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A Review and Guide to 210 Tuning and Boat handling

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210 Guide By Dave Johnson Jr. A quick glance Perhaps the greatest thing about sailing is the chance to improve your sailing skills by helping others. Over the course of racing 15+ years, I have learned many techniques and basic boat tuning that has really helped propel me forward. The 210 is one of the ideal boats to learn and adapt many skills from other one designs to a hard chine keel boat. Over these past two years, my crew and I have come away with two national championships. These victories are in no small part because of one person, the type of boat, or the sails. We were fortunate...

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of sailing in Milwaukee, we moved the butt forward, but moved it right back after we decided to see what the conditions were like. The plastic slide on the bottom makes moving the butt easier out on the race course. It may require a small kick or pull to get it to move. Remember to place your pins into the correct holes before you try to kick the butt. I do not have an exact measurement from the bow. For the older boats, it may be necessary to find a new boat and get the dimension for the tuning of your boat. Forestay Every boat that I have sailed on, other than collegiate boats, has a...

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When the wind conditions pick up, I only add more tension to my lowers. This reduces the sag in the mast and doesn’t allow for your main to remain powered up. This is a judgment call on how many turns, but I add about 3 full turns on each side. This is a great estimate because both boats that we have sailed in the nationals only allows for a certain amount of throw on the backstay. If you are not able to move your backstay very much to de-power your boat, I would suggest adding more turns to your lowers and perhaps removing one turn off your uppers. This will allow for the top of the mast...

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tight, then the additional flow off the leeward side of main is not being achieved and I am not going to be moving fast. If my jib is too loose, then I am not focusing enough of the wind along my main to allow for that extra horsepower. This is also known as the slot. The slot for our boat has been consistent each time we have gone sailing. In the light air, we prefer about 4-6” off the top spreader and 3-5” down at the bottom of the shrouds. This won’t allow us to point but the gains in light air are made with speed in these boats. In medium air, we usually go to 2-4” off the spreaders and...

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of how the sail is being trimmed. Unless you are in very light air, you want this telltale to be stalling almost 70% of the time. Stalling of the telltale should be to leeward when you cannot see it from the windward side of the boat. When you are sailing upwind, the telltale of your main should be stalling a majority of the time and this can be accomplished by trimming your mainsheet in more. The problem that most sailors have is that they don’t watch this when the conditions change. If your main is stalling when you want to go fast, then you are going to go slow. Be sure to watch for this...

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Cunningham A huge tool that most people don’t understand. The key to a Cunningham is to flatten the entry of your main. This reduces your horsepower that the main can create. In both the boats that we sailed in each national event, we used a lot of tension because our sails were so old. We almost always had Cunningham on because our boat is set up with all of the above dimensions to allow us to de-power sooner rather than later. I would recommend that most boats use their Cunningham in 10+ knots. A good base is that in conditions where you are not overpowered, you should have scallops or...

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it moving forward. Most of the time, I refer to the upwind sailing angle of a 210 as being when both windward and leeward telltales on the genoa are flying straight back. This setting is common for almost all classes. The graph below describes how I sail my 210 in relationship to the wind velocity in knots and angle away from keeping my telltales straight back. Degrees from Upwind Sailing Angle Degrees from Telltales Straight Back Degrees from Upwind Sailing Angle -4 -6 -8 Wind Velocity in Knots Having the traveler and the backstay in the hands of the driver may make his job more difficult....

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I feel like our boat has the patented look of Doug and I standing up on the windward seats and Ben looking back upwind. Downwind sailing in most fleets has gone away from the Triangle. Some classes still use an Olympic or Gold Cup, but the Windward Leeward courses are being shown to be the favorable choice for RC and regatta sites. This course allows for the possibility of sailing straight from the Windward mark to the Leeward mark. Now anyone can just point his or her boat dead downwind and hope to go fast but that usually isn’t the case. When you are attempting to sail dead downwind you...

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Heal of boat to windward Heal of Boat (positive means windward) Heal of boat to windward Another go fast for us is that we always look back upwind. For Tim Putney, he always thinks that we are nervous of him catching up, but most of the time, we are looking for wind. In both nationals, we gibed more times that any boat downwind. If you drill your team well, you really don’t lose speed in gibing. We always look for any gain in velocity or in wave angle to accomplish the fastest route to the lee mark. The next downwind technique is what I call projection. This is very basic. Projection of...

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ease out their guy and sheet and have the spinnaker 1-2’ in front of the pole. This is only spilling air out the bottom of the sail and doesn’t make you go faster. Some people like messing with the inboard end of the pole. The only check that our boat has on this dimension is to make it perpendicular to the outboard end so that the pole is fully extending the spinnaker out away from the boat. Closing I hope that these ideas and techniques are useful to some who want to work to improve their boat handling abilities. Always feel free to email or contact me for further information or...

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