Sidst ændret: 14/02-18
Set-up Guide To Optimise The X-332 For Racing
by Shaun Frolic (Exabyte) X-332 National Champion 2000 - Poole
Designed in 1994 the X-332 is a fast cruiser racer that has gained increasing popularity both in the UK and Ireland over the past couple of years. Hull numbers now top 315 with a total of 72 boats in British hands. The class opted for level ratings at its Bi-National Championships (a UK & Irish event) although the boats usually races under IRC with ratings in the range of 1.002 to 0.997. A default rating is typically being around 1.000 at the moment. There are various ways the rating can be improved be it by sail measurements & weighing. The latter may be a double-edged sword for the latest boats as production technique improvements have led to weight reductions since mid-99. The success of the 332 is founded on the fact that it is a compromise boat, neither pure racer nor pure cruiser, it appeals to the widest spectra of all 33 foot yachters. X-Yachts build excellent boats, but their standard specification leans towards the cruising end of the spectrum. Many who race the boats successfully have made modest investments and improvements without rendering their craft unsuited to easy yachting with family and friends. The trick to successful racing is to know which cruiser comforts to allow and which not.
In assembling a tuning guide for the 332, one must start at the very beginning, which is logically with its x-works specification. For those hoping to improve the performance of an existing craft there is much that can be done although it should be noted that performance improvements are subtle as there is little boat speed differential between the front and the back of the fleet. Notwithstanding by equipping one's self with the best chance of doing well from a boat speed perspective there is a massive extra benefit to the whole crew thanks to their enhanced mental "edge" that can often prove decisive on the water.
Specifying a new boat can only be easy if you start with a well-defined brief of how the boat will be used. For those who discover, after the fact, that they have "got bits wrong" there is no need for undue concern. Many decisions can be reversed, by upgrading hardware, whilst others may be worked around with the right application of thought and planing. The key ingredients to consider are; crew capability and consistency, frequency of and the commitment of the crew to train and what types of racing & cruising will be undertaken. Different factors come to the fore on longer trips (cruising or racing). The folk at X-Yachts UK have gained a substantial experience in optimising boat tune through their active participation in the fleet this can help owners who have yet to decided the lengths they wishes to go in the pursuit of performance over comfort or budget.
Boat speed is, as ever, achieved by planning, preparation and practice and is never a simple of wielding the chequebook. The right enhancements will make all the difference yet need not cost more than 5% of the on-the-water cost of the craft. Essential pre-delivery racing specification should include; the upgraded mainsheet & traveller system; Tuff Luff option as opposed to Profurl. The latter being more costly and doesn't work particularly well in any event. Virtually all other upgrades to the main systems such as the vang and the backstay and the like may be fitted retrospectively and without and significant wastage of the initial components.
PRE RACE SET-UP
Mast gate; the mast is secured the centre of the gate (610mm between front of mast and forward bulkhead) with dense rubber packing chocks. Should these become dislodged, the boats are more liable to incur mast damage were the rig to be allowed to jar forward, be it due to insufficient backstay tension or a sudden arrests in boat motion. As it is not always easy to prevent the latter in choppy conditions off-wind, it is recommended that the plastic mast vanity collars be removed and the chocks inspected regularly.
Jib luff; it is preferable to order the boat with a Tuff Luff and bottle screw as this enables the best rig / rake control. If the boat has an existing Profurl an upgrade costs in the region of £650 and generates an expensive spare part! In this case it is better to save the money, ensure sufficient rake (circa 345mm) and upgrade the standard feeder balls as supplied ones do not aid rapid sail changes. Again with the Profurl a good antedate to the less adjustable rig is to rig up a strop that allows the mast to be cranked forward down wind. All this involves is a bit of spectra anchored to the hard point in anchor locker and taped below feeder balls. The jib halyard can be attached to the strop once the kite is flying and ground forward. This is a trick only suitable for light to medium airs as above this tension needs to me maintained in the backstay.
Backstay; the factory fitted system is a 16:1 system without a ball bearing block in sight and encased in a highly frictional nylon stocking. Adjustment is made via a single control at the base of the stay itself. There is significant benefit in upgrading this to either a 24:1 or preferably a 32:1 system with ball bearing blocks throughout, dual controls led to the main traveller. This being significantly easier to use and becomes part of the main-trimmers job as opposed to the helm's. It is essential to fit plastic stoppers within the system to protect the mast crane and so that the rig can't fall over the bow. With its double spreader rig it is essential to retain a minimum of 30% pressure on the backstay in windy conditions. Upwind apply pressure progressively as the wind strength increases.
