The History of the Y-Flyer by CYFYRA
The first Y-Flyer was built in Canada in the winter of 1941-1942 by Jack Mandeville from the Longueuil Boat Club in Montreal, Quebec. This boat was built from plans shown in Wooden Rudder magazine designed by Alvin Youngquist, a young naval architect from Toledo, Ohio. Six more Y-Flyers were built shortly thereafter at the Longueuil Club. In 1944, sailing in a regatta at the Pointe Claire Yacht Club in Montreal, Quebec in very strong winds the Y-Flyer distinguished itself by staying upright when many of the better known classes were going over.Within a short time the boat became very popular in Canada, thanks to individuals like Chuck Williams and Claude Hill.
By 1946 the CYFYRA was formed. Fleets blossomed in Montreal, Saguenay and Hudson, Quebec. By 1952, fleets appeared in Ottawa, Deep River, Cornwall and Brockville, Ontario. By the early 1960’s more fleets were established in Hamilton, London, Windsor, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Gatineau and Norway Bay, Quebec, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
The CYFYRA is currently on it’s fourth generation of sailors as other classes have come and gone. We have Y-Flyers from the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. The Y-Flyer is truly 18 feet of pure fun and excitement. Please contact us whether you race, cruise or just wish to keep in touch.
Y the Y? Random Tacks on the Merits of Y Flyer Sailing by Richard Quinlan
Enter with Confidence. Most sailboats of similar size must be awkwardly entered directly into the cockpit. Then you must huddle amidship until the boat is underway. An incorrect entry could have serious consequences such as a capsize or a foot through a thin deck. The Y Flyer sailor steps nonchalantly onto the strong deck and takes a seat anywhere in the cockpit. If sailors of other classes are watching, the Y sailor may add a confident swagger as part of the entry procedure.
Y Stability is Good. Y Flyers are wide and flat for a centerboard class. This provides for a friendly forgiving nature. And if the wind dies you have a ready-made swimming platform, easily accessible over the low side deck.
Sail on a Heel! Sailors of other boats struggle to hold their boat flat. But the Y Flyer is sailed on a tilt. And when the Y flyer heels over, you’re raised up providing an exciting feel and a high vantage point.
What’s the Angle?…the angle of the wind, sails, the boats heel. Perfecting the Y’s angles is an intellectual challenge leading to fast and fun sailing.
Wave, You’re on a Wave! When you’re sailing upwind add a slight heel and the bow will slice waves like a knife through butter.
Tinker to You Heart’s Content. The Y Flyer is a one-design class, but there is room in the class rules to do some fun tinkering of mast position, rig tension and fittings to improve performance. Y Flyer sailors readily share boat setup advice.
Tabernac – Y’all R Sailing a Y, Eh? You’ll hear many dialects at Y Flyer regattas ranging from rich southern accents, to the soft ‘r’s of New England, and Midwestern drawls. And the Canucks are there, fer shore, with un petit peu de Quebecois.
How Long is Your Pole? Interesting national differences have evolved, that makes traveling fun. Canadians are friendly to spinnaker and trapeze, and some enjoy these exciting additions. Americans see chutes as belonging in airplanes and trapezes in circuses. They’ve perfected whisker poles, barber haulers, and jib tensioners for runs and reaches. Which is faster – the Canadian spinnaker or the American long poles?
New is Good, Old is Good. New boats sail with old boats in the Y fleet. One design requirements have been consistently applied. In the Y Flyer – New is Good and Old is Good.
Home-built Y’s. Since 1970 most Ys have been professionally built of fiberglass. But the Y Flyer was designed to be easily built by home builders with basic carpentry skills. And now there is a home-building resurgence. There are resources available to help home builders.
Thinking of Fixing up an Old Y-Flyer? by Richard Quinlan
I had wanted to find a vintage Y Flyer in good condition and fix it up. Last winter I found one on Kijiji. It is a 1965 Edmonton-built Booth wooden boat that had been stored in a garage at Seba Beach, just a few lots away from the Edmonton Yacht Club. I bought the boat unseen for a fair price. In late April I drove up from my home in Lethbridge to pick it up. A complete refinish was going to be needed but the boat appeared to be structurally sound.
I spent the spring and early summer stripping the deck to bare wood, sanding and filling holes and gouges, applying three coats of West System epoxy, and then topping it off with marine varnish. The hull was already well-protected by a sound layer of fibreglass but I painted over it with pretty blue marine enamel. There was one area of dry-rot on the quarter deck and transom. I cut it out, applied ‘git-rot’, and then filled the gaping hole with two-part epoxy putty.
