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Key West Boatspeed/ Tuning Tips

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Look for some good J70 boat-speed, tuning and sail trim tips coming in the next few days.  A lot was learned and will create a few threads along these lines.

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Basic observations from Key West:


Rake- 4'6" to 4'9".  No consensus yet.  Learning curves steep enough that even in pre-regatta tuning setups it was indeterminate.


Weight- ranged from 555 to 750.  Light airs, 575 was fast-- e.g. Dave Ullman and Tom Lihan.  Heavy air- 750 had minimal advantage upwind, definitely slow downwind, especially marginal planing.  Most boats in the 600 to 700 range.  MUSE sailed at 615 lbs felt NO disadvantage upwind in winds ranging from 6 kts to 23 kts.  Downwind, felt the fastest three boats were SAVASANA, the Finkles, MUSE-- mostly technique.


Rig tension:

Monday- 6-10 kts-- boats all over the map-  U-17/ L- 2" slack up to U-25/ L-15. 

Tue-Thu- 10-23 kts- more boats closer- generally U-25/ L-20. 

Fri- 10-15 kts- seemed many dropped off a turn or two, uppers/ lowers.  U-22/ L-17


Upwind sail trim:

Main- boom on center, traveler to weather all the time in lighter airs.  As wind increased to 13+kts, vang sheet, use mainsheet to ease off centerline.  Sail with twist, could point higher and maintain speed.  Outhaul- foot touching boom.  Main trim- 1st big batten- parallel to boom.


Jib- basic stuff- even breaks up to 13-15+kts, then move lead after 3-5 holes on track, tight foot, twisted up leech.  Always "inhaul" using wx sheet to cabin.


Weight- forward starting from stanchion behind chainplates.


Downwind sail trim:

Mainsail- twist until battens invert, then snug vang to prevent in "soak mode".  In plane mode, trim boom about 45 degrees, then use vang as "throttle".


Vang- once planing, must play vang for waves/ puffs to sail a "low planing mode".  Most boats had tendency to sail too high.


"Soak mode"- weight forward, skipper next to winch.  Other crew up by cabin.


"Planing mode"- if marginal, 2 people forward of winch, then if full planing then only 1 person forward fo winch-- all others aft.  Many boats sailed with weight too far aft, drags the transom.


Jib- always furled in "soak mode", always out and trim to waves/puffs in "planing mode"-- coordinate with vang on/off.

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Look for some interesting developments at St Pete NOOD.  Have Mark Ploch (Doyle Sails), Colling (Ullman) and Welles/ Healy (North) and Quantum pushing the envelope still further.

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