Shroud set-up; first and foremost ensure the rig is square in the boat! Obvious as it may seem, many owners seem reluctant to touch their rigs, despite the fact that basic adjustments are simple to effect. Over time the rig can loose shape and then the sails start to look bad & work inefficiently. Measuring side to side with the main halyard, sight up the luff track an square up the D2s. Also check the slack removed on the D2s whilst on the water in a steady 3-4 as this eliminates unwanted side movement. As far as pre-bend is concerned it must determined by the sail shape. Typically use around 120mm with the 345mm rake as previously detailed. With the more powerful backstay it is easy to generate an unstable mainsail that backwinds too readily. If this is the case then reduce the tension on the lowers. On the other hand if the mainsail flattens to readily increase lower tension to limit mast bend. Overall the non-raking (Profurl) set-up is a compromise and requires a delicate balance between, rake, pre-bend, and stiffness but once in place it simpler to use thanks to having fewer variables.
Vang; again the factory supplied unit is low on purchase and hasn't any ball bearing blocks in the system 6.1 with cleat on vang itself. It is easy to add an extra spectra strop and a ball bearing dual control system to increase purchase to 24.1 at the same time as giving the advantage of being able to play the system from the pit or side deck. This is useful when fetching or shy spinnaker reaching in all wind conditions and essential when the wind gets up.
Tack strop; If the budget includes an asymmetric spinnaker an excellent and low cost upgrade is the addition of a tack strop. Fit a bulls eye in the pushpit and run a line over the deck back to a cleat on the coachroof besides the garage. Sheeting the asymmetric tack directly onto the pushpit enables the boat to reach at a closer angle as well as makes the system a lot easier to handle.
Topping lift and Downhaul; the boat is supplied without a topping lift with the intention of utilising the spare halyard for this purpose; this being the standard format on the continent. A "standard" UK upgrade options is to fit a traditional topping lift and best of all a mast track for the inboard end of the pole. The cheaper route is simply to add extra points on the mast to accommodate the different spinnaker shapes. Sheets & guys turn round a Spinlock close to the stern and return to the front of the cockpit via turning blocks, these should be upgraded to large diameter ratchet blocks. Finally in terms of spinnaker gear replace factory fitted single sided downhaul system with a dual control line. The windward trimmer has to play the downhaul as much as the guy and clearly needs to do this without darting across the boat each time.
The sails; the sails are the single biggest area for choice and cost. Not just in terms of who to buy from but what inventory to opt for. The ideal scenario is to opt for 4 "white sails". A mainsail with a light medium #1, a medium #2, and a blade #3. The boats that omitting the #2 suffered on several occasions in 2000 and this is corner not worth cutting. In terms of spinnakers, the optimum is to opt for a 0.6oz floater and 0.9oz all purpose and a 1.2oz asymmetric. The latter being a luxury in many respects as it gets far less use than the others. It can be however a race winner given the right circumstances. X-Yachts "prestige" package includes Dacron delivery sails by Norths, with a strong pound they make excellent value but determine shanks (unless specified at time of order) for the main track, racing specification sails benefit from a bolt rope arrangement which is an inexpensive operation involving a router! In terms of sail makers, the class is served by all the main sail lofts, Rellings, Quantum, UK McWilliams, Norths, Sobstad and Banks. The vast majority of the business being divided between Relling & Quantum.
Navigational aids; X-Yachts locally source / upgrade the electronics and in many respects this comes down to personal preference. B&G or Ratheon ST60 are the most popular choices to date although the new Silva Nexus which is sold as a budget system offers comprehensive functionality indeed. One significant component should be is to include in any event is a fluxgate compass so that VMG and true wind direction can be displayed. Preferably this should be via 20:20's on the mast. It makes all the difference if the helm & crew see the numbers clearly at all time whilst looking forwards.
Hull finish; whilst it goes without saying that a good hull finish essential as for all race boats, the 332's are particularly sensitive to having a well kept underside. There is a marked difference between a freshly scrubbed yacht and one that has cut the corner. So much so, it may be worth prioritising regular dive scrubbing over additional equipment etc. should the budget be tight.
Key Aspects On The Racecourse
Crew Numbers; the crew certificate number is 7 therefore allowing up to 9 during events such as the HRSC winter series. It is preferable to have 9 on the boat so long as the crew are prepared to work equally hard in the light wind as the heavy. Fore and aft trim makes a dramatic difference to boat speed and the crew must be well forward in light airs.
