Ask SAIL: Trimming an A-sail Tackline - Sail Magazine

Ask SAIL: Trimming an A-sail Tackline

Author:
Publish date:
askSailNov01

Q: I fly an asymmetrical spinnaker from a sprit on my 35-footer and was wondering about how best to trim the tack line. I’ve seen cases in which other sailors have brought the tack of the sail all the way to the sprit, and cases in which there are a couple of feet of tackline between the sprit and the sail. Is there a right way and a wrong way? Should I be adjusting the tackline in and out depending on angle of sail or wind speeds?

— Amber Ratner, Parma, OH

BRIAN HANCOCK REPLIES

Yes, you should adjust the tackline for different points of sail and different wind speeds. If you are on a reach, you want the luff of the sail to be fairly tight, so crank the tack all the way down to the sprit. This straightens out the luff and brings the draft of the sail forward, which is what you are looking for. As you bear away toward a run, however, you want to be able to rotate the sail around to windward to make sure it gets plenty of clean air. So ease off the tack and let the sail rise up a little. That said, if you are sailing deep downwind in quite a lot of wind keep it cranked down. You want as much control over the spinnaker as you can get, and tightening up the luff will help stop it from oscillating to a point where you could get into trouble.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more