Ship inspection: 18 ways to improve yachts-Yacht Monthly

2021-12-08 08:15:22 By : Ms. Forest Lyu

Does your ship make the weather rudder bother you, or is she better in one direction than the other? Toby Heppell explains how to solve these problems with proper marine equipment settings

Sailing with another ship of the same class can reveal the difference in how your ship sails.

Ship inspection: 18 ways to improve your yacht

Have you ever wondered why your boat is better in one direction and sails faster than the other? Or find that the helm is still light in some situations, but has its own ideas in other situations?

The answer to these and many other small questions related to the maneuvering of your ship may lie in how you set up your ship’s rig.

Setting up the rigging of a ship seems to be a complicated task.

Each piece of rigging has a significantly different effect on the balance, feel, and response of the boat, and each setting change will have a chain reaction, which means that one adjustment will usually cause other settings to be incorrect.

Therefore, many of us often just set and forget our rigging settings.

For example, when was the last time you considered shield tension?

Aiming at the mast track will show if the mast is straight. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

I bet it's not recently, unless you notice that your shield has become slack in situations where it usually doesn't.

However, the correct setting of your boat equipment can have a major impact on how your yacht sails, regardless of whether it can be steered in inclement weather or whether it can move on in light winds.

Get it right and sailing will be more interesting.

Before switching to keelboat racing, I had been participating in international sailing competitions in small boats when I was young.

In these two sports, tracking the equipment settings of the boat with tiny details is the main part of this sport.

When I entered the world of cruising fun, I was surprised to find that so many people barely touched their ship equipment settings year after year, let alone from morning to afternoon.

Over the years, I have participated in a lot of keel boat competitions and tested many new yachts for magazines, my obsession with knowing numbers has not disappeared, and it is still one of the first places I might hope to see when the boat sails not as good as mine.

This theme seems endless, but some simple concepts can make a ship that feels like a dream sailing and feel like a pig completely different.

This is the list I checked when I first started setting up the equipment of the ship.

Changes in the forward tilt of the mast will affect the balance of the rudder.

The greater the angle at which the mast is tilted backwards (adding a rake), the more weather you will experience at the helm.

By moving the center of force of the sail forward relative to the center of lateral resistance of the keel, making the mast upright can reduce the weather rudder.

However, completely removing the weather rudder makes the boat feel unresponsive and is not conducive to pointing.

Changing the number of rakes may be as simple as adjusting the front and back braces, but it may involve moving the mast steps on some ships.

The purpose of the rake adjustment is to have enough rakes to provide some weather rudder in light air, but not too much so that in strong winds-when the weather rudder increases-it becomes too obvious.

When was the last time you adjusted your rigging? Credit: Colin Jobs

You want to aim at a weather rudder of approximately 3-5°.

It is worthwhile to adjust the rake according to the conditions.

Adding a rake when the wind is at the top helps the mainsail and jib to reduce power, allowing air to more easily leave the top of the leech on the sail-often referred to as the "fourth corner" in the racing world.

This is combined with the back brace and Cunningham opening leeches, working together to reduce power.

This is a slightly tricky concept, because in theory moving the rake backwards should increase the weather rudder, but the benefit by reducing the power of the mainsail is such a net gain (reduce heeling and leeward drift, and the ship wants to wrap around the keel) Refuted this.

This is a key reason why it is important to increase the rear stay tension in strong winds-it tilts the mast, reduces the power of the mainsail and tightens the luffing of the headsail.

If your rake is easy to adjust and does not involve the steps of changing the mast, it may be worthwhile to adjust based on the conditions, but for most cruisers, once the correct rake setting is found, it is easier to keep it the same.

Pre-bending is achieved by a combination of compression (by increasing the rig tension) and adding mast blocks to the mast ring on the keel stepped mast, or by tensioning the baby brace.

Modern partial rigs on lighter ships will generally use more pre-bending, perhaps a few inches, than mast-top rigs with large overlapping foresails, where the pre-bending will be very slight, perhaps one inch.

Pre-bending is the amount of mast bending, usually caused by rig tension-it should match the pitch curve of the mainsail. Credit: Maxine Heath

This can be easily measured by connecting the main rope to the bottom of the mast, tightening it, and then viewing the bending characteristics.

If your mainsail is tired and starts to get too deep, consider adding a little pre-bend.

It’s worth noting that doing this with a tired mainsail will exacerbate another age problem—draft wriggling around the stern—but in general, this is a good solution.

In terms of setup, the masthead rig is the easiest option, although this simplicity does provide limited adjustment options.

When the heel is at 15°, check that the leeward shield is still tight, and use a baby support to increase the degree of curvature if needed. Credit: Graham Snook

First, you want to make sure that your mast is upright and from side to side.

A tape measure on the mast, or simply using a rope, connected to each shield base in turn, will quickly show any difference.

