Strop & Traveller

You should have a rope between the floor 'tie-down' points either side of the boat. It should be the right length to just reach up to the base of the centremain if pulled upwards in the centre. On this there should be smallish block that is 'back-to-back' with the lower mainsheet block. They can be shackled together and on later boats were supplied /manufactured 'inter-locked' as standard. This set up creates a simple rope traveller which allows the bottom mainsheet block to move 10-15cm off the centre-line on each tack. This arrangement prevents you oversheeting too readily - when pulled 'in' the boom is moved across the boat but not to a dead in line position. As it reaches about 10 degrees off the centreline extra sheeting pulls it mostly DOWN and not further ACROSS the boat - and this tightens up the leach. Get over-powered you just ease the mainsheet and the leach automatically opens up. If you tried to flatten the sail with the kicker it bends the mast as the boom is pulled into it causing massive depowering that remains when you sheet in - ie not automatic in effect and fairly slow ! If generally overpowered then by all means use the kicker but remember to let it off when you can manage more power. Its all in the mainsheet set up and the tension you apply it when racing. Mike Lyons