Tips and advice

2 11 2007

Hi guys,

We’ve recently recieved a fair few questions regarding sailing techniques, gear issues etc.  We just wanted to say that, if you have any questions regarding 49er and 29er sailing, then feel free to ask away.  We’ve both campaigned skiffs to the highest level, with Jus winning the 29er Youth Worlds in 2005, and are more than willing to help with any questions you have.  Furthermore, I’ve got a degree in Sports Science, so if you have any fitness and workout related questions, then fire away!

Thanks,

Team Visser

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50 responses

2 11 2007
Neil

When Justin sailed the 29er did they crack the jibsheet a little before tacks at all?
Cheers
Neil

3 11 2007
visser49erracing

Hey, Justin here.

Yeah for tacks in anything above around 18 knots I used to crack the jib, it just gives a little more control through the turn. It’s not too bad in the 29er, try tacking the 49er in 25 knots with the jib full on!

So basically in the 29er just crack it off before you go for the tack (don’t sail along with it off for too long, you’ll lose speed and go into the tack more powered up, which will mean you come out heeled) and then grind it back on as soon as you can afterwards.

And of course you should have the crew taking the mainsheet through the tacks! Difficult at first but through practise is a great technique to have. Any questions on how to do it feel free to ask!!

Justin

24 06 2012
Simon LeBlanc

hi i’m beging to sail the 29er, and i was wondering if you could give me tips on how tacking with the mainsheet (i’m the crew).
thank you for your time,
CAN444

3 11 2007
Neil

Thanks Justin
I’ll get on at the crew to take the main through the tacks, I’ll say a world champion told me to that’ll keep him quiet!
Neil

3 11 2007
visser49erracing

If he struggles to take it behind his back, he can always use the duck technique. Basically, if going from starboard tack to port, as he steps in, he transfers the main to his right (forward hand), lifts the sheet up to the boom, and duks under it. It’s a little easier, and means theres less chance of dropping it through the manouver.

Ryan

4 11 2007
wickwick

i love team visser!!!

from ?

12 11 2007
Tom

When the crew takes the main through the tack is there any technique on controlling the power out of it, its ok in medium winds but when its blowing its really hard.

The amount of capsises we have by getting blown over for stupid misunderstanings, gust etc. i’m determined to get it and just wondered if it is just practice

thanks

Tom

13 11 2007
visser49erracing

I think it can be broken down into two areas. Awareness and training.
Awareness: As we enter each tack, just before Jus stands up, I check over my shoulder for any gusts that we are tacking in (calling “gust” if there is one). Also, i check to make sure our hooks on the other side aren’t too high or low as this affects the setup post tack, and check for waves etc.

The second aspect is the actual skill set for the tack. It’s difficult to know where you are going wrong, but I’ll assume you are wire to wire tacking and passing the main to your back hand behind your back. Firstly, make sure the main is in your back hand as you grab the trapeze handle, step out and drop to a straight arm. In this position, don’t hook on until the boat is flat and accelerating away. Whilst hanging from one hand, you need to be able to ease the mainsheet one handed, so let it slide through your hand if a gust hits.

If you keep having problems, get someone to video you tacking, and stick it on youtube and we’ll have a look.

Ryan

14 11 2007
Tom

So would you keep the main in tight through the tack and then adjust when your out holding on, or ease a little as you move in and then power up as you go out, or does it just depend on judgement at the time?

we’re going to some training this weekend so I might get it then.

14 11 2007
visser49erracing

If it’s breezy, then the main will be out about a foot or so, as you step in, you’ll want to slide your back hand down the main towards the block and sheet in to keep the boat from falling on top of you. Duck under the boom, pass the main behind your back, and prepare for a big sheet out as the jib pulls you round. Remeber, getting the bow off the wind after the tack comes down to the job, as the main will only try to round you up. So step out and dump a load of sheet if you start to heel. Bear in mind that you’ll have to let the sheet slide through your hand, as it will be in your back hand only. Don’t hook on until the boat is setup on the new tack.

8 01 2008
Tom

Hello

How did you get your sponsers? Did you go to big events and got spotted or did you actually approach the company?

p.s Did you go to the 49er worlds down under? Hope you did well!

8 01 2008
Tom

Sorry, Australian nationals,not worlds!