Adjust the bottle screw until the mast is straight.

You need to make sure that the upper shield feels firm to the touch.

If they feel loose, tighten them equally on each side to keep the mast straight.

Tensiometer is a very good investment, it can give you a good understanding of the kind of rig tension that you can bear.

The boat and mast-specific tension level can be obtained from your mast or boat manufacturer. These will vary depending on the size of the rig.

A common suggestion is to wrap the shield around your hand by hand, and then use a wrench to increase a little tension.

Be careful not to over tighten, as this may peel off the turnbuckle.

It is also worthwhile to proceed with caution at first, because you can tighten the rig at any time while sailing against the wind.

Too loose rigging can cause it to pant and jump in the waves, causing fatigue.

Generally, you can reach but never exceed 20% of the rigging line breaking load.

It is important to tighten all middle pieces and lower them evenly on each side, often aiming at the back of the mast to make sure it stays straight.

This is the initial setting, the mast is centered and straight, and all shields are firm.

When you tighten the front and rear struts, the mast should remain straight from the left to the right.

Once you have locked this basic setting, when you next sail in the breeze, drive upwind and remove the slack from the upper shield on the leeward side (and count your turns so you can copy another tack The amount).

Secure, then tighten the other upper by the same amount.

Keeping your work on the leeward side shield ensures that you will not peel off the turnbuckle by reducing the tension on the rigging.

The rig tensiometer will ensure that you do not over tighten the rigging. Credit: Graham Snook

Once the leeward upper is tightened, look up at the mast on each tack to check for side bends.

If the middle sags to the downwind, please tighten the lower part.

If the top seems to fall off in the downward wind direction, it may pop out in the windward direction in the middle; either loosen the lower part or tighten the upper part.

A tight lower part and a loose upper part can cause the mast top to fall off.

Proper tension will make the leeward upper shield tighten with a 15º heel.

The uppers should be tighter than the uppers; because they are longer, they have more load and more stretch.

Check the rig regularly, especially after sailing in high winds.

Look for stretched and tight lower parts of the upper, which may overload the upper spreader.

Masthead rig, showing a small amount of pre-bending. Credit: Colin Jobs

The back brace will bend the mast by compressing and tightening the front brace.

Using a stiff mast, the tension of the back brace is transformed into the tension of the front brace, which controls the degree of the front brace and the front sail to sag in the downward wind direction.

If you do have a baby stay, you can use it to increase the degree of curvature. The back support also helps with bending, especially when it is started by a baby support.

The procedure for adjusting part of the rig is slightly different from that of the mast top rig.

There are many configurations of fractional rigs, so it is difficult to generalize.

The most common type of drilling rig on modern cruise ships is the swept-back spreader.

Back support tension will help reduce front sagging, which will hinder pointing

In terms of setup and flexibility, the split rig with a straight spreader is between the masthead and the split rig.

Sweep-back spreader means that the adjustment of the shield will affect tilt, side bend, pre-bend, sag and mast bend.

In most cases, the spreader sweep will be fixed on most ships, and their angle (if adjustable) is a level of complexity that most of us don't need to worry about.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure the mast is centered and stands vertically.

If you tighten the rear brace on the masthead rig but still have the leading edge sag, you may need to tighten the lower brace. Credit: Graham Snook

This can be done by removing the main rope and measuring down to the same point on both sides of the boat to check if it is centered.

Use a spirit level to check if it is vertical.

Then, in the case of lowering, fully pull up the rear strut.

Tighten the upper guard to center the rig and straighten the mast from side to side.

If the mast tends to bend sideways, relax the rear brace slightly.

Loosen the back support. There will still be some bending in the mast.

Tighten the lower part as needed to eliminate bending to match your mainsail.

You can give a good indication of the luff curve by placing the sail on a flat floor, drawing a straight edge (or a rope) from the head to the mainsail tack and measuring the difference along its length.

This actually measures a little luff circle (cut into the shape of the sail by sticking), but it is close enough.

The rig is now adjusted to the maximum head support tension. The additional back brace tension will bend the mast and add some head brace tension.

To make the mast easier to bend, loosen the lower part. In order to make the back brace tension affect the head brace tension as much as possible, please tighten the lower brace.

In the wind or wind, the top of the mast will fall off in the leeward direction, and the middle will bend toward the weather.

Compared with forward and backward bending, this side bending can reduce the power of the drilling rig to a greater extent.

Relaxing lowering may reduce side bending, but it will allow more head support sag and front and rear mast bending.

In a perfect world, we adjust the shield every time we sail to achieve proper mast bending and head support sag characteristics under different conditions.

But in reality, this will not be what anyone wants or can do.

Therefore, assuming that we are more inclined to lower the reef earlier when cruising, the goal is to set a setting that slightly reduces bending, and therefore more power mast and rig settings.

