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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '18, 22:49 
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Hello all,
I have had a Sabre 22 for a couple of years and whilst it is an outstanding family boat and has many great features, purely as a sailboat I can't help but feel it doesn't quite sail as well as the Boomerang 20 I had previously.

The old Boomerang was just beautifully balanced, one finger on the tiller and just point anywhere and sail like a gem. The Sabre does not feel so, weather helm at times and a tendency to round up seem to be the most noticeable differences. I note these were identified in a review I read on the Crawford Marine website when the boats were new.

My Sabre hasn't had any mods as far as I can tell and is a 1984 build. I am not an expert sailor and this may play a part, however I would welcome any suggestions on things I might try to get her to sail a little sweeter?

ImageDSC_0278 by StephenLuke, on Flickr
Here she is in Shoalwater Bay, WA on Saturday morning.

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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '18, 23:19 
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Get the mainsail recut to reduce the draft.

Then start to work on trimming the sails to get the telltails streaming. You may need more tell tails to figure out an improved trim.

Trimming is a process of doing one thing at a time working from the top of the sail down untill all the tell tails are streaming on both sides together.

Set a course to windward off close hauled. Set the headsail trimmed so the forward telltails draft together (this is done moving the sheet car back and forward while adjusting sheet tension) start with the sheet lose and bring it in till all the forward tell tails are drafting.

Time to start on the top of the mainsail with all controls lose. Get the top drafting with the mainsheet then one control at a time bring them in to improve the mainsail draft from top down. Leave the vang lose.

As hull speed increases, adjust the jib in to get more of the tell tails drafting. Keep doing this as things improve.

Keep working on the mainsail and jib one adjustmen at a time. When tightening a control, if it does not improve the draft on the sail, ease it, settle the yacht then try something else.

There are lots of sail maker sites with trim information use them but leave the vang lose till you are 99% finished.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 07:11 
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I'm not sure if it's distortion caused by a phone picture, but your bow seems to be resting relatively high? Take a look inside the cockpit lockers and have a think about ways to move weight forward - even storing the heavier contemts at the front of the locker and the fenders etc at the rear can help. Consider storing all the family gear up in the v berth, or encouraging the kids to sit up on the bow " because it's fun" . Having the boat weighted towards the stern is effectively raking the mast back, which will increase weather helm.

Do you have any pictures of the boat sailing so we can get an idea of sail shape / trim?

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 08:27 
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I thought it was low tide and sitting on the bottom.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 08:36 
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Some of us are just not good at tuning a boat. Try as I might I can never get all the telltales streaming. But last week I had guests on board, they had a Joubert Koala for many years. He took over as skipper, no time at all he had all telltales streaming and the boat going better than I had achieved in the five years we have owned it. BTW, yes I have read many books, but I just don't get it. Having understood my limitations many moons ago I still love sailing.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 08:48 
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I used to competition fly fish (this is going somewhere) and people told me they envied the distance I can cast and accuracy, I have been out fishing with these people and whilst they could not cast the distance I did they were enjoying themselves, isn't that really the point unless you are a serious racer?
You still get from A to B in a relaxed manner and to me that is the whole idea of sailing unless you are in a big race looking for line honours and a new Rolex.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 09:07 
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It doesn't have to be about speed - a well balanced boat just FEELS better. No fighting the tiller or struggling to maintain a straight course. More importantly , the boat feels natural and family seem less prone to sea sickness.

Simple things like making sure the main is fully hoisted and not some saggy baggy floppy mess down low , then learning how to compensate for swept back spreaders destroying the front of the sail on a reach ( let the boom twist up - ease that vang and sheet the traveller to windward when reaching) . Sorry if I'm telling you how to suck eggs here ?

Yesterday I was out helping a mate on his first sail aboard a balanced lug tug boat thing - essentially everything I thought I knew about sail trim went out the window, but we still managed to get it feeling nice by going back to basics - set the tiller midline and play with the sail until it feels right. His description - " stop thinking of the sail as a static part of the boat"

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 09:17 
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Bligh, I confirm Pdany's comments.

INMA sails like a big dinghy not a keel boat.

With light yachts and flexible rigs like INMA, drag is the skippers worst enemy.

Tuned (even with the cruising rags) she is very rewarding to helm, when the wind increases moderately, the rig self adjusts and she remains flat and fast. The caveat is the helm needs to be maintained with quick movements to keep the sails drafting.

