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wndsrf48 28th October 2008 12:29 AM

harness lines, mast track position, and footstraps
Hi Roger and Ellen,

Placement of harness lines: Is there an easy way to determine where the lines should be for a certain size sail. Or do you need to make one run to determine the placement by the pressure on your hands. Should the ends be two hand widths apart or less than that.

How does the position of the mast track affect getting into the foot straps. Being powered up is the most important part of this equation.

If you are just trying to get into the foot straps what is the best spot for them and how much of your foot should be into the straps.

thanks for the info.

Roger 28th October 2008 08:35 AM

Hi Sandy,
Here are your questions and we'll deal with them individually if that's OK?

"Placement of harness lines: Is there an easy way to determine where the lines should be for a certain size sail. Or do you need to make one run to determine the placement by the pressure on your hands. Should the ends be two hand widths apart or less than that. "
As you change sails, especially if the sails are from different lofts/sailmakers, you may need to move your harness lines a bit to get a perfect balance for each of your sails, but it normally does not change a whole lot.
Bigger sails usually require larger booms, so if you have a couple of booms (or more) and you normally rig each of your sails on it's own boom size, you should not be having to change the harness line position alot once you get them balanced.
If you only have one boom, you may have to do a bit more moving the lines to get a good balance on various size sails.
I like to adjust the harness lines so I can take both hands off the boom momentarily and have the rig just stay in place.... it does not fall forward or fall back, and it neither sheets in or sheets out. Then I know my lines are balanced.
The front attachment point controls whether the rig tends to fall forward or back and the rear attachment point controls whether the rig is neutral, sheets in or sheets out when you remove both hands from the boom.
2 hand widths apart is OK, I run mine a little closer at only one hand width apart.
The issue with getting the attachments too wide is that the rig has alot of angular pull
and this can lead to rig control problems (catapaults due to oversheeting...getting jerked off your feet.... things like this).

"How does the position of the mast track affect getting into the foot straps."
Since modern mast tracks are quite short, unless you are running the mast foot extremely far forward, the mast track position should have almost no effect on getting into your footstraps. If you don't have your harness lines set so your arms are at full extension when you are hooked in and in the footstraps, you may need to adjust your harness lines a bit. Boom height also comes into play here.

"Being powered up is the most important part of this equation."
I'm not sure how being fully powered up would affect getting into the footstraps....
beyond if you do not have enough power in your rig to get planing, on your shortboards,
you won't be able to even think about getting into the footstraps.
If you aren't really powered up, you need a larger rig or more wind.

If you are just trying to get into the foot straps what is the best spot for them and how much of your foot should be into the straps.
This depends alot on the board.... do you still have the Speed Slider.... how many liters are you sailing.
If you have enough wind and sail size to get planing, then the all the way back and outboard footstrap positions will normally get you the max. performance from your board and rig.
Hope this helps,

wndsrf48 28th October 2008 11:17 PM

Hi Roger,

Thanks for the information. Couple more questions. How far into the foot straps is your foot. Yes, I still have the Speed Slider which is 150 liters. But if I am just learning to get into the foot straps should the position of the foot straps be a little bit different then for max. performance.

thanks again,

crazychemical 28th October 2008 11:59 PM

your toes should stick out easily so you can point the upwards easily. Don't go further then like 0,5 cm beyond the joint of your toe to your foot. Too far = bad controle, bad speed and bad crashes. If you can't get your feet in far enough, well, say goodbye to controle and meet serious speeds and bad crashes.

prpa 29th October 2008 02:10 AM

Here is my advice, and god knows I had realy problems with this, but then I red an
article on internet and it is very good guidance.

Rear line - put on the 1/3 boom lenght
Front line - 1 fist apart
FOR FREERACE&SLALOM SAILS, put everything 1-2 inch more forward.

This works I have 1 boom with marked 3 positions for the 3 sails.

Roger 29th October 2008 07:07 AM

Hi Sandy,
Sorry, I forgot to answer the part about how far into the straps your feet need to go.
Normally, you just want all you toes sticking out the back side of the strap.
As suggested by CC too far (i.e. the strap back over the ball of your foot is not good because your feet can get trapped in the straps in a bad wipeout and you could suffer an ankle/knee/ hip inury, so it's better not to get the feet in too far.
The trouble with putting the footstrap further forward,, is that this keeps your weight too far forward for the board to really get going easily or for it to get anywhere near it's full speed potential.
So I suggest it's easier to put in slightly more time learning to get back to the best
position on the board than to spend alot of time further forward where you will never see what your board is really capable of.
As for using 1/3 of the boom length and them putting the front line 1 fist forward probably works some of the time with certain sail and certain booms, but I've learned not to trust the "mathematical solutions" for tuning windsurfing gear as very often the design of the sail or the interpretation of the "mathematical solution" results in something that's very unbalanced and people actually learn to deal with signifcant imbalance and soon think that's how a "balanced" rig is supposed to feel.
I get on their gear to see how well it's balanced and either the rig falls forward or back
or it's very front handed or back handed, or it's simply so out of balance I either have to dump the rig or get tossed in the water myself.
That's why setting your lines so you can take your hands off for few seconds at full speed, with the rig all raked back and sheeted in. If the rig just stands there, with your hands off the boom, giving you smooth reliable power you get accustomed to that "really balanced" feeling and it makes your sailing far more "effortless".
Hope this helps,

prpa 31st October 2008 01:01 AM

HI all
That 1/3 I think I red in Guy Crib and they are dependent on some factors like boom
curve design, ... But I think this info is good starting point for fine adjusting on water.

I think that sail manufactures should give some indication on the sails where should
be harnes lines, and then everzbody can fine adjust it on water.

crazychemical 31st October 2008 01:52 AM

it's all a matter of feel and whishes in the end ... more controle = lines more appart, more speed = longer lines, more downwind = lines more forward, more upwind = lines more backward and then just finetune it by just trying ... go one track, and if it pull to much or it sails awkwardly adjust by moving the a couple of centimeters ...
The way i install my lines is, i look where i put my masthand and then i place my lines about one or two fistlengths off that point, that usually is a good begin point, after that it's a couple of runs and they usually are propperly tuned to my wishes.

mrpalmer 31st October 2008 02:28 AM

I know North sails have a system they call HTS, harness line trim system but dont know about other sail manufacturers.

Roger 1st November 2008 08:46 PM

Hi again Sandy,
I hope the posts by the others were helpful. Maybe a little confusing.
My suggested method to determine harness line position and rig balance is something I
try to convey to as many sailors as possible.
It makes you a bit more sensitive to when the rig is balanced, and when it's not.
Then you can make little changes, on the water, to improve the balance which makes
everything about your sailing session work better, as you do not have to worry about the rig.
There are other methods, and there are some "imbalanced" methods that the racers use with the really big rigs to make sheeting in easier.
For now, just try to get your lines to where you can sail along fully sheeted in with your rig raked back and down with no hands on the boom.
This makes one less thing to worry about.
The suggestions by the others here probably work for some rigs (their rigs for sure) some of the time, but setting your lines and being able to tell when they aren't quite balanced, works all the time with all rigs.
Hope this helps,

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