Pointing is not important, moving is. Therefore, the main thing you look for in light conditions is to increase the depth of the sail.

Relaxing the back brace will straighten the mast and make the mainsail a little deeper.

When you apply more backrest tension, pull on Cunningham to prevent the draught caused by the heel from moving too far back. Credit: Colin Jobs

It will also increase the droop of the leading edge and allow the fore sail to be powered up.

Both of these situations mean that the distance you point to the wind will become smaller, but you will only lose about one degree, and the increase in speed will be enough to make up for it.

By moving the Genoese car forward and relaxing the canvas, relaxing the halyard and overhaul will give the sail enough twist and depth, then bring the boom to the windward part of the centerline and relax the main canvas and canvas, or leave it in the center On-line and tow, if you have one, on the top lift.

Tighten the halyard and overhaul and flatten the sail. In addition, for the main, back support and main board tension are used.

"When you enter moderate wind conditions, bending the mast is what you are after," explained Bill Gladstone from Beifan.

Relieve the tension of the back support and make the sail more complete. Credit: Graham Snook

'When you bend the mast, three things happen. First, as the mast advances forward, the sail becomes flatter. The second is that you increase the distortion, and the third is that the draft moves backward. When you bend the mast to maintain the same twisted profile, you may need to adjust the main board and then pull up more halyards or lower for repairs.

'In Genoa, move the car back a few notches and add some tension to the sheets, but don't let the leeches touch the spreader. If the wind is strong, tighten everything further until you reach the maximum tension, external pull, and back support. Make sure that the leeches are not hooked, as this will also cause the forest to droop.

You need rocks. In theory, adding a mast harrow will help reduce the weather rudder and make the boat stand better.

When the boat moves backwards, the balance point moves backwards, but the driving force of the mainsail will be reduced. Due to the twisting, you are reducing the effect of the complete headsail overwhelming the mainsail that has lost power.

Pulling on the rear brace will bend the mast and flatten the sail. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

This is the theory, but without easy adjustment of the mast harrow, reefing is an easier option.

Since the direction may depend on the mainsail maintaining proper leech tension, it is easier to maintain good directivity for the boat than a mainsail without sufficient leech tension.

When sailing downwind, we essentially want the mainsail to be as full as possible.

Eliminating the tension on the rear cable is a good way to straighten the mast and make the sail deeper.

Freeing from your ropes also helps.

A straighter mast will provide a more complete sail at a farther draught. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

Relaxing the downwind back brace also has the added benefit of moving the rig further forward, thereby reducing the tension of the headsail and increasing the depth of Genoa (or the spinnaker you are flying).

However, if you are using a cruise slide (and therefore will not sail down the wind completely), it may be worth maintaining a certain degree of back support tension to increase the pull of the slide and help it fly more efficiently.

The most noticeable problem caused by incorrect settings of your rig is that the performance of the boat varies from head to head, which can cause a lot of headaches and irritation.

A large number of variables, such as wind strength, direction, and tides, can be difficult to find.

Pay attention to ship speed and wind angle. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

Usually, the problem will appear in many different ways.

It may be that you cannot make the same angle on one tack as on the other tack, or the speed of each tack in the water is different (remember to check if your paddle wheel is offset).

With the passage of time and the accumulation of experience, this "bad habit" intuition will gradually form.

You might imagine a yacht built by a professional shipyard using modern construction techniques means everything is in line, so the possible cause of the chain plate position is ruled out, but it is worth checking.

You may be surprised how big the difference between the left and right positions is.

It is not a problem to measure from the bow and center line to check the chain plate position. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

The difference does not mean that your boat is useless or in need of repair, but it means that you can trim your sails in different ways to address the characteristics of your boat.

To check, attach a tape measure or anything else that will not stretch to the front, and then move it back to the base of each shield. Are they the same distance from the forest?

Next, measure the distance between the two shields and halve it to find the centerline, and then run the tape measure vertically from the centerline to the bottom of each shield.

The distance should be the same.

If not, and you have a keel stepped mast, you can center it with the bearing housing the next time you step on it again.

When you roll away some Genoa, you need to move your Genoa car forward to control the leeches.

You may notice that the lower windmill is now a certain number of holes away from the front of the track, and the windmill is moved to match, but if the track is positioned asymmetrically, or you have a different type of track facing the wind, this is not the case.

Check your Genoese car reference point by taking measurements from Genoese tack or bow. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

Measure from the front end to the front end of each Genoa orbit.

A little weather rudder can help the boat point and tell you when it is in the groove.

Too much, the rudder will slow you down.

Setting the correct number of sails can reduce the weather rudder.

If weather rudder is an issue, check your leech tension. Credit: Graham Snook

If it still exists, check your boat.

