Do You Tweak?

Shut down the iron sail, learn how to trim your sails and be first to the best anchorages.
44c
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Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Do You Tweak?

Post by 44c » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:45 pm

Our boat is optimised for upwind sailing. Part of that is our headsail sheeting angle - 8 degrees.

That means for sailing downwind, or deep reaching, our sheeting angle isn't ideal. We get pretty horrible sail shape, baggy at the top, pulled in too tight at the bottom.

so, I fitted a tweaker!. Dead simple, just lashed one of those cheap Chinese stainless blocks to each of the midships cleats, and bowlined an extra sheet onto the heady. You do need secondary winches though. Sailing downind the normal sheet doesn't do a thing, it's all the tweaker. At other angles up to close hauled, it's a bit of sheet, a bit of tweak. Gets the entire sail working, from head to foot. When we gybe, we just walk the tweaker across to the other side.

I reckon most times it gains us up to about a knot.

44c
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Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by 44c » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:47 pm

Forgot to mention - the tweaker also makes the headsail far more resistant to backwinding. Sometimes we can be backwinded by 15 degrees or more, and the sail still holds its shape.

rexd666
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by rexd666 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:42 pm

Can we get a picture of said tweaking? Bandwidth permitting of course.
Thanks
Steve

44c
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by 44c » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:56 am

You can see it on this video, at around 1:10.


sea_bee
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by sea_bee » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:40 pm

On past boats, I have used "Barber Haulers" instead.

The principle here is the opposite; that the track is in the outboard situation, and you use the hauler to bring the sheet in as narrow as possible for close hauled sailing.

Advantages of "hauling in" over "tweaking out" include finer tuning of the sail shape when close hauled, the normal sheeting position is more useful for cruising off the wind (and on a fat cat you could use the hauler to tweak out even further), and it may be possible to use the one hauler on both tacks.

Chris

rexd666
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by rexd666 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:02 am

OK I see what you mean. So your normal sheeting angle is fixed, but the extra line allows you to use the two sheets to extend the angles out to the edge of the boat or any angle in between. On a smaller sail something that a track might assist with, but giving wider angles.

Took a screenshot, here looks like tweaker is almost forward.
Tweaker.png

44c
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by 44c » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:51 am

Yep. We have fairly good control of where the clew will be, and can get all the tell tales streaming on almost any point of sail. (Not DDW, obviously)

The third line there is just the lazy sheet.

Smooth Cruiser
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:04 pm

I do that almost always going downwind for the same reasons - gives a much better shape through the full height of the sail and prevents backwinding (mine is a self tacker so if it backwinds it crashes backwards and forwards across the track which is annoying to say the least. I do it when two sailing normally and also when goosewinged.

Corley
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by Corley » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:08 pm

Here is the tweaker on Charles Meredith's "Peccadillo" a Chris White Atlantic 46' design cat. It's a block with one cheek that can be unclipped to drop over the sheet and lashed to one of the docking cleats. It works very well and gives much better control over sail shape than just the track.
tweaker Peccadillo.jpg
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Smooth Cruiser
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Re: Do You Tweak?

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:17 am

That's a straightforward arrangement. I still like to use an extra line for the tweaker though and leave the sheet in its normal position - the tow sheets on the clew gives really good control of exactly where you want it to be and having two sheets lets you always take the strain while fastening or unfastening the tweaker even when it becomes loaded. In a strong gust you could lose the sheet or get flicked by the sheet while you are taking it from one position to the other.

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