RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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Correct shroud tension for RL24
I have a Spunspar gold top mast with upper and lower shrouds. Lower shrouds are aft. Rig tension is adjusted via forestay tensioner. How tight should the shrouds be when the forestay is tight? In particular, should the lower/rear shrouds be tight or loose compared to the forward/upper shrouds?
Martin O'Shannessy25-Apr-2016  
Re: Correct shroud tension for RL24
There is no single correct tension for skiff rigs.

I have an original Mk 4 skiff rig which bends the middle of the mast as tension increases. The bend in the mast flattens the mainsail as the wind pressure increases.

Tuning the rig as the wind increases involves bending the mast, flattening and depowering the mainsail.

The tuning of the rig depends on the trim of the mainsail, basically tuning the rig with the tell tails till they all stream properly is what needs to happen. its an adjustable rig, adjust it to the conditions.
Re: Correct shroud tension for RL24
I forgot to mention the inner shrouds are left slightly slack to let the mast flex forward as it bends. The inners stop the middle of the mast bending too much but if they are tight they will stop the mast bending for enough to flatten the main. Some racers use light synthetic line for the inners.
Re: Correct shroud tension for RL24
Martin, what Greg is saying is on the money. I run a Glodspar mast with I think the same tapper on the top as yours. We set the Goldspar rigs up with the main shrouds and forestay just firm enough so the mast doesn't rock. At this point the intermediate stays should be able to be both squeezed together and just touch the mast 150mm down from where they are attached at the mast. Also see Tuning your RL for Best Performance under RL24 on this website to help with mast setup. Once the mast is set up as described in this section, while sailing only carry enough rig tension to keep the leeward main shroud from being too slack. When tightening rig tension once the wind gets up, it is vital for boat speed, to again ease the tension as the wind decreases.
Re: Correct shroud tension for RL24
Martin, I have no idea where you will be sailing or what experience you have in yachts.

My RL24 has had keelboat sailors on the helm a few times and they struggle to respond to changes which slows the yacht and makes it feel tender. My first rule is flat is fast, the helmsman needs to give a fist full of tiller quickly to correct course keeping the sails flowing efficiently and as soon as back on course, get the helm back. Time when the sails are not drafting properly is lost power.

Its easier to think of sailing an RL24 as a big dingy using the flexible rig to change gears automatically. Its lots of fun when you get it right.

My best run was over an hour at 8 to 10 knots cruising, I am not a racer.

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