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Ullman Sabo Rig & Sail Tuning Guides

Ullman Sabot Tuning Guide

How to optimize power and pointing

This guide will provide you with the basics of tuning a Sabot. 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.

By following this tuning guide your Sabot sailing will be simpler, more successful and most of all more fun. Go fast and have fun!

  • Mast Set Up
  • Mainsheet & Boom Vang
  • Leeboard Positions
  • Body Position & Summary
  •  Printable Guide

Ullman fibre path genoa - Genoa trim techniquesSabot Mast Rake

The mast rake is measured from the transom to the middle of the boom.

Wind Speed
0 - 5 knots 16 inches
5 - 10 knots 18 inches
10 - 15 knots 20 inches
15+ knots Depends on your weight and how stiff your mast is - very little mast rake

Sabot Outhaul Tension

The outhaul is measured from the middle of the boom (at the center of the mainsheet block) to the foot of the sail 4 inches above the foot.

Wind Speed
0 - 5 knots 7 inches
5 - 10 knots 6 inches
10 - 15 knots 4 - 5 inches
15+ knots 3 inches (nearly overlapped with boom)

Sabot Downhaul Tension

Wind Speed
0 - 5 knots None
5 - 10 knots In puffs, half of wrinkles out
10 - 15 knots 3/4 of wrinkels out
15+ knots All wrinkles out

Sabot Upwind Boom Position

These numbers work for both mid and aft travelers and are measured from centerline of the transom.

Wind Speed
0 - 5 knots 8 inches off centerline
5 - 10 knots 10 - 12 inches off centerline
10 - 15 knots 16 - 18 inches off centerline
15+ knots Depending on the weight of the skipper, off corner of transom to 2 - 4 inches outboard of transom

Sabot Mainsheet Tension


In light air be careful not to overstrap the mainsheet as this will severly inhibit your upwind speed, as well as pointing ability. The numbers in the upwind/traveler (section #4) are accurate, but how you arrive at this position depends on your sheeting, traveler and vang systems. If you are on the lighter side, 70-110 lbs., keep in mind that easing the mainsheet in the puffs will allow you to get the boat "flat" easier without going sideways. After the boat is "flat", you can sheet in the main and hike hard from the rail. These mainsheet adjustments are only 3 - 6 inches.


In 0-12 knots you can let your boom out 90 degrees. In over 15 knots, and when over-powered, let the mainsheet out to only 80 degrees. Do not over-roll to weather or you will be swimming!

Sabot Boom Vang Tension

Center Mainsheet System

Upwind: Your mainsheet acts as a boom vang and very little vang is needed until over 10 knots and you begin easing the mainsheet in the puffs. Use enough vang to maintain leech tension.

Downwind: Use enough vang to keep leech tension while keeping the upper batten slightly twisted. Keep in mind, too much vang will inhibit your mainsheet from going all the way out downwind.

Aft Mainsheet System

Upwind: More careful attention is needed as your vang is the "gas pedal" upwind. In light to medium air upwind, use enough vang to keep leach tension and still have the upper 1/3 of the sail twisted off 10-15 degrees. As the wind increases in puffy situations, you are required to "play" the vang---easing off slightly in the light spots & re-applying in the puffs.

Downwind: Enough vang to maintain a "firm" leach while having a slight twist at the upper batten. With this aft mainsheet system, be careful not to "over tension" the vang as this will act as a break both upwind and downwind, similar to "over sheeting" with a conventional center mainsheet system!

Sabot Leeboard Position Upwind

It is important to remember upwind on starboard tack to keep boat as flat as possible. It is OK on port to maintain 5 degrees more heel.

Wind Speed
0 - 8 knots Rake slightly forward
8 - 12 knots (medium air) Straight
15+ knots If too much 'weather helm,' rake slightly aft

Sabot Leeboard Position Downwind

Depending on how agile you are, it is recommended to pull the leeboard up, or at least rake aft to 45 degrees. Be careful with leeboard, as lifting it all the way up limits your maneuverability (especially when jibing).

Sabot Body Position in Boat

With regard to this matter, keep in mind that a 70 lb youth may move their weight fore/aft in a more extreme fashion than the agile senior at 180 lbs.! Upwind, light air; weight forward leaning on the center thwart. As the wind increases, move weight aft keeing the boat "on it's lines". This can be accomplished by the heavier person simply by leaning, whereas a smaller person should be 2-3" aft of center thwart. As the wind builds to 12 knots and above, and you find upwind steerage to be difficult, try going aft 4" from center thwart. Be careful not to "drag the transom." Larger people are able to just lean aft.


In lighter air and chop, keep the boat "driving". Speed is always good without compromising too much on pointing. In flat water and less than 8 knots, you can sail the boat a few degrees higher, but never compromise boat speed. Due to the confined quarters, and the nature of the Naples Sabot, any adjustments made with the outhaul, downhaul, vang or mainsheet, greatly affect the sail plan. A "happy medium" is the most effective way to sail the boat. Try these settings and experiment on your own. If you find a speed technique we will be happy to add it to this guide. Good Luck and Have Fun!

The Ullman Sails Sabot tuning guide was written with the help of Sabot experts Mark Gaudio, Nick Scandone, and Jeff Lenhart to help you achieve the optimum performance from your Sabot.

Please feel free to give us a call or e-mail us to discuss sailing, ask questions, or order a new sail. We are here to help you achieve your sailing goals.

If you have any questions about Sabot Ullman sail trim that are not answered here, please contact us.