The boat did not have bailers and did not have buoyancy tanks. So I cut and installed four marine plywood bulkhead covers at ribs #5 and #9 and put screw-open hatches into them. I discovered that the ribs had never been sealed to the deck and hull so had to silicone seal the area. I shaped big cork stoppers to plug the drain hole on each rib and then sealed them in place. I took a jigsaw and cut two holes into the lowest point of my hull for Anderson bailers. I did some sanding and reshaping of the holes to ensure an accurate and tight fit and then sealed off the rectangular holes with an epoxy paste. Then I installed the bailers. They fit nicely and I was pleased with my work when they did not leak. I took a look at the rigging and fittings and thought about just keeping as original but then dumped that idea in favour of trying to make the boat competitive. I removed a big jib cleat bridge that was over the centreboard. I removed the original jib tracks from the side deck and replaced them with new Harken tracks with bulls eye fairleads and cleats mounted on swivelling plates. After studying the North tuning guide and looking at a lot of web pictures of modern Y’s I placed the track at a new position about 14 inches off centreline. One problem though is that the older decks end a couple of inches further forward than the new boats, creating a sheeting angle that causes too much jib leach tension. That led to me cheating by making a slight overlap of the track a few millimetres into mid air, something I paid for later when that part of the track bent and snapped off. Between races at Internationals we re-positioned the track about an inch further outboard which also positioned it a bit further back as the deck curves a lot at that point. It seems to work well there. I added a facsimile of the jib barber haulers that are used on the newer boats for sailing downwind.
I studied the ungainly-looking travellers that are on modern Y’s. Right off the bat I didn’t like these monsters. I did some reading and thought about the rigs of both my Fireball and my Laser. In the end I installed a powerful boom vang. The idea is that I can make the mainsail flat using the vang in heavy winds and then let out the main without powering up the sail. That’s sort of like sheeting in and letting the traveller down (but not exactly). This does not provide for some possible light-wind applications of the traveller. Regardless I didn’t think I would take the time to actually use a traveller so I didn’t install one. I have a simple rope bridle on the aft deck. This is still a work in progress and I hope it works, but if I can’t catch the leaders, I might eventually install one of the awful looking beasts.
As a traditional Canadian Y Flyer sailor I strongly advocate that both spinnaker and trapeze are integral parts of Y sailing. My boat came with a pretty good trapeze setup, as did all the Booth boats of the ’60s. So I just kept it as is. The spinnaker setup was awkward so I modified it. My Fireball experience really helped here. I put PVC couplers as pole holders on each side of the boom and am using my Fireball spinnaker pole, which is slightly less than the maximum 7 foot allowance on the Y Flyer. It seems to work OK. It is a double-ended setup with a quick-connect for the up-haul/downhaul located mid-pole to allow for nice easy gybes. The pole up-haul is a low-stretch line that I can adjust with a block and cleat at the base of the mast. The downhaul is just a non-adjustable bungee that’s looped three times from the mast pole ring down to an eye at the mast base. The sheets include twinning lines, rings, and balls for setting the guy to keep the pole from ‘skying’. A simpler method is just to put in a reaching clip near the shroud. My crew, Dirk, was a quick study with this setup at the Saratoga Internationals and I think it is a keeper, with a few minor improvements such as a new halyard that doesn’t jam all the time.
I replaced the old metal rudder with a newer longer wooden one. The old short ones don’t allow for positive steering. The Y has a sensitive feel at the helm with quick switches from mild weather helm to slight lee helm. I think this is a result of several factors such as sail trim, heel, fore-aft position of crew and wind strength. Having a good long rudder in the water really helps to keep the boat on track. For sails I bought a new North mainsail and new jib but am using the original 1965 Rapsey and Lapthorn spinnaker as it is in super shape. It’s a real whopper for runs and broad reaches, but too big and parachute-like for beam reaches. I’d like to explore a reaching spinnaker. Other changes I’m considering? Well, I’ll likely remove the old crank-up halyard system and replace it with pull-up low-stretch rope halyards, with a tensioning system. At the Internationals I noticed we sailed faster and higher upwind with higher rig tension (as you said Bob!). But our thrill was short-lived as the jib halyard snapped on the last upwind of the regatta! So new halyards are on my list. My mast is about 2 inches further forward than the modern boats, and I might eventually have to change that (but am resisting for now). I’ll likely cut the centreboard down to the size that’s found on new boats. And there are a few other changes I’ll likely make as I continue to re-learn the Y Flyer.
