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Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:54 pm
by george
At the worlds there was discussion of using the rules to encourage our ability to race in 25kts+.
Has the discussion moved on at all?
Hopefully the Hoff's stump will be out more this year - first impressions were good though.

Re: 25kts

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:52 am
by Hendo
The talk was to allow two mainsails , how this would be governed who knows. the problem is the currant rigs are not set up for this very well.
the B6 rig is perfect for this with constant curve for a luff curve, drop in a reef and your good to go.

Re: 25kts

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:54 pm
by joe.bersch
The photo Hendo posted above (courtesy digitalimagesuk) shows the B6 with the main down about 10 inches. This was not intentional at the time and did not prove fast with our vang and cunnham at the max of their throw! It does, however, show how easy the rig would adapt to a reef. Before we can do so, we need to reinforce the sail track at the new head position. We will begin testing this configuration soon to the extent southern California gives us some meaningful test conditions. Otherwise, real testing will have to wait til the Gorge this summer.

Like the stump rig, a reef configuration requires no rule change. Unlike the stump, we hope it will be able to be put in and taken out on the water. Whether the reef will make sailing in 25 knots appreciably easier or faster remains to be seen. Adding a smaller jib to the mix might also be necessary.

I agree we need to expand the wind range of the boat with certain limitations ($, complexity, rules, etc.) I want to emphasize, however, that I don't think there is a big difference between the 14 and the 49er like many suggest. Many of the top 14 and 49er teams can sail in 25 knots. Your average 14 and 49er teams can not. The 49er teams sailing in Weymouth while the 14 worlds fleet was on the beach were not average teams, they were some of the best in the world training for the Olympics. There is also a big difference between two boats tuning and running a 75 boat worlds.Maybe if we were younger and sailed 250 days a year and ...

Re: 25kts

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:26 am
by Andrew P

with the reef in a full height mast did you notice any deficit in down hill speed or depth?

The traditional issue has been getting hammered downwind by the full rig boats. The 18's proved it again in the JJ between the big rig and the small rig down hill.

Interested to see what the impact would be on the kite as the mainsail has a big impact on the flow through the kite slot and if its not there the twist in the head might need to be very different or the head might be loaded up more with higher drag as a consequence.


Re: 25kts

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:12 am
by joe.bersch

As always, you contribute thoughtful input. Thanks.

Day 2 at the Worlds, we did not seem slow going downhill. We passed many boats downwind every leg. On the other hand our main came down in the first race with about one minute to go and in the second race after our first tack off the line. After lashing our halyard in place with our main down we had no cunno or vang. After trying to sort out our dropped halyard and with no vang or cunno we were not realistically in touch with the top boats to make a real meaningful comparison of either upwind or downwind speed. While there was no apparent suffering, we had two finishes in the teens and twenties as I recall.

You raise an interesting question about the slotting effect when going downwind. We are only planning to lower the head 10-12" so I would be surprised if there is a measurable effect from this. We are, however, going to take more out of the leech to compensate for additonal rake in the breeze. I think this is where the majority of the area will be reduced.

We welcome any input you or others have and will report our results as soon as we know something conclusive.


Re: 25kts

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:17 am
by mcghan
Will you have to make the top of the mast any stronger/heavier to handle the kite loads in breeze? I was under the impression that it was supported by the mainsail.

Re: 25kts

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:27 pm
by joe.bersch
The new mast should be plenty strong. The head will only be lowered about 12". The new high modules tube is larger diameter and stiffer than the other rigs. The only reinforcement we will need to make is to insure the sail track doesn't pull off the mast since the head load will no longer be held into the mast at the mast head. We will glue a small reinforcement to support the track. We will let you know how it goes.

Re: 25kts

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:55 pm
by dominicve
Alternative system to hold main into the mast at the head (explained to me by Kimball at the I14 ski trip, but maybe also used by other 14ers with new reefing mains):

Attach strop to head of sail, with bobble at about 25cm (=mast diameter) away. Pass strop around mast & under itself (so it holds the head onto the mast, but the bobble prevents it from tightening around the mast, and up to the halyard-release at the top of the mast. When the halyard-release is triggered, the strop is free to unwind & the sail can be lowered past the spreaders.

Obviously this system won't directly work with a full-length halyard, though.


