~ Tips & Tricks ~
The Angle of the Dangle...
Adjusting your mainsheet
What EVER do you think I am talking about???
Many of you have been left contemplating your navel after fiddling with the mainsheet on your RC Laser. This little piece of black string can really be annoying, especially when you are not sure what you are trying to adjust to do what.
Fact: Sometimes you receive a brand new boat and the length of this string can be wrong - and sometimes, you just plain screw it up fooling with it. Therefore, some guidance is in order to help you get the right adjustment for best performance.
Goal: What you are reaching for is an adjustment that brings the boom in to the "quarter" when the radio control level is set to full in.
Note - The main lever is full in, but the fine control slide should be set in the middle. This picture, from above, shows the boom in the proper fully trimmed position.
If this looks too far out to you, join the crew. But this is the way cat boats sail the best. Full sized Laser sailors will tell you, "this is the way it is, get used to it." Remember, that you still have "in" movement available with your fine control slide.
Adjust Full In - don't worry about the full out position.
Boom Slider - The slider on the boom, that you are connecting the sheet to, should be positioned directly over the brass eye in the deck. Don't move it forward or aft as it loads the winch unnecessarily and doesn't provide any advantage.
Full Out - Do not be concerned with where the boom goes when fully released, just where it is when the sail is fully trimmed. You want to know that your sail will come in to the best sailing angle in light to moderate wind, while you have the fine tune centered and the stick all the way in. If it blows hard and you need extra trim, then you slide the fine tune all the way to trim direction and you get extra trim.
As for downwind, the sail will go out past 90 degrees. That is not a problem. You still have control over how far out it will go. And you will learn to sail your boat "on the lee" to your advantage.
Control Line adjustment - I have never seen a new boat that has the control line adjusted improperly, but it could get out of adjustment. With the radio fine tune in the center of its range, run the control from full in to full out. You should not get the knot in the control line (monofilamant line) either into the drum (full out) or into the bow roller, full in. If it does reach either end, carefully lift the drum (unscrew first) and turn slightly on the splined shaft to adjust.
This article was written by Steve Lang at the Model Sailing Center. Your comments, corrections, and additions are always welcome. Please email Steve at Steve@RCLaser.com 11/5/01
~ Tips & Tricks ~