All in all, I think with a little forethought and planning an old Y Flyer in good shape CAN be made to be reasonably competitive with the modern boats. There are a few old Y’s still around – If you have an opportunity to get one and want to restore it and rig it …well, Y Not! Do It!
Want to Extend the Life of your Boat Cover? by CYFYRA
Boat covers age and eventually leak thanks to the weather and UV. Replacement costs can be now $400.00 USD. However if you wish to extend the life of your boat cover here is an affordable solution. There is a product available called Escort that comes in a four litre can found at Canadian Tire that is used for tent canvas that can both waterproof and UV protect for a cost of $50.00 CDN with tax and it works great.
First wash well with bio degradable dish soap several times to remove dirt and fungus growth. Use a scrub brush to clean the cover and it helps getting into a tough places. Hose down well and let dry. P
Before applying Escort make sure that you are doing this in an open and well ventilated area with 20 degree C temperatures or above. It is advised to place an industrial grade drop sheet over the complete boat (both length and width), available at Canadian Tire for $10.00. Put your tent cover back on your boat to make it easier to coat. Use a four inch foam brush to apply. The Escort product is like water and stir often. The foam brush allows you to get into every area of the cover, including the seems. A four litre can will allow you to coat your cover four times. It will not darken the canvas. You can put two applications on day one followed by two more day two. Allow to air for another forty-eight hours.
The Elements of Racing Tactics by Alan Brown
As you begin your experience in sailboat racing, you soon realize that the winning boats have certain techniques and maneuvers which they use in race after race to put them out front. These bits of strategy and maneuverings are racing tactics. To the beginner, racing tactics often seem quite complicated, and well they might be. However, the basic fundamentals of racing tactics are quite simple. With a sound understanding of them you will develop good racing habits and will be well prepared to learn the more intricate details later on. Here are some tactics that will help you win races. Get the most out of your boat. Few skippers ever get their boats racing fast as they can go. Most sit back and say, “I’ve just got a slow boat.” The only thing slow is the brain behind the tiller. Tune your boat to perfection. There is always one more little thing that can be done to a boat to help her speed. Keep working for a glass smooth bottom. Check the sails and condition of the sheets. Use the North Sail tuning guide found on our website www.y-flyer.ca. Throw out bits of unwanted articles that seem to gather in the cockpit. Some paint their centre boards to reduce drag. Tune up the skipper. Have him read as much as he can about racing and how it could be applicable to a Y-Flyer.
Sail hard every minute of your race. This basic principle is so important it ranks first. Don’t forget it. No race is over until you have crossed the finish line. Concentration is key. Until then, anything can happen. A dying wind can becalm the leaders. A fresh wind may blow your way and send you speeding through the middle of the fleet. The boats ahead may sail to the wrong mark or the person next to you may just relax enough so you can get the jump on him. Don’t stop racing for a minute until you cross the finish line. Don’t let down for an instant. Even when you are far behind, make it a point to sail hard and keep racing. Trim and re-trim your sails. Think and talk about your tactics, rules and what other boats are doing. Watch the boat ahead of you to make a mistake. If you race every minute, you will see the mistake and know how to take advantage of it.
Don’t over steer. In the excitement of trying to work up to windward on a beat there is a tendency to pump or abruptly move the tiller from side to side. The total effect is it slows your boat down. Each time the rudder is turned at an angle to the water, it acts as a drag. Whenever changing course or heading up to adjust to the wind move the tiller slowly.
Don’t over tack. Every time you come about you boat loses some headway and speed until you are off and sailing on a new tack. This can be approximately two boat lengths. This means that you have lost precious seconds and distance to other boats that have not tacked. This can amount to quite a distance by the time the windward leg is finished. Tack when it is necessary with the wind shifts and watch how other boats are pointing on opposite tacks. Tacking is done often during a race. It becomes one of the most important maneuver for you to learn to do well. If you and another Y-Flyer take the same number of tacks to get to the windward mark, the team that has done the best job will get there first. You and your crew need to work together as a team. Work to make sure your tack is smooth.
