The Ballot !!!!!! Photos of New Jib. Get VOTING !!!!

As you maybe know, we have a FF Ballot happening on New Class Rules?? Have you caught up with it yet?

Apparently there have been a tiny number of responses so far.  SO GET VOTING!!  You can return the voting form electronically – modify the word document and email a copy of it to

If you haven’t looked at it yet, there are a whole number of rule changes but the central two are

  • 5kg weight reduction
  •  new jib/genoa design.

Now last time I even mentioned weight reduction in our Club bar I was almost lynched – so you cannot be without opinion!!

On the new jib design, I attach a few photos of it below.  I used it in trials a few years ago and quite liked it…. and have voted for it….  but now I’ve seen the photos of it I’m slightly less sure I confess.  Arrrggghhhh!!    Some bar conversations would help, but the closing date of the ballot is not far away.  So HURRY!!

Here is what our Hon Sec has to say about the ballot:-

“Votes are starting to come in on the ballot items as proposed by FFI but the response has been slow so far. This is what membership of the association is all about, there is no point in protesting by not voting and this is definitely not the time to think that this doesn’t affect you because it does. The two key proposals are regarding head sails and weight in the boat so please take time to vote; the only way to affect change or indeed prevent it if it is your wish to do so is to vote. A letter from your president will follow; Please go here for pictures information on the changes and ballot forms



ff new jib 1

FF new jib 3

ff new jib 4

FF new jib 5

FF new job 2

Free Floating Genoa Barbers….!!

Back in my Dragon days, the massive genoa aboard was controlled via a floating jib fairlead and not via a track.  I’ve often wondered how this might work on a fifteen.  Here are some notes from David Williamson, on how he has gone about it….

Jib Sheeting DetailIn the Jib Sheeting detail pic.
Jib Sheet MarkingsSpectra slip-loop to attach tapered jib sheet.
Graduation reference marks on splash board as a visual jib sheeting reference.
Shroud adjuster (cut down as I saw in a pic of Vials/Turner boat in Hong Kong)
-Couldn’t help myself, these are also bolted on permanently and are part of the hull weight.


Matt Alvarado on Jib Ratchets……

Having any type or size of ratchet on the Jib sheet, in my opinion, is absolutely essential for any size, shape or strength of crew. My main reason for having ratchets on the jib sheet is so i can ease the jib a bees wotsit in a lull, or when we need to grunt up the jib for a bit of choppy water… (they are also good for windy two sail reaches when i can’t see anything) Without the ratchet, its hard to control the amount you ease, inevitably you let too much out then re trim. There are others pros as well for ratchets, can’t see many cons apart from the extra ££. For what its worth, we use 40mm switchable ratchet blocks from harken, and we use a 6mm calibrated/marked sheet. Even with 6mm sheets, it does help light wind tacks if you can turn the ratchets off.


Jib Ratchets…..!!

It’s interesting the way that equipment moves onwards and upwards.  Both of the boats on the FF stand at the Dinghy Show had switchable rachets for the genoa sheets.

IMG_2738This is the arrangement on Justin Waples’ boat from the workshops of Phil Evans.  If you have a Mk 10 from Phil Evans at your Club and compare it with the above, you will find that Phil has found the space to move the attachment loop backwards (to the left in this photo) and that gives space for the becket of the ratchet block.

On the Ovington finished boat, they had managed to get a small ratchet cheek block (from the same Manufacturer’s series I think) screwed down on to the platform.  Both implementations used switched ratchets.  To see the Ovington implementation, you’ll need to wait for the BIFFA video tour of the boat.

There will be many husband/wife teams who will be keen to have a think about this!

Underdeck Furler Spyshot….!!

Underdeck furler


You can probably see that Graham and Chris new boat has, like the last one, got an underdeck furler fitted. I’d swear the last one we saw used a wire strop to the tack, but this new one seems to use a tube to connect to the genoa.  It would be interesting to see if it emerges through the deck with some kind of bearing.  That’s what we had on my Dragon and on the last Flying Dutchman I raced.

Setting Your Jib Cunningham…….

Do you ever do much with your jib cunningham??

Well, for a lot of us it’s all a bit of a fiddle and we leave it alone. But is it all that difficult??  First off, there is a requirement in the rules that you have at least 100mm between the tack and the deck.  So you need a sense of where that measurement is.

You are looking to have just enough tension in the cunningham that the wrinkles in the luff just about  disappear. Then take that string – loop it three times between the halyard and the tack, then up through the little clamcleat there.  Just give it a good tug into the cleat – don’t put a security knot in it for fear of snagging a spinnaker sheet in it. Just leave the clean tail of the string.

The example in the photo was done by a god….

(Double Click to enlarge the photo)

FF Genoa Cars – A Different Way to Set them…

Do you have a Goacher Genoa??  A number of us at Datchet do, and we’ve become surprised in recent times how far back you have to set the jib cars for them.

You know the general theory, I’m sure. You sail upwind and when you luff, the tell tales are all meant to curl together if the cars are in the right place. Well…??!!  How precise is that??!!

The VC came across another method for setting the jib cars for a Goacher G1A genoa. I assume it comes straight from the computer modelling program. The strange thing is that when I challenged Steve on this recently, it seemed like he had moved on.  Anyway – we tried the VC Method, and it seemed to help us quite a lot.

Look at this diagram .

Lay the genoa flat on the ground and mark two dots on the luff. One at 1.05m above the tack, and another 10inches above that. (The VC is of an age where you learned both metric and imperial at school… I get the same problem…)

Now pencil yourself some lines at the clew that join the dots and the centre of the clew. Imagine a line drawn further back into the boat in each case (I use a 3 foot/ 1 metre steel rule for this resting on top of the genoa sheet).

Where the rearmost line crosses the jibcar track is where your normal setting should be. Where the forward line crosses the track is where the lighter wind setting would be.

So this comes with the health warning that Steve Goacher doesn’t do it this way any more – so long as you use pencil that will wash off, give it a try and see what you think…..

Composite Craft – Genoa Tracks….

This is the jib car arrangement on Charles’ smart new Composite Craft boat. Note the pretty thin jib sheets – Howard take note!

In keeping with the boat, it’s all in very smart black carbon, and if memory serves me rightly they have positioned the tracks slightly more toward the stern relative to Charles’ earlier boats.

They get extra points for the very neat way the control line disappears through the sheave and out of the way….

“Come On, Ovington!!”….

P&B Flying Fifteen – genoa turrets…

This is the very neat application by P&B of the genoa sheeting arrangement in a December 2010 boat. It’s very neat and I like the way the turning blocks are getting smaller. They supply somewhat thinner jibsheets to make this work well, and I’ve ordered up a tapered set to try out. They obviously run much easier and we may always use them in the light.