Crew positions; the boat sails extremely well in a handicap situation but things become much closer when racing as a class. Typically positions are as follows although navigation and tactician duties need to be superimposed on the relevant positions with the exception of the helm. The 332 has quite a narrow groove and requires good concentration to keep the boat trucking at all times, it is therefore fastest to leave the helm concentrating on speed and trust the route to others onboard. (1) bow, (2) mast, (3) forward rail/mast backup; (4) after rail/pit backup; (5) pit; (6) light trimmer; (7) heavy trimmer; (8) mainsheet; (9) helm. When sailing off the wind (4) lets jib down whilst (5) hoists kite. The kite is trimmed by (7) with (4) grinding when necessary whilst the downhaul and guy are operated by (6).
Idiots Guide to Sail Settings:
|True wind||Sail||Leech to spreader||Hal. tension||Boom||Traveller||Top telltale||B/stay||Vang|
|10-14||Md / 2||touching||grind 1"||centre||centre||breaking||50%||Snug|
|14-20||#2||inside||grind 2"||12"||1/4 up||stalled||75%||Hard|
|20-25||#3||on mark||on mark||18"||1/4 up||flying||Full||v hard|
|25+||#3 / #4||on mark||on mark||24"||down||flying||Full||v hard|
Optimum Speeds; upwind one should achieve 6.4 in wind range 6-10 knots true; 6.8 in 10-15 and 6.9 in 15+. Downwind in light winds aim for 6 in medium 8+ and with sufficient wind hang pick your waves well to achieve well over 10 knots. At Poole three boats clocked in excess of 16 knots in gusts of 25-30knots true and the whole fleet regularly experienced good average speeds of 14.
The author does not consider himself an authority on race sailing in any class, let alone the 332. We suffered a disastrous first season in 1999 but learned some valuable if obvious lessons in hindsight. Apart from all the above my advice to any budding 332 champion could be summarised as follows. Good boat preparation is essential and accessible to all crews alike. Don't skimp on time here, if you do you will put yourself at a disadvantage and miss the point (let alone the prizes) carping on about Chequebook Charlie's, Pro-Divers and bad windshifts. A weight saving routine should be built into every race program. Don't allow crew to come on to the boat loaded with bags full of unnecessary items, moreover check the boat for redundant kit time and time again, it is amazing how the little weight demon keeps coming back. Once the boat is stripped to the bear minimum, stow whatever you can close to the keel. Also avoid skimping on crew practice. Many boats go out time and time again to race without the groundwork in place. Even a modest amount of practice reaps good reward. Competently executed manoeuvres readily making up ground lost by poor tactical decisions or minor boat speed differential. Finally as the 332 has an excellent, welcoming and rapidly growing class it is well respected and hence well supported by many experts. Be they yachters from the top of the racing fraternity, from the sail lofts or indeed from X-Yachts UK. The best advice of all is to avail yourself of this experience and to learn from it.
5 Tips To Racing Success
1 Crew practice, communication, manoeuvres, fore & aft trim
2 Clean hull, race prepare out of the water with regular dive scrubbing
3 Weight saving (remove anything not required)
4 Calibrate halyards, kite controls etc. to get it right on time every time
5 Arrive early knowing the rules and start-line position for the regatta
6 Take fastidious care of the sails, bag when not in use etc.
X-332 Tuning Tips
By Ian Brown (Quantum Sail Design Group)
The X-332 is certainly one of the success stories of the nineties, competitive under IRC and IMS with many One-Design fleets enjoying close racing across Europe. Drawing on the collective experience of some of the most talented sail designers in the world, we have spent the last couple of seasons developing what have proved to be fast and easy to trim sails. Many iterations, hours of sailing and testing, and continuous small refinements have gone into making the sails what they are today. This guide offers some initial suggestions as to how to get the most out of our designs and your boat. As with all tuning guides, this is just that, a guide. This information should not be taken as absolute. It is impossible to sail strictly by the numbers. Trim and tune are dynamic, requiring constant changes to get the most from the boat. It is more important to understand the concepts behind tuning, and the effects of the different controls so that you can learn how to shift gears. Keep an open mind and experiment in changing conditions to determine the right combination for the moment, or simply what works for your sailing style. There is no one way to make your boat go fast. The single most important thing is to recognise when you are slow and to do something about it.
