Albacore Sail Tuning Guide - McNamara

By Michael McNamara

Getting the best out of your Albacore is a combination of correct Organization of equipment and then proper use of it when out on the water. In fact, now that the class is well into its fourth decade the "go fast" parameters are pretty well established revolving around the long, relatively heavy but easily driven hull; the short aspect ratio mainsail and its relationship to the foresail; the very deep centreplate and the ability to adjust the rig.

Mast Rake and Position

The height of the sailplan can vary according to the height of the boom above the shearline (which, is basically the gunwale height when opposite the mast). The tolerance is 105mm although the trend in recent years has been to opt for the highest possible position. The following measurements are therefore, based on a bottom black band height of 610mm above the shearline.

Front of mast at heel to outside of transom

  • Light airs: 10' 9.5"
  • Middle winds: 10' 10"
  • Strong winds: 10' 11"

Top black band to bottom of transom at the hog

  • Light airs: 23' 0"
  • Middle winds: 22' 10"
  • Strong winds: 22' 7"

Spreader information for Proctor D and SuperSpars M7

  • Length from side Of Mast: 1' 5"

Back of Mast from the straight line tip to tip

  • Light airs: 6.5"
  • Middle winds: 5"
  • Strong winds: 5.5"

Spreader Information for Proctor Sleeved D

  • Length from side of Mast: 1' 5"

Back of mast from the straight line tip to tip

  • Light airs: 7"
  • Middle winds: 6.5"
  • Strong winds: 7"

Spreader Information for Proctor Stratos or SuperSpars M2

  • Length from side of Mast: 1' 3"

Back of mast from the straight line tip to tip

  • Light airs: 7"
  • Middle winds: 6.5"
  • Strong winds: 7"

Jib Sheeting

Our sails are designed to give maximum performance when the leech at three quarter height is 10 degrees "open" away from the centreline; at half height is parallel to the centreline and at quarter height is 10 degrees "closed" towards to the centreline. To achieve this the line of the jib sheet, when extended through the clew and diagonally across the sail should meet the luff at the half height windtuft.

The fairlead track should be parallel to and as close as possible to the centreline with its centre at 8' 0" from the transom and at least 10" from the inside face of the hull.

Adjusting Luff Tension

The tack of your new jib is adjustable so that the luff tension can be altered to suit the conditions.

The problem is that as the wind rises and the rig tension increases, the luff wire stretches. This has the effect of tensioning the luff. As the flow is brought forward and the leech opens, pointing ability is lost.

So, after the rig has been organized for the day, check that the luff is tensioned properly by:

  1. making sure that the luff does not have a vertical crease. Ideally, there should be tiny horizontal wrinkles (approximately 25mm long) coming away from the luff.
  2. seeing that there is about 5mm of movement in the luff tube (enclosing the luff wire). Check this by nipping the tube between thumb and forefinger approximately 1 metre up the luff. Then slide down the luff wire without allowing the cloth to escape upwards. Providing that the cloth moves down the wire/eye at the bottom by approximately 5 - 7mm the luff will be okay

Finally, make sure that the lashing is tied off correctly. If it comes undone during the race it will be disastrous! So cover your knots with PVC tape to make doubly sure!

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