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Is there a Class Rule on blade jib track position...
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Right now, I have a "working" jib that I use when solo, with inexperienced crew or in a blow (I believe that it is the size-- it is extremely small and my rough measurements put its around 61 sq ft) . It is certainly easy to handle and allows me to go out alone safely but is less than desirable in the forward momentum department, especially when dealing with chop in relatively light winds.


I have two questions:


One:

I have been thinking of going up to a blade but don't have one in my sail inventory currently. and wondered if it is possible to get a 150 genoa or main cut down to a blade? I can ask my sailmaker but was curious thoughts from this group. I would not be using it for racing.


Two:

I have been following the discussion re: blade jib track placement etc. and I think that my boat is missing the tracks for the blade.


I have just one set of tracks on the cabin top which look like they are placed at the location of Item 16 (outer edge, aft cabin top) in the deck plan design blueprint (2" in from the cabin top outer edge). I do not have the Item 35 tracks on the cabin top.


I have always just run my working jib sheets through the outer, aft cabin top tracks (Item 16).


I have a single winch in the middle of the cabin top that I use for raising the sails. In addition, I have the two winches on the coming that I use for both the 150 Genoa and the working jib.


Would using that configuration work for the blade as well and address the issue of narrow sheeting angle even though it wouldn't be race compliant?


Even if not ideal, would adding a blade in the configuration I described improve my forward momentum over that of the working jib?




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Make sure to pass the sheet through the Blade's clew in between the forward lower chainplate and the block on the Blade tracks...

I know that's what you meant, but...




BB

On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 1:58 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:
Fleet 2 at the Houston Yacht Club has been racing with the blade exclusively in all club races and regattas for over the past 12 years and more. The Fleet 2 Ensigns have two winches mounted on the cabin top, port & starboard, for the blade sheets.  Racing/sailing with the blade requires less physical strength from the crew and greatly increases safety/visibility on the race course.  However, trimming the blade correctly is challenging.

The HYC Turkey Day Regatta will be Saturday, 23 November 2019 and hopefully, the Ensigns racing will use the jib sheet configuration as illustrated in Bud Brown's forum post and graphic.  

We will take some photos and perhaps videos of the blade with the proposed sheeting.  The sheets will be tied to the bottom of the forward lower chainplates, led through the blocks on the blade tracks and back to the cabin top winches and cam cleats.



John
John E. Cutler
Past Commodore Ensign Class Association
#1029 - the other woman


--
Best regards,

Bud Brown

281.468.6909 cell and text
410.489.5426 home and office
Fleet 2 at the Houston Yacht Club has been racing with the blade exclusively in all club races and regattas for over the past 12 years and more. The Fleet 2 Ensigns have two winches mounted on the cabin top, port & starboard, for the blade sheets.  Racing/sailing with the blade requires less physical strength from the crew and greatly increases safety/visibility on the race course.  However, trimming the blade correctly is challenging.

The HYC Turkey Day Regatta will be Saturday, 23 November 2019 and hopefully, the Ensigns racing will use the jib sheet configuration as illustrated in Bud Brown's forum post and graphic.  

We will take some photos and perhaps videos of the blade with the proposed sheeting.  The sheets will be tied to the bottom of the forward lower chainplates, led through the blocks on the blade tracks and back to the cabin top winches and cam cleats.



John
John E. Cutler
Past Commodore Ensign Class Association
#1029 - the other woman
Vic,

For clarity, I only drew the sketch for one side.

The system gets duplicated on the other side.

On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 1:27 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:

Bud,

 

How does this work when the blade is on the starboard side?

 

Vic

 

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> On Behalf Of Ensign Sailing Forum
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2019 4:34 PM
To: vic@victorroberts.com
Subject: re: [Ensign Sailing] Is there a Class Rule on blade jib track position?? <<$243253792249$>>

 

Zeke,

Please find attached a larger drawing of the Blade Sheeting sketch.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore


Attachment(s):
Blade_Pad_Eye_Sheeting.jpg (461.4 KB)



--
Best regards,

Bud Brown

281.468.6909 cell and text
410.489.5426 home and office

Bud,

 

How does this work when the blade is on the starboard side?

 

Vic

 

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> On Behalf Of Ensign Sailing Forum
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2019 4:34 PM
To: vic@victorroberts.com
Subject: re: [Ensign Sailing] Is there a Class Rule on blade jib track position?? <<$243253792249$>>

 

Zeke,

Please find attached a larger drawing of the Blade Sheeting sketch.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore


Attachment(s):
Blade_Pad_Eye_Sheeting.jpg (461.4 KB)

Zeke,

Please find attached a larger drawing of the Blade Sheeting sketch.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore
Zeke,

The drawing only has the pad eye and the block on the track. There are no blocks on the clew. For the experiment, I simply passed the line through the Blade's clew grommet.