Rig Tune and Basic Set Up
There are three goals to achieve in basic set up:
. Centre the mast in the middle of the boat and ensure that the mast is in column athwartships . Set the correct amount of pre-bend for the conditions. . Have the correct headstay tension for the conditions
Forestay tension and mastbend are the key variables in adapting the rig setup to specific conditions. As with all fractional rigs with swept back spreaders, forestay tension is directly related to shroud tension. The tighter the overall rig, (uppers and lowers), the greater the headstay tension. The other principle to remember is that we want more pre-bend in light air, and less and less as the breeze increases. By starting off with less pre-bend, the mast will not over bend when the backstay is pulled on hard. Conversely, in light air we want headstay sag and do not want to be using too much backstay to get the mainsail set up properly, so more pre-bend is desirable. Many X-332's do not have adjustable forestays. If one can be fitted easily to your boat it will make rig tuning that much easier, but it is not the end of the world if you don't have one. With these points in mind, we recommend the following initial set up procedure.
1. Step the mast and fit the chocks so that the mast is chocked in the centre at the partners.
2. Make up all the standing rigging so that it is hand tight.
3. Centre the mast. Pull the main halyard down to the toerail abreast the chainplates and cleat off. The halyard can then be used to measure to the toerail on the other side of the boat so as to check that the mast is upright in the boat.
4. Check the mast rake. This is done by cleating the genoa halyard off so that the bottom of the snap shackle is level with the top of the black band at the gooseneck. Now swing the halyard to the forestay and mark the forestay where the bottom of the halyard shackle is. The distance from this point to the intersection of forestay and deck should be 2235mm. If you have an adjustable forestay, this is clearly easy to adjust if necessary. Without an adjustable forestay you can only achieve gross refinements by adding or removing toggles. This will give you your median or 'base' mast rake.
5. Wind on the cap shrouds gradually, winding an even number of turns on each side to the point where you might expect the leeward shroud to be just tight when sailing to windward in a force 3. (It is easier to tension the caps if you bend the mast using the backstay or runners on a boat with swept back spreaders). Now release the backstay. Alternatively you can measure the rig tension by using a rod loos guage (the shroud tension should measure 75 using model No RT-10).
6. Wind on the upper diagonals to the point where they are a few turns beyond hand tight, but they should not be excessively tight. Check that the mast is still in column sideways by sighting up the luff groove from the tack position.
7. Wind up the lower diagonals so that they measure 45 on the rod loos guage using model No RT-10. This should pull the bottom panel of the mast aft far enough to make the fore and aft bend a little top end biased. Increased diagonal tension will straighten the mast fore and aft, and should be increased to the point where the pre-bend at rest is approximately 60mm (or to suit the specific mainsail design)
8. Again check that the mast is still straight sideways.
9. Go sailing and check that the spar bends uniformly both fore and aft and sideways, also that the leeward shroud behaves as in 4 above
Note: Once the mast has been set upright in the boat (section 4 above), always add an equal number of turns to port and starboard in subsequent steps. The only exception to this rule is if the diagonals need adjusting to bring the spar back into column.
Pre-bend and mainsail shape
Mainsail shape and conditions will dictate final rig tension. If the mainsail flattens out too quickly (characterised by overbend wrinkles running diagonally from clew to mid-mast), then you need tighter lowers and/or a shorter headstay to reduce bend and make the mainsail fuller. In heavy air you should be able to pull the backstay all the way on just before the overbend wrinkles appear.
If the mainsail is too full for the amount of backstay being used, as characterised by excessive backwinding, or a sail which is 'knuckled' and excessively round at the front, less lower tension and/or a longer headstay is necessary. Once the mast has been set with the correct forestay length and shroud tensions for medium air, these should be regarded as 'base' settings. In light air decrease the tension on the lowers and add headstay length to induce additional pre-bend. Extra pre-bend and softer rig tension will also increase headstay sag creating more power in the genoa, which will also make it easier for the helmsman to 'feel' the boat and stay in the groove.
The uppers should not need to be adjusted providing you have an adjustable forestay. The upper diagonals (D2's) again should not need to be adjusted, but bear in mind that these also act as a control for mast bend. If the sail is too full in the upper sections, they may be too tight, and vice versa.
As a general guideline, in light airs ease the overall rig tension on the forestay and/or decrease the tension on the lowers to induce additional pre-bend. As the breeze builds, increase the overall rig tension to prevent the mast from overbending as the backstay is pulled on.
