The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
When winds are really high I've run a 100% jib and ran the sheets on the tracks at the bottom of the windows. Never thought there was need to run another track on top of the cabin. In my useless opinion, there are enough holes in the Capri and adding more to the top of the cabin is just creating more paths for water.
Fleet Kamikaze 1983 Hull #397 Lake Guntersville, AL
EP said they have built 95% jibs and put track on the cabin top. With a 100% like yours, do you run the sheet outside the forward shrouds but inside the caps and aft shrouds? When eased, I'm sure the sheet ran against the shrouds?
The thinking behind the 95% and cabin top tracks is sheet angle and pointing ability. In 25 knots, even with a reef and the 110% jib, we can't point for squat. With a 95% we can make a sail that is much flatter. I too, hate the though of ANOTHER set of tracks on the boat, but we get our asses handed to us in that kind fo breeze. And our club isn't afraid of 25 knots.
We ran the sheets outside the shrouds. I always have trouble pointing high no matter what sail is on. You may be right about running the smaller sail flatter and enhancing your pointing ability. Your club may not be afraid of 25 knot winds but I sure am. I watched a beautiful Elliott 770 break a keel and completely turtle in 25 knot winds. In February. Water was cold.
Fleet Kamikaze 1983 Hull #397 Lake Guntersville, AL
I have not raced very much in 25 knots, but I have been out a few times in that kind of wind and worse. My boat came with a set of tracks on the cabin top under the shrouds and with an old 110% jib. I can not imagine sailing the boat competitively with the 110% without the cabin top tracks. I'd suggest you putting the tracks on and trying them with a 110 before cutting back to the 95. I can take a photo and get some measurements if you want me to of how my boat is set up. This was a West Coast boat I think and raced in pretty high winds before I brought it East. It had many upgrades and very heavy lines on it when I took possession. I've downsized most of the running rigging now and never replaced the 110 as I mostly sail in light winds here.
You said you're getting your asses handed to you in that kind of breeze. If the other Capri 25s that are beating you are flying 95s and have tracks on the coach roof, then you probably have to do the same to be competitive. If however, you're both flying the same size jibs and using the same tracks, then you have to consider the likelihood that they're trimming their sails, prepping their boats and/or helming better than you.
The first thing to look at is rig tuning. If the rig is poorly tuned, there's nothing you can do to make it point high and foot fast.
IMO, to get the best jib shape, you have to adjust the halyard tension, the sheet tension and the genoa car placement. Don't underestimate the importance of car placement. Moving them a few inches forward or aft can make a big difference. If you have an adjustable backstay, you have to get it right for the winds.
For the mainsail, you have to adjust the outhaul tension and the halyard tension, and reef when needed. You also have to adjust the mainsail twist. One of the most common mistakes I see with the mainsail is playing the traveler too high. People like to see the mainsail lie flat and smooth, but you have to depower it in strong winds, because, as between the mainsail and jib, the mainsail is by far the most responsible for causing excessive heeling. Easing the traveler down lets the boat stand up. When you do so, it often creates a "bubble" at the luff of the mainsail, which depowers the sail. That bubble is ok. It's sometimes called a "fisherman's reef." Easing the traveler down causes the force vectors on the mainsail to point more forward, instead of laterally. That means the forces on the mainsail are pushing the boat more forward, instead of sideways. It increases speed, drives the boat through the chop better and reduces heeling.
Finally, one of the most important and least understood concerns when sailing closehauled in strong winds is helmsmanship. Most people steer off the wind enough so that they feel firm tiller pressure. They think the sails are really driving when they feel that tiller pressure. What's actually happening is that, when you put that much pressure on the tiller, you're turning the rudder too far, which creates drag and slows boatspeed. The better approach is to ease the tiller until the sails, when well-trimmed, are on the ragged edge of luffing. That will produce a very light helm (even in strong winds), less drag from the rudder and higher boatspeed. In addition, always steer the boat to windward in the gusts. If you maintain the same heading in the gusts, tiller pressure increases and you lose boatspeed. By steering up into the gusts, you reduce tiller pressure and drag, you increase speed, and best of all, you get to take a wee bite to windward. When the gust abates, then steer back down to the heading that keeps your sails driving optimally. Developing a very light hand on the helm will greatly improve speed and pointing.
Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen") Past Commodore
I have to wonder whether another set of tracks is allowed by Capri 25 class rules, which may not be important to you, but the Capri 25 is fundamentally a one-design racer. Even in handicapped (e.g. PHRF) racing, if your boat doesn't meet its own class rules, it doesn't (or shouldn't) qualify for the handicap that's based on those specs.
But I agree with Steve Milby's comments about the sheet car placement. This affects the shape of the jib/genoa in ways that can cause excessive heeling when the cars are too far forward, or excessive twisting of the upper part of the sail when they're too far back. Either can make the difference against boats with properly shaped head-sails. In light air, they can be forward some for fullness, and in heavy air they can be back to flatten the lower area and twist off the top.
Maybe you knew this... in which case I apologize.
Dave Bristle Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV, Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can). Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
Hey guys! Thanks for the input. I don't race one design and have no other Capri 25's in my PHRF fleet to compare to. We win a lot of races in light air but the ass handing happens in the heavy. As for ratings, PHRF doesn't care how many tracks you have as long as your sails measure in, especially considering the Capri 25 class rules allow for pretty much any deck layout you want.
The class 110% jib is big and sheeted outside of the shrouds. A 95% jib would allow for a much flatter sail sheeted much closer and allow for better pointing.
As for driving, I'm pretty well versed in the basics of heavy air. Twist, traveler down, cars aft, halyard tension, etc. We do need a better reef system and our crew work needs to be tidied up. The 95% jib solution is one Harry Pattison recommended which is what got me thinking.
Just following up here. This past summer we got a nice simple reef system rigged and were able to increase our performance in heavy breeze significantly. One reef and our old 110% worked pretty well. We kept the boat flat with a lot of rail meat and I drove the boat hard in the steep lake wind swell. I ended up buying a new 140% #2 but the 95% #3 and cabin top jib tracks will be my next sail purchase.
Ben, Would LOVE to see your reef setup! We sailed New Years day, on the Southern Chesapeake, 16-22 knots of breeze (another boat in the fleet measured over 40 puffs exceeding 30)... We had the 155, and full main, 5 aboard, and took turns working the traveler...we got pretty beat up, but had a great time..Ive just sent EP a request for a 95% quote...so we shall see...thankfully my CFO (the wife) feels we need a new main and 155 as well.....BUT I would have reefed IF i had a reefing system...at one point I did tie a fishermans, but it killed sail shape and eventually fellout...
I'll get some pics when we race this Feb in Arizona. The boat is in a storage unit at the moment while I fair the bottom.
But the basic set up is with the factory reef line sheeve in the aft part of the boom and we use the cunningham at the tack with a velcro strap to keep the tack up against the mast. Nothing spectacular but it's simple and only one person has to leave the rail.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.