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200 kicker position

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Repair & maintenance
Forum Discription: Questions & tips on the subject
Printed Date: 01 Dec 21 at 8:57am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: 200 kicker position
Posted By: piglet
Subject: 200 kicker position
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 4:56pm
We seem to be struggling to get the 200 main flat enough, despite pulling the spreaders way back.
Someone no older but much wiser told me to check the position of the kicker bracket on the boom as a previous owner may have moved it forward for the crews comfort.
So, our distance from centre of kicker fitting to front of booms aluminium extrusion = 386mm.
Said wise mans measures from centre of kicker fitting to back of mast track =535mm
Obviously a difference in measuring methods but I will measure to the mast this weekend.
Can anyone beat this? Is anyone out there sad enough to have measured this on a 200?

Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 5:12pm
Yer in luck Mr piglet....I 'appen to 'ave a 200 in my garage at this very mo.

385mm from the centre of the fitting to the end of extrusion.

Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 5:49pm
Thanks Transient, same as mine then.
Maybe I should try it further back anyhow?

Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 6:00pm
......said the Bishop to the actress.

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 6:04pm
Looking at the RS 200 rules I can't see you're permitted to change the position of the thing.

Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 6:06pm
and as the actress replied to the Bishop "you be careful you don't bend something".

Posted By: Steve411
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 6:16pm
If it's a cascade system, the length of each of the throws will be important. I would imagine that all the blocks should be hard up against each other when the kicker is fully off, otherwise there won't be enough travel in the cascade as a whole.

Steve B
RS300 411
D-Zero 11" rel="nofollow - RS300 page
D-Zero page

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 05 Jun 14 at 6:48pm

First of all, what vintage is your 2.  There was a change in I think about 2008 from 8:1 kickers to 16:1 kickers.

It's well worth changing if you are still on 8:1, not so much because you can't get the required tension on without he additional purchase, it just makes it much less painful on your hands!
The cunningham is key if you are totally overpowered and flogging the main.  It opens the leach and helps lose power from the main.
Flatten off the outhaul as well, although this is less critical as it only really affects the sail shape up to about the second batten.
Make sure your spreader settings are in line with the settings posted on the Class Association web site.  They might not be recent, but they are still valid.  If you go too far from them, you might gain in some conditions but you will lose out more in others.
Sailing upwind when you are overpowered is a balance between stuffing it and keeping the power on.  It just takes some practice to find the groove!
Hope this helps.

Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 06 Jun 14 at 2:27pm
JimC, I have sought clarification on the legallity of this, will report back.
Jaydub, this is a 2005 and has 16:1 cascade, which I have replaced with all Dyneema & BB stock. There is plenty of scope at both limits of travel.
What stops it going any more is my lack of physical strength and my reluctance to rip the cleats off the thwart.
I tried 8:1 cascade on the downhaul but couldn't get it to work round all the clutter & TackTick bracket so reverted to 4:1. I havent yet seen anyone using a true 8:1 ,though I'm sure some are.
Again what stops the downhaul is that it just won't go anymore.
Outhaul goes bar tight except in waves.
Spreaders were standard setup (135 deflection?) and are now 160. Can't remember the length.
On a recent traing session video it was clear that our mast was too straight and luff too full compared with another 200.

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 06 Jun 14 at 3:13pm

I'm struggling to explain why your mast should be too straight from what you are saying.

With a 16:1 kicker, I tend not to fully pull it on when it's aboslutely honking.  It's easier to keep the boat on it's feet if you give the air more opportunity to escape out of the leech.  I pull it on harder when it's not survival conditiions, but never to the extent that my hand hurts.
Spreader settings are dependent on all up crew weight, but we sail off fairly standard settings - 395mm length; 135 deflection @ 21.5 stone.  I used the same settings on our previous late 2004 vintage boat.  I've never heard of anybody using anything like as much as 160, so would suggest yiou revert back. 
What's your mast rake set at?  21' 8.5" with one hole showing at the mast foot is pretty standard.  Worth trying more rake if you are really struggling.
I'll try and remember to measure my boom take off measurement for you on Sunday.  I don't believe there is anything in the rules to stop you sliding it further back, but it will encroach on crew space and encourage more mast bend in intermediate conditions, which may not be a good thing.

Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 09 Jun 14 at 10:23am
Thanks for your support Jaydub.
Our set up was 395/135, 21' 8", 300Lb  Will have to check the foot position.
Deflection is now 160 but I can't say we have noticed much of a difference.
Our combined weight is shamefully around 22.5 and we are not Olympic athletes!
I re-measured the kicker from the back of mast and got 438-440 depending on boom height
That's 95mm, almost 4" less than our training partners 535mm.
In the contenders we have the kicker way back on the boom to maximise leverage, and I can still get across OK when in front of the tower.
Are you 4:1 or 8:1 on the Cunningham?
Another issue that could be indirectly related is how to set the jib slot when you can't see the slot?
If we are over sheeting the jib and closing the top that will cause further backwinding on the main.
Would black sailtape on the jib leech be visible enough through the main?
Can the crew see the slot by leaning right forward and looking round the front of the mast?
Our cars are right back.
Thanks again, all helpful

Posted By: Steve411
Date Posted: 09 Jun 14 at 11:39am
You set the slot by how the jib luff telltales react. When you luff up, all the windward telltales (top, middle and bottom) should lift together. If the top telltales lifts first, you have insufficient leech tension (moves the cars forward a bit). If the bottom telltale lifts first, too much leech tension and a closed slot, so either move cars back or ease sheet tension.