Although, J22 jib clews have small bullet blocks attached to them, and we could certainly do the same. However, the friction of the line on the grommet provides some holding power, much like a ratchet.

In Fleet 2, lots of boats have small, Lewmar 6 winches mounted on their cabin tops which makes trimming the Blade super easy and convenient. Cross-sheeting to the weather cabin top winch cleaned up the whole operation.

Here's a couple of Lewmar 7's that are going for $75... https://www.ebay.com/itm/USED-Lewmar-7-Single-Speed-Sailboat-Winch/113964508971?hash=item1a88d0672b:g:HdMAAOSwRs1dyxwv

If your boat is still in the water and you have a Blade, I encourage you to rig up this configuration and look at it. I predict you are going to be pleasantly surprised.


Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore
Buddy 

I can’t quite see the lettering in your diagram. The only point I can make out is Pad where the pad eye is. Can you detail the prushase blocks and how they adjust? 

I get the jest but the details on the block system is to small. 

Thanks zeke. 

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 09:26 Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:



Great ! Thanks Bud.
Indivijual Custom Eyewearwww.Indivijual.com
Phone 325-675-0850




    On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:29:49 AM CST, Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote: 

 No more than usual, Randy...

Hang ups come from there being something to hang up on.
Tacking the Blade is easy and fast, and is pretty much just a matter of timing. The clew does not have far to travel.
On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 10:18 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:
Thanks Bud, looks good. In your experiments were there any "hang-ups" when tacking from one side to the other?
Best,
Randy Barnett
Indivijual Custom Eyewearwww.Indivijual.com
Phone 325-675-0850




    On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2:15:41 PM CST, Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote: 




 Here is an (attempted) drawing of the proposed Blade sheeting system.

 Best regards,

 Bud Brown
 #1085

 ECA Rules Vice Commodore   

--
Best regards,
Bud Brown
281.468.6909 cell and text410.489.5426 home and office   


Great !  Thanks Bud.  

Indivijual Custom Eyewear
Phone 325-675-0850




On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:29:49 AM CST, Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:


No more than usual, Randy...

Hang ups come from there being something to hang up on. 

Tacking the Blade is easy and fast, and is pretty much just a matter of timing. The clew does not have far to travel.

On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 10:18 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:
Thanks Bud, looks good.  In your experiments were there any "hang-ups" when tacking from one side to the other?  

Best,

Randy Barnett

Indivijual Custom Eyewear
Phone 325-675-0850




On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2:15:41 PM CST, Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:





Here is an (attempted) drawing of the proposed Blade sheeting system.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore


--
Best regards,

Bud Brown

281.468.6909 cell and text
410.489.5426 home and office
No more than usual, Randy...

Hang ups come from there being something to hang up on. 

Tacking the Blade is easy and fast, and is pretty much just a matter of timing. The clew does not have far to travel.

On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 10:18 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:
Thanks Bud, looks good.  In your experiments were there any "hang-ups" when tacking from one side to the other?  

Best,

Randy Barnett

Indivijual Custom Eyewear
Phone 325-675-0850




On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2:15:41 PM CST, Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:





Here is an (attempted) drawing of the proposed Blade sheeting system.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore


--
Best regards,

Bud Brown

281.468.6909 cell and text
410.489.5426 home and office
Thanks Bud, looks good.  In your experiments were there any "hang-ups" when tacking from one side to the other?  

Best,

Randy Barnett

Indivijual Custom Eyewear
Phone 325-675-0850




On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2:15:41 PM CST, Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:





Here is an (attempted) drawing of the proposed Blade sheeting system.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore



Here is an (attempted) drawing of the proposed Blade sheeting system.

For those that have a Blade and want to experience the performance of this configuration without installing a pad eye, tie a clove hitch around the base of the forward lower, underneath the pin, and finish it off with a half-hitch so it doesn't slip. Run the tail of the sheet through the clew grommet and into the block on the existing Blade track. Duplicate on the other side.

