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Rig Tune Visuals - Advice from the J/22 Midwinters

The Fort Walton Yacht Club hosted the J/22 Midwinters March 17-20, with 27 boats attending and experiencing the entire range of weather and wind conditions. It was the first time the J/22 class held an event at FWYC, but I hope it will not be the last. They have a great club and great people who made everyone feel welcome. Quantum boats performed well and had great results.

Your sails can tell you a lot - Lack of lower shroud tension causes overbend wrinkles at the J/22 Midwinters.

After a great weekend of sailing, here’s my tip of the week:

Rig tune visuals

We at Quantum have put many hours into perfecting our tuning guide, but there are always visual signs to check to make sure you’re close to where you want to be. Most chalk talks and seminars we do we focus on how to set the boat up in the lighter winds. Set up to the guide, but also watch for the leeward upper shrouds to go a little slack, with the lowers a bit looser and the mast straight side-to-side or with half of sag to leeward.

So what visuals did we use for the top of the wind ranges?

It’s harder to judge how much slack is really in the leeward shrouds when it gets windy because the shrouds go slack quickly as you apply backstay, so this visual doesn’t work well. However, we don’t want to see the uppers to slack. When adjusting the shrouds, keep a ratio of upper-to-lowers at 2-to-1, meaning for every one turn I put on the uppers, I put a half turn on the lowers. On the last step, we tried to go to a 1-to-1 ratio.

Another thing to look for once you set up the boat and get on the water is the mainsail. Is it inverting or turning inside out too soon? If so, you may need an extra turn on the lowers. When you do this, the extra tension will straighten the mast keeping the mast bend less. This has a few benefits: your mainsail will be easier to trim, but also the straighter rig will allow the backstay tension to transfer more quickly to the headstay, which keeps the jib flatter. Also remember that older masts get soft over the years, so lower tension may be needed.

Terry Flynn
Sail Consultant - J/22 Class Guru
Quantum Sails Gulf Coast
P: 281-474-4168

The J/22 sailing season is in full swing in Texas. Quantum Sails customers are sailing well, taking almost all the podium positions. Recent regattas and results include:

J/22 Midwinters
2nd - Terry Flynn, Tejas
4th - Chris Doyle, The Jug 41
6th - Mike Farrington, Just Leaving
7th - Keith Zars, Baby Lips

J22 Class GBCA Performance Cup
1st - Tom Meeh, Meehem 
2nd - Dov Kivlovitz
3rd - Larry Blankenhagen, Parrot Tales Light

HYC Midwinters
1st - Walter Caldwell, PAYASO
2nd - Vince Ruder
4th - Dov Kivlovitz

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