Other boats around you will affect your wind. When another boat is within seventy feet of you and is somewhat ahead or to windward, the wind deflecting off their sails will be less strong by the time it reaches your Y-Flyer. In addition, it may be coming at you from a different direction, which also decreases its effective power. The way in which the wind is deflected from other boats should be understood thoroughly, because it is a basic principle on which many racing tactics are built upon. When the wind strikes the sails of a boat, it slides along the sail and then is deflected aft. This deflected wind is called backwind and will strike the sails of another boat on the leeward side, causing the second boat to lose power and speed. The most effective position for backwinding is to be slightly ahead and to leeward. The wind bouncing off the sail will greatly affect the boats going to windward. The position is so good it is often called the safe leeward position. If you are the boat being backwinded, the best defence is to tack immediately to clear your wind. Every second you stay in the backwind means you lost speed and distance.
Blanketing is another technique. This refers to stealing the wind of another boat that is down to leeward. On the lee side of each boat will be an area where the wind is lighter, simply because the sail has stopped most of it temporarily. This wind shadow or blanket zone extends out as much as seventy feet, depending on the strength of the wind. and seems to trail the boat in the direction of the apparent wind. If you find yourself in a boat’s blanket zone, you must get your wind clear right away. The blanket zone contains nearly dead air with no driving force. Do this by changing tacks or by falling off and get to a safer leeward position. Most blanketing is done on leeward legs, but here the blanketing zone can be deceptive. Even though you are directly upwind of another boat, you will not necessarily blanket her. This is because of the trailing effect of the blanket zone, which lies along the line of the apparent wind. To blanket a rival boat on a broad reach or beam reach, you will have to work well up to windward before the blanketing is effective. At the same time you need not fear being blanketed by a boat directly astern as long as you are reaching. To counter this tactic, the boat that is being over taken can respond by heading up. Good racing to you all.
Higher and Faster by Morgan Reeser
To get the most out of your equipment, read the sail maker’s tuning guide. Ensure your rig tuning and sail controls are set according to the sail maker’s guidelines. Measure and then remeasure them. Once you reach the starting line, you should be confident that you have your boat prepared properly. But a tuning guide won’t solve your upwind speed problems out on the race course. To do this , you must develop an understanding of the controls, or what I call the “cures” that will remedy your upwind performance problems. When trying to cure a performance problem, try only one adjustment at a time. If you try more than one adjustment at a time you will not know the effect of one that may be negative, even though another adjustment may have a positive effect. Once an adjustment has been made, note its effectiveness (either positive or negative) and only then try another adjustment if performance is lacking.
Most importantly, keep an open mind. Don’t have a maximum or minimum for any adjustment on the boat. Murry Jones from New Zealand revolutionized the Flying Dutchman Class by raking his mast up to three feet aft than ever before. His vision became a class standard and your vision can possibly become a Y-Flyer standard.
To find the right cure for your performance problem, get use to thinking in the following sequence. Visualize sailing upwind; a boat to windward is starting to roll over you. Obviously you have a speed deficiency, so go through the checklist of cures for poor speed. Main leech too tight? Ease the main sheet slightly. You wait a moment. That helped a little, but you’re still not going fast enough. Better try something else. Main too full? Don’t think so, move onto the next cure list. Too much weather helm? Raise the centreboard slightly. Now that did the trick.
If you encounter a pointing problem, you can go through the same process for pointing. Main leech too open? Increase the sheet tension. Main too flat? Decrease the mast bend. Jib entry too round? Move the jib lead inboard. Jib leech too tight? Increase jib sheet tension.
Some additional tips that you may wish to consider influencing the amount of helm are as follows. Mast rake forward to decrease weather helm and mast rake aft to decrease lee helm. This works in light air and flat water. The crew position can be critical. In general you can move the crew weight forward to point and a bit aft to go fast in heavy air.
Remember, it is not necessarily the weight or age of the sails but what you can do with them as a result of wind conditions. Good sailing to you all.
