Use Mainsail Leech Telltales for Peak Performance!

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Use Mainsail Leech Telltales for Peak Performance!

Your mainsail needs to be trimmed so that the air exits the leech with minimum turbulence. How can you use leech telltales along with a secret “over-trim” first step technique to trim your mainsail to perfection? Watch this sailing skills video to help you achieve maximum sail power!

Install mainsail leech telltales to “read” your sail trim.
Use a little-known fast “overtrim” starter step for peak performance. Trim your mainsail leech fast and easy for more speed and power.

Have your sailmaker install three leech telltales along the leech of your mainsail. These will often be attached to the batten pockets because these are sewn at even positions (called “stations”) along the leech. You will need at least three telltales spaced along the leech.

Leech telltales that stream together indicate a smooth exit of the air off the leech. This means your mainsail has good trim and will generate lots of power in the back of the sail.

Leech telltales that droop or hide on the lee side of the leech indicate a stalled sail. Most often, this results from sheeting the main too hard. The leech does not have enough twist near the head. The result? You lose forward drive, sail more sideways and in breezier conditions weather helm and heeling increase.

Make this Easy Trim Test in Just Seconds

Get onto a closehauled course. Now we are going to overtrim our main so that we can see what happens to those leech telltales. Pull the mainsheet in a bit too much. Watch the main leech telltales as you sheet in. The telltales will droop, become limp and lifeless. Your sail has stalled. You are now sailing more to the side than ahead. Notice how your leech cups to windward with minimum twist up high.

Now, let’s get things right…

Ease the mainsheet as you keep your eye on those leech telltales. Do this just a bit at a time so that you can “see” the wind as the telltales begin to stream. Slow and smooth. Continue to ease the mainsheet in increments until all telltales stream together. Belay the mainsheet. You have now “powered up” the back of your mainsail. This is where a lot of your mainsail power comes from.

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Use Mainsail Leech Telltales for Peak Performance! 2/19/15, 6:29 AM

mainsail power comes from.

Conduct this simple experiment anytime you want to check the trim of the mainsail leech. It’s accurate and shows you the critical “exit attitude” of the air flow off the leech. The back of your mainsail generates lots of power. Leech telltales make it simple to get things right. Now, watch today’s video to see these steps in action.

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