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Tuning Adjustments on the Xenon

Why make Tuning Adjustments?
The Tuning Adjustments serve two opposite purposes.
1.               The first is to obtain maximum power and efficiency from the Xenon. Quite obviously this is highly desirable in light and medium winds. The maximum speed of a medium wind is that in which, by all crew hiking out, including using the trapeze if available, the Xenon can be sailed relatively flat and efficiently. For most average weight crews this is around a 15 knot wind. The Xenon tends to perform better for heavier crews in good winds.
2.               The second purpose is to reduce the power of the rig. This is highly desirable in strong wind conditions when the Xenon is likely to be overpowered with a capsize as the end result. The ability to reduce the power of the full rig provides a useful halfway house before reefing the main sail becomes essential.
 
The range of Tuning Adjustments
The Xenon has a large range of Tuning adjustments that fall into two categories; those that are carried out ashore whilst rigging the dinghy and those that can be carried out afloat.
There are five rigging (shore) adjustments;
1.               The length of the Shroud spreaders
2.               The angle of the Shroud spreaders
3.               The length of the Main shroud (based on the connecting hole selected)
4.               The length of the Lower shroud (based on the connecting hole selected)
5.               The tension applied to the Jib halyard. Note: Apply only sufficient tension to achieve the effect you require (see below). Excessive tension, or inadequate tension can result in damage to the mast and/or dinghy.
 
Mast Rake

Arguably the most important rigging decision that affects tuning is the effective length of the main shroud. This adjustment governs mast rake and affects the power the Xenon can develop and how well it will point into the wind. More rake gives less power but improves pointing. The effective length of the Main Shroud is governed by the choice of connecting hole in the Main Shroud adjusters.

 

 

In this view of the Shroud adjusters the settings are for minimum rake to suit light to moderate wind conditions.

Note the polythene tube around the main shroud to provide a comfortable hiking grip; the black bungee line of the trapeze is also visible.

 

 

 

 

 

Rig Tension

Jib tension, and consequently shroud tension, apart from ensuring that the mast adopts the chosen rake, affects the degree of bend in the mast and therefore the shape of the mainsail. There is a further Xenon subtlety affecting mast bend and that is the role played by the Lower shrouds. With the Lower shrouds relatively slack the rig tension causes a bend throughout the length of the mast. Such a setup combined with high tension in the Gnav will result in a sail that has a relatively flat profile in both the vertical and horizontal directions and will usefully reduce the power the sail develops.
However if you require only the topmost section of the mast to bend this can be achieved by slightly increasing tension in the Lower Shrouds and thereby stiffening the lower portion of the mast. Do this by selecting a lower hole in the Lower Shroud adjuster. The consequent additional tension in the Lower Shroud will hold the lower section of the mast stiff and straight, whilst allowing the top section to bend.
 
There are four floating adjustments;
1.               The Jib car position
2.               The Outhaul tension
3.               The Cunningham (Downhaul) tension
4.               The Gnav tension
 With all the above correctly setup the final step is to ensure the Jib and main sheet settings are appropriate for the point of sail.

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