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 Rig Tuning
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delling3
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Initially Posted - 06/01/2022 :  06:46:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
C-25 fin keel. Last year we have boat speed in spades and no problems pointing. This season, something is seriously wrong. We are slow. Like we've but a bucket tied to the keel slow. Being beaten by a Catalina 22 slow. Same sails as last year, and spent a lot more effort on bottom prep. Thinking that the rig tune is too tight. I know that the mast is straight, with a slight rake, but suspect that the shrouds are too tight. Any of my fellow skippers use a Loos gauge? Curious to know what numbers you are using.

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5730 Posts

Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  08:28:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In what conditions is the C22 beating you? Light, moderate or strong wind? Are they beating you to windward or off the wind?

An overly taut rig probably doesn't hurt your speed and pointing in strong winds. (It helps up to a point, but an overly taut rig can damage the boat.) It probably hurts speed and pointing a little in moderate winds. It'll kill you in light winds. Why? Because a taut rig depowers your sails. A loose rig powers them up.

Only two conditions relating to rig tuning are likely to affect speed and pointing a lot - too taut or too loose for the wind strength, or raked aft too far.

If it isn't that, then look for something you're doing differently from last year. When you hoist the sails, are you pulling the halyards and outhauls tighter, to get all the wrinkles out? That also depowers the sails. They should be looser in moderate to light winds. A few wrinkles are OK in light to moderate winds. It's a mistake to try to keep perfectly smooth sails in all conditions. If the luff of the jib or mainsail is curled when you raise it, the halyard is too tight.

Are you over-trimming the genoa jib sheet when closehauled? Some people crank it tight to try to point higher. Doing so flattens and
depowers the genoa significantly.

In light air and off the wind, ease the outhaul to power up the mainsail.

People also often pull the mainsheet traveler to windward to try to point higher. The boom should never be windward of the centerline of the boat. (It drives the transom to leeward, and you have to use the rudder to correct your course. That creates drag which kills speed and makes you arm weary.)

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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delling3
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  09:18:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Steve. I have been racing for many years, and I understand fully all the points you raised. This is actually my 4th keel boat.

Last night at the start we had winds of 12, gusting to 16 or so. About 2 foot seas. There is a well-sailed C-22 in our class, and he won the start. Our boat speed was basically equal going to windward. Later, the wind began to die. We had a fetch to the finish, with winds around 8 knots, with gusts to 10/12, sailing into the leftover chop. The C-22 was actually extending on us.

We sailed against the same boats last year, and we took line honors in every race last season. The 22's could not hang with us last year. This year is a clearly different game, and I simply can't figure out why.
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5730 Posts

Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  11:04:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From your description, he was improving as the wind lightened. That means he was probably powering up his sails in the lighter air more than you were. If your rig was tuned too tight, it would have prevented you from loosening it as much as it should be. The benefit of a backstay adjuster is that you can literally change the whole tuning of your rig from taut to very loose with the flick of a wrist. If he had a backstay adjuster and you didn't, that alone could have made that much difference downwind and in light air.

Even if your rig was too taut, there are still ways you can power up your sails. Easing both halyards will help. Scallops in the jib are usually bad to windward, but my jib usually has slight scalloping off the wind and even to windward in light air. Scalloping detracts from pointing, but it adds power. The question is, what do you need more at the moment - pointing or power?

Don't ignore the obvious. I raced in Cleveland once and we were dead slow. It turned out they had long grass in the marina, and we were dragging it around the race course.

Only you can figure out what happened. We weren't there. I'm just trying to give you ideas where to look.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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delling3
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  14:15:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again Steve. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your feedback.

Yes, clearly he was doing something better than we were. My only point is that we were doing all the things that worked for us in the past, just to no effect. I have a backstay adjuster, but the rig is really tight even with it's fully released - another indication to me that the rig is too tight.

I have always used a Loos gauge on my other boats, to understand what the rig settings are, and to be able to easily repeat them. The gauge won't tell you when it's right or wrong, only if the settings have changed. That said, if someone else with a C-25 has settings that I might use as a baseline, that would be someplace to start.

We will start by slacking off the shrouds all-around, and see where that gets us. Once I find a point that I am happy with, we will take the readings, and record them for future use.
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Derek Crawford
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3300 Posts

Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  15:40:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
delling3, I was (in)famous on the lake for carrying a loose rig. When beating my leeward shrouds "waved in the breeze". I used a Loos gauge pre-race every time and my readings were (aft to bow) 20, 30, 25.
You might like to try this as a starting point - but be prepared, it will scare the h.ll out of you initially. (BTW with this rig I have held off well-sailed J22's downwind.)

Derek Crawford
Chief Measurer C25-250 2008
Previous owner of "This Side UP"
1981 C-25 TR/FK #2262 Used to have an '89 C22 #9483, "Downsized"
San Antonio, Texas
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delling3
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 06/03/2022 :  10:28:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Derek. Do you have two different Loos gauges? I noticed that the one suitable for the uppers (3/16" dia) is not calibrated for the smaller wire of the lowers. Or are those readings all using the larger gauge?

My two previous boats were 3/4 fractional rigs with swept spreaders, and single lowers. On those boats, the rig is always loose going to weather, so a soft shroud doesn't scare me.
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Derek Crawford
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3300 Posts

Response Posted - 06/03/2022 :  14:38:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I only had one gauge and it worked on all the shrouds. I think it was the "A" gauge. I never bothered to convert the front readings into the numbers on the back.

Derek Crawford
Chief Measurer C25-250 2008
Previous owner of "This Side UP"
1981 C-25 TR/FK #2262 Used to have an '89 C22 #9483, "Downsized"
San Antonio, Texas
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4593 Posts

Response Posted - 07/19/2022 :  12:26:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As Derek indicated, you want the aft lowers to be a bit looser than the forward lowers. This lets you ease the mast forward going downwind putting a bit more 'bag" in the sails when you ease the backstay. Just remember to bring it back in before turning upwind! If you believe the whole day will be light air, you might try even lighter all around settings.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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