9 01 2008
visser49erracing

All of our sponsors have come from approaching the company, explaining what we do and what our goals are, and giving them a sponsorship pack which makes it all more professional. Whilst many companies are happy to give out discounts or even free kit, getting hard cash off them is far harder…

No didn’t go to the Worlds. We both have work and Uni commitments so it just wasn’t possible. However, we will be at the Euros in Palma, Holland regatta, Kiel and a fair few more this year.

What do you sail?

10 01 2008
Tom

I’m at the sharp end of a 29er at the moment but my helm is going off to uni this september and i’ve still got a few years to go, so my plan/dream is to start in 49ers this autumn (if i’m big enough) but theres still loads of planning to do as i need someone to sail with and a boat! ( as you can see i’ve only just dreamed up this idea!)
Sponsership was just one thought to explore.
What do the sponsers ask, is it things like photo shoots or just going to big venues?

17 01 2008
visser49erracing

Photo shoots help, as do being available for corporate functions (so they can show you off) etc. Obviously, you have to be doing the big events to get a decent sponsor, as they won’t be interested if you are just club sailing.

29 03 2008
Tom

Hey

This is a fitness Q. I’ve been goin to the gym a couple of months now and i have noticed a differnce, but i still find the hoists quite hard, is their any specific training i can do to help with them?

Hope your sailings going well

thanks
Tom

29 03 2008
visser49erracing

Firstly, make sure your spinnaker system is lubricated and smooth. Change all old blocks, mclube all rigging and even, if you can afford it, mclube the inside of the spinnaker bag. Sometimes i sailed on boats where the spinny system is just really slow, so make sure yours isn’t.

On the fitness side, use all of the gym equipment that involves pulling. The key here is to do 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions. On the last 2 reps, you should be really struggling to finish. Once you’ve finished on these machines, get into the weights room and grab yourself a weights bench. rest your left knee and left hand on the bench and keep your back straight. Starting on around 12kg (depending how much you can lift) in your right hand, with your elbow pointing outwards and not by your side, lift the weight from a straight arm position to chest level and lower it down again. This is the basic workout for spinny hoists.

Key things to remember: Both parts of the movement build muscle, so when lowering the weight make sure it is smooth and slow. Gradually build up the weight every few weeks, maxing out on around 8 reps for failure. I started on around 15kg when I was in 29ers, I’m now hitting 12 reps on the 36kg dumbells, so you should always be looking to improve and lift more weight when you start to manage 8 reps easily.

Finally, everytime you work out, always stretch off and take in protein afterwards. A tin of tuna on toast is great, or a protein shake if you want to spend the money.

I’ll write a proper blog post to demonstrate my daily routine later this week. I hope it will be helpful.

Ryan

13 04 2008
tom b

hey guys

ive just started sailing the 29er, ive only been in it for 3 weeks. i doing ok. but the question i need answering is- when going out on to the wire when the kite is up is there a different stance to when you are going upwind
thanks
tom b

13 04 2008
visser49erracing

Hi Tom,

Do you mean when you are hooked on and going, or when you first step out?

Firstly, make sure you have toe loops as far back on the boat as possible. with the helm hiking, you should have your back foot behind him in the toe loop (if there are waves) with your front leg straight, foot pointing toward the bow and standing as tall as you can. Most guys have their shoulders hunched slightly downwind, so make sure youre back is straight and your shoulders are back to maximise leverage. Finally, make sure your hips are level with your shoulders rather than lower to the water. This is a great way to get as much weight out as possible.

Check out some of our pictures to see the sort o stance you need:
Training in Lymington

15 04 2008
Tom

So is it better when your really flying to push down to the knot on the adjuster?

it never really crosses my mind to lower myself when going downwind, should it?

I guess i usually just stick with the height for the bear away, which is usually fairly low.

Tom origional!

16 04 2008
visser49erracing

Depends what you’re trying to do. if your helm is looking for depth, then he’ll probably ask you to stay a little higher. If you are going for pace (being rolled by another boat) then you need to be flat to the water if possible. Bear in mind that when you are in the back toe loop, your back leg is really bent. The reason we ry to get to the back toe loop early (in the 49er) is not to get weight back, but because it enables me to push my back leg straight and therefore get more weight out. Rather than having a bent leg and having your body slanted backwards, straigthen your back leg and have your body at right angles to the boat. More leverage so more speed.

