Tattoo 26 Mainsail

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Idh63
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Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Idh63 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:45 am

Hi folks;

I purchased the last Tattoo 26 from Boats4Sale in March of 2015. I have made a few mods. Not many. Bill had this boat already tricked up with his accessory pack. I added B&G Zeus 2, and NEMA wind direction and speed for rotating mast. All that works fine.

My issue is sail tuning. I seem to have no end of frustration getting this boat to beat to windward in any wind conditions. No matter how I adjust the chord depth to adjust draft position, mainsail halyard tension, or vang tension. The telltales at lower 1/3 leech always curl back to leeward of the mainsail.

A Reach however, is a whole different story. I can make way 4.5kts in 7-10kts apparent wind. Secret seems to be judicious adjustment of the draft.

I am looking for suggestions, besides starting the motor and motorsailing on a beat. It's actually very effective just off idle throttle on my etec 60. Just seems odd I am struggling so much under sail only.

Would a mainsail track make a noticeable improvement?
Maybe the mainsail on these boats is poorly cut?

Heck, I love sailing. If I wanted to motor around, I would have bought a powerboat.

Looking forward to input :)

Oh, If anyone wants to meet up on Lake Lanier, GA. I have my :tat: Slipped @ Port Royale. I am new to the area.

Cheers
David H
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NiceAft
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by NiceAft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:23 pm

Exactly in which direction are you having trouble?

Image

I ask, because :macm: :macx: are terrible when Pointing towards the wind. These boats don't point towards the wind well at all. Your boat is a MacGregor clone, so I would expect it to have the same short falls as its cousins.

Using the chart as a reference, how close to the wind are you trying to sail. It's a matter of learning your boat, and how close hauled you can get.

Either adjust your expectations, or learn a few more curse words for relief. :D

Ray

P.S. In another thread a group of us have been wondering about Bill. He has not posted in over a year. Do you have a means of finding out if he is OK :?:

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Idh63
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Idh63 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:43 pm

Hi Ray;

Nice to make your acquaintance.

The answer to your question is Close Hauled.

Does anyone know why they are so slow close hauled?

I will say that increasing the tension on the forestay did improve sailing performance.

Has anyone pitched boatbucks at a mainsheet traveler on a :tat26: or :macm: ?

I am considering modifying the boom vang and adding a easy rig Cunningham on the main.

I had a Meritt 22 before this Tattoo. As a youngster, I sailed 10-12 footers in a youth sailing club. Never got into racing though. Bought the Tattoo as a long distance trailer sailor. This boat was a family compromise. I just want to see how far I can improve what we have in this design. If I can't improve it, oh well, :o happens

Cheers

David

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:10 pm

NiceAft wrote:I ask, because :macm: :macx: are terrible when Pointing towards the wind. These boats don't point towards the wind well at all. Your boat is a MacGregor clone, so I would expect it to have the same short falls as its cousins.
This is a track from an excursion a couple of years ago. You can see the points with the close spacing, indicating slower sailing than those with more distance between them, are those when sailing closer to the wind. They were plotted when sailing as close as the boat would go. The larger spacing tracks are pretty shallow to the wind, more like close reaching than close hauled.

The boat just doesn't like sailing close hauled. Upwind is better with the OB running just above idle. Beam reaching gives sporty performance, though. New sails might also help, in my case at least.

Image
Last edited by Tomfoolery on Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NiceAft
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by NiceAft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:11 pm

I use the traveler on the :macm: often. I have no idea where it is on a :tat: .

Many years ago I gave up on beating myself up for not being able to sail as close to the wind as I would like. Just go with it, and enjoy the sail. Life is too short.

Just wait until you want to come about in low wind. :) That's a discussion held many times on this site.

Ray

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sailboatmike
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by sailboatmike » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:15 pm

Sounds a bit odd that you cant get your tell tales to fly on the bottom 1/3 leech of he main.

Making a quick mental picture sounds like there is too much belly in the main or the leech rope may be too tight giving you curl in the leech.

All that being said when reaching the majority of your power comes from the jib and its relationship to the main.

Small things make a huge difference, position of your jib cars is one major one.

