BOOM VANG TUTORIAL

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Graham Curran of UK Sailmakers Ireland wrote a very good article on using the boomvang for the Irish sailing magazine AFLOAT. He gives good tips, especially went NOT to blow the vang sailing downwind in big breeze. The article breaks down using the vang upwind, reaching and downwind. To give you a taste of how thorough his article is, here is what he wrote about using the vang downwind.

To read the whole article and to see the diagrams and pictures, click on this link.

As with reaching the boom is eased further outboard when on a run. The mainsheet is now completely ineffective at controlling mainsail twist. Pull your vang on to keep your top batten parallel to the boom. This keeps the mainsail fully projected to the wind and causes the most drag which, contrary to other points of sail, is exactly what we are looking for when sailing downwind in displacement mode.

A common and fatal mistake when running downwind in heavy airs is blowing the vang when the boat begins to roll downwind. This roll is caused by the spinnaker and the mainsail becoming unbalanced. Instead of the resulting forces pushing the boat forward, it drags the boat to windward, initiating the roll sequence.

If left uncontrolled this roll eventually leads to an unintentional jibe and broach.

The boom will be coming across soon.

The solution to this problem is to equalize the forces of the spinnaker and mainsail. This is done by both easing the pole forward and sheeting on the spinnaker, or by powering up the mainsail by ensuring the vang is at the correct tension and pumping the mainsail into the centre.

Sometimes a death roll can occur suddenly and cause panic. In this panic someone blows the vang, thinking it will prevent a broach, as it does on a reach. The opposite happens, the mainsail depowers completely, the little green arrow disappears, and the spinnaker happily drags the boat to windward, jibes the boat and someone, usually the bowman, ends up with wet feet.
Set your vang tension using the top batten angle to the boom as a guide, and do not blow the vang to solve a death roll downwind.

TESTING CONTINUES - PUTTING OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTHS ARE

  A test X-Drive Endure sail on the Reichel Pugh 77 JELIK. The Endumax filaments are white.

A test X-Drive Endure sail on the Reichel Pugh 77 JELIK. The Endumax filaments are white.

New sails are expensive. A new experimental sail can be even more expensive if it fails to perform as predicted and you find yourself having to replace it sooner than you’d hoped. Some sailmakers test their new sail concepts on their customers’ boats—some without the customers knowing they are a Guenia pig; but UK Sailmakers doesn’t. We test our new sail concepts on boats belonging to our loft owners so we take the risk and put the money where our mouths are.

Take for instance Frank Pong, the owner of UK Sailmakers Hong Kong. Frank is a passionate sailor who owns a fleet of racing and cruising boats. The boat he has raced the hardest for over a decade is a Reichel/Pugh 77 named JELIK, formerly one of Roy Disney’s PYEWACKETs. JELIK gets used for a lot of new product testing because she’s one of “our” boats, plus the loads on her sails are huge; therefore, if it works for JELIK it will work for you! For example, the luff length of her square top main is over 90 feet and the foot is over 30 feet. Talk about a need for load-bearing sails like UK’s Uni-Titanium. In fact, the first Uni-Titanium sail UK Sailmakers ever built was a jib for JELIK, which was so over built that it ripped the genoa lead car off JELIK’s deck. It was good to learn that on Frank’s boat instead of your boat.

The latest sail to be tested on JELIK is the recently introduced X-Drive Endure. If a performance cruising product can hold its shape on a massive racing boat, just image how will it will do on your boat. Throughout UK Sailmakers’ tests of Endure, we used boats 50-feet and bigger in order to find out if the Endumax filaments are strong enough. Big boats have higher loads that exploit any weaknesses quickly.

Another test platform for Endumax is UK Sailmakers Fremantle’s Jeff Bishop’s King 40 CHECKMATE. Geoff races his boat in the windy waters off the west coast of Australia. When he ordered a new Jib Top for his boat, instead of making an X-Drive carbon sail, he built an X-Drive Endure sail so that the group could get more data on how Endumax stands up. Jib Tops are only used for heavy air reaching, so the Endumax filaments will get put through their paces.

Endumax tests nearly as well as carbon in strength, which means cruising sails can be made with the same performance as racing sails while having a clean classic white appearance plus the Endurance that is required for successful cruising and shorthanded sailing.For more information about X-Drive Endure — UK Sailmakers new performance cruising sails — click on this link.

  A set of X-Drive Endure sails on a Dufour 50.

A set of X-Drive Endure sails on a Dufour 50.

Two different pictures of the Wauquiez Centurion 57 ALICE with a set of X-Drive Endure sails. On the left, the sails are back lit, which shows off the Endumax filaments. The photo on the right shows how white the sails appear.