Go it Alone, It’s Faster by Michael Flannigan
Almost everyone who attends regattas with large fleets eventually finds themselves back in the tank at the weather mark. Their immediate problem at this point is of course how to pass enough boats to get back in the ball game. One technique used by many with great success for passing large numbers of boats on broad reaches and runs is to pass groups not individuals. Boats on runs in large fleets tend to flock together. Think back at the pattern of boats you normally see. Singles go faster than flocks. All factors being equal single boats will go faster than groups for several reasons. First the lead boats in the group are slowed by the blanketing effect of those astern. Second, unless they leave the group, the boats behind are slowed because when their extra speed compared to the leaders allow them to catch the leaders, they can pass them in a blanketing zone or unable to pass because there is no hole to go through. very often many can’t go around because of the congestion of surrounding boats. Finally, the “snow fence effect”, often noted just before the start, diverting air over and around the group resulting in reduced wind velocity for all boats. Other factors in favour of the single boat is the skipper can concentrate on boat speed, can manoeuvre to be in a better position and has a better chance to see and get to the wind. Jibing in a large group can be murderous. Keep clear of large groups of boats if possible. If passing a large group, pass as wide as possible and when cutting back wait until you are clear and well ahead. If you end up fighting with another boat you will slow and loose your advantage. Be aware and win!
The Art of Light Wind Sailing by CYFYRA
Light wind sailing is definitely an art. In most regattas you can expect two races minimum to be sailed in light wind, so it is critical that you master this type of wind condition. The first and most important thing to remember is patience. Position of the skipper and crew in the boat is the next consideration. The Y-Flyer is a V shaped hull. To maximize any speed possible it is important for the boat to be on a single plane. If this means that both the skipper and crew are both on the same side to allow the boat to be heeled then do it. Try to keep your butts from being in the water to reduce the drag effect. The crew and skipper should be as far forward as possible as to keep the aft section out of the water to minimize drag. This maybe uncomfortable for the skipper to view his main sail telltales but a necessity.
You may not be able to control the wind but you can adjust your sails. When going upwind first you need to adjust your sails to the wind conditions. If both main and jib are in too tight you will stale or choke your boat speed. In very light winds ease the jib out. The main sail should also have a bag shape at the boom level so take the out haul off and boom vang. The main sail should be allowed to move out of the boat. The skipper needs to keep an eye on the main’s second batten telltale. If the telltale is not flying straight back then continue to let the main out until it is. In addition, try to keep your sheets both main and jib out of the water to reduce drag.
Keep an eye on the direction of the wind and be aware of “holes” and thermals that may or may not be of assistance. If there is a shift in the wind go with it. It may not always take you as close to the mark as you wish but it keeps the boat moving. Once you stall and are dead in the water it will take time to get moving again. If the wind completely dies then you must be really, really patient and wait. This also means not moving around in the boat. Be completely still. Light wind sailing in many ways takes more ability, stamina and concentration than sailing in heavy winds.
Why is the Y-Flyer a Fast Boat? by CYFYRA
The hull lines of the Y-Flyer were adapted from those of large inland lake scows which hold most of the world’s sailing speed records. The hull shape has been scientifically developed over a period of years as the best performer on comparatively smooth water. There are some very good reasons for this spade nose design. All the lines can be longer, easier, flatter curves, without narrowing the beam or resorting to excessive lengths. When the boat is heeled slightly on a twelve (12) degree angle, almost everything in the book that makes a boat fast takes place. The waterline length is extended. The waterline beam is cut almost in half. The wetted surface is greatly reduced. An underwater shape is produced which does not increase the drift as hulls with widely flared sides tend to do. A fore and aft line drawn through the centres at each frame would actually arch to windward. With these centres so far to lee, stability is inherent. An excellent planing surface is formed and the boat will lift with moderate.
Handling New Crew by Carlos Frewin
Again its that time, in the off season at parties when people who find you have a sailboat let you know they have always wanted to try sailing. You may wish to avoid their company come spring so you may wish to consider these tactics to make sure they never ask you again. These are almost guaranteed to work, especially if your crew is new to sailing, a little nervous or cannot swim. Mention that you go sailing in any weather, the rougher it is the more exciting. If they ask if the boat will tip, just say, ‘It hasn’t yet! Ask them to bring an extra change of clothing as you get lots of spray and the odd wave in the cockpit. When they arrive, ask if they read the news about the sailors who were lost in that race down under. Tell them about the close calls a few of your fellow sailors have had with broken rigging and summer squalls. Be sure to mention the person that fell overboard. Show them the bucket that ‘another crew’ used because he was sick most of the sail. Haul in the sails on a broad reach and get the boat heeling – 10 degrees is OK for modest discomfort, 15 degrees for genuine panic and 20 degrees and above for a show stopper. Bark out a couple of orders using as much terminology as possible, such as stow that spring line, or shorten the topping lift or tie a figure eight in the main sheet. Above all, don’t tell them where you are going, or what you are going to do next and why. Just yell, ‘Coming about’ and hope for the best. Don’t pay any attention to worried looks and ignore requests to wear a PFD. Be sure to mention that you haven’t had time to check out a through hull fitting and you hope it holds. When they cannot hold out any longer let the mainsheet out so it takes twice as long to return to the dock for them to use the facilities. When you arrive at the dock, mention how calm and easy it was. Then ask them to come racing for some real excitement. Introduce them to friends (or enemies) who are on the lookout for crew. And finally, at no time during the outing mention or even hint how much you love to sail, how much you enjoy the peace and quiet and the chance to renew your soul.