0-7 knots 8-15 knots 16-22 knots 23+ knots Lower Tension Ease 1 turn Base Base Tighten 2 turns Forestay Tension Ease 3 turns Base Tighten 3 turns Tighten 5 turns from base Cap Shroud Tension 75 on rod loos gauge Mast rake 2205mm
Upwind Trim: Headsails
A basic upwind inventory on the X-332 will consist of an all-purpose No.1 Genoa, and a No.3 Blade jib, but some boats will also carry a Light No.1 and a No.2. Within this guide I will not endeavour to provide tips for each sail, but will consider the basic tools that the trimmer has at his disposal for any headsail.
1. Halyard: The basic rule is to use enough halyard tension to just smooth out the wrinkles in the luff. In light airs it is better to have slightly too little tension than too much. This makes the entry finer which will help with pointing, and will also power up the back of the sail. As the breeze increases, you need to use more halyard tension. This will round up the entry which makes the steering groove wider, and will also flatten the exit of the sail, which in turn de-powers it. Care should be taken with the No.3 jib as insufficient halyard tension and/or excessive forestay sag will result in the sail being 'too round' which produces excess drag causing the boat to heel over. Using lots of halyard tension helps to prevent this. It is vitally important that your jib halyard is marked so that you can easily re-produce fast settings.
2. Sheet Tension: the genoa sheet is perhaps the most important headsail control and must be played constantly, easing to accelerate, trimming to point. Sheet tension will change with every change in wind speed, but the basic premise is to trim as hard as possible without slowing the boat down. Remember speed first, then point. Adjustments are not as frequent in steadier breeze, but the sheet still needs to be adjusted for changes in wave patterns or to duck other boats. Sails can be sheeted harder in flat water than they can be in lumpy seas for the same windspeed. If you are fast sheet harder, if you are slow, try easing it slightly. In light airs the genoa trimmer should be sat to leeward, and should be constantly monitoring the shape of the genoa relative to the speed of the boat. In 2-5kts of breeze, the foot of the sail should be between 50mm and 100mm from the shrouds, with the leech at the first spreader being anything upto 150mm away from the spreader end. Again, as the windspeed increases, so will sheet tension. Do not be afraid to have the foot of the genoa touching the shroud base, but the leech should not ever touch the spreader tips.
3. Lead position: The base setting for the jib lead should apply equal tension to the foot and the leech of the jib. The standard method for determining the median sheet lead position is to head up slowly and watch the luff of the sail. It should luff at about the same time from top to bottom. In the real world the top will break slightly ahead of the bottom. If the top breaks too early, and the bottom of the sail is strapped to the shrouds, then the lead needs to be moved forward. If the foot of the sail is very round and well off the shrouds, while the top is in close to the spreader, the lead should be moved aft.
The lead should be moved aft as the sail is sheeted in harder and operates closer to the top of its range. In light conditions, as the sheet is eased, the lead will need to move forward. A useful rule of thumb is that if you are needing to drop the traveller to keep the boat on its feet, then move the lead aft. Similarly, if the genoa is trimmed in normally, the main has been flattened, and there is still excessive backwinding, move the lead aft. Basically, as you become over powered, move the lead aft, and do not worry if the top tell tales don't fly properly as you open the leech up. If your jib is trimmed so that the whole sail is working, but the mainsail is flogging to keep the boat on its feet, ease the jib. Give away the top of the sail to balance the boat allowing both sails to do some luffing.
4. Forestay Tension: In light conditions you will need more forestay sag to make the genoa fuller and this is achieved through easing the forestay and/or lowers as detailed above. Similarly, in heavy conditions the rig is tightened helping to prevent forestay sag. This de-powers the jib and helps pointing.
Upwind Trim: The Mainsail
Mainsail trim has two primary goals. First, balancing speed versus pointing by controlling the twist or how open the leech of the mainsail is. Second, keeping the right amount of overall power, helping to maintain a constant angle of heel and the right amount of weather helm. This section will address adjustments to mainsheet, traveller, outhaul, halyard, cunningham, vang and backstay.
1. Mainsheet: like the jib sheet, there is no one magic setting for the mainsheet. It should be adjusted continually with each change in wind speed and/or wave pattern. Basically, increasing mainsheet tension reduces twist and tightens the leech, which makes the boat point, but also slows it down. Easing the sheet induces twist, which accelerates air flow across the sail. This allows the boat to bear away and accelerate. Initially, the main should be sheeted until the top batten is parallel to the boom. At this point the top tell tale will be on the verge of stalling but should be flying about half of the time. Once the boat is upto speed, increase sheet tension until the boat starts slowing. Remember, speed first then pointing. The art is to find the delicate balance between speed and pointing, always trying to trim as hard as possible without giving away too much speed.
