posted 02 March 2000 10:06 PM
I have recently sent a letter to the former owner of Rhythm ‘n Blue, Bob Sharp, with the following query. While I await a reply can any one else comment?
—-And now the questions. The main problem you might be able to throw light on is: I canít get her to point any where near as high as the other Sonatas. This is particularly apparent in medium strength winds, say force 3-4. In these strengths there is a lot of weather helm too. It feels as if the rig is too far back. I have now worked out that the shrouds only support the mast sideways, and currently in strong winds the lee shroud goes quite slack. I realise [or I think I do] that the mast effectively rocks backwards and forwards controlled by backstay, main sheet, and jib halyard tension. In light to medium winds I am keeping the halyard quite slack and increase the tension as the wind builds, but not a lot. Do you have any comments that might help?
04 March 2000 11:01 AM
Here are a couple of quotes from Steve Goacher on mast position and rake that should give you a starting point for setting-up your rig.
“We recommend that the aft face of the mast should be level with the cap shroud base.”
“The forestay should be shackled to the upper hole on the bow chain plate. Genoa halyard sheave to rear edge of anchor chain bow fairlead should be 7925mm.”
Anyone else got any advice on pointing?
While we are on the topic of weather helm – it is possible to measure it. Most of the sailing books recommend that the tiller should be at about a 5 degree angle to the centre line of the boat. Last year we were sailing another kind of boat and we rigged up a crude pointer with some marks under the tiller at 5 degree and 10 degree angles. The boat certainly went faster when the tiller was somewhere near the 5 degree mark. I’ve never tried it on a Sonata but it shouldn’t be too difficult to rig-up something where the tiller comes over the transom – it doesn’t need to be deadly accurate.
26 March 2000 10:46 AM
Pointing, as viewed relative to other boats, is also a function of the leeway you are making. Boats that appear to be pointing higher and seem to be climbing above you, might actually be pointing on the same heading, but you a sliding sideways away from them.
The keel on the Sonata is quite small in lateral area, so it needs plenty of water flow over it to work efficiently as a wing. The boats are also quite beamy and any degree of heel quickly lifts the keel up out of the water. Heeling also forces the keel to work at a less efficient angle of attack and so again is less able to resist leeway.
So the secret of windward performance, (so I’m told) is speed. Focus on speed first, with plenty of power in the sails and lots of weight on the rail to keep her upright. Concentrate on arriving at the windward mark first, rather than pointing highest.
Steve Goacher has now published his ‘Sonata Sailing Guide’ on his website at
I have just read the notes and the interview with Steve Goacher and what a wealth of info to be had from the experts, well done Jack.
A silly story to lighten the moment, I could not get Serenata to point and no matter how much backstay we wound on we could not get the jib luff tight. Turned out that the foredeck had fixed the spinny halyard to the pulpit and all we were doing was putting tension on that, once freed the boat came alive.
Enjoying the site