Owner's survey

If you are new to Pacers you might find that setting them up and fine tuning for racing can involve a fair amount of trial and error. To help speed up the process I asked quite a few of the sailors at the 2014/15 national regatta some questions about how their Pacers were set up. The results are quite interesting.  So, if you've ever wondered about what rig tension or mast rake the national fleet is running, or how wooden boats compare with fibreglass, then read on!

 

Our ACT club boats were noticeably slower, particularly upwind and into the wind was pretty average too. So, looking into thru tuning tip on the Pacer website led me to wondering about how the national fleet was sailing. Chaddywagon’s (Pacer 2733) Robe and Canberra settings prove highly competitive benchmarks, but I wondered if these setting were commonly used.

 

Pacer 2014/2015 Owner’s Survey
Chelsea Yacht Club, Chelsea, Victoria

Sail Number

Boat Name

Construction

Builder

Rig Tension
(Loos; ?)

Mast Rake

Main Sheet System

TBC

Tripwire

Fibreglass

Smackwater

Rock hard

5 950 mm

Centre

2

Atreus

Fibreglass

Smackwater

Medium

Vertical / not much

Centre

3

Warren

Fibreglass

Smackwater

Whatever the boat can take

No idea

Centre

2195

Wildwood

Timber

Graham Downey

We pull on hard

Don’t know

Centre + traveller

2461

Flash

Fibreglass

Jim French

Fore = 11
Sides = 20

Don’t know

Centre + traveller

2733

Spyderboat

Fibreglass

Jim French

Down to the black mark on the string

5 950 mm

Boom and end + traveller

2733

Chaddywagon

Fibreglass

Jim French

Fore = 12
Sides = 21

5 950 mm

Boom and end + traveller

2738

Two Blondes

Fibreglass

Smackwater

Fore = ~15
Sides = 20

5 950 mm

Centre

2901

G-Force

Fibreglass

Jim French

Medium tight

Don’t know

Centre

2902

G2

Fibreglass

Jim French

Hard as iron – no slackness on my boat!

Aft a bit

Centre

2940

On Y Va

Fibreglass

Jim French

Tight

Slightly aft

Centre

2941

Pocket Rocket

Fibreglass

Jim French

A lot!

Slightly aft

Centre + traveller

2943

Patience Is Overrated

Fibreglass

Jim French

Fore = ?
Sides = 20

5 950 mm

Boom and end

3011

Bebop

Fibreglass

Jim French

Almost max …

Middling

Boom and end

3070

Totes Amazables

Fibreglass

Jim French + owner

Fore = ?
Sides = 19.5

5 965 mm

Boom and end

 

I didn't get to speak with everyone, so the results are not comprehensive. The results do however provide some clear insights into how winning Pacers are set up at the moment. I've also included Chaddywagon's previous setting in the table too, just for comparison. Basic results are:

  • Fibreglass boats are far more common that timber, but well made and properly set up wooden boats can be highly competitive;
  • Jim French's boats are very popular;
  • Very few sailors measure rig tension; most just pull on hard. For those who do, Chaddywagon’s rig tension settings continue to deliver highly competitive results, so 12 on the forestay and 21 on each sidestay seems a reasonable benchmark;
  • Even fewer sailors measure their mast rake, but again Chaddywagon’s setting prevailed: 5,950 mm;
  • Centre sheeting systems are commonly used; boom and end sheeting systems are less common. The best results generally seem to come from centre sheeting with a traveller.

Bruce Gray

2015

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