How to optimize power and pointing
This guide will provide you with the basics of tuning a Capri 22. Settings may vary on your sailing style, crew weight and your sailing conditions. We strongly recommend you experiment and find out which settings work best for you.
For the past 13 years, Ullman Sails has been developing the fastest Capri 22 sails. The proof is in the results placing first in every Western National Championship held. In addition, Ullman Sails has won the Season High-Point in Peoria, IL, the past 5 years.
In order to achieve winning results, your boat must have the rig properly set up and tuned. The first step to setting the rig up properly is to set the forestay turnbuckle to the desired length. After many hours of tuning and testing sails I have found the Capri 22 sails fastest with the turnbuckle extended to the maximum class legal length which leaves enough thread showing on the turnbuckle to allow a ring-ding to be placed in the holes on the ends of the threaded screw post. If your boat is a wing keel version, the mast should have very little rake, some people sail the wing keel with 0" of rake. The best way to measure the amount of rake is to hang a heavy object from the Main halyard at the height of the gooseneck fitting. In order to get a accurate measurement, the best time to do this is when there is little or no wind.
After setting the forestay at the desired length the next step is tensioning the upper shrouds. When tensioning the uppers, place a 50' tape measure to the Main Halyard shackle and hoist to the top of the mast. Using the tape measure, measure from the top of the mast to the chainplate on both sides of the boat to insure the mast measures the same on both sides. Then start to tighten the upper shrouds. First tighten one side three or four turns, then tighten the other side three to four turns. It is very important that the mast is exactly even on both sides, so keep checking the tape measure to make sure the measurement is the same on both sides of the boat.
Using a Loos Model-A tension gauge set the shroud tension so the gauge reads between 30 and 32. Sighting up the back of the mast you will notice the mast will have 2 of pre-bend when the upper shrouds are at the proper tension. After the upper shrouds have been set, place the ring-ding's back in their proper holes, then wrap with rigging tape to prevent any sail damage or bodily injury. If you think you will experience a heavy air day, and you have the uppers set at 30, take a couple extra turns on the upper shrouds to prevent the mast from bending to leeward as the upper shrouds load up and stretch. If you are tuning a new boat, or a new set of standing rigging, remember, the wire will stretch some, so after a day or two of sailing, you should remeasure you tuning set up.
After tightening the upper shrouds the next step is set the tension on the lower shrouds. The first step is to tighten the lower shrouds to take the slack out of them. Then hoist the Main and pull the backstay to the point where you set it in moderate wind. At this point I feel it is best to fine tune lower shrouds while sailing. The primary function of the lower shrouds is to control the amount of bend in the lower part of the mast. If the lower shrouds are too loose a large over-bend wrinkle will develop from the clew to the luff about 4 feet above the boom. The more you bend the mast with the backstay, the wrinkle becomes more noticeable. If you have this wrinkle tighten the leeward lower shroud.
After tightening the leeward shroud, tack and see what the Mainsail looks like. If the Mainsail has too much draft, then the shroud is too tight. When the lower shrouds are set properly the Mainsail should have a consistent sail shape. Then tighten the backstay to where you set it in heavy air. At this point there should be a slight over-bend wrinkle developing from the clew of the sail. After you have set the lower shrouds again replace the ring-ding's and wrap with rigging tape.
The Capri 22 has a large Mainsail which has 6 different adjustments consisting of outhaul, cunningham, mainsheet, traveller, backstay, and boomvang. The backstay is a very critical adjustment as for it also effects the headstay sag and the shape of the headsail. When the wind builds the backstay needs to be tighten to flatten the mainsail and reduces the amount of headstay sag which also flattens the headsail. As the wind gets lighter, ease the backstay to make the Mainsail more powerful and induces headstay sag which makes the headsail more powerful also. When adjusting the backstay, the Main sheet and the Genoa sheet will need to be adjusted at the same time. Place a couple of marks on the backstay for a quick visual reference.
The stock Capri 22 is equipped with inexpensive sheets and halyards that tend to stretch under normal sailing loads. The Main, Genoa, and Spinnaker halyards should be replaced with a low stretch line. Spectra is the best due to the strength to weight ratio. Spectra does not stretch or soak up water. In addition Spectra is able to a sharp turn over a sheave or block without damaging the integrity of the line. The one problem with Spectra is the degradation cause by ultra-violet light. As for the Spinnaker sheets, Spectra works very well due to low stretch. The low stretch qspect is very nice when the Spinnaker pole is within a foot of the headstay. A stock piece of line will stretch until the pole hits the headstay. Another item that is nice to have rigged on a Capri 22 is a set of "Twings" for the Spinnaker sheets. These are handy in heavy air in keeping the pole off the headstay under a load. In addition the "Twings" works well as a foreguy, in fact many boats remove the foreguy when using "Twings".
Due to the size of the Mainsail on the Capri 22, the traveller becomes a critical adjustment to keep the boat sailing at the proper angle of heel. A technique I have found that is fast is when the boat has too much heel is to depower the boat by dumping the traveller, then pull it right back towards the middle of the boat. By accomplishing his maneuver you will find the boat will depower then accelerate without slipping sideways. Another speed tip is when sailing in light to moderate air with large swells or big chop the Genoa sheet should be eased to a point where the foot of the Genoa is touching the lifelines.
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