Boat Care by CYFYRA
Many young skippers feel that they have some magic bag full of tricks, or a special formula for moving the mast around before they can tune their boats. The truth is much simpler, as any good racing skipper will tell you. The best tuning is simply good upkeep of your boat The hull is the place to start. If you keep it neat, clean and dry, both inside and outside, you have gone a long way towards making your boat faster than any others in your fleet. When water is allowed to stand or accumulate in the cockpit of a wooden hull Y-Flyer, the wood will absorb some of the water if not properly coated with epoxy. Over a summer of sailing the water in the wood may nearly double the hull weight, making your boat slower. In older fibreglass boats this can also occur.
Unless your boat is stored in a shed, cover the cockpit, and the complete boat if at all possible with a plastic or a good quality canvas boat cover. The best type of cover is one that fits over the boom and comes down the sides of the boat. This should allow for ample circulation of air both fore and aft sections. Otherwise the moisture inside will collect and heat up with the sun promoting growth of fungus and mildew. A simple cover that has both ends open will keep air moving. The cover will also protect the damage caused by UV.
At each station of your wood Y-Flyer, along the centreboard trunk there should be small drain holes. This allows the water to drain to the lowest part of the hull and is evacuated by the bailers. These bailers may not be perfectly installed, so water may remain against the centreboard. You may have to sponge from time to time. Drain holes plug up frequently and should be cleaned from time to time with a small wire or a clothes hanger.
Keeping the hull smooth and clean cannot be emphasized enough. All wetted surfaces, the boat bottom, rudder and centreboard make friction in the water. This slows the boat down. If these surfaces become dirty or damaged, even a small amount, the boat will be even slower. The answer to this is to scrub the bottom and if necessary wet sand with soap and 600 grade sandpaper. Some skippers also wet sand and paint their centreboards to reduce drag in the water. If you are hauling your Y-Flyer to a regatta, even with a bottom cover, it is important to wash and scrub the bottom of the hull when you arrive. You would be surprised actually how much dirt can penetrate through the bottom cover on a trip. Boats can be tipped on their trailers, at a dock or a sandy shoreline.
Many an old hand will tell you that the way to store your boat is near the water that you sail on and in the same upright position as when sailing. This is good advice. Storage outdoors keeps the boat in the same dryness or dampness that exists in nature. If kept in a warm cellar or garage the hull will dry out and even crack from the winter heat. However, the boat needs protection from the elements, especially ice and snow, so the ideal storage would be in a unheated outside shed. Otherwise a small frame should be built over the hull and covered with a waterproof tarp. Air should be free to circulate underneath. You can store the boat on your trailer, but you may wish to jack up the axial to take the weight off the trailer tires. Flipping the boat over is also a good idea, to prevent water from entering into the cockpit. You may wish to cover the hull to protect the paint or finish. Make sure all the water is out of the boat and remove all sheets and halyards. A few ounces of prevention will keep your boat in good shape and prevent costly repairs in the spring. This will allow you more time for sailing rather than being stuck on shore completing repairs.
Sail Storage by North Sails
Store sails for the off season in a warm dry space away from hot items like furnaces, water pipes and electric heaters. Sails should be folded or rolled to avoid unnecessary creasing which breaks down the material. Take your sails in for annual inspection and maintenance. If this is not practical, spread them out and look for wear, broken stitches and rips.
Annual cleaning to remove dirt and salt before winter storage is good. Use a mild laundry detergent, a brush and rinse thoroughly. Do not use excessive agitation. Dry before folding or rolling up for storage.
