Tuning a National Twelve or any boat for
that matter is an elusive art. Good tuners fall into
two categories; those who have fixed ideas and supreme confidence
in them this
alone probably accounts for their success
and, on the other hand, those whose ideas fluctuate with
every article they read and have supreme confidence in themselves
-this accounts for their success.
Having proved that I am unsuitable for writing
on the subject I shall expound my own Golden, sorry, slightly
If you sail two consecutive races and dont use it, throw
it away and forget it. The fifteen seconds you spend wondering
whether to use it or not could better be spent watching the jib
Check your gear and equipment. No, dont make a mental note:
any worn halyards, kicking strap, centre-plate rubbers, etc.
Dont check and say Mmmmm! Thats not going to
the bottom of your boat, rudder and centre-plate if you think
it makes you go faster; if you dont, do it anyway: it will
help keep you out of the Tubs Trophy.
to stern sheeting
think about it; its the best way anyway.
Have you been meaning to make the centre of pressure easier to
move; make a longer tiller extension, so that you dont
tire yourself in light weather; actually fix that leaking bailer,
mount the jam cleats properly, move the toe straps so that you
can actually sit out come
on this is tuning, not Should my mast bend 15 thou. more
between gooseneck and flag halyard cleat?
Tuning wont make you win races, but
it gives you much more time to think, and that will. And before
you all get around my boat and point out the things I havent
done, I did say earlier Im no tuner. Im
not much good at
More advanced stuff
For Micky Deas, Mike Jackson and the like
(Mike MacNamara has private tuition
2 pints an hour).
Weather helm, etc., get it right
you spend less
time fighting and more time sailing. Have you ever consciously
consid&SHY;ered how light or otherwise your helm really is when
sailing? Remember straight up and down rudders with long tillers
means not much gets back to you.
bend. As stiff as possible sideways and a little bit stiffer
than you think you can hold fore and aft. Where? Unimportant.
It will be in the right place despite your efforts!
Jibflat plus one good crew. Maincut flatter than
you think, and no hard leeches
better to have reverse batten twist and bottom batten
of rule 3 should be done from outside the boat. It is impossible
to see what your sails are doing from inside the boat. (Categorical
and with a pint on it !).
So youve got a slow boat. Sell it to an uninhibited recruit
to the class, and buy him a drink when he passes you in his second