Boat Preparation – by Jim Maloney

  1. Boat Preparation critical in every class.
    • Sails, Deck Layout, Hull/Keel/Rudder, and Mast Tuning all are equally important.
      If you address all these factors at the same time, you have a good chance of being competitive. Allows you to race on an easily sailed boat and keep your head out of the boat and concentrate on steering, tactics and boatspeed.
    • Boathandling is also much easier.
      If you concentrate on addressing only one item a year, you will probably always be frustrated. Just because you buy a new suit of sails, doesn't guarantee you will be fast.
  1. Bottom Prep - as important as good sails.
    • Bottom needs to be clean and fair.
    • Don't wet sand unless you have bottom paint or already have a boat that's been wet sanded.
    • All you need is soap, water, and a non-abrasive scrub pad. Rinse thoroughly.
    • The Moore 24 has a clean bottom to begin with, no need to improve a good thing, unlike a J/24.
  2. Deck Layout - Simple is best
    All you need is:

    1. Spinnaker Halyard stowage shackle on port side with release line led to starboard rail.
    2. Twingers - forward so you don't need foreguy.
    3. Foredeck Hatch - Spinnaker Bag Very Important!
    4. Jib Tracks - rail, two sets for #3, and long middle one for the #2 and #1.
    5. Topping Lift on Harken Swivel cleat between mast and shrouds on starboard side.
    6. Two winches for sheets (same winches can also help with halyards).
    7. Harken ratchets for spinnaker sheets.
    8. Backstay led to both sides.
    9. Traveler with "auto release".

    A clean deck creates a boat which is easier to crew on and improves boat handling (tacks, jibes, sets, douse).

  3. Mast & Boom
    Mast - All halyards should be cleated on Mast, Spectra Main and Jib (Light weight) and kevlar or spectra for spin halyard.Mast Tuning - Will Baylis' Article is still a good guide.
    If you're not a rocket scientist, like me, use one setting for all conditions and learn how to fool the boat.

    1. Rake - Headstay length - Will's number works - check other boats
    2. Uppers - tight
    3. Forward lowers - 150 lbs. less than uppers
    4. Aft lowers - tight - invert mast slightly - helps keep headstay tight so you can point - loosen it in light slop.
    5. Backstay - lots of purchase so you can crank it on, in a breeze, to blade main. Given limited space to work, the backstay should be a little short so it's hard to attach with everything slack.

    When the rig is tuned right, the mast is straight sideways and the tip is in the middle, with a slight aft inversion.

    Boom - Flattener at mid-boom so trimmer can adjust. Also add shock cord to keep tail up and out of crew's way.

  4. Weight
    Strip boat of everything you can, legally, and within reason.

    1. remove wires from hull and mast
    2. remove battery
    3. porta potty
    4. useless sails
    5. VHF - Loran - Stereo
    6. running lights
    7. replace aft bunks with mesh

    Basically - before you load your boat with your personal gear - food - beverages, the boat should only have an anchor and chain as required by class rules, life jackets, sails (1,2,3,S,M), lines, deck hardware, and a paddle for no wind, a bucket for the ladies, and bumpers for docking.

    Placement- When racing place all weight over keel on cabin sole.

    • Make sure none goes forward of bulkhead and only anchor and lifejackets aft of companionway.
    • Place as much on cabin sole as possible.
    • If you need to move weight fore and aft, crew weight is sufficient.
    • Crew weight should always be close together -whether forward or aft. Don't hesitate to have driver sit in front of traveler.
    • Proper weight placement ensure good balance on helm, stops hobby horsing.
  5. Good Sails
    Buy what the majority of the leaders are using
  6. Maintenance
    Check gear on a regular basis.
    There is nothing worse than losing a race, or places on the course, due to gear failure.


Proper Preparation - Boat handling improves
Tacks, jibes, sets, and douses, all become easier, faster and smoother

Less Variables- Allows you to concentrate on how to get your boat around the course as fast as possible, by focusing on sail trim, steering, tactics.

Practice- The more you sail as a team, the better you will get.
It takes all 4 or 5 crew to sail.

Copy- Copy the boats that are winning races. Don't spend time trying to recreate the wheel.

Simple is better- Once you've made the initial investment of time and money, should pay dividends.
Easier to retain crew.

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