would require a very lengthy response.

Instead, I suggest and offer this
Find someone familiar with fractional rigs or the J/30 and get them out sailing with you. The previous owner would be a perfect choice. I live about an hour from you in the "down river" area. Not next week but after that I am available almost any Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday (days or evenings). I would be happy to accept an invite to sail with you.

,

Last edited by Russ Atkinson; 08/16/18 08:52 PM.
Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: Russ Atkinson] #17973
08/17/18 11:21 AM
08/17/18 11:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
N
nathankt79 Offline OP
Senior Member
nathankt79  Offline OP
Senior Member
N
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
Russ,

You're very kind and we appreciate it. I don't know about mastering anything...but I'd like to think we're at least good students. The more we're learning, the more we're realizing just how little we know. This is good though, because learning sail craft is exactly what drew us into it. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but its always exciting and rewarding.

First, the previous owner has been beyond gracious with his time. He's taken us out probably around four times and shown us way more than we can possibly remember about depowering, trimming, and the like. A lot of the terms you put on that list, we've heard of...but may have only a limited understanding...or we may not even be able to point at it, lol. In any event, I'm sure more and more hands on experience along with book studying will hopefully go a long way. We're reading the ASA beginning text book right now. Also, believe it or not, their sailing app for our smart phones have been really useful in learning points of sail, trimming, and the like...and we bought a little Escape Rumba 14.5" to practice sailing strategy on as well.

As far as finding someone to sail with us...wow, that's an awesome offer to help us out. I'm sure we'll take you up on that. We can't believe how great the sailing community has been since we first got into it. We can't thank you enough for even offering. I'll check our calendar and see when we can be down there for a day or evening sail.

Sincerely,

Nate

Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: Rhapsody #348] #17974
08/17/18 11:22 AM
08/17/18 11:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
N
nathankt79 Offline OP
Senior Member
nathankt79  Offline OP
Senior Member
N
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
Thank you for the input!

Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: nathankt79] #17975
08/17/18 12:35 PM
08/17/18 12:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 359
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 359
Rockwood, MI, USA
Nate - First, you have an open invitation to come sail on wildcat. I will come to you to sail your boat or you to me on wildcat. Either one.
Second - I spent 4 years as a sailing instructor for our club's adult learn to sail program.. Though some will probably disagree, here's my input and how to learn sailing
Set the books aside. There is way to much info to absorb. Sailors may laugh if you call a line a rope or a chart a map, but don't worry about terms. Understand two. Halyards and Sheets. Halyards go up and down. Sheets go in and out.

Here's a trivia question for any smart ass sailor that gives you hard time about terms. If there are no ropes on a boat, then why are lines stored in a rope locker? They are and... there is an answer

Knots - learn to tie a bowline and maybe how to tie two half hitches

There are 4 things to know to pass sailing 101
1. Points of sail (there are really only three; close hauled, reaching and running). the purists can get more finite but if you aren't close hauled or running before the wind, you are reaching
2. Find the wind - get used to looking up (seriously). There is an arrow that points where the wind is coming from
3. Trim the sails to the wind
4. Steer with a tiller
First to a destination
Then to your sail trim - sail to your tell tails
If you can do those things you can sail any boat.

When you've mastered those (which it sounds as if you have) - then move on to sailing 102; mastering the main sail fundamentals.

To me, main fundamentals include mastering the main sheet, traveler, and Vang; their functions and interaction. Don't worry about any of the other controls until you fully understand those three. From there, move on to halyard tension, Cunningham, outhaul and backstay

What an adventure you are undertaking. I am excited for you!

Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: Russ Atkinson] #17976
08/17/18 01:17 PM
08/17/18 01:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
N
nathankt79 Offline OP
Senior Member
nathankt79  Offline OP
Senior Member
N
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 29
Burton, Michigan
Russ,

We're excited to meet and sail with you...however we're able to work that out. We're actually going to get out and sail tomorrow (Saturday), but it sounds like you have other plans. If not, you're of course welcome.

I like the trivia...I had a question there too. We understand that all ropes are lines. However, I didn't know that the difference between sheets and halyards was related to the direction of travel. That's a good one.

We've been working on bowline, clove hitch, and half hitch knots. Can't do them blindfolded yet...and sometimes it takes a while, but we're practicing at home. We also got taught a method of making lines neat that we practice when securing her after a day of sailing.

As for the 4 things to know...1) We're doing alright with the points of sail 2) we watch the windex religiously..even for docking and getting off of the slip 3) we've been practicing trimming the sails by watching telltales, speed, shape of the sail, and use the "when in doubt, let it out" to find the "sweet spot....all with varying degrees of success.4) We're practicing to steer a straight course based on either destination or choosing a point of sail to maintain...mainly so we can practice trimming more effectively. We've also been practicing thinking through our tacks strategically to or around some known course (destination).

I say all of this in the belief that we're doing pretty okay for novices. However, with each of these, I wouldn't necessarily say we have achieved mastery. Honestly, coming from a machinist's point of view, I've come to the conclusion (flexible), that a sailor never stops learning about even the fundamentals that you listed. I'm guessing these are the things that just then become like muscle memory and you don't have to think so much about them...it just happens. Then, I suspect, you can put more mental and physical horsepower into more advanced things. Do I have this concept even close?

Once again, thank you...and all of the others for making us feel so welcomed.

Nate

Re: Vang, main sheet, and traveler [Re: nathankt79] #17977
08/17/18 05:51 PM
08/17/18 05:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 359
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 359
Rockwood, MI, USA
Nate - send me a private message with your contact info so we can work out scheduling. Look forward to sailing with you


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