13 06 2008
sam

Hi! i am hoping to move into a 29er this summer. A friend told me about the 29er deal that if you wait untill after the youth worlds i can get a 29er for a grand cheaper.

what do you think about this deal? will the boas be recked or is it a good deal?

thanks for the help.
sam

13 06 2008
visser49erracing

Hi!

Yep that’s usually a pretty good time to buy one, although bear in mind that only one boat per country goes to the Youth Worlds, so all the other people who don’t make it will be selling up before them, so don’t write off buying earlier.

The main thing is to get a boat that you a happy with. Look out for the usual dings in the hull as well as floppy masts and crappy jibs and spinnakers. Also, try to make sure the foils don’t leak.

13 06 2008
sam

thanks 🙂 are these things “floppy masts and crappy jibs and spinnakers. Also, try to make sure the foils don’t leak” likly to happen to a boat thats being used for 1 week?

cheers

13 06 2008
visser49erracing

Ah, if it’s a one weak old boat then you won’t have any problems. just check for cracks on the gunwales and dings on the hull. everything else should be sorted. Let me know when you get started and I’ll pass on some tips (mostly from justin 🙂 )

15 06 2008
sam

good! i hope the boat is fine 🙂 cant wait had a go in one last weekend with my crew and we flew! was great fun cant wait to race it.

thabks for all the help! i wil keep u updated! that wil be great to get some extra tips!!

cheers guys

sam

16 06 2008
visser49erracing

Sure, have fun and come back when you have more questions. 🙂

4 08 2008
Tom

Hi guys

29ers going awesome, but theres one manouvere that we never seem to nail which is the light/medium wind wind bear way

its when i’m trapzing in front of the shround upwind, but when we bear away i hoist in front of the mast and stay there through the downwind leg

the problem we find is that there isnt an easy way to get from the bear away trapeze position jut behind the shroud to in front of the mast for the hoist

Any tips?

Thanks again
Tom

4 08 2008
visser49erracing

to be honest, the main thing is to get the kite up as quickly as possible. Why not just bear away behind the shroud, step into the boat behind the shrouds (like a strong wind bearaway) then turn to face the back of the boat with your body in front of the spinnaker block on the deck and start hoisting as you back into the gap between the mast and shroud.

So you’d end up with your head down over the spinny halyard block with your body between the shroud and mast, looking towards the back. To get here, step in behind the shroud, put your front foot at the base of the mast facing backwards and your back foot near the gunwale and start hoisting as you back into position.
Let me know if this works.

21 09 2008
Tristan Hutt

Hey!

Iv only had my 49er 2 months so im not expecting miracles but I found that my boat speed in marginal conditions (1-2) has been fairly poor compaired to the other 49er at the club. Iv ensured my controls such as kicker and downhall are loose and that are weight is forward but we still struggled.

Any advise for these conditions would be great!

Thanks
Tristan

22 09 2008
visser49erracing

Firstly, is your boat down to weight? Check that it’s nice and dry inside, and that the wings are empty of water. Make sure the hull is nice and smooth, and your foils are good quality (no dings or chips.

So one of the priorities in the light stuff is leech tension. Make sure the telltales are are stalling about 20% of the time. Any more and you are choking the back of the mainsail with mainsheet tension. With proper leech tension, you need to keep it that way, so don’t ease in the gusts, react with your body weight. And finally, have the crew in front of the shrouds and stepping on to th wing from there.

So, Flat boat, mainsheet tension (never stall it) and weight forward.

Finally, make sure your tensions are correct. Around 28 on shrouds, 16 on caps, and a fairly flat bottom section.

Let me know how it goes.

3 11 2008
sam

hi, i have recently been setling into my 29er! im luvin it!! we were sailin this w.e at grapham and had quite a mix of winds, we had a few issues of what tension to put o i the varyin wind strenths.

also our jib tension, how do we mesure that?! any othr new comers tips will be much appreciated 😛 thanks

sam

4 11 2008
visser49erracing

Ok will start with jib tension first. For light winds, use the jib tension to just remove the scallops (creases between the clips) on the luff of the jib. As the breeze increases, tighten it to take out the sag between the clips. If you’re sailing upwind and you see the jib sagging away from the forestay, you need more tension. When it’s full on, you’re pretty much taken as much tension as you can get on the system.