I've had skilled keelboat skippers and others who were too slow on the helm and happy to bury the gunnel thinking that was fast, it was just plane scary for me.

Sail a Nolex 25 or any yacht with a similar light fractional rig and you may never want to sail a masthead rig again.

The Sabre is a heavy fractional rig without a backstay. It should work well with its heavy ballast.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 12:40 
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All of the above... but does the mast rake need checking alongside weight distribution?

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 13:04 
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There are many ways to make a boat handle badly and changing things without knowing what the underlying problem(s) is (are) will just compound the issue.

While, like Mal, (and especially after sailing with Paul Dandy) I don't claim much expertise in sail trimming, I can't help feeling that recutting sails is not the place to start. Rather I'd be starting with things which are easy to do and easy to undo, like adjusting the swing keel aft a little (if you've got a swing keel), then moving weight around in the boat, then perhaps adjusting the mast rake before spending serious money on irreversible stuff like recutting sails.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 13:24 
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Zeb, you are correct, I missed some simple checks.

Still the Sabres have had these problems before and the heavy mast limits the options to tune the rig.

A sail maker will look at the old mainsail and adjust it to reduce the draft which will be a big part of the weather helm. In this case, I believe it won't do damage and will bring the rig back to a tuneable configuration.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 14:59 
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Perhaps it’s just that the Sabre needs reefing earlier. Was your boomerang a mast or fractional rig as its seems from Wiki there were both.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 15:31 
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Its not the that the rig is masthead that is the pronlem. B20 is mashead and he loved the balanced helm.
Its the overall balnce of the boat and playing with keel position is a good place to start. And mast rake.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 15:46 
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Arthur F Chace advocated in his book, Precision Cruising, that "A cruising boat well handled, with the right sails well trimmed, will move with grace, speed and ease - and give maximum pleasure."

Image

I find it so very rewarding to have the right sails well trimmed. Others are equally happy with poor sail trim.

As long as you're out on the water having fun...


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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 17:35 
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The Sabre has a swing keel. Start by pulling the keel back to adjust the helm.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '18, 18:45 
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hey Dusty
I found a booklet called "The Sail Trim Users Guide" by Don Guillette. It is by far the easiest book that I have found that explains what to do and why. And best of all it is completely in laymans terms. There's only about 60 pages so you can read it in an evening. I am re-reading it now which I do on a regular basis, one chapter at a time. The more you read it the better understanding you get of how to make your boat a pleasure to sail.
It comes from the states but was only about $30.
Ask mr google

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 01:00 
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Hey guys,
thank you for all the terrific responses, I'm wrapt, it seems from the majority of advice I really just need to practice, do some more study and perhaps get a lesson or two.

From the majority of advice I think I was fortunate with the Boomerang that it must have just been well set up. I need to really polish the sail setting with the Sabre.

Interestingly I use a tiller pilot with the Sabre that I didn't have with the Boomerang, it isn't as responsive as myself and there is a bit of play in the rudder bushings. I suspect from your advice that may be a factor too.

Weather looks good for a sail on Cockburn Sound tomorrow. I will let you guys know how I go. INMA, particular thanks for your details explanation on how to approach tuning my sails, I will test tomorrow and report.

Cheers, Dust.


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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 06:42 
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Try to get a couple of pictures today so we can give advice on how YOU can improve sail trim rather than just generic trim advice.

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 17:25 
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I think there are a few other ideas that have not been explored so far, the first is hull shape. Alan Scott designed and built a number of Sabre 20's in Whangarei before 1980, they were fairly full in the buttocks and had a very bad tendency to broach. There were one or two Sabre 22's in the North Island champs in 1980, but Alan sailed his latest design, Robber's Dog, one of the few 780's on the water at the time. He then took the Sabre mould to Queensland and we lost touch.

The length to beam ratio is also a factor, and the waterline shape when healed, but my Spencer 40 was good close-hauled and hard work on a beam reach, long and skinny in those days.

When a boat heals the centre of effort moves, but the centre of lateral resistance doesn't alter so much, so most yachts have a tendecy to trip in a gust, it can take a big rudder and a strong arm to resist it.

A balanced rudder can help here, but the rule used to be no more than 1/7th in front of the line of the gudgeons. Having the rudder straight down is important. Race boats favour a dagger rudder.

I find with my Young 6.0 that I need the centre-board right down in light weather, but leaning it back as the breeze increases can keep the helm light, and improve the pleasure factor. We have been sailing on an inland lake lately and the variation in wind strength and direction keeps me amused for hours. The only trouble is we are running out of water, hope to post some photos soon.