Re: 25kts

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:10 pm
by Ed Clay
So stuff has been happening on this. Here is an email that I sent to the World Council just now - but I would welcome comments from everyone. Ed

Hi All

Hope you are all having (or have had) a good season.

During Weymouth there was a lot of talk about how we could increase the wind range that 14 races can be sailed in. The UK said we would go away and think if there was any potential rule changes that might help with this. It's taken a long time but we have now got a draft rule.

To give you an idea of how we got here
- I put together the attached document looking at some of the possible options - ... OtGeQ/edit
- There was a discussion at the UK AGM and an informal non binding vote about some of the possible options
  • Do we put an upper wind speed limit into the rules? 75% agree, 25% disagree
    - Do we allow more sails at championships? 80% agree, 20% disagree
    - Do we control the size of any additional sails? 20% agree, 80% against
    - Do we mandate a wind strength at which the extra sails must be used? 10% agree, 90% against
- Some people in the UK tried a few things in the wind over the winter - Reefed sails (also seen in the States), George's stumping rig and smaller mains with less roach and area (some of them cut from older mains)
- From this a sub-committee was put together to come up with wording for the rule

So what are the draft proposed changes?

1) Change 17, e,i from
Sails. Each boat, irrespective of owner, shall have for use not more than one (1) mainsail, two (2) headsails and one (1) spinnaker for use during any one regatta.


Sails. Each boat, irrespective of owner, shall have for use not more than two (2) mainsaisl, two (2) headsails and one (1) spinnaker for use during any one regatta.

2) Add an Event Rules section at the end of the rules with


Races will start, unless:

a) The average windspeed on the course area exceeds 26 knots
b) Wind gusts exceed 30 knots for any duration
c) The race committee considers conditions are unsafe for sailing.
d) The race committee considers the wind is insufficient to manoeuvre the boats or too
unstable to hold a fair race

So why am I sending it to you all? Basically I would like to get some opinions from around the world before putting it in as a formal proposal. Does this sound a sensible change to you? Does it fit in with what people in your fleet are thinking and talking about?. It's always a tricky balance but we have tried to propose a change that will encourage the class members to find the best solution (races will be held in more wind so we need to work out how to get round - and we will be allowed one extra sail to help with this) rather than dictating a change and without adding extra unnecessary cost.

I will also post this to the class message boards to get some wider opinion.

Cheers and looking forward to hearing what you think

Re: 25kts

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:45 pm
by matt d
Has any more experimentation been done with reefing the main? Conclusions?

Re: 25kts

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:09 pm
by Shu
I have a B6 mast and a 275 mm reef in my main. I used it with my small jib (1m shorter on the hoist) on a windy day in Hawaii last April, and it worked well. It was still way too much sail area when a 30 kt squall went through.

The big issue is setting it up to work with the rule that requires one to drop the main without capsizing. Just rigging a 275 mm strop from the halyard lock would result in the head being pulled out of the track by leech tension. I rigged a strop that had a loop around the mast and a knot that in theory would keep the loop from cinching down on the track and damaging it. However, it still distorted my soft plastic track. If it was a rigid track it may have broken.

If I could just use a separate lashing around the mast, all would be solved, but then the main could only be lowered to the spreaders, so would not be in compliance with the rule.

One option may be to create a massive carbon reinforcement around the track at the reefed position so the bolt rope at the head could not rip out of the track. However, I suspect the bolt rope would then just distort until it pulled through the track anyway.

If we really want to encourage reefing, doing away with the drop-the-main-without-capsizing rule would reallly help. Righting the boat after getting the main down is not very hard even in really nasty conditions. I suspect the rule may be a left-over from the open boat days, when capsizing was really not an option.

Re: 25kts

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:25 pm
by matt d
Interesting observations, thanks Shu.

I agree with you about the rule being antiquated. By the time the main has to get lowered on the water, the boat is on it's side anyway (or at least that has been my experience).

Re: 25kts

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:30 pm
by Northshore Pirate
So, what's needed is a mechanism in a shape like a ring that slides between the spreader and the mast tip through which the main halyard is passed. As the main is raised the head begins to push up the ring until it is at the mast head. When reefing is needed the halyard is slacked, the ring drops down with the head to the planed location. Then the halyard is locked off luff tension is applied which pulls the head to the ring. When the main is lowered the halyard is slacked and the main drops passing the spreader the ring is left behind.

I am sure someone could come up with fitting to do this. Hendo?


US 1112