Ok settings for the 29er (make sure your mast is packed etc first):
Light wind (4-9 knots) should be 32 on shrouds, medium (9-13 knots) 34, medium heavy (14-18 knots) 36, heavy (18+) 38

Hope that helps.

19 02 2009
neeta

Hello there,

Thanks for answering everyones questions.

In the 29er on the upwind leg if your able to plane is you crack off a bit but not if you point at full hight- what do you choose?

Thanks

7 03 2009
Laurence

Hi, my helm has recsently perswaded me (quite easyly) that I should get a 49er. We have sailed together a lot in RS800’s but are looking for a bit more excitment and power. Any tips on a good first boat (quite cheap) would be really useful.

Thanks
Laurence

29 09 2009
Tom

hi,
just hoping you could help me
have just got a 49er, we were reasonably good in the 29er, ie 12th at 2009 uk nats, and am trying to get out as much as possible, we have sailed comfortably in 12 to 15 knots and we are around 140 kgs. but this weekend the wind is predicted to be around 20+knots
is it worth going out and trying or is it better to do boat prep. also if we should go out, what tips would you advise
sorry for the sheer amount of questions in a short post
thanks in advance
tom
p.s love reading your week

8 10 2009
visser49erracing

Hey Tom,

Sorry to only just get this, I’ve just got married so have been on honeymoon for the last two weeks!

Regarding taking the 49er out in 20 knots, practice makes perfect so I’d say go for it, but first you need to do a few things:

Take a phone in a water proof bag

Make sure you have rescue cover, or at least someone at the club who can come out to help. You’ll probably spend a long time swimming..

Check ALL fittings for wear. If it’s going to break, it’ll be on that first 20 knot bear away.

Right, there are so many things you need to do to keep it upright.

– Safety gybes are essential (keep the kite pinned on the winward side after the boom comes across, and only release it when things are stable and the helm is hooked on)
– Ease a lot more mainsheet than you expect on the bear away. Once the boat is down, pull back two armfuls of sheet before handing it over to the helm. Really stabilises the boat.
– Crew to keep his head up in the hoist, watching for waves. Be prepared to skoot back if you are about to nosedive.
– Drop the kite earlier than you think.
– Don’t play the main too much upwind, try to steer through the gusts and ease only a bit. No more than a foot of sheet to be eased each time.
– Tacking. Crew needs to help the boat to tack by pulling on some sheet as the boat goes head to wind, but be prepared to dump a load when the bow spins. Ease the gib a bit before the tack to help things along.

Ok that should get you started. If I get time, I’ll write a full post on this later this week.

Cheers,

Ryan

27 11 2009
Nicolas

Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions…I just started sailing 29ers and the boat I have been using has a centerboard thats bigger, but alot heavier then the ones on the other boats. My coach said it was a newer centerboard that they made bigger, but he said it might be filled with water. What is the correct method for getting rid of the water if their is any? Also, coming from 420’s and Fj’s, coming out of the tacks I seem to pinch a little too much. In skiffs, do you want to foot a little bit to build up speed before going for point?
Thanks…

27 11 2009
visser49erracing

Hey Nicolas, thanks for the questions.

I’ve been out of 29ers for some time soI can’t say for sure if they have redesigned the board. Best bet is to take to Dave Hall from Ovington. As for it beingfilled with water, you can drill through the plugs at thetop or bottom to drain it. However, if water got in then there must be a way for it to get out, so check to see if it leaks before drilling. Obviously once you;ve drilled it out you’ll need to fill the hole, but check your class rules to make sure that you are alloweed tomake any changes to your foils…

I’d avoid pinching out of tacks in the 29er, especially in breeze. A lot of guys actually ease the jib a tiny bit before tacking when it’s breezy to help get the bow off, so it’s definitely a good idea to finish the tack with streaming tell tales. Obviously, you also want to avoid stalled tell tales (leeward one choked) as this is even slower, so make sure they are both streaming when you exit. The main thing to remember with pointing is that you go for speed first, and then height. There’s no point in stopping the boat in a tack and then going for height straight afterwards, you need to get the boat moving and then start to squeeze for height.

