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alpha omegas in qld

Norman Jones

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Are there any other Alpha Omega sailors active in QLD at the moment ? I have a 4.4 which I have not yet sailed, and I wanted some advice about rigging it. ( Apparently someone stole the mainsheet blocks and a few other bits when the boat was left on a beach at Gold Coast. A photo of a standard Alpha Omega 4.4 mainsheet system would be helpful. ) The wing mast has a very flat cross-section, and I wonder if experience is needed, to avoid damaging it.

I would also LOVE to see a photo of a 5.5 in action. Photos can be sent to jonesrn@optusnet.com.au

Norman from Maroochydore

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AO's in QLd

I have an AO4.4 (sail no 145) and sail out of Humpybong, when I can get my sorry self to make the effort. my mainsheet is the usual triple top and bottom arrangement.

Boat builder and designer Darryl Barrett (who is on here now and then) advised me that the downhaul on the wing mast was up to 12 to 1 and you used this to control the main rather than the mainsheet when it was blowing hard. I have a mosquito mast and not the wing profile. Darryl did send me the below for wing mast tuning..

The spreaders are "aft raked" and the tension on the them should be high, (almost as much tension as you can get on the turnbuckles without stripping them) that is because the sail is cut and the mast is set up as a "pre bend rig". If you take the mast off the cat and support the head on a chair and hold the base in your hands with the sail track of the mast uppermost and look along the track, there should be approx.'

30 to 35 mm pre-bend between the hounds and the anchor base of the diamonds. You never let the tension off of the diamonds. A 6 to 1 down haul isn't really enough. when the cat was new there would have been an

8 to one (and many guys put on a 10 or 12 to 1). The down haul is used almost as much as the mainsheet and you need to be able to adjust it regularly, quickly and easily. Yes it was also standard to run it out

to the side of the boat so that it could be used from trapeze, the ends were usually "shock corded" to the shroud chain plate. There should have been two swivel control cleats near the base of the mast, one each

side, that the luff tension sheet ran through, one to each side of the boat. You always use a lot of luff tension and only a very small amount of mast rotation. When the wind gets up you take out almost all the

rotation. This lets the sail act very much like the "square head sails of today, letting the top third of the sail twist off automatically in the gusts and keeping the boat driving instead of "bucking" in the

gusts. In real gusty conditions the fastest sailors used to leave the mainsheet cleated and play the luff tension I.E. as a gust hits, really reef in the luff tension, flattening the sail more and accelerating with the gust then easing the luff with the acceleration, instead of heeling,

There was another AO I knew of now in Brisbane and he last sailed out of Manly. Don't know if there are any others around

hope this helps


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