Steve B
RS300 411
D-Zero 11" rel="nofollow - RS300 page
D-Zero page

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 09 Jun 14 at 12:38pm
At 22.5 stone, you don't want 160mm.  Go back to 135mm or even move to 130.
We sail with one hole showing on the track unless we're overpowered and then we move it back.
Jib sheet lightly eased in not much wind, but pull it in as soon as there is sufficient wind to propely fill the sails.
We're 4:1 on the Cunningham.
Rig tension set at 26 on a Loos gauge when it's light and 28 when it's windy.  Not sure how that converts to pounds without checking the meter and converting.
Forgot to measure the kicker take off point yesterday, but the boat is in the garage so will try and check in the next day or two.

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 09 Jun 14 at 10:57pm
Just measured mine.  It's about 388mm from the centre of the take off point measured from the end of the bearing surface on the inner end of the boom, so in the same ball park as both your's and Transient's.

It's plenty powerful enough where it is; I wouldn't move it any further back.

Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 10 Jun 14 at 11:39am
Is there another 200 at your club. Some 2 boat training/setting up might isolate the problem, swap boats half way through the session.

Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 10 Jun 14 at 4:59pm
Agree, 2 boat tuning would be good.
It might also be useful to try a different sail on our set-up.
Conventional wisdom is that the mains don't vary or stretch a lot, but it would be good to eliminate any doubt, it is getting on a bit.
Thanks for the measurement Jaydub, sounds like that's the factory setting.
This coming Sunday doesn't look like being a kicker sort of dayCry

Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 10 Jun 14 at 5:27pm
I have a reasonably new main and jib you can borrow if you're anywhere near 1066 country.

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 10 Jun 14 at 7:11pm

I bought a second hand suit of sails for 100 for club sailing when it's blowing old boots.  It doesn't harm us too because when it's that windy it is more about the way you sail the boat.  Upwind, there is a groove you can get into with 2s, but it's probably took us 8 or 9 years to find it.

At the end of the day, it is a fully battened main and it will never blade like a soft sail.  The standard settings are perfectly OK.  Use them and work on the technique.  If there's a magic answer, it passed me by a long time ago. Wink
Where abouts are you based?

Posted By: MerlinMags
Date Posted: 11 Jun 14 at 6:24pm
Originally posted by piglet

We seem to be struggling to get the 200 main flat enough

In what way do you 'measure' if it is flat enough? Do you mean it looks a bit too full, or do you mean you feel the effects of an overly-full mainsail without using your eyes?!

Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 11 Jun 14 at 10:27pm
Originally posted by MerlinMags

Originally posted by piglet

We seem to be struggling to get the 200 main flat enough

In what way do you 'measure' if it is flat enough? Do you mean it looks a bit too full, or do you mean you feel the effects of an overly-full mainsail without using your eyes?!

Also where are you struggling to get it flat? Bottom panel will need outhaul, top will need cunningham, middle will need a mix of the right spreader settings and kicker.

Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 12 Jun 14 at 4:26pm

Thank you for your kind offer Transient but you'll be needing those for the Fed on sunday.

I think Jaydub is right about oldish sails, we have a new jib which we get out just for show then put the old one up. It seemed a bit quicker at first but I think we were just having a rare good day. I definitely havent found any 200 groove yet, still feels like driving an oil drum to me, KBO as Churchill once said, not the dog the other one.

MerlinMag, not eyes, camera, I refer you to my previous on P1:
"On a recent traing session video it was clear that our mast was too straight and luff too full compared with another 200"
Craigo, mostly middle which is why the spreaders are back at 160. Cunningham is maxed.

Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 12 Jun 14 at 4:51pm
No problem. No Fed, Dunsailing.

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 12 Jun 14 at 6:05pm
Piglet,  Some more questions:
Do you have a copy of the video?  It would be useful to see it.
How do you know it's your mast that is too straight and not the other boat's being too bent (particularly if it was your friend with the kicker take off point much further back than standard)?
Was this your observation or did it come from a coach?  If from a coach, how familiar are they with 200s?   I'm just wanting to understand whether someone has just identified a relative difference between your boat and another boat or whether they are talking from a position of knowledge.
Just to be clear:
1) I think you are best just setting your boat up to standard settings, as they have been proven over time.
2) I don't think older sails are quicker than newer ones.  They aren't.  The point I was trying to make is that you can still be very competitive with old sails when it's honking, because it's more about how you sail the boat than the quality or otherwise of your sails.

Posted By: tgruitt
Date Posted: 12 Jun 14 at 8:45pm
All the settings will be out the window with the new design of 200 sails! Smile

Needs to sail more...

Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 12 Jun 14 at 9:24pm
Depends on what they end up going for! Wink

Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 12 Jun 14 at 11:37pm
The other thin to bear in mind is that your mainsail may be a very different cut.

One of my mainsails on my 700 was so different to the others that I had to wind the spreaders right back and fully extend them in order to take out the depth in the middle, where my normal setting were in the middle of the range. If you have two mainsails, lay them out over each other and check the shape.

Posted By: tgruitt
Date Posted: 13 Jun 14 at 10:31am
Originally posted by jaydub

Depends on what they end up going for! Wink

Something like the 400 by the sounds of it

Needs to sail more...

Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 15 Jun 14 at 11:15pm
OK I lied about the spreader length, current setting is 375, not 395 as earlier stated. What are the implications? (memory loss)

In the name of science I played with the kicker position and made some progress.
At 600mm from back of mast the kicker just looks wrong and when applied puts awful lower mast bend from the gooseneck, way too far.
So we sailed with it set to 550 from back of mast and the crew had no complaints (about the kicker), could be a useful incentive to keep weight back in gybes!
It wasn't a tuning day, we were the only 200 and it was lively short course racing, but the kicker definitely felt more grunty.

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