The last two times I've sailed I've looked at the upper telltales on the jib a lot more. I notice they break way before the lower set...well, actually I could barely get the upper set streaming nicely at any time. The upper leech was really fluttering badly.
Stuart Bates (MR3615)
If your jib cars will not go far enough forward you can set the jib a bit higher off the deck as it has the same effect.
Hmm, so even if the jib cloth looks OK, it may still have stretched in the leech too much? Thanks for the tip about checking the angle.
Older jibs often did have quite a high clew in comparison to modern ones. I'd have thought if the jib was knackered the whole leech would flutter not just the top bit & it doesn't really explain the telltales. You should be able to do some sort of temporary bodge to test the principle and if you can get it to set properly then get the screwdriver out.
We found with our old smokers that the tracks were about 4" too far back, so we used blocks tied onto the ribs just in front of the cars to sheet the Jib from. Exact same problem before and after: the lower Job telltales were easy to get flowing but the middle and top ones were not. Moving the sheeting point fixed the problem, restored pointing and upwind speed.
Hurrah! I have found a potential excuse for years of poor pointing?!