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Tanzer 22 Up-Wind Sail Trim

By Doug Patterson

First if you don't have telltales it is necessary to place three along each side on the luff of your genoa (evenly spaced at about 8 inches from the forestay) and at each batten pocket along the leach of the mainsail. If you have a spinnaker, telltales on the shrouds and centre of your spinnaker pole will help you trim your spinnaker while reaching or running.

After you have hoisted your genoa and mainsail (with just enough halyard tension to remove the luff wrinkles, which moves the draft aft allowing you to point higher) sail to a close hauled course, watching the three windward telltales on your genoa. Slowly head into the wind if the top telltale starts to lift first there is too much twist in your sail.

Slide your genoa fairlead forward to bring in the top of your sail. If the bottom telltale lifts first, move the fairlead aft. When all three telltales lift together you will have perfect airflow along the luff.

The next sail to trim is your mainsail, again sail to close hauled course with your genoa sheeted in so that it is just touching the outside of your spreader. With just enough halyard tension to remove the luff wrinkles, adjust the outhaul so that when looking up at the sail from the centre of the boom the maximum depth or draft is in the middle or slightly aft. The boom vang should be snug but do not over tighten. Adjust the traveler to keep the boom on the centre line of the boat. For maximum pointing and speed, trim the mainsheet in while watching the telltales located along the leach. When the lower three are streaming straight back and the top telltale is stalled, you have what I think is the best set-up for going to windward. You can expect some backwinding from the genoa; this has little affect on your up-wind progress.

When steering the boat to windward, you have to concentrate, really concentrate on those genoa luff telltales. Assuming the genoa fairlead has been adjusted properly you have only to watch the centre telltales. Steer a course so that the leeward telltale is streaming straight back and the windward is breaking or fluttering. As the wind is constantly shifting you will have to really concentrate on those telltales. You should never "just hold" the tiller extension. Continually test the leeward telltale by heading up slightly, when it starts to break, hesitate for a couple seconds before bearing off. As you continue doing this you will find that you will gain position to windward, maintain good boat speed and give your crew a chance to tell you that your pinching. I also find that sitting on the leeward side, although your weight may be in the wrong place, gives enough added visibility and comfort to allow you to really concentrate at the job of going fast up- wind. Sitting to leeward also allows you to watch for those starboard and port tack boats.