A tendency to broach in a gust is not a bad safety factor, but only if you can keep control, and the depth of the rudder can be a factor here.

I notice the design was changed about 1984 and the centre-plate moved aft, but I have not noticed any comments about the difference in handling. More to come on this subject, I think.

Boats like the RL 24 have quite a different waterline shape when healed and probably a little more evolution and expertise in the design. I confess I have only recently come back to sailing and am not familiar with the design of this Boomerang.

Peter

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 20:05 
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Sadly I don't think some boats have well designed hull shapes and rig positioning. Many are (or were) designed by eye rather than science.

Of all my 16 or so TS, only a few were inherently well balanced. My little CAL 14 is one of the better balanced ones and gives great pleasure despite modest speed.

My other current boat is an Investigator 563 (my third one) and I love them dearly. But they are not the best balanced in terms of eliminating weather helm. I tried with my previous two to get more balance with sail trim and bigger headsails, but still a bit too much weather helm IMHO. My inexpert view is that the centre of effort is too far behind the centre of lateral resistance and that the cutaway of the long keel would be better filled in to the stern to give more keel area behind the mast. But I won't be doing that surgery and it was probably done by the designer in the interests of being easier to launch in shallow water without hitting the bottom at the rear of the keel.

By far my worst boat for weather helm was an extended Adventure 7 with a shoal draft keel. It had terrible weather helm which was exacerbated by the boat's tenderness which in turn reduced the rudder's effectiveness as it heeled. That boat also had a keel which didn't continue far enough aft.

By the way, the CAL has a long full length keel with a decent area of keel all the way aft to the transom and it tracks well and has very little weather helm.

I can't comment on the Sabre or B20 but if you can't eliminate the problem, maybe you are best masking it by fitting a deeper rudder with a portion ahead of the hinge point so that the loads on the tiller are reduced.

So some boats may just have a built in tendency that may not be fixable.

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 22:02 
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Peter, pulling the keel back will reduce weather helm.

If that does not get enough balance with trim, then get the draft reduced on the mainsail which will reduce the drag on the mainsail and give you more trim to reduce weather helm.

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 23:47 
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I noticed in all the drawings of the Sabre the friction held rudder seemed to hang forward of vertical.
In browsing past threads On Sabres I read from a NZ contributor.
“*. I do have a fair bit of wheather helm, but have a sailing mate with the same boat with a nuteral helm, havn't had a chance to compare yet but I think the difference maybe in the rudder length and or rake. “
It’s probably not new to yourselves but on a couple of occasions the lock rope on my swing rudder has slipped causing the rudder to partially swing back creating lots of weather helm and rounding up.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '18, 00:05 
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Hello Dustinoz,
I think I can help :mrgreen As many on this site know I was and still am a keen Sabre enthusiast even though it been many a year since I last owned a Sabre. Prior to the Sabre I owned a drop keel Boomerang 20. There is no doubt in my mind that the Boomerang 20 was a better boat to sail. It was able to point quite high and its sailing characteristics were comparable to a small keeled yacht. Like you I loved our Sabres and would buy one in a heartbeat if we were to go back to trailer yachts. While the sailing performance of the Sabre 22 was good it was not brilliant. Trimming the sails correctly, raising the keel in the right conditions and ensuring the rudder was completely locked in all assisted in better sailing performance but in my opinion never as good as the Boomerang. In saying that the Sabres roominess in the cockpit and saloon were second to none.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '18, 13:12 
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my B20 is so well balanced , sometimes autohelm goes into standby and you dont know for 10 - 15 mins it just sails its course rounding in gust and falling off in lulls
I also have upgraded ? to a bigger boat and will not be selling b20 until i know it was a positive move.
Maybe the great standoff between eric maisey and robb legg i have heard of ? :twisted: although i think their issue was the self righting aspects of their designs rather than the balance qualities. EM Respect.


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PostPosted: Jan 22nd, '18, 22:15 
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Thanks guys,
great input and an interesting discussion. Greg (Ozsailer) not sure if you recall this post viewtopic.php?f=65&t=12706 from a number of years ago when I was in Sydney. At that time I was looking at Sabres, and we spoke but I ended up buying a Boomerang which at the time was the right choice. Appreciate your advice at that time, it was spot on.

I've come full circle with the Sabre. I have some video to edit, which I will put up later if I figure out how to, that you guys can critique....

Cheers,
Steve.


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