String...lots of string

21/02/2011 16:48:25
Last Thursday after 11 hours of driving i arrived back in the northwest with a White Whale attached to the back of my car.  After taking it down to the lake on Sunday i suddenly realised that there's an aweful lot of string in the boat.  Whilst i either know or have found out what it all does, i had a dawning moment that i really don't know how to setup the boat.

Now with my old RS400 it was easy, rake of X, rig tension of Y and basically rake the rig and ease the rig tension as it gets windy using the forestay tensioner... I had thought that a similar thing would be possible with the rocket, but now i'm not sure. When i test sailed one at Bolton the guy just pulled a few strings and off we went but i would think he had had a bit of practice at it. The boat came with an aweful lot of paperwork including measurement certificate and various tuning guides and photos from the website. This is all great but the only one to mention actual numbers uses a weight on the bottom of the main halyard to get rig tension and a tape on the boom, however this doesn't work so well in a F3. It also doesn't really mention rig tension. I've found a Speeds tuning guide but i've got Batt sails.

I was hoping to be able to attend the Rutland training but unfortunately it clashes with another commitment. Are there any tuning guides out there or any basic setup tips of what i am looking to attain from rig shape/tension at the various stages (underpowered, powered, overpowered)?

21/02/2011 17:23:54
Matt, Firstly congratulations on your new aquasition. A super boat and I am sure you will get to grips with it.

I am not really the right person to give you set up advice. I always pull on just enough rig tension to take the slack out of the leeward shroud and rake until I am comfortable hiking.

It is a shame you can't do Rutland but don't worry as there is always smalled training events going on at other open meetings. I know there is a short one at Cookham on the Saturday morning before the Guy Pearce trophey and Silver Tiller and I think Wembley usually hold one too. I am sure other people will be able to advise when there are some more.

I have found the best way is to get out to some open meetings and ask for advice. You will find most people are more than willing to help. Get there nice and early and get your boat rigged so when the first team who know what they are doing turn up they will have some time to advise you.

Good Luck, See you out there.


21/02/2011 18:23:57
Andy Hay - 3626 Business as Usual
Welcome to the fleet!

The sailmakers have some useful tuning guides. We always started with the mast pulled as far forward as possible in light winds (this holds true up to about a F3, pending crew weight). Then let the forestay off as you get more overpowered. Unless the Whale is converted to "one string", you will need to progressively take up the slack in the shrouds and lowers as the mast comes aft.

As Jez says, the best way to work out how it all goes together is by finding a close-by club and talking to their experts.

Enjoy and don't be shy in asking silly questions on this Forum.

22/02/2011 18:52:05
Welcome to The Fleet.

There are some tuning guides on this website and others that can be obtained directly from some of the major sailmakers. The guides may be specific to a particular sail plan/carbon format so you will need to understand which one is for your boat.

book now for Rutland 2012.

23/02/2011 09:55:31
Some of the gallery photos might be useful, if you find a boat of similar age.
23/02/2011 11:17:58
Don't know exactly where you are in the North West, but didn't White Whale sail around the Fleetwood /Lakes area for a while? perhaps one of the previous owners is closer than you think and could offer some advice? Just a thought - might be worth taking it back to a previous home to sail for a weekend and get some advice?

23/02/2011 11:41:32
Based in Southport, not sure on history as such, based on what came with the boat it appears to have lived on or around the South for most of its life its got stickers from Hoo, Weymouth and apparently has been in the London area before that.

Thanks for the link to the pictures, it all looks like its setup correctly and all of the strings are attached to something which is a start. Thinking of going down Saturday with a few tuning guides and getting a balance of what they're all trying to tell me. Hopefully sailing Sunday so will probably have a whole raft of questions after that...sorry guys and gals.

23/02/2011 14:04:36
Stuart Bates (MR3615)

You could seek out Chris Haworth from Blackpool & Fleetwood, who is quite local to you. Or feel free to join the Merlin Fleet at Hollingworth Lake (Rochdale) where our fleet members will happily provide plenty of assistance. At Hollingworth we start sailing from 6th March.

23/02/2011 19:28:55
Back tracking through the forum posts, it looks like it was Kev Berry at Blackpool and Fleetwood who owned her, but perhaps he's now moved.

28/02/2011 13:22:54
We setup the boat on Saturday using the Batt tuning guide of boat level and mast measuring just past vertical before loosening the f/stay and adjusting elsewhere to keep the rig upright.  Went out and what a stunning boat, was blowing about 16/17 mph and the boat was planing beautifully offwind with the kite up and pointing really high upwind.  

Went out racing on Sunday in a very gusty 22-25 mph and had a very rocky time of it all and the kite was left very much in the boat. It was still great fun and the shape seems quite forgiving (probably due to the width) as we only binned it in once.

My initial thoughts beyond the speed were that the boat seems a lot more sensative to weight moving across the boat and seems to tack quite slowly. Obviously in gusty conditions its going to be a rocky ride in any boat but are there any tricks to it? I raked the mast right back and brought the centreboard up accordingly and we flew upwind, just had issues on the reaches on the course. Also is there a specific method to roll-tacking the boat? My last boat was an RS400 and i had expected the rocket to tack in a similar fashion, but it seemed to take an age to come around. I fully understand that these were far from ideal conditions for a first sail but was itching to get in the boat, so if it sounds that the wind/lack of skill were the issue please say so.

01/03/2011 10:05:11
sounds like a good first sail.

We should bring your Merlin training forward I think.

Book now for Rutland 2011!


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