Hope that helps.

26 05 2010
Joao henrique

Hello there. im sure youve been off the 29ers for a long time but maybe you can help me still. Im going to the youth worlds this july but im the only 29er in brazil so ive been having to discover the boat by myself (qualifyed through 420s youth qualifying championship after being 2nd).
I am having a really hard time trying to figure out the bridle and vang (kicker) point. I really dont know what to do, when to close/open leech, when to block the main, what height to use in the bridle, how much vang to pull, etc. Ive read many guides but they all say to pull vang according to the wind. They say that i need to pull so that the main will go out rather than up when i release it. But without knowing the ideal height of the bridle i cant do this!
Oh and i also have a doubt regarding the 4 tensioned “bars” on the main (is that what you called tell tales before). What tension should i apply, taking neutral as reference, to what wind strengths?
Many thanks in advance, joao.

13 09 2010
Håvard

Hi!

We were at the European Championship for the first time this summer and they checked the weight of the boat. The boatweight with spinakerbag is supposed to be a minimum of 74 kilos, but our boat were weighed to 83 kilos. There is no water inside either. Do you know what the reason to this can be, and can we do something about it?

Do we loose a lot compared to other boats in competitions because of this or is the differense minimal?

Thanks in advance, Håvard 🙂

25 05 2011
Alex

Hi!

Thank you very much for aswering all of these questions… Im not sure if your still commenting but ill try anyway 🙂

I have resently began to sail a 29er and have been wondering… Is it better in medium to heavy winds to go low on the wire and take the pace upwind or sail with more height and go higher on the wire but with less pace?

Many thanks… hope your still aswering these querys 🙂

Alex

12 08 2011
Ryan Visser

It totally depends on the sea state. You want to have the boat flat (and I mean totally flat) so that comes down to playing the mainsheet. If you are wiring low and you have to sheet in to raise yourself over waves (to stop you hitting them) then you are too low. Basically, with a flat boat you should be low enough so you are close to the waves without ever being hit. Take a look at some of our photos and you’ll see what I mean by low. Hope that helps!

22 08 2011
Alex

Hey,
29er and 49er’s are my favourites boats out there and im finally getting a chance to crew one so is there anything I should do or keep in mind??

Cheers

Alex

7 05 2012
Nick

Hello!
Thinking about moving into a 49er, our crew weight would be about 140kg. Do you reckon we’d get on alright with that or do you think it’s better to wait until we’re bigger? Bit confused because some people have said they cope fine with 130kg but others have told me that we should be at least 150kg. :S Thanks! 😀

6 09 2012
Adam Knight

Hi guys,

See things have been a touch quiet of late!

A friend and I have just bought an old (sail no. 869) RS800. We have just about got to grips with turning corners etc but need to have a long hard look at our rig setup to try and get it closer to it’s handicap.

Could you post your rig notes for a range of conditions? We are racing in Guernsey so flat days are a rarity!

Thanks,

Adam

19 06 2014
IRL2026

Hi guys, today was our first day sailing in our 29er, we loved it, I was just reading the answers to most questions and they are really well explained and helpful!
Just wondering if you could give me 3 key things we need to do/look out for in these early days

Ill be sure to get back to you guys with any other questions!

Thanks
IRL 2026

21 01 2015
Joe

Hi

I was looking for tips on how to sail 29ers and this website came up i have read through and it is all helpful.

this weekend is my first time sailing one I have been asked if i want to crew or helm. i dont know which one ill prefer ho do you choose?

is there any tips you can give me on crewing and helming??

thanks for your help

Joe

21 01 2015
joe

hey guys
this weekend is the first time sailing a 29er is there any tips you can give me?
(as a crew)
its supposed to be 36mph
cheers
joe

10 07 2015
Andrew

Hi guys !

I’m 25 years old and my helm is 16 years old .
We’ve recently left the 29er class and now we’re trying to put together a 49er . Unfortunately , i’m 77 kg and my helm is 66 kg 😦 .
What do we do to take in weight ? Hit the gym ? Go crossfitting ? Our mentor suggests to just run every day in order to build stamina because the 49er will apply huge forces on us and we must be able to last on the first trainings .

Thanks for all the above answers and thanks in advance if you get a chance to answer this as well.

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