Clues for Clews - Sail Magazine

Clues for Clews

Jim Ballantine of Charleston, S. Carolina, asks: ’ve installed new adjustable cars for my genoa aboard my 39-foot sloop. But now that I have them, I’m not sure what adjustments I should make to the cars when sailing in different wind conditions. I do know that whenever I reef down the headsail I should move the cars forward. But I’m not sure what other adjustments to make
Author:
Publish date:
ClewsPhoto1

Jim Ballantine of Charleston, S. Carolina, asks:

’ve installed new adjustable cars for my genoa aboard my 39-foot sloop. But now that I have them, I’m not sure what adjustments I should make to the cars when sailing in different wind conditions. I do know that whenever I reef down the headsail I should move the cars forward. But I’m not sure what other adjustments to make in different conditions so I can get the best out of my genoa when sailing to windward. Are there any good rules I can follow to help me improve my trim skills?

Win Fowler replies:

There are several key adjustments you can make to improve your upwind performance. In light-to-moderate conditions, especially when you are sailing in chop, try moving the cars forward a little and ease out the jibsheet slightly; this is a great way to make the sail more powerful. Conversely, in heavy air, you can depower the sail by moving the genoa car aft. This flattens the bottom of the sail and increases the twist up high and opens the head. If you are sailing in very light conditions, moving the genoa cars aft can help keep the weight of the sailcloth from pulling down the clew. It also helps the leech stay open rather than having it close down, which is what might happen with a lot of downward pull at the cars.

Although you asked about sailing upwind, you should also know that whenever you ease the sail and head off on a reach you should move the genoa car forward. This offsets the extra twist created whenever the sheet is eased. Exactly how far you should move the car is something to determine by trial and error. These cars are designed to be adjusted constantly, so don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s the best way to find out what really works best. Once you find a setting that works well, put some kind of marker on the track or deck so you can return to it quickly any time you want.

Related

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more

cosair760R

Boat Review: Corsair 760R

We’d only been out on Miami’s Biscayne Bay aboard the Corsair 760R a few minutes when Corsair Marine marketing manager Shane Grover and I began bemoaning the fact neither of us had a GPS with us to determine our boatspeed. Moments later, though, we both came to the same ...read more