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Forestay Tensioning

Postby andrewb on Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:56 pm


Is it legal to use a lever on the forestay to get the rig tension? Other classes use them (sometimes on the shrouds). A lever still seems to be within the rules so long as it is not adjusted during racing. It would give much more readily reproducible rig tension & allow the tension to be more easily applied.

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Levers to adjust rigging tension

Postby Phillip Johnson on Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:41 pm

The only permissable method of adjusting rig tension is by the use of a lanyard on the forestay. If it necessary to accurately reproduce the setting a mark on the lanyard will do this. A waterproof marking pen will do this.

Phillip Johnson
National Measurer
Phillip Johnson
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Postby andrewb on Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:56 pm


Where are all the rules such as the one regarding the use of the lanyard? They don't appear in the rules posted on the website.

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Postby Mike Simpson on Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:06 pm


The Sabre rules are included in the building notes supplied when a new sail number is issued. Presently these are copyright and not available any other way, but I do lean toward making them more generally accessible - perhaps on the net and full copies of the notes for a fee (they cost the Association about $20 per set to issue). I will consult with the National Committee and see if there are any objections.

Many of the Sabre restrictions are based on the tenet that "no variations outside the Building Notes and Measurement Rules are permitted unless approved in writing by the Sabre Sailing Association of Australia Inc."
and that "Only items specified in these Construction Notes shall be included either in construction or fitting out of a Sabre."

Other relevant rules are

1.4 Construction & Fitting Out Notes
The Construction and Fitting out Notes, as supplied by the Association for the construction of Sabre class dinghies, shall be read in conjunction with, and form part of these Rules of Measurement.

1.10 Options & Alterations
Unless a system, method type or style of construction, or control is indicated as acceptable in these Rules and/or the Building Notes then that system method type or style of construction, fitting or control is prohibited.

6.2 Mast Rigging
a. The material and gauge of all wire rigging is optional, but must be adequate.
b. The mast shall be supported by one forestay wire and two shroud wires (side stays).
c. Devices capable of adjusting shroud or forestay tension whilst sailing are not allowed.

Mike Simpson
Mike Simpson
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Postby ronny_f73 on Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:00 pm

can you use a fitting like this one??
A few mirrors are now using this and i think its a great thing to keep your forstay at the correct tension..
Is this what you mean by lever??
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Postby Mike Simpson on Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:55 pm


I assume the guy doing the roll swaging will want to be paid for that and the wire and the eye at the other end - say a round $100.

You're just going to lose your carefully set tension the instant you pull the vang on - do you want a guage for that too?

I'll stick with the $3 cord thank you!

Especially after the National Measurer said that was the only legal method of doing it!

Mike Simpson
Mike Simpson
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Postby A Trace of Blue - 1666 on Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:55 am

In the Rules, under Part 2 - Fitting out Notes

Fitting out the Hull,
Paragraph 5 states - Your SABRE cannot have:
a. On water adjustable mast rake
b. Hyfield Levers Of Any Kind
c. etc etc

The rules also state in the 'fittings purchase list' under cordage:
Forestay: 2 metres heavy venetian blind cord.

Now lets face it, $3 to 6 for a bit of string and a Texta is far better than $30 or more for a Lever which will make you boat Illegal, and

As there is no way of adjusting the Rig tension on the water, and the sabre has no spreaders or lower stays, as soon as the rig loads up on the water and puts a bit of bend in the mast, you rig tension is out the window anyway, and it will change with every gust or difference in the cut of your sails.

The Sabre rig is made to be simple and equaly the same between all boats so that it brings winning back to the drivers skills. If you want lots of tension and things to play with and adjust, try a skate or skiff of some kind.

Sabres are designed to be simple and cheap to build and maintain so you can concentrate on the important things like getting on the water and having fun as easily and quick as possible, then getting off the water, unrigged, packed up, and at the bar to spend all that extra money you saved before all the other classes get there.

Ooops did I say that hehehehe
Peter Wilcox
1666 - A Trace of Blue

God Still Sails a Payne-Mortlock Sailing Canoe!
A Trace of Blue - 1666
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Postby ronny_f73 on Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:24 pm

I was only trying to see if this is what he meant by lever..I only use cord or my boat and have had no trouble with that.
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Postby peter reid on Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:14 pm

i like gadgets so i thought that tensioning thing was really hot- however i am used to the double loop for tensioning- so i will stick with it- the problem i have is overtensioning the forestay which i am sure kills speed on reaches yeah texta on blind cord seems very un 21 century but as little johnny would say if it aint broke why fix it
peter reid
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Postby swearly on Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:37 pm

I have found that rope is very suitable to adjust tension and also you can make alterations as shrouds streach in. Rig tension caauses your mast to compress making it easier to bend with your other controls and in the wind. How much flex you need will depend on the cut of your sails and your weight. Like many things we have plenty of top sailors who use relatively little tension and as they sail their shrouds go loose on the leward side in a strong wind. Others have that much tension that the shrouds never go loose and you could play a tune on the rigging. I know Maree measures her tension with a gauge and uses high tension - this works for her but not others. Hope I have not muddied the water too much.
One final hint. Rope can break so in a championship place a second rope on the forstay just in case. At least that way you can finish.

Stephen Early
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Postby andrewb on Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:27 pm

The levers I was talking about are the RWO 4550's (see e.g. http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d3000/e663.asp). From Philip's reply it would appear that they are not allowed on the Sabre, even though when used on the forestay they cannot be used to adjust the rigging while racing.

My thoughts on using them were two-fold. First that it is easier to get repeatable tension - particularly as it is the small sailors who require more tension in order to get the mast to bend & they probably have the most trouble applying sufficient tension. Second, it removes the 'weak' link of the rope which Steve recognises with his comment about adding a second rope. I have experienced what can happen to such a secondary rope when the main fixing breaks - the secondary one goes too!! As the main fixing will most likely break when under high load this probably isn't surprising.

Thinking about this matter further another possibility occured to me...

More leverage is available by pulling forward on the halyard as it is attached further up the mast. If 'tension' is applied using the halyard then a simple shackle, or fixed (i.e. not lever e.g. http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d6000/e5511.asp) shroud adjuster could be used to secure the forestay & then the halyard released. I suppose if the rules say there HAS to be a piece of rope in the system then a section could be inserted somewhere at the bottom end, but the necessity of dragging it through the fitting on the bow & the end of the forestay would be removed. A single loop of larger diameter (& hence stronger) rope could be used in lieu of the thinner diameter required in order to be able to pull it through the forestay & bow fitting to obtain purchase.

I would appreciate Mike's suggestion that ALL the rules be placed on the website. Old Sabres don't always come with all the documentation, making it difficult for newcomers to the class. There can't be any reason to hide the rules away. If they are copyright, who owns the copyright? A suggestion might be that whoever has copyright gets a royalty from each new sail number issued, in exchange for making the rules & notes (if they form part of the enforcebale class rules) freely available. It seems ridiculous that someone can get a boat, check it against the class rules & then find it still doesn't measure. Either the 'notes' have to be made available with the rules, or removed from the class. If this isn't sorted out soon I can see a case arising where someone turns up with a boat purchased second hand, which they have checked according to the published rules, and then being told there is something in the 'notes' with which the boat doesn't comply. Until I asked the question that started this thread I was unaware of these additional notes (there is nothing obvious on the website & they aren't mentioned in the measurement rules). It seems ridiculous to have a 'hidden' set of rules.


(p.s. please don't take offence at the above rant - it is meant as constructive comment).
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