In light air, the sail will be eased and twisted from the base position. In moderate air the sail will be sheeted hard with the top batten at least parallel. In heavy air the sail should be sheeted as hard as the angle of heel will allow. Bear in mind that in choppy seas, more twist is required to keep the boat moving, and on flat water you need harder leeches for pointing.
2. Traveller: the traveller serves two functions. Firstly, it controls the booms position relative to the centreline of the boat, and secondly it helps to steer the boat by controlling the helm and angle of heel in the puffs and lulls. To position the boom, set the twist with the mainsheet and use the traveller to put the boom on the centreline for maximum power and pointing. In light air the mainsheet will be eased to promote acceleration and keep the leech open and the traveller will be well to windward (200mm-300mm on the X-332) to keep the boom close to the centreline. In moderate conditions small adjustments will be necessary to control helm balance. It is important to dump the traveller quickly when a gust hits and you begin to get over powered, but equally important to pull it back on again as soon as the heel is controlled or the gust has passed. Wait too long and you have missed the opportunity to point once the boat has accelerated. As the wind speed increases the average position of the traveller will be further down the track. In over about 18 knots of breeze you may need to ease a little mainsheet as well. However, before you ease mainsheet in windy conditions you may want to have the vang pulled on hard in order to prevent giving the whole leech away. Think of the traveller as the 'tip meter' once the mainsheet has been set for twist. The traveller should be adjusted with every change in heel or any time the mainsheet is adjusted. The big question is whether to dump traveller or mainsheet in the gusts. Well, both will work. For more subtle changes in wind speed it is probably better to use the traveller to fine tune the helm. This will maintain leech tension and pointing ability. In the big gusts, dumping the mainsheet will get the boat back on its feet more quickly, but be sure to get it back on as soon as possible.
3. Vang: the vang is primarily an offwind control. It takes over the job of pulling down and providing leech tension when the boom is eased out and the mainsheet no longer controls twist. However, upwind in heavy air the vang should be used to help out the mainsheet with the job of pulling down the boom and maintaining leech tension. If the vang is hard on, the mainsheet can be eased in big gusts without giving up the leech too much. In light air make sure the vang is off using only enough tension to stop the boom from bouncing. In heavy air it may be necessary to ease the vang at the weather mark to assist with bearing away. Easing the mainsheet may not be enough.
4. Luff tension (halyard and cunningham): halyard and cunningham both tension the luff. Initial luff tension should be just enough to smooth out the wrinkles in the front of the sail. Leave a few wrinkles in the bottom third of the sail in light to moderate air. As the breeze increases more luff tension is required to prevent the draft in the sail from moving aft. Use the halyard first, and when the sail is at the black band use the cunningham. Do not under estimate the usefulness of the cunningham, it is one of the primary sail controls that many people choose to ignore. As soon as the boat is overpowered start pulling the cunningham on hard upwind. It is easier to adjust and fine tune the cunningham when sailing than the halyard.
5. Outhaul: the outhaul controls the depth in the lower third of the mainsail. If you need more helm and feel, ease the outhaul. Power in the bottom of the main will increase weather helm. In very light airs (less than 5 knots) the outhaul needs to be pulled out fairly hard in order to prevent flow separation in the mainsail. If the sail is too full in light airs it will stall. In 5-12 knots the outhaul can be eased slightly to increase power. Once the boat is fully powered with all the crew hiking (normally about 10-12 knots of wind) the outhaul should be maxed out. The outhaul should not be eased much when running, the object is maximum projected area. The outhaul should be eased however when reaching (unless you are over powered). Make sure that you have the outhaul calibrated so that you can repeat known fast settings (make sure all sail controls are calibrated for the same reason!)
6. Backstay: backstay tension does two things. Firstly, as the mast bends the upper two thirds of the mainsail flattens out and the leech opens up, thus de-powering the sail. Secondly, the headstay gets tighter (providing you have set up the pre-bend correctly to prevent over-bending), which prevents headstay sag, which in turn prevents the jib from getting too full as the breeze increases.
Broadly speaking as the breeze increases you will need more and more backstay. However, even in very light airs you may need to use a little backstay in order to help the mainsail leech to stay open. Since adjusting the backstay has a large and immediate effect on mainsail leech tension, main sheet tension needs to be adjusted at the same time. Bending the mast opens the leech, so you will need to add mainsheet as you add backstay, and ease mainsheet as you let the backstay off. You will also need to adjust the traveller accordingly.
