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General tips on trapeze setup


MOZZY
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I'm new to trapeze use I'm sailing a Windy 14 set up as super sloop - I'd like some good basic advice on 1. How high up should the trapeze ring be above hull. 2.How it should set up on the harness - at what point should I feel it taking my weight. Any guidance or appropriate links would be appreciated. 3. On what points of sail should it be used?

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Hi,

I'm not a trapeze artist, having only tried it once, but this is what I found:

1. How high up should the trapeze ring be above hull.

So that you can comfortably move from hiking on footstraps to standing up on the hull edge. Being able to cleat & and uncleat the sails is another important factor. You should be able to get it with a bit of trial and error - error being where you're up on the trapeze, a gust hits and you can't uncleat the sails; then avert disaster by pushing the rudders to round the boat to windward. Or fall forwards as the trapeze is holding you too high, so that when the boat is fully leaned over your centre of balance is leeward of your feet. Not good.

2.How it should set up on the harness - at what point should I feel it taking my weight.

It'd be good if there is no weight when you're sitting on deck, but starts taking up as you move over the side.

3. On what points of sail should it be used?

All, if it's windy enough. When going to windward you stand further forwards, maybe with the front foot on the side stay.

When reaching move back, depending on conditions.

Cartwheeling (a forward roll following a nosedive at high speed) is the problem. Even a big nosedive when on trapeze can have you swinging forward into the stay wires or all the way around the front of the mast. Some boats have footstraps to anchor your rear foot to help avoid this.

To avoid nosedives, some very experienced sailors say to increase mast rake. They even modify the rudders to rake the blades tip forwards, the keep in steerable with severe weather helm (having to pull hard to the rudders to keep a straight line). I believe mat rake should be set to produce slight weather helm when going to windwards, and avoid nosediving by not running too square to the wind, pushing the tiller whenever the nose gets too close tot the water - steering to windward, and trying to lower the centre of effort in the sail. On a reach this means allowing lots of twist so the top of the sail de-powers. On a run this means sheeting the sail in; so it's not the top of the sail at right angles to the wind driving the nose down.

Hope you’re having fun trying it out!

Tony Hastings (Paper Tiger 2128, ‘Pelikinetic’)

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