Watch how the sheeting angle narrows and widens, and how the twist in the sail changes as you vary the sheet tension. Watch the top of the jib as you ease off onto a beam reach. Notice how much easier it is to trim using a 2:1 sheeting arrangement.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore
I totally agree Bud. 
When we were designing the new boats we tried to correct as many areas that we knew were outdated without changing the boat's one design characteristics. Many of the way boats have been rigged over the years were either really good and ingenious or they were complicated and messy. One of the areas we recommended changes were the Blade Track locations. The original idea was to have the Blade replace the No. 2 and Working Jib. Because the Blade fell short of that goal the Blade jib is a good choice over the Working Jib but not the No. 2. in high winds. 
We figured the Blade lost its efficiency by about 10 to 15 percent because of the location of the tracks. If we could correct the proper trimming angles  we might get the efficiency to the point the Blade might be the sail of choice in higher winds period. 
My position is that if it's not broke don't fix it but if it is broke fix it. 
So yes I would like to see your design maybe a diagram but I think I know what your planning to do and it would be a welcome change to the present track location. 

Zeke




On Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 3:30 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:



In the opinion of numerous, long time, Ensign sailors, the track position for the Blade was indeed defined in the wrong location. Less than 9 degrees is far too narrow.

 Because of the narrow sheeting, the Blade has been unnecessarily difficult to trim from the beginning. Achieving an appropriately open slot with an even break on the Blade's luff has been tricky and difficult. Designing a Blade to overcome these issues has been trickier, and although these certainly are viable issues, the real problem is that Ensigns have a shallow draft, full keel.

 Full keels are great for tracking, comfortable motion, driving through short seas, carrying way through tacks and resisting round-up, but their relatively high wetted surface area and low aspect ratio are associated with increased leeway and reduced pointing ability. Full keels are not considered to be a high performance underbody as compared to fin keel/spade rudder designs.

 In general, narrow sheeting angles work best on efficient, high aspect ratio keels and hulls that are easily driven. In addition, narrow sheeting angles are best in medium air and flat water, and they tend to reward experienced helmsmen and a responsive helm. The Ensign Class has plenty of good sailors, but there are no Ensigns that have a responsive helm.

 Increasing sail side forces through narrow sheeting angles on a heavy boat with a full, shallow draft keel is simply a design mismatch. There is only so much lateral resistance one can ask of the low aspect, Ensign keel before the vortex under the keel starts to slow the boat.

 The leads need to move outboard, and having run the experiment, I can tell you that the Blade is an absolutely wonderful sail when led correctly. Great for day sailing, cruising and singlehanding because of the ease of handling a 100% jib, I would love to see the class get behind fixing this problem.

 I have a suggested fix if anyone is interested.

  Best regards,

 Bud Brown
 #1085

 ECA Rules Vice Commodore


Some might suggest that simply moving the track outboard would be the solution.

But, because there are already a number of boats with the tracks installed, I paused to wonder if there actually was a way to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

I experimented by dead-ending the Blade sheet onto the base of the forward lower shroud, then passing the tail through the clew grommet and back into the lead block on the track.

What happened was pretty satisfying. Not only did this configuration correct the lead angle, it also:

 Corrected the trim problems (One could achieve an even break on the luff without choking the slot). 

 Allowed fore and aft adjustment (with the existing track and car).

 Made the Blade sheet a 2:1 system (which made the Blade easier to trim. Believe it or not, the Blade gets a lot of load on it, AND it needs trim attention in puffy conditions).

 Kept the Blade in very good trim as the sheet was eased, even up to about 90 degrees apparent (This happens because the dead-end is forward and outboard, and starts to 'take over' to keep the Blade's top from luffing off as the sheet is eased).

Overall, it was a very satisfying experiment, to the point of thinking the configuration was actually much better than simply moving the track outboard. VMG went up substantially, trimming became easier and easing the sheet became very effective. What more can one ask for?

I encourage anyone who owns a Blade to rig up this trim configuration, and try it out. It really is quite sweet!

Now as a class, we wouldn't want to dead-end the sheet onto the base of the forward lower shroud as a PERMANENT solution, but pad eyes are relatively inexpensive. In particular, I like this one because it folds down:

https://www.atlanticriggingsupply.com/wi16fopap.html

Simply adding a pad eye 3 inches inboard from the rail (the outboard edge of the raised lip, not the rub rail) and 2 inches forward of the forward lower shroud would solve this problem in a very elegant and performance enhancing way. It also would have the appeal of not having to move existing tracks to a different location.

Of course, this would require a change to the rules... one that I hope people will pick up on and support. 