The key to running effectively is to project as much area to windward as possible away from the mainsail, thus facilitating sailing deep. Do not get pre-occupied with having the clews at the same height as depicted by most sailing guides. You should start by altering the pole height so that the luff of the sail isn't breaking too high or too low. You should then set the leech accordingly by using the tweaker lines. Pulling the tweakers on will stabilise the spinnaker when it is windy but don't overdo it or the sail will stall. Use the centre seam as a guide to trim, which should be approximately perpendicular to the horizon. If it feels right it probably is right. The main thing when sailing downwind is to make sure the spinnaker is pressured up all the time. The trimmer and helmsman should be talking to each other continually so that the helmsman can get the boat really low when he has pressure and he doesn't sail too high when he needs more pressure. Twisting the mainsail will also help you get deep, but at the same time it will make the boat more unstable and less forgiving. Be prepared to adjust the vang continually downwind and sail where you are comfortable. Sailing downwind is at least as tactical as sailing upwind with huge gains to be made by sailing at the right angles on the right shifts. If you tack on shifts going upwind you should gybe on them going downwind.
The crew should be well forward in light air, gradually moving aft and to weather as the breeze builds. The boat should ideally be heeled slightly to weather when going downwind which helps to project the spinnaker and helps the boat to drive off in the puffs. Weight should be shifted to stabilise the boat and promote surfing in heavy air. When it is breezy all the crew should be well aft, with one person being allocated as 'vang man' to de-power and power up the main as necessary.
1. Crew weight upwind: sail with a constant angle of heel, and with as little weather helm as you can stand. Generally this will mean sailing as flat as possible. In light air the weight should be to leeward and forward to induce feel and helm. In less than 5 knots of breeze it pays to put a couple of crew members down below particularly in sloppy conditions when it will help prevent pitching. Once the boat is powered up all the crew should be hiking hard and be bunched together around the maximum beam. Again keeping the crew weight together helps to reduce pitching.
2. The backstay should be upgraded from that supplied as standard. A cascade system can achieve 32:1 and should be led through the transom drainage holes, along the cockpit floor and then either side to the mainsheet trimmer for ready access.
3. Similarly, the mainsheet and traveller system should ideally be upgraded from that as supplied by X-Yachts, with the new system incorporating a fine tune multi-purchase. This means that there is more rope in the cockpit, and this will require good housekeeping by the mainsheet trimmer, but ultimately it will pay dividends. Choice of hardware is optional, though Frederiksen provide a neat 'out of the box' solution.
4. Remove all unnecessary items of kit from the boat. Encourage the crew to bring only what they are going to wear. You don't need to have a pair of boots and a pair of shoes on the boat for example. Stow any spare kit, fenders etc over the keel.
5. Make sure the bottom is clean and smooth. If the boat is anti-fouled, this should be rubbed flat with increasingly fine wet and dry paper. Do not under estimate how detrimental even a little bit of slime or weed can be to boatspeed. Being conservative we might say that having a dirty bottom will slow you down by 0.2 of a knot. This doesn't sound much but it equates to 400 yards an hour. In a two hour race this is nearly half a mile!
6. Make sure that all sail controls are visibly calibrated so that you can repeat known fast settings. This includes halyards and sheets.
7. Similarly, put marks on the spinnaker pole controls so that you can pre-set it accurately before hoisting.
8. Put a cover over the jib halyard at the point where it goes through the jammer. Maintaining halyard tension is vital when it is windy and most halyards will gradually slip as you progress upwind.
9. Keep an open mind and do not be afraid to experiment. Perhaps the most important point to recognise is when you are slow, and then to do something about it!
10. Have fun!
Quantum Sails GBR
X-332 Rig Tuning Guide
by Jeremy Smart - Copyright © 2003 - Permission to publish granted North Sails UK Ltd. Tel: 023 9252 5588 http://www.northsails.co.uk/sails/x332/x332sails.html
This short article will outline how to ensure that your X-332 rig is correctly tuned for your North Sails However the basic principles outlined can be applied to virtually any fractional rigged yacht with two swept back spreaders.
Ensuring that your rig is correctly tuned is essential to success on the race course. Poorly tuned rigs are slow, the boat will point lower, make more leeway and will be unrewarding to steer.
If your rig is tuned correctly the results can be dramatic the extra performance through faster acceleration and higher average speeds will give you more options of the race track which in turn will make for a much happier crew and better final results. The old adage 'Boat speed makes you a tactical genius' is very true.