HARVEST MOON WINNER

  Edelweiss, a Hanse 455

Edelweiss, a Hanse 455

Ted Greak’s Hanse 455 EDELWEISS won the Overall Spinnaker award in the 150 mile Harvest Moon Regatta that sailed from Houston south to Port Aransas, Texas. EDELWEISS was racing with a brand new X-Drive carbon main with double-sided LiteSkin. Greak wrote the following thanks to UK Sailmakers Texas’ Pedro Gianotti. , 

“Thank you for the UK Sails that were designed for my boat. They were a very major factor in our success in winning the Spinnaker Class and overall Spinnaker Division win of the 2018 Harvest Moon Regatta. Your effort in having the sails ready for the race is much appreciated.” Fast sails and dependable service, what more do you need?

The shape of the X-Drive full-batten main on the Hanse 455 EDELWEISS.

CHICAGO OFF SHORE AND ONE-DESIGN SEASON CHAMPIONS

  MOJO crushed the competitive Ben. First 40.7 fleet on Lake Michigan this year. Photo by Sara Proctor.

MOJO crushed the competitive Ben. First 40.7 fleet on Lake Michigan this year. Photo by Sara Proctor.

Congratulations to Gary Powell and Scott & Yvonne Ruhlander and their team of the Beneteau 40.7 MOJO, which had an epic season winning four big regattas in the ultra-competitive Lake Michigan Beneteau First 40.7 one-design fleet: the Colors regatta, the NOOD regatta, the Verve Cup and the Columbia Cup. Saying they had a great season is an understatement.

Co-owner Scot Ruhlander said, “The 40.7 fleet has great competition; in most regattas the fleet draws 8-10 boats. In this group, if you make a mistake, they don’t let you off the mat. I am really pleased with the level where the boat and crew are.” About his inventory of UK Sailmakers sails Ruhlander said, “I’m happy with the products, prices and service I get from UK Sailmakers. Mike Considine is a great guy.”

MOJO’s owners are Gary Powell (left) and Yvonne and Scot Ruhlander, second and third from the right in the front row.

In the Colors Regatta, MOJO racked up three seconds and two firsts to beat the second-place boat by eight points. The NOOD was a one-point squeaker, and at the Verve Cup they won by five points. Second and third in the Verve Cup were UK Sailmakers customers Ron Buzil on VAYU and Dave Hardy on TURNING POINT.

DEFIANCE WINS AGAIN WHILE DEFYING CHECK-BOOK RACING

  DEFIANCE under sail.

DEFIANCE under sail.

  The plaque for 2018 starts another side.

The plaque for 2018 starts another side.

UK Sailmakers customer Dale Smirl sailing his Judel-Vrolijk 66 DEFIANCE won the Overall PHRF Distance Series once again for the seventh year in a row. Smirl said, “Not only are our sails fast, but I have never seen sails for a boat this size last so long. DEFIANCE’s [Uni-Titanium] mainsail just finished its fifth season, which is much more than I ever expected. UK Sailmakers sails definitely have superior longevity and durability.”

Dale Smirl, third from the left.

Prolong Sail Life with Partial Taffeta

MILKY WAY, a Dufour 40E, uses her X-Drive carbon sails for offshore races. To make the sails bullet proof, the leeches of the sails have a taffeta layer.

The leeches of sails take a lot of abuse. The back end of overlapping genoas get beat up every time the boat tacks as the leech drags across the shrouds and the mast. Racing sails get banged up even faster as eager crewmembers work hard to pull the genoa around fast, putting the sail under higher loads.
Mainsail leeches also get their share of abuse when the sail luffs during hoisting, reefing and dropping. They can suffer even more damage in heavy winds when the trimmer flogs the main to depower the boat. The main’s Dacron leech tape, snapping back and forth, breaks down the sail’s fibers at its inside edge doing what sailmakers call “hinging.” Hinging can happen even faster when the leech line is too loose and the leech flaps violently for minutes at a time.

To lessen this damage, UK Sailmakers can add to the leech a wide strip of finely-woven, light-weight adhesive fabric (taffeta) or Liteskin®. These protective layers reinforce the sail and move the main’s hinging point forward into the sail where the sail doesn't flutter as much.

Shown in this picture is a Dufour 40E with carbon X-Drive® sails that have taffeta applied to the leeches of both the main and the part of the genoa leech that overlaps the mast. Call your local loft for more information about making your next sail last even longer.

