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Sailing the Victoria - Sail Tuning

Powering Up the Competition Victoria

by Rod Carr

Like everything else in sailing, selection of the appropriate sail configuration for the Victoria is a series of compromises. One thing is for certain, the bluff bow of the Victoria needs sail power to punch through the little waves that would be ignored by larger models. The optimum Vmg is obtained at a wider pointing angle than the boat will comfortably sail, and sailing this course means that self control and powerful sails are called for to get to the weather mark first.

The class rule provides for a rather wide band of sail sizes, done to make it easy for skippers who wished to experiment with sails to have some latitude for their efforts. This allowable variance gives the serious skipper some choice in configuring his sails to maximize his performance on the racecourse. The question is, how to choose and why.

The logic seems straight forward, and sail plans of the type to be suggested have proven consistently fast round the buoys. Simply stated, the choice is a maximum size mainsail, and a minimum sized jib.

The mainsail is the major power producer, and being much larger and taller than the jib, it has the opportunity to work in the faster moving air farther off the water surface. A mainsail with increasing camber as one moves upward from the foot to the head allows for twisting the sail, but retaining power producing shape from the upper batten to the head. Consistent adjustment of the vang between each race optimizes the twist for the prevailing wind condition.

This sail configuration places less emphasis on the jib as a power producer, and more as the key to boat balance. Rigging a Victoria jib is a challenge as it fills the fore triangle and makes rigging of topping lift, jenny stays and the jib club a bit fiddly. By using the smallest jib allowable, we reduce these problems, and allow the mast to be racked forward approximately " to provide coarse boat balance. Final boat balance is then obtainable by selecting the fore and aft position of the jib club swivel attachment on the deck, and lastly by jib sheet adjustment when the sails are in the close hauled position.

Boat balance obtained by use of the rudder is simple to do, but at the expense of increased drag and reduced speed through the water. It is worth the time to balance the sail plan and know where it goes in each wind regime. What Gary Jobson calls "gear shifting" is as important on the little Victoria as it was on the AC boats which sailed off New Zealand.

Tuning the Victoria is an exercise in small, continuous adjustments. Marks on booms as well as the deck will soon allow the focused skipper to return to settings that have proven fast in specific conditions.

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Sail Tuning

by Hal Slenz-Whalen

The key to sailing is to match sail shape with wind speed. Overpowering the sail plan is related to not adjusting the sails to the wind speed.

The Victoria, properly set up with outhauls / downhauls / jib topping lift and functional boom vang, demonstrates a great range of wind speeds it can handle with its full sail plan. I have sailed in breezes over 12 knots that require considerable de-powering of the sails (reducing draft in the main and jib = flat footing and high tension on back stay = stiff jib stay and bent mast to flatten the draft in the main).

DEPOWER the Victoria in a breeze and she sails like a bandit to weather with a 30 degree heal (no more heal than 30 degrees is desirable or reduce sail shape further by twisting off the main and jib substantially by lifting the jib club (JIB TOPPING LIFT - retrofit to original kit) and boom (SOLID BOOM VANG - retrofit to original design, both are becoming common as sliced bread on Competition Ready Victoria's)....

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Transom Weight

 

Jim

I have recently started testing the effect of various fishing weights added to the transom. Conventional wisdom dictates that the boat be kept light with the weight concentrated in the center of the hull but here is my opinion of the apparent results. The addition of 2 to 3 ounces added to the transom raises the bow almost to the knuckle and lowers the stern to a point just at the water line. The Victoria seems to run cleaner with the bow up, pushing much less water and and moving the bow wave aft, while the transom is still running clean. Acceleration is probably lowered and momentum is increased, penetration through wakes and waves is greatly increased. Overall boat speed seems to have increased with no loss of control. Try it and let me know your opinion.

Chris Cafiero

I would suggest asking the technical minded and/or experienced. Rod Carr, who is knowledgeable and written a detailed article on the weight of Victoria items, or A.J. Moritiz, probably the leading producer of after-market items.

David Goebel

Jim, In a totally non-technical perspective, I agree with you totally, that's why I've mounted my receiver on the under side of the cockpit sole, with Velcro, mounted my batteries, behind the servo tray, and basically have shifted all the internal weighting aft.
My boat pretty consistently beat another conventionally weighted boat. But it hasn't been raced in the hands of a master to really "Measure" the difference.
It would be nice if one of our "BIG" fleets, or builders (AJ) could test this scientifically. Two identical boats, identical finishes, could be tested using the "Tow Bar" example from the EC-12 manuals, tuned to matched hull speed, and then rigged identically, then internally weighted differently to test the theory..... If someone has the time and gumption... that is...

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Fore/Aft Boat Balance

by George Emmert

In gusty winds, almost all Vickys sub...check your balance point fore and aft. I have devised a measurement point for same and will share that with you now. Take a piece of wood about a foot long, and only 1/4 inch in width on its edge. Hold the wood stick with the edge up (something like the free wood paint mix paddle) in your right hand...with your left hand, set your boat's hull on the stick at exactly 3/4 of an inch behind the fin where it meets the hull. Carefully, in a wind-free environment, let go of the boat...if it sets there without falling forward or backwards, then you are BALANCED fairly well. If it drops to the front, then you are bow-heavy...best to be somewhat stern heavy. 
This non-scientific test should be given to the boat when fully rigged, ready to sail, batteries installed.
The in-water test would be to look at your transom, calm water, not sailing...just sitting there! It (the transom) should not quite touch the water. However, if your transom is more than a quarter inch above the water, then you may be bow heavy.

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