1.Straighten the mast side to side.
First check your partners are central. Then ensure that the boat is upright and the wind is light as this will make the job much easier.
Lightly tension the cap shrouds so that they are hand tight, please remember that at this stage the mast chocks should not be inserted and the D1's and D2's should be completely slack.
The best way to ensure that the mast is straight in the middle of the boat is to use the genoa halyard as a guide. By taking the genoa halyard down to exactly the same point on the toerail either side and ensuring that the measurements you get are the same for both sides you can guarantee the mast is centred. It is essential that you make sure you are measuring to exactly the same point both sides.
Gradually apply tension to either cap shroud putting an even amount of turns on both sides, at this stage do not fully tighten the caps as we will firstly set the mast rake.
2. Mast Rake.
The standard X-332 has a fixed length forestay with either a Facnor of Profurl furling system, this is obviously not ideal when racing for two reasons. Firstly the furling systems add extra weight in a part of the boat where this is not desirable, and secondly it is virtually impossible to adjust the mast rake with this system.
Most the keen racers have changed this system for a Tuff Luff with an adjustable bottle screw, this system is lighter and more aerodynamic than the furling systems and offers the benefit of being able to easily adjust the mast rake.
Your mast rake should be measured using the following method. Take your genoa halyard and cleat it off with the bottom of the shackle just touching the top of the red band at the gooseneck. Keep the halyard cleated off and swing the halyard in an arc towards the forestay, you should then make a mark at the base of the shackle.
The distance from this mark measured along the forestay to deck level should be 2255mm.
3. Insert the Mast Chocks
The mast should be chocked about two thirds back, which should have the mast just leaning forwards below deck.
When inserting your chocks you should insert the aft chock first and then rig a rope above deck level to a sheet winch and compress the wedge so that you can insert your forward chocks.
Preferable to mast chocks would be Spartite as this creates a better seal with the mast providing improved all round support.
4. Tension the Cap Shrouds.
The X-332 rig needs plenty of tension on the cap shrouds to ensure that you do not have excessive forestay sag.
You should now wind the cap shrouds on evenly both sides, you will find it very hard to apply too much tension! You should use your halyard check to ensure that the mast is centred in the middle of the boat. The accuracy of this system is greatly improved if you put one of your crew in a bosuns chair and hang them off the halyard, this way you can be sure that you are applying even tension to both sides.
5. Set the Pre Bend
At the moment you will have lots of bend in the mast owing to the high tensions on the Cap shrouds combined with the aft swept spreaders.
You now need to take some of this bend out until you have a pre bend of approximately 80mm. By evenly tightening your D1's and D2's you will gradually reduce the amount of pre bend in the rig, you should continue to tighten these until you reach the desired amount of pre bend. While this is being done you should occasionally sight up the mast track to ensure that the mast is remaining in column.
A good method of checking the pre bend is to attach the main halyard to the gooseneck fitting and then use this as a straight-line gauge to estimate the pre-bend. If you measure your mast width you can gauge the bend fairly accurately in relation to the width of the mast.(i.e mast is 16cm wide and the pre bend is approximately half the thickness of the mast, so the pre bend is approx 80mm).
6. Go Sailing.
You should now go sailing in a force 3-4 and check that the mast remains in column and bends uniformly when under load.
7. Pre Bend Adjustments.
Many boats just run a median setting and use this in all conditions and never adjust their rig to suit the conditions. If you have an adjustable forestay it is very easy for you to make quick alterations to your set up to suit the conditions of the day.
In lighter airs you want a more pre bent rig with a softer headstay so that you do not need to use too much backstay to get the mainsail to the correct shape, backstay tension would make the headstay too hard which is not ideal in light airs. In strong winds the whole rig needs to be straighter and tighter so that the headstay does not sag off and that maximum backstay can be applied before over bend creases start to appear.
To adjust your pre-bend the vital control is your forestay tension as this is directly linked to the overall rig tension. The other controls like lowers and caps may also need to be adjusted but not nearly as much! The D 2's should not need to be touched unless you feel that the mainsail is too full or flat in the upper sections then they could be adjusted accordingly.
Quick adjustments guide
|True Wind||Sail||Headstay||Caps||Lowers||D 2's|
|0-4||Light||-5 turns||-1||-2 turns||Base|
|4-10||Light/Med||-3 turns||Base||-1 turn||Base|
|15-21||No 2||+3 turns||Base||+1 turn||Base|
|21 +||No 3||+5 turns||+1 turn||+2 turns||Base