Recording optimal sail settings

Every mainsail has certain trim adjustments and settings that seem to make it go as fast as possible. Whenever you feel like you're going fast, notice how you have the sail trimmed. Your ultimate goal is to create a reference chart for each of your mains that will give you good target settings for each variable. See below for an example:
 

Mainsail

Light Air

Medium

Heavy Air

Wind Range (knots apparent)

     

Top Batten (angle to boom)

     

Outhaul (inches from band)

     

Cunningham

     

Depth (% at mid stripe)

     

Draft Position (% at mid)

     

Backstay Tension (% of max)

     

Boom Position

     

Battens

     

Rudder Angle

     

 

Mainsail trim Card

Make a copy of the chart above for your mainsail. Then set a goal to keep track of your fast settings and fill in the chart as shown below. Each time you race, review the chart of the main you are using before the start. This will give you good starting adjustments. Change the numbers in your chart(s) as you discover faster settings. (Remember settings will differ widely between boats.)

Mainsail 
North K/M 98

Light Air

Medium

Heavy Air

Wind Range (knots apparent)

 

   

   

Top Batten (angle to boom)

Parallel

Parallel

Slightly Open

Outhaul (inches from band)

2"

Max

Max

Cunningham

None

Little

Hard

Depth (% at mid stripe)

 

 

 

Draft Position (% at mid)

 

 

 

Backstay Tension (% of max)

 

 

 

Boom Position

Centreline

Centreline

Traveller Eased

Battens

Soft Top 2

Soft Top 1

Stiff

Rudder Angle

 

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