Blackmagick Sails
Professional Sails designed and built with speed in mind.
There's nothing like building your own boat and sails and beating the best of them
with your own combinations, but most people have not got the time to do it all
themselves. I know I would love to design and build my own boat, but it's all I can
manage these days to make a few extra sails for myself to experiment with. So if your
short of time to do it all, think about getting your sails made by someone who has had
years in the trade, who is now racing these small boats and has the inside track on
what is needed to make your boat go fast. Here at Blackmagick we are always looking
for that little something that will make our sails even faster, I'm not to proud to
study what other manufactures are doing with their product, if I see something I like
I'll use it! Add this to our own natural improvements through experimentation and
testing and you will quickly see why it is usually a better bet to go to someone who is
putting in the time both with sailmaking or boat designing. I hope the next section on
sails and sail set up will help those new to the sport, or others just looking for that
little extra bit of speed to close the gap to the top sailors in their class. You don't have
to agree with everything I write here because no two people sail their boats in the
same way, but new comers with very little sailing experience in any other form of sail
boat should find this section of some assistance. Mostly I will be covering things that I
know work best on my own sails so I will also be using this section to introduce to you
to how I make sails and what I expect from them. There are other fine web sites with
tips for setting sails and tuning your boat and you will find links to these sites on
another page of my web site. Because of this I have tried not to cover to much of the
same ground that you can find else where, and while I don't think there is much point
in trying to re-invent the wheel as far as sail setting and boat tuning goes, I still
encourage people to try new and different things from time to time, mostly this is the
only way to learn and you never know you just might come up with something that
works and that no one else has tried before!
Tips on sail setting
Balance the rig
If there was one thing on your boat that makes more difference to the way it
handles on the water than any other it would be, in my opinion, the leech of
your sail. Both main and jib must not have over tight leeches under any
cirumstances! Not even in light weather, no two skippers will agree as to just
how much 'twist' you should have in various weights of wind, but all would
aggree, I'm sure, that a leech that is to tight will kill boat speed and increase
weather helm to the point that the boat is almost unsailable in a strong breeze.
Above we have two 1metres sailing to windward with 'B' rigs on, both mainsails
have a fair amount of twist in them even with these small rigs, perhaps GBR
08 could have just a touch more twist in the jib to match that of the mainsail.
This would allow the skipper to trim the jib in just a little closer to the centre
line of the boat and so point higher, and still not backwind the mainsail. The
second advantage in doing this is that as the wind strength increases and you
luff or pinch up in the gusts, you only spill wind out of the top half of your sail,
which is the part that is making your boat heal the most. With a setting like
this the rest of the sail is still sheeted in and allowing you to point up high and
maintain some power and drive in your sails. Another tip, the more chop or
wave action the more twist you will need in your sails to get throught it, plus a
little more fullness or power.