These boats will never push up into the wind at the angle of racing boats, thats just not what they are about, but you should be able to get reasonable angles to the wind.

And one last point, I know plenty of people with none Macgregor trailer boats and many of them motor to windward rather than sail, its not that thier boats cant do it, they have just decided that they dont want to work that hard to get to where they want to go.

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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by sailboatmike » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:51 pm

Tomfoolery wrote:
NiceAft wrote:I ask, because :macm: :macx: are terrible when Pointing towards the wind. These boats don't point towards the wind well at all. Your boat is a MacGregor clone, so I would expect it to have the same short falls as its cousins.
This is a track from an excursion a couple of years ago. You can see the points with the close spacing, indicating slower sailing than those with more distance between them, are those when sailing closer to the wind. They were plotted when sailing as close as the boat would go. The larger spacing tracks are pretty shallow to the wind, more like close reaching than close hauled.

The boat just doesn't like sailing close hauled. Upwind is better with the OB running just above idle. Beam reaching gives sporty performance, though. New sails might also help, in my case at least.

Image
If the Tattoo sails are of the same quality as the original X sails I have on my boat new sails will go some way to helping the issue.

If we could buy new sails here in OZ for anywhere near the price you guys can get them for in the USA it would be a no brainer, lets face it the retail price of our boats is about 1/2 what you would pay for any sort of equivalent made by another manufacturer, so costs had to be cut somewhere and one was definitely the sails. I personally dont care about that, I have just accepted that despite some of the cheap accessories and fittings used by the factory my boat was sensational value for money back in the day

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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Sagacity » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:30 pm

Is the foot of your main sail tight? In the photo it looks like your outhaul could be tightened up. What kind of jib do you have?

In winds up to 15-20 I have not had any problem with getting 45^ from wind close hauled to tack up wind. With winds 20+ or gusty I could not get the furled genoa and main with 1 reef balanced enough to go up wind. So, recently we added a 2nd and 3rd reef point to the main using supplies from Sailrite.
When we have sailed with sailing clubs our Tattoo performs as well as the Hunter and Catalina boats in the group.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:36 am

Has anyone tried sheeting the main closer to or beyond center with another main sheet system to the windward rail, and/or used a barberhauler to bring the jib clew closer to center? I used to run my traveler upwind on my Hunter to squeeze a little more out of it, but haven't tried it with my spare main sheet on this boat. Yet. :wink:

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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by bwygirl » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:04 pm

The traveler was not an option for the Tattoo 26, instead they put a big strap eye in the center of the boat where the traveler should have been. I used the traveler mainly to keep the power on but to ease the sail in gusts. A small adjustment could sometimes mean I could sail without reefing. But if you bring the traveler up over center you just put bag in the mainsail and it doesn't sail right. The 26 Classic never had a traveler, it too had just the center strap eye.

The MacGregor and Tattoo will point upwind, but not as close as a low profile race boat. I would get 35 degrees at least. Here are some things to consider.

Daggerboard all the way down, this provides lift.

Water ballast completely full.

Rudders all the way down and tied in the down position, all the way to the stops. I can't tell you how many boats I have seen that think the rudders are down, but nope they are not! If the rudders are not all the way down you cannot sail upwind, all you have is a big paddle instead of a rudder.

Engine must be raised out of the water and held in a fixed position! The boat will not tack or point well with it in the water. It may not even tack at all.

After you are sure these things are done, now you look at the sails.

Mainsheet tight, and boom vang tight. Outhaul tight, but not over tightened. You want the sail to have some shape, not just be a flat board.

Jib cars in the forward most position on the cabin top track, and jib not over tightened. It is possible to over sheet, or over tighten the headsail making it a flat board. When in doubt let it out! You can ease just a little bit and probably see a difference.

Also, make sure you are not pointing too high into the wind. Watch your tell tails. The headsail tell tails should be flying straight back, not one up and the other down. The mainsail telltails should all be flying straight back.