Mildew should be killed as soon as it appears to stop spreading. Small areas can be sprayed with Lysol spray. Larger areas can be washed with a 25% solution of Clorox bleach and water. Note sails made with kevlar or nylon should never be exposed to Clorox. Allow to rinse thoroughly with a hose. Stains will fade slowly with sunlight exposure once the mildew is dead. Storing sails dry in a well-ventilated area reduces the chance of mildew. In damp climates, spraying Lysol into the sail bag before closing will help reduce the chance of mildew. A suggestion is to add a pocket to the inside of sail bags for a sponge that gets soaked in Lysol to help kill mildew.
CYFYRA Note – a quick fix for stitches and small tears is waxed dental floss string and inexpensive but strong surgical tape found in any drugstore. See your local sail loft for repairs at your next earliest convenience.
Are You a Passionate Sailor? by CYFYRA
If your crew puts up the spinnaker sideways, do you: Patiently explain what they did wrong and ask them to try again? Begin pelting them with turnbuckles, beer cans and any other objects close at hand? If another boat crashes into yours, do you: Immediately ask if everyone is OK? Jump into the cockpit of the other boat and start to strangle it’s skipper? When sailing in flat calm, do you: Sit back, relax and work on your tan? Hoist your youngest to the top of the mast and tell him or her to look for wind? When a crew member complains that he or she is wet, cold or otherwise uncomfortable, do you: Listen sympathetically, then try to relieve the person’s discomfort? Shrug your shoulders and snarl ‘WIMP!’
Tactics: Covering and Breaking Cover by CYFYRA
An important tactic that one should remember when protecting a lead or your position is to cover your opposition. Providing what we call a ‘loose’ cover can do this. This means that though you may be several boat lengths in the lead, you stay on the same tack as your opposition. That way they don’t get a shift of wind that you won’t get. Races have been lost because the lead boat had not paid attention to what was happening behind them. Even if you are on a tack that is a bad tack, your opposition is also on the same bad tack. They are not going to get air that you won’t get. Breaking cover is the counter to the lead boat covering. This is an art and can be done in several ways. Know your opposition and their boat speed. If you want to slow them down you can get into a tacking duel. Every time a Y-Flyer tacks, depending on wind speed, it looses approximately two boat lengths. This is something a skipper and crew must master, working as a team. The crews acts as the traffic controller, advising the skipper of the lead boat’s position. The boat breaking cover may end up tacking several times in short succession. It also depends if the lead boat wants to play. There is also the false tack, making it look like you are tacking, then at the last second pull back and maintain course. If the opposition is too eager, they may change course. This may be the break you are looking for to get away.
If the lead boat is covering two boats, they can cover both if everyone is on the same tack. However, you are not going to win if you stay on the same tack. Split away on different tacks. The lead boat must then make a decision on which boat to cover. To counter this split the lead boat must make a decision on their opposition. Who has the better boat speed, who is on the most favourable tack and who is the most experienced skipper.
Want to Go Faster by CYFYRA
Do you want to go faster? Then get tuned up. Go to the y-flyer.ca links section and there you will find the North Sails Tuning Guide. This will tell you how to make the most modern adjustments to your sails and rigging. The back of the mast slot to the centreboard should be 16 inches. The back of the mast slot to the forestay connection to the deck should be 100 inches. The fair lead slides should be angled as such that when you measure from the jib sheet exit from the fair lead block that it is 13 to 13.5 inches to the centre of the mast.
The next order of business is to know where the wind is coming from in all wind conditions and how to respond. Tell tales on all four sides stays are tres (very) important, in light or shifting winds. So make sure you have them on the boat and bring extra on board in case they are accidentally damaged and need to be replaced during or after a race. So use non static wool…but if you still have unused tape decks, they work great. The Rolling Stones “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” works the best.
Tell tales not only on the side stays tells the tale where the wind is coming from….the tell tails on your sails do the same thing. If you want to point higher and go faster upwind then you need to not only look at your jib sail but as important your main sail as well. Don’t bother looking at other boats….they could be in a different wind streak. The two sails must work together to be totally effective. The second batten of your main sail must have a tell tale on the end of it, and is the indicator whether you have the right trim or not. The tell tale on the main should be fluttering straight back and then collapsing behind the main sail to reach the proper main sail trim. If not allow the main sail to go out further until the tell tale is straight back. Then trim accordingly. If the tell tale is straight back….keep pulling the main sheet in until it begins to collapse.. If you get it right in moderate or better winds, the centre board will begin to hum. That’s all the skipper does on the upwind….look at the jib and main tell tales…and the odd glance over the shoulder to make sure another Y-Flyer is not in their ear !