Rig Tension

Can anyone discuss the benefits of rig tension, such as Tight vs. Snug. Loose vs. Tight, etc. and what types of weather conditions are best for each. Thanks.


Each rig tension has their pluses and minuses.

Each rig tension has their pluses and minuses. Tight Rig: The tension rating and mast rake vary from sailmakers and you should follow their guidelines. The tight rig can be difficult to set. Some people use the trailer winch to get the tension high enough and allow them to attach the forestay. Another way is to use a stainless steel winch crank or 3/8" ratchet wrench and the jib halyard. It is my own personal belief that all of this tension is not good for the boat and may not be good for a long term use. The builder is the best judge on this one. Regardless, the major benefit is that there is no sag in the forestay, along the jib to hold it shape better. But the key is to remember that you must use a tight rig jib. The cuts from the other tensions allow for the forestay sag. Snug Rig: The tension rating and mast rake again vary from sailmakers and follow their guidelines. The nice thing about the snug rig, is the slop is taken out of the rigging without the high tension needed in the tight rig. Setting up the snug rig is very easy and easy on the boat and everyone. Loose Rig: This tension allows for slop in the rig. This varies from 3-5 inches in the mast rake. Like all of the other rig settings, check with the sailmaker. I have raced for nearly 10 years using the loose rig in all sailing conditions and places. The only drawback over time, the loose rig wears the foot of mast due to the movement of the mast. Since acquiring Grey Hare three years ago, I have started racing with the Snug Rig. This rig has proven to me at least, the best overall performance. It is easy to set and trim. I also have raced with others that have the tight rig and found that the additional tension really did not improve the overall performance. As for each of the settings, any one of the settings do not outperform the other. It all comes down to the skill of the skipper and crew. To wrap this all up in one sentence, The rig tension is really up to you. You need to keep one other item in mind, the jib should be cut for your specific rig setting, meaning you can't use a tight rig jib on a loose rig tension and so forth. Hope this helps! Mark FS 5516 Grey Hare

Mark: Your discussion helped me.

Mark: Your discussion helped me. I have an old scot with loose rig, and am a novice to boot, so it clarified things for me. What does Harry Carpenter say about the tight rig and boat integrity? Also, do you have thoughts on the topic "Greg Fisher's gears" under Racer's Rap? Frank

Frank From what I understand, Harry says the tight rig is oka

Frank From what I understand, Harry says the tight rig is okay on the boat, but like I said, in my opinion, over the long haul, it's not. As for Greg's Fisher's gears, and having raced quite a bit, I'll attempt to put in laymen terms. First think of it as driving a car with standard transmission. You can't start off in high gear from a dead stop. It's far easier to work you way back up to speed, so start loose and tighten up as you pick up speed. Same thing applies when your car hits a hill, you need to downshift, in sailing, loosen up on the sails. The more you do it, the better you get. I sail by the seat of my pants literally, and having been on the Scot since the mid 70's, it helps. Another thought to help. If you seem to be going slower, loosen up. Picking up speed, tighten up. It's game of constant trimming, just don't over do it or you will forget the rest of the fleet![:D][:I][8][}:)] Hope this helps! Mark FS 5516 Grey Hare