Part II of Our Ullman Sails Series is all about the Cunningham & Halyard. What is a Cunningham? What’s a Halyard? What’s the Luff you ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This graphic courtesy of Nautic Ed gives a great visual representation while the Ullman Sails team explains how to make the most of your Mainsail controls below. To read their full article go here: UllmanSails.com.
The cunningham and main halyard adjust the luff tension which affects the position of draft – the maximum fullness — in your main. As a general rule, the draft should be 50% aft from the luff. In underpowered conditions, you should have horizontal wrinkles on the luff to allow the draft to stay in its designed position. As the wind increases, the draft will move aft due to mastbend and cloth stretch, so you need to add luff tension to hold it at 50%. As you get overpowered, you should just barely remove the wrinkles. As the wind continues to increase, add cunningham to keep the draft at around 50%. In choppy water, the draft should be a bit further forward (40-45%) for better acceleration. In very flat water and good breeze, the draft can be allowed to slide aft to 60%. Off the wind, be sure to ease the cunningham right off.
Read Part I in last weeks post: Mainsheet & Traveler
Stay tuned for Part III: The Backstay