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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:30 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:02 am
Posts: 318
Location: Cape Coral, FL

I've read some sailing books and they suggest adjusting the downhaul according to sailing directions and weather conditions. Loose downwind, some tension when reaching in medium weather, and taunt in heavy winds.
So I have some questions for the community...

How tight is your downhaul? Is it so tight you have a big luff in the luff of the sail? Is it just tight enough to aid in furling? Did you even install it? My dealer didn't.

Do you adjust your downhaul while sailing? Before leaving the launch according to conditions?

I removed the stock line Hobie uses and replaced it with 3mm spectra cord. I can get a three to one mechanical advantage with it.



2011 Golden Papaya TI with a 250 square foot spinnaker!
also a more manageable 100 square foot spinny...
the TI3 rear ama mod

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:38 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:07 pm
Posts: 169

Re how tight - the rule of thumb is fully rig your boat, unfurl sail and pull mainsheet on firmly, now tighten your downhaul to remove wrinkles in sail as best you can. If you're good you will release pressure on downhaul and battens after every sail, I'm not good and leave the tension on.

No I don't adjust while sailing, although a minor increase in performance may occur if you loosened downwind.

Re multi purchase - I wouldn't recommend it as you will stretch sail without performance improvement.

AI's are great "fun" boats if you want performance and string tweekers get a racing boat. Lot's of times the time spent playing with strings would be better spent sailing the boat effeciently.

Happy sailing

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:38 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 3066
Location: Kailua 96734
I would agree with that. The slack should be removed but there's little point in over-tightening our small sails. I make mine taught, knowing that there will be stretching, and forget about it.

As far as adjusting on the fly, this could cause more harm than good. Conditions and courses change frequently. Most folks use just the downhaul cleat and if that pops loose on the water, it's a real mess. You end up with a full sail and no way to furl it except by hand. You might be able to handle it with your direct tied approach though.

Aside from furling, it seems that bungees, barbers and flexibooms are reasonable ways to trim our sails without introducing new problems. For most of us anyway.

Adjusting the dagger, using the pedals or shifting your sailing position also make a big difference.

The Wind Is Your Friend... Friends Can Be Fickle

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:49 am 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:35 am
Posts: 53
Location: Canberra, Australia
What is the downhaul for?

The purpose of the down haul is to shift the position of maximum draft (the belly of the sail) forward and aft. The more wind, the harder you sheet the sail, the more the mast bends (aft & sideways), and the further aft (towards the back of the sail) the maximum depth of the sail moves. This affects upwind sailing performance (height & power). By pulling down on the downhaul, you move the draft forward to maintain the performance of the sail for sailing upwind. Yes, easing off the downhaul whilst sailing downwind marginally improves performance, but if you're not racing, it's not worth worrying about.

So how much tension? I suggest; in light winds (0-10kts) - no downhaul (you will see wrinkles); medium wind (10-15kts) - enough downhill to remove the wrinkles, heavy winds (15kts+) pull down hard. Just remember to ease off the downhaul when you have finished at the end of the day & your sail will last for many years. (P.S. the same rules apply for the sail battens).


2011 Hobie TI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:41 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:55 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Burbank, Ca
Because I sail in very different conditions I have it set and leave it alone.

I sail on a few large lakes but generally very off-shore ocean. 2-12 km+
Mine is as tight as possible all the time. (No wrinkles in no wind) Yes, performance may suffer and the sail might not last as long. No worries.
I play and trim as allowed with my settings but still wave "good-bye" to most others as I over take and pass.

To this day I still love the question: "What the hell is that?" Last asked passing a chartered Beneteau like it was parked but was motoring

Mark AKA: River
2011 AI in Red Hibiscus
Lowrance Elite 4, W Gold card
Garmin GPS 78
Standard Horizon HX 751
2 12V 700ma batteries in Parallel
Solar charging
Ritchie Compass
14 days of electronics easy

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