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Kit Guide

Topper Speed

By Dave Cockerill 2nd October 2020

IMG_8740

*TOPPER SPEED FOR THE LARGER (5.3) SAIL* SO YOUR BOAT IS FULLY PREPARED AND YOU ARE READY TO USE YOUR NEW CONTROLS. NEW CONTROLS? – WHAT CONTROLS HAVE YOU GOT TO MAKE YOUR TOPPER GO FASTER AND PERHAPS MORE TO THE POINT WHAT DO THEY CONTROL?

Controls:

Mainsheet

the angle of the sail to the hull

Traveller

the position of the mainsheet block across the back of the boat

Kicker

the bend the mast and therefore how deep or shallow the sail is.

Outhaul

the depth of the sail especially in the lower third

Downhaul

the position of the maximum depth of the sail

the bend of the mast

the openness of the leach

Daggerboard

the drag downwind and the leeward slip up and downwind.

Not many controls then. No rig tension, no mast rake, no jib sheeting angles. You can concentrate on getting the few controls right and quickly begin to enjoy learning to race other boats. More complicated classes will have many more controls to master before they can get down to the fun!

SETTINGS. Develop your sense of speed and adjust controls around these suggested start points:

..medium winds and flat water: (hiking fully and not overpowered)..

control

upwind

downwind

Mainsheet:

75mm from block to block

90(ish) from centre-line & run by lee

Traveller

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

Kicker

Mainsheet tension plus a bit

Eased – leach just able to flick open

Outhaul

Finger length from boom

Finger length+ from the boom

Downhaul

Enough to balance the rig

Off and push the sail up the mast

Daggerboard

down

1/2 up – to prevent skidding.

Balance

Almost flat

Healed to windward - neutral helm

Trim

Well forward but not nosediving

Well forward but not nosediving

..medium winds and waves: (waves tending to upset the boat upwind).

control

upwind

downwind

Mainsheet:

75mm from block to block

90(ish) change as you play the waves

Traveller

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

Kicker

Bend the boom

Ease so the leach just be able to flick

Outhaul

V. slightly looser than flat water

V. slightly looser than flat water

Downhaul

Enough to balance the rig.

off

Daggerboard

down

Level with foredeck to help turning.

Balance

Slight heal to leeward – flat really

Change the angles to steer the boat

Trim

250mm back from flat water

Forward and back-ride the waves

..Over powered: (fully hiking and letting mainsheet out upwind)..

control

upwind

downwind

Mainsheet:

As above – let off in gusts

As far out as you dare. 80 max

Traveller

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

Kicker

Bend the boom even more

As much off as you feel safe with!

Outhaul

HORIZONTAL CREASE IN FOOT OF SAIL

Horizontal crease in foot.

Downhaul

Tack of sail on the boom

Right off

Daggerboard

Top, level with the foredeck

Top, level with the foredeck

Balance

Flat

Change the angles to steer the boat

Trim

250mm back from light winds

Forward and back-ride the waves

..Looking for more power..

control

upwind

downwind

Mainsheet:

300mm off block to block

90degrees(ish) and by the lee

Traveller

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

As tight as possible - ‘twangy!’

Kicker

New sail?- bend the boom

Off until leach starts to flick

Outhaul

Width of wrist

Length of hand

Downhaul

Off – push the sail up the mast

Off – push sail up the mast

Daggerboard

Down

½ up . ¼ when gybing

Balance

Very slightly healed to leeward

Healed to windward - neutral helm

Trim

Well forward

Forward-stern out of water

..Looking for any power at all! (very little wind)..

control

upwind

downwind

Mainsheet:

300mm off block to block

90 degrees+ so sail falls forward

Traveller

Just allow shackle to cross tiller

Just allow shackle to cross tiller

Kicker

New sail? – bend the boom

Until leach starts to flick

Outhaul

Reasonably tight- finger length

Reasonably tight-finger length

Downhaul

Off – push the sail up the mast

Off – push the sail up the mast

Daggerboard

down

½ to ¾ up. ¼ up when gybing

Balance

Leeward heal- reduces friction

Well healed to leeward

Trim

Up to bulkhead/on the deck

Up to bulkhead/on the deck

Many experienced helms talk about getting feedback from the tiller extension. Grip it loosely and it will tell you things. Make a change to a setting and feel the effect.

These settings are only start points – make your own mind up.

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