 
 

Left: This Salona 44 No. 2 was built to be used in the Sydney Hobart race. To give it extra strength and durability, the sail has a taffeta lay over the X-Drive carbon tapes on the part of the leech that overlaps the mast. Above: An X-Drive Carbon main with partial taffeta on the leech. Notice how there is more taffeta around the reef patches and a narrow band of taffeta above the reefs; this is done to save weight.

New White Performance Cruising Sails

UK Sailmakers is happy to unveil a new material for performance cruising sails that makes all-white sails that will not break the bank. After extensive testing around the world on boats that included four 50-foot cruisers from Sense, Bavaria, Dufour and Centurion, X-Drive Endure has proved to be nearly as strong and stable as carbon racing sails. X-Drive Endure is made with narrow Endumax® ribbons that are bonded to sail just as carbon and S-Glass yarns are. Endumax is an Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), similar to Spectra® and Dyneema® — fibers known for high strength and durability. Endumax has tested nearly as well as carbon in strength and stretch resistance, which means cruising sails can be made with the same performance as racing sails while having a clean classic white appearance plus the Endurance that is required for successful cruising and shorthanded sailing. The Endure name was chosen to reference the Endumax filaments as well as the great endurance these sails have.

Testing on big boats was done because any problems and shape changes would show up faster as a result of the high loads experienced on bigger boats. Martin Box, the owner of the Bavaria 50 which tested an in-mast furling main with vertical battens and an overlapping genoa, was so happy with the how much better his boat sailed with his X-Drive Endure sails that he told Geoff Bishop of UK Sailmakers Fremantle that he has found his passion for sailing again. Box uses his boat for both racing and cruising. He went from being the boat perineal last-place finisher to a race winner.

FIRST PLUS ONE RACE IN THE BOOKS

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A Safer and More Fun Shorthanded Racing Option

By Adam Loory, General Manager, UK Sailmakers International

Those of us at UK Sailmakers have been working with sailors and sailing organizations to grow our sport through the development of new forms of racing that are both fun and accessible. Many people have told me that they don't race more because getting crew is such a problem. Reflecting that statistic, the number of boats competing in doublehanded distance races has been growing over the last decade.

For serval years I have been trying to get a new shorthanded racing series off the ground recognizing that one appeal of shorthanded sailing is that it much easier to pull together a small crew than a large one. Since not every boat is set up to be sailed well with just two people, and because not all sailors want to exert as much energy sailing as doubleheaders, I developed a new handicap crew-size format that straddles doublehanding and fully crewed racing.

I am calling this new series "Plus One" since the crew limit is one more person than the tens digit of the boat's hull length. Therefore, any boat from 20-29.9 feet will race with three crew, any boat in the 30s will sail with four, and any boat in the 40s sails with five.

To test the theory, I convinced The Storm Trysail Club and the Larchmont Yacht Club to run a Plus One race after the last of the fall regattas on Long Island Sound. Those two clubs are as dedicated to growing the sport as UK Sailmakers so it was an easy sell to get them to host the race. That first race was sailed Sunday, October 21 in a howling, cold northerly. While the race was not the best test of the new shorthanded theory, the inaugural Plus One race turned out to be a great test of heavy air seamanship challenging everyone on each crew to perform at the highest level.

With the wind blowing 21-25 and gusting into the 30s, Nick Langone, The Storm Trysail Club's PRO, wasn't sure if he should start the race. Instead of making the call on whether to race, he polled the fleet over the radio and heard a unanimous "we are here to race." Because no one flew spinnakers or changed jibs during the race, it was not the optimal test of shorthanded crews handling sail changes and spinnakers; but the Plus One teams sailed their boats under reduced canvas in conditions that many full crews normally elect to skip.

Josh Burack sailed his J/105 Peregrina well and crossed the finish line second and finished first on corrected time. Justin Scagnelli sailing the J/88 Albondigas finished third and Alex Helfand's Hunter 37 Shadowfox finished fourth. Twelve boats registered for the regatta, seven made it to the starting line and six started the race. Only four finished on a sunny day where the wind chill was in the 30s and the winds gusted to the 30s.

The best comment came from Alex Helfand who said, "We saw 35 knots of wind, yet nothing broke; I am very happy. I like the (Plus One) crew format. While we didn't not get to test flying the spinnaker, a solid crew of four made for a very enjoyable day. There wasn't one point where I recalled raising my voice; everyone worked well together and had plenty to do."

What I wanted to show with this race were the benefits of Plus One over double-handed racing. First, not all boats are set-up for competitive double-handed racing. Further, if one of the two double-handed sailors goes overboard, a single-handed MOB retrieval is not within every sailor's skill set. With Plus One, there are still enough people to manage headsails with luff tapes and spinnakers that are set without a sock. At the same time, because you're not sailing with the full complement of crew, everyone is more involved with racing the boat-there are no purely "rail meat" crewmembers; everyone has multiple jobs to do so they learn different skills, and the owner has fewer bodies to wrangle before leaving the dock.

