- With mast jack screw in the center position on the mast step, extend the jack screw to take the slack out of the side stays (not to tight). With a little back stay tension, check the distance from the tip of the bow to upper jib screw eye. This dimension HAS to be 48 ¾”. To achieve this dimension, shorten or lengthen the jib forestay. When making this adjustment, you will have keep readjusting the back stay tension. Note, the back stay tension should be just enough to take the slack out. See SAIL SETUP Jib #4.
- Lay boat on one side on a flat surface. Measure from tip of the mast to the flat surface. Lay boat on the other side and make the same measurement. The two dimensions should be within 1/8” to ¼” of each other. Adjust the side stays to achieve this dimension. If your mast is not on center, you will have weather helm on one tack and lee helm on the other tack.
- Tighten back stay – snug but not tight. If the wind is real light, there should be no tension on the back stay.
- Eyeball from top to base of mast. Correct port or starboard bend by adjusting the diamond stay. Try to have the mast straight, midline and vertical or 1 degree forward.
(Tip boat in its cradle to about 30 degrees)
- Down haul – Tighten just enough to get rid of any wrinkles but no tension.
- Out haul – about 1” from the max draft of the main sail to the boom. More in light air.
- With wind on the sail, trim main sheet until boom is about 1” off of center line of boat at the clew end of boom.
- Use the boom vang to adjust “twist”. Stand 2 boat lengths behind the boat. Line up the back stay with the mast. You should see the leeward side of the sail at the lower batten or 12” up from the boom. You should see the windward side of the upper batten or 12” from the top of the sail. In heavy air you may want more twist (loosen the vang) with a flatter sail (tighten the out haul). You should see the clew of the jib (about ½”).
- Up haul – Adjust the jib uphale bowsie so there is a small amount of jib movement when you pull up on the head of the jib. No tension. Make this adjustment after you have established the 48 ¾” dimension.
- Out haul – about 1-1/2” from the max draft of the jib sail to the boom. More in light air
- Trim jib sheet so tip of boom is about 1” inside the side stay.
- Check the slot between the jib & main, it should be open. Don’t let the jib back wind the main. The back stay tension provides control over the jib twist and jib/main slot.
Note: with the boat on its side and looking at the jib/main slot from the stern, lightly press against the back stay and watch the effect of a tighter back stay on the jib/main slot.
Remember the rudder acts like a brake. Use it gently. Move sails in and out slowly. Jerky motions interrupt the flow of air over the sails. Before you go to the pond, check your mast and sails positions. Make your fine adjustments at the pond depending on wind conditions.
This setup should provide good acceleration after a tack and very slight weather helm. Mark these basic setups on your boat.
If your boat is not accelerating or does not have good boat speed, go back to these basic setups. And remember, with the Soling and Fairwind, loose is better.
For additional tuning information for the Soling go the following web site, http://www.solingonemeter.org/ and click on “Tune and Sail Your Boat”.
Problem: Boat consistently loses races.
Solution: Replace skipper with one with more experience. Alternatively, have existing skipper sail more often. These boats are close enough in performance that the skipper is 95% of the sailing equation. Don’t under estimate the value of thumb time.
REMEMBER THE OBJECTIVE - HAVE FUN