The center of force of the sail should be behind the center of lateral resistance.

The farther back, the more weather-resistant the steering gear is.

On a basic level, moving the mast forward, by moving the mast forward one step, or reducing the forward inclination angle by relaxing the rear brace and tightening the front brace, will bring the two points closer.

However, pulling the back brace will flatten the main rod and open the extractor, releasing the power and moving the force center forward.

Inducing the mast to bend, with a shield or the baby to maintain tension, will also reduce the power of the main mast.

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Moving the mast further forward may reduce the weather rudder, but doing so by relaxing the back brace will have the knock-on effect of starting the mainsail, thereby increasing the weather rudder.

To reduce this, please stand the mast upright with shorts or mast steps, but increase the curvature of the mast with a rear brace to reduce the power of the mainsail.

You can check whether your mast is straight by checking the mast in the previous setting information we introduced.

Check if it is also vertical and the pre-bend setting has not changed.

The main cable pulled to each chain plate will give a good indication of whether the mast is upright. Credit: Leicester McCarthy

Newly installed rigging or reinstalled rigging does take some time to adapt and can be carried out at different speeds.

If you stepped on the mast at the beginning of the season, it may change over time and now offers you an asymmetrical setting.

Some insurance policies insist on replacing the rigging every 10 years, while others are satisfied with professional rig inspections.

If you want to change the rigging, you will be faced with the choice between choosing the cheapest option or upgrading to an option that provides you with better performance.

The key feature is the stretch of the rigging. The drooping rigging will cause the mast to bend more than it should, prevent the bag from moving leeward, and have less control over the shape of the mainsail.

Wire is still the main choice for most of us, but you can choose from three different types:

In the case of regular inspections, the life expectancy of these three is very good, 7-20 years or 15-25k nautical miles, depending on the use and region.

"Wire does have its advantages," said Gordon Bonnay of Performance Rigging.

The 7×19 line is the most flexible, but now it is only used for running rigging

'The most important thing the wire does for it is that it will advertise its failure. A wire usually pops out, and once you see it, you know that the wire is damaged.

Rod rigging has also been around for a long time. It has low tensile properties, long service life and minimum breaking strength beyond its corresponding wire.

1×19 wires are standard on many cruise ships

"Basically, the reason for the problem with the rod rigging is that the hydraulic connection fitting fails, forcing the rod to change into a different shape, or it is repeatedly pulled out of the wire," Bonnay explained.

Due to the design (single strand) and alloy composition make it very resistant to corrosion, the rod rigging has an extremely long life expectancy.

The compact dyform wire is stronger, lighter and less stretchable

However, it does need to implement a deeper service agreement within the recommended time interval, which includes loosening the mast to check and re-head as needed.

Therefore, the tie rod obviously has better performance, but its high cost and maintenance requirements are unaffordable for most cruisers.

They may seem trivial, but a properly installed split pin can save your mast.

Without them, the bottle screw and clevis pin will loosen and you will lose a lot.

Use the largest split pin that fits the hole, fill any space with a stainless steel washer, insert the pin, unfold its legs into an anchor shape, and fix it with tape or a ball of silicone to prevent hooking on clothes, sails or skin.

It is never a good idea to fix the mooring rope to the base of the shield because loading will deform the rigging toggle and weaken the bottle screw, causing uneven loading and increasing the chance of failure due to fatigue.

If there is no splint at hand, please use a Genoa car, winch or padeyes instead.

The break of the thin wire in the terminal can cause the rig to malfunction. It's time for a new rigging. Credit Graham Snook

For vertical rigging, inspect the top of the forging and look for any broken wires.

If you find some, replace the shield and its opposite side.

Make sure the lead on the drum is fair and there are no friction points.

If it looks tired, please replace it.

Keep in mind that if the rope breaks when retracted on a windy day, you will have too much sailing in this case and the load will be critical.

The winding line and reel are the key parts of the rig to be inspected

In addition, check the grub screws on the collar at the intersection of the drum and the luffing tube.

During the tack process, the front will shake violently, and these flat head screws are easy to loosen.

Just as a broken retraction line will make your sail too much, losing a few mainsail track sliders or tearing off the mainsail's bolt will cause the sail to bulge in the downward wind.

Within a few seconds, the wind can blow off other sails, leaving you with a spinnaker where the original mainsail was.

Check if the mast and sail fasteners are tight, if you have any questions, please consider repairing them.

The struts of the stepless mast are not under tension, which means that the broken strands may crawl back into the profile and appear to have no problems.

It is worth seeing when the masthead rigging attachment is under load. Credit: Graham Snook

Once a season, send a rigger on the heights.

They can check for broken strands on the top of the shield, cracks in the terminals, or masts around the terminal fittings, and make sure that your shackles are properly buckled and your pulleys are in good condition.

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