Here is a link to a video posted by Hamish Young before his Ben. 36.7 Jamala IV had to drop out due to a blown-out jib.

Photos by Igor Annopolsky.

Here is a link to a video shot on Jamala IV during the race.

Results
1. Peregrina, Josh Burack, J/105, 90 PHRF
2. Soulmates, Adam Loory, Custom 40, 21 PHRF
3. Albondigas, Justin Scagnelli, J/88, 81 PHRF
4. Shadowfox, Alex Helfand, Hunter 37, 102 PHRF
DNF: Frequent Flyer, Alistair Duke, Ben First 36.7
DNF: Jamala IV, Hamish Young, Ben. First 36.7
DNS: Reviver, J/112e, Scott Devine
DNC: Thin Man, J/92, Todd Aven
DNC: Sirius, J/33, Charles Taus
DNC: Moonshine, Columbia 32, Allen Fligor
DNC: Abilyn, J/120, Josh Reisberg
DNC: Upsetter, J/80, Jason Viseltear

THE DAMAGE MIGHT BE TO MORE THAN JUST YOUR SAILS

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Never leave your sails exposed to the elements on the boom or furled around the headstay all winter. UK Sailmakers Winter Service is much better for your sails than abandoning them to the icy winter winds that will try to rip them to shreds. And if a shredded furling genoa is not bad enough, a flogging genoa has a good chance of blowing a boat off its jack- stands leading to disastrous results.

If you think stuffing your sails below for the winter is a good plan, think again. Sails attract moisture, which promotes the growth of mildew. That mildew can grow on your sails and on other damp surfaces inside your boat. If you are storing your sails yourself, keep them dry and warm; a dry basement is better than a cold garage. Better yet, bring your sails to our loft or call for a pick up from most local boatyards and yacht clubs.

WINTER SERVICE TIME

  If you are thinking about ordering new sails that will be ready to use on the first day of the 2019 sailing season, now is the time to order. Most new sail delivery dates are delayed because we can’t get the measurements we need because the mast is down or the boat is encased in shrink wrap. So call today before you cover your boat or pull your mast.

If you are thinking about ordering new sails that will be ready to use on the first day of the 2019 sailing season, now is the time to order. Most new sail delivery dates are delayed because we can’t get the measurements we need because the mast is down or the boat is encased in shrink wrap. So call today before you cover your boat or pull your mast.

IT’S been a great summer and unfortunately fall has arrived abruptly. Smooth summer sailing next year depends on proper preventative maintenance this winter. When you put your boat away, don't forget to send your sails and canvas to UK Sailmakers for winter service that includes washing, full inspection, repair and storage in our climate controlled storage facilities.

  An example of chafe found in an inspection. A chafe patch will be applied to keep the sail from getting ripped in the future. If this small damage was not found, the sail could have kept getting damaged to the point of failure.

An example of chafe found in an inspection. A chafe patch will be applied to keep the sail from getting ripped in the future. If this small damage was not found, the sail could have kept getting damaged to the point of failure.

UK Sailmakers Winter Service is designed to look for the wearing effects of UV sunlight, luffing and flogging, tacking and jibing on your sails. We seek out the small problems before they can turn into big headaches next summer.

While you are decommissioning your boat at the end of the season, don't forget to take your sails off the boat. The best place to store them is at our loft in our climate controlled loft after they have been washed and checked over. A frigid boat is no place for a sail you need to depend on next spring. Sails absorb moisture, which promotes the growth of mold and mildew on your sails and to the interior of your boat.

UK Sailmakers Chicago is your full service loft for new sails, sail repairs and sail storage.

We offer:
• Pick up and delivery to local boat yards and yacht clubs.
• Quality Repairs on ALL BRANDS OF SAILS
• Sail De-Rigging and Installation for an extra charge
• Professional Sail and Canvas Cleaning (brighten up your sails and canvas and eliminate mildew growth)
• Storage for sails and canvas
Rolled Sail storage for racing sails
• Careful inspection of all edges, corners, seams, batten pockets, luff tapes and luff hardware, and UV covers. We will call if any major repair is needed.
• New Tell Tales
• On-site storage in dry, heated location

We will help you protect your investment in your boat’s primary source of propulsion.

TREAT YOUR SAILS RIGHT THIS WINTER, CONTACT UK SAILMAKERS

Located at:
2323 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: (312) 326-1053
chicago@uksailmakers.com