While the sails that came with both the Mac or Tattoo are considered "factory grade" sails they are not the best. But they will do the job nicely for a couple years. New sails will help point higher and allow you to sail with a full sail into slightly higher winds before reefing, but if you don't do the rest of what i talked about you won't see a difference.
Cheryl

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Idh63
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Idh63 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:40 pm

Sagacity:
Is the foot of your main sail tight? In the photo it looks like your outhaul could be tightened up. What kind of jib do you have?
I have the standard Jib.
In winds up to 15-20 I have not had any problem with getting 45^ from wind close hauled to tack up wind
That is good to know. I am taking her out on the lake this Saturday. If you can do that with roller furling jib, I should be able to do that with Hank on.
When we have sailed with sailing clubs our Tattoo performs as well as the Hunter and Catalina boats in the group.
I got bested by a Catalina 22 a few weeks back. That didn't sit to well with me.

So, I think I need to get the sails off the boat and add the telltales to the front third of the sails. My sails came new supplied with sewn in blue strips in the leech.

Here is an image from a great book by Ivar Dekeham
Image

I added the arrow and comment about Curling Leward. Vortices perhaps.
I agree with Sagacity that the sail in that photo needed more tuning. That photo was from January. Not much wind. 3-5kts. So far my experience is that if I loosen the outhaul (more curve in sail), the faster I go (within reason) in light wind. 7kt+, I cant seem to find the setup.

@Cheryl: Thank you for your detailed info. I will have to recheck rudders are all the way down. I do tie them off. E-tec I leave down. It's bolted to the steering. Would love a way to quick release that.

My understanding is that Apparent wind will differ closer to the waterline. The Mainsail has twist in it. Upper tell tales are streaming back. Lowers are not. I have spent hours adjusting outhaul. I am going to take my three cameras Saturday to help understand from a different angle, what I am not seeing.

I sail mostly solo. The hank on Jib is a pain. Would love to upgrade the working Jib with roller furler, and add a dousing sock to the factory spinnaker. The latter sooner than later. that spinnaker also needs a decent launch bag.

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NiceAft
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by NiceAft » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:46 pm

Great input Cheryl. There are some on this board who are very new to sailing, and that sort of info. is valuable.

Ray

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:20 pm

Idh63 wrote:E-tec I leave down. It's bolted to the steering. Would love a way to quick release that.
https://shop.bwyachts.com/product-p/5712-1m0.htm

It says :macm: , not :tat26: , but the steering system is probably the same, and it was listed under 'Steering' in the :tat: section. The :tat26: is basically an :macm: anyway. Do confirm that with BWY before buying, though.

I have the :macx: version, and it makes the steering so much lighter when sailing. It was a great addition to the boat. 8)

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Idh63
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Idh63 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:36 pm

Thanks tomfoolery,

I will call byw and find out.

@niceaft: I have reached out to Bill via email and SMS text. Nothing so far.

He sent me a replacement rudder late 2015. That was my last contact.

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Idh63
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Re: Tattoo 26 Mainsail

Post by Idh63 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:52 am

I thought I would report back with my trimming progress.

Went out yesterday on my own. Wind was 5kts gusting to 12kts.

I found these conditions both a little scary, and interesting at the same time.

At 12kts full sails she was a handful on a close reach. Adjusted out haul and tensioned the mainsail using the main halyard. I have a snatch block for this purpose so I can use the starboard winch (halyards led aft). At 11 kts, and With all of Cheryl's suggestions, rudders,daggerboard, and boom vang tension, I was able to make way on a tight reach at 4.5kts. Bearing away a little would give me 5.5kts.

I left the motor down because sailing single handed and not having the byw quick disconnect kit. I would say I was close hauled at about 40-45 deg, factoring shifting conditions on the lake.

Coming back up the lake, I found I was getting close to a beam reach. Seeing 4.1 kts, I decided to raise the engine and watched the GPS show me a 1.5kt gain. I would guess an average of 5 kts. Never managed to break through 5.9kts.

I didn't get overtaken today. Didn't do any overtaking either. Many sailers content with genoa or main only.

At some point I would like an autopilot. Would be nice to be able to reef the main when in 9+ kts without having the boat start to head off in unhelpful directions.

Another wish list item is adding another reef point to mainsail. The one reef point is very high up on the factory :tat26: mainsail

I had a lot of fun yesterday.

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