Fixed Harness Lines are for Fixed Minds

Fixed Harness Lines are for Fixed Minds

Post by Glesh » Sat, 08 Aug 1998 04:00:00


>Below - An excerpt from the latest issue of the New Mexico Windsurfing
>Association's (NMWA) newsletter.
>Don't flame me. Dr. Guss Ting wrote it ...

>Barry Ritchey - "NM-0"
>Commodore - NMWA


>Fixed Harness Lines are for Fixed Minds

>    That's right. If you just blinked, in print again, fixed-length
>harness lines are for people with fixed minds or who sail in fixed
>wind or on a fixed point of sail. I tempered my initial thought, "...
>with sick minds."
>    Has anyone out there ever had to schlog home when the wind went
>from planing conditions to non-planing conditions? What about sailing
>comfortably powered-up and have the wind pick-up a sail size or two?
>Have you ever had to sail on radically different points of sail during
>a sesh? Is all of your sailing done in the same conditions only
>fla***er, only bump, or only wave sailing? And I almost forgot one:
>Do you ever share a rig with anyone else?
>    If you answered 'no' to all of the above, you can go back to
>sailing in Shangri La or seek counseling. On my top-10 list,
>adjustable harness lines rank up there close to clamp-on booms, as one
>of the neatest refinements to our sport. If you don't got 'em, you
>don't know what you're missin'.
>    Let's take schlogging for example. When you're not planing, the
>rig is in an upright position. The rig isn't raked back. This makes
>for a very high boom to body relationship. When planing, the rig is
>raked back, which effectively lowers the booms. Fixed lines can't cope
>with the range. If your lines are short enough for planing, then you
>have to unhook when schlogging. If they are long enough to schlog
>with, then they are too long for optimal sail trim & body position.
>With adjustable lines, you can run them short for planing and lengthen
>them to still remain hooked-in if you have to schlog for a long
>distance or time.
>    When the wind picks up and you either can't get to shore to
>downsize the sail, or just want to keep on sailing, adjustable lines
>can improve your survivability. As the wind picks up to official
>overpowered strength, lengthening the lines allows the body to move
>further away from the sail. The greater distance allows you to better
>counterbalance the beast that your sail has become. Longer lines also
>allow you to comfortable sheet-out the sail when overpowered. Most of
>us slow down a bit when overpowered and sheeting out corrects the sail
>trim. Trust me.
>    Most racerheads have know for years that adjustable lines allow
>you to optimize for different points of sail. Sailing upwind, or any
>situation with high apparent wind, works best with short harness lines
> the rig is 'close hauled' to your body. Off the wind sailing,
>especially overpowered, works best with longer lines.
>    Different water conditions can often demand a different harness
>line length. High speed sailing in flat water, where the ratio of
>induced wind to real wind is very high, works best with short lines.
>Choppy water sailing, when your boardspeed doesn't exceed the
>windspeed, can better be handled by just a slight lengthening of the
>lines. For wavesailing, you can run long lines for outbound schlogging
>if underpowered  or shorter if more powered up. You can also run
>asymmetrical line lengths (port and starboard lengths aren't the
>    Patience. The lecture is almost over. Kathi and I share a quiver.
>Before adjustable harness lines, was that the Kennedy or Nixon era?,
>we would have to change out harness lines or booms if we needed to up
>or downsize sails (thank God for velcro-on harness lines). Now, all we
>have to do is 'adjust' with a small tug or lift of the thumb. Such
>    Bottom line: Go out and buy some adjustable harness lines or make
>your own. You can use your old fixed lines as prairie dog leashes. Or
>better yet, give them to your friend that lives on Maui, who only uses
>a 4.4 in perfect 25 knot winds, who only sails the same break day
>after day, who never ventures up or downwind, and who damn sure
>doesn't share his (or her) gear.
>  Dr. G.T.

>If all this tech-babble about apparent and induced wind has you more
>confused than amused, then come to the next NMWA meeting to hear (or
>debate with) the distinguished professor Guss Ting give his lecture
>"Wind Apparent, Induced, Real, and Unreal." This will get you back
>on the straight and narrow.  Prior to the lecture, a 'fixed minds and
>lines' check at the front door.    -B

Interesting post.  Thanks.