The Blade is a GREAT sail to have. It has just been led incorrectly, but it is fabulous for all aspects of Ensign sailing... day sailing, cruising, singlehanding and racing.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore



Thanks Bud,  I am extremely interested in learning about your solution.  My son Mitch and I sail his Ensign #1198 in Abilene, Texas, home of lots of wind and too few sailors.  So we have a selfish motive in teaching prospective sailors and the Ensign is almost perfect for teaching.  (When I was growing up we tried to teach in Snipes and after capsizing and swamping most people went back to the golf course).  

The Ensign is stable and forgiving and we find our "students" pick up the basics very quickly under Main only.  But when we progress to adding a foresail a Genoa is troublesome.  So we are adding a Blade for the sake of teaching ease.  But it doesn't make much sense to try to teach people proper trim and shape of a jib when as you describe, it is "unnecessarily difficult".  We have our best success in teaching raw recruits when we simplify as much as possible. 

Looking forward to your Fix!!

Good Sailing!

Randy Barnett 
In the opinion of numerous, long time, Ensign sailors, the track position for the Blade was indeed defined in the wrong location. Less than 9 degrees is far too narrow.

Because of the narrow sheeting, the Blade has been unnecessarily difficult to trim from the beginning. Achieving an appropriately open slot along with an even break on the Blade's luff has been tricky and difficult. Designing a Blade to overcome these issues has been trickier, and although these certainly are viable issues, the real problem is that Ensigns have a shallow draft, full keel.

Full keels are great for tracking, comfortable motion, driving through short seas, carrying way through tacks and resisting round-up, but their relatively high wetted surface area and low aspect ratio are associated with increased leeway and reduced pointing ability. Full keels are not considered to be a high performance underbody as compared to fin keel/spade rudder designs.

In general, narrow sheeting angles work best on efficient, high aspect ratio keels and hulls that are easily driven. In addition, narrow sheeting angles are best in medium air and flat water, and they tend to reward experienced helmsmen and a responsive helm. The Ensign Class has plenty of good sailors, but there are no Ensigns that have a responsive helm.

Increasing sail side forces through narrow sheeting angles on a heavy boat with a full, shallow draft keel is simply a design mismatch. There is only so much lateral resistance one can ask of the low aspect, Ensign keel before the vortex under the keel starts to slow the boat.

The leads need to move outboard, and having run the experiment, I can tell you that the Blade is an absolutely wonderful sail when led correctly. Great for day sailing, cruising, racing and singlehanding because of the ease of handling a 100% jib, I would love to see the class get behind fixing this problem.

I have a suggested fix if anyone is interested.

Best regards,

Bud Brown
#1085

ECA Rules Vice Commodore
Thanks Zeke.  Much appreciated.  Randy 
Randy

For racing you have to install them where the Class indicates. If for cruising the better location is along the outboard edge of the cabin deck. As far outboard as possible. 
I tried for years to change to the more efficient and proper location but the thinking at the time was everyone had them already mounted so if everyone had them in the same place it wouldn't matter for one design racing. 
Hope this helps.

Zeke

On Sat, Nov 2, 2019 at 1:07 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:



We have a Blade jib for #1198 but no Blade jib tracks.   The Deck Plan Blueprint available in the ECA Library shows a position for the blade jib tracks substantially narrower than the working jib tracks.  The North Sails Sailmaker Trimming Guide in the ECA Library for the Blade  states:    "  1.  The lead position (tracks) are placed too close to the centerline of the boat.  This chokes the slot and makes the boat slow......6.  This is due to the backwind into the main, because of the narrow sheeting angle."

  Question about installing the tracks:  Do the Class rules dictate that the track position shown in the Deck Plan Blueprint is the only option?    IF not, can someone provide the optimal track position that cures the slot choking - boat slowing problem??

 Thanks for your help!

 Randy Barnett
 RandallBarnett@yahoo.com


We have a Blade jib for #1198 but no Blade jib tracks.   The Deck Plan Blueprint available in the ECA Library shows a position for the blade jib tracks substantially narrower than the working jib tracks.  The North Sails Sailmaker Trimming Guide in the ECA Library for the Blade  states:    "  1.  The lead position (tracks) are placed too close to the centerline of the boat.  This chokes the slot and makes the boat slow......6.  This is due to the backwind into the main, because of the narrow sheeting angle."

 Question about installing the tracks:  Do the Class rules dictate that the track position shown in the Deck Plan Blueprint is the only option?    IF not, can someone provide the optimal track position that cures the slot choking - boat slowing problem??

Thanks for your help!

Randy Barnett
RandallBarnett@yahoo.com
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