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An optimal adjustment of the genoa, in any points of sailing, necessarily requires a good knowledge of both language and importance of tell tales, also known as flow indicators. In fact, they indicate, precisely and in advance, whether the angle of attack compared to wind direction is right or not.
So, it’s important to observe them. For a medium adjustment, it’s better to observe the tell tales couple, the windward one and the leeward one, located at midgenoa. Generally, tell tales must be parallel to the deck and to each other.
After establishing our sailing point, with a concave sail we will refine later by working on the carriage, we see tell tales.
If leeward tell tale gets turbolent, this means that air on that side of the sail hasn’t a regular flow. So, we must expose that part to the wind in a right way. In this case, we can ask the helmsman to head up ( if we aren’t pinching) or we can ask the bowman to slack the sail until we see the tell tales parallel to the deck again.
If, on the contrary, what is turbulent is the inner tell tale, we must ask the tailer to haul, if possible. If our sails are already too hauled, the only thing we can do is to ask the helmsman to bear away.
So, we can respect the mnemonic rule we have often mentioned in our articles: to pull over always opposite the point where the sail is turbulent, that is where tell tales loose their parallel position.
It’s a basic rule, which only partially considers that both genoa and mainsail have their own twisting (so, genoa doesn’t work in the same way in all its parts).
For a more precise adjustment, we can use the carriage, which moves the genoa sheet point forwards and backwards, by making the sail more or less belly. According to the general rule, we should raise the sheet point in case of light winds; vice versa, we should move it backwards in strong winds.
In practice, we always need to observe the sail, its movement and intervene with the carriage. If the upper part is too twisted, that is too open, we can move the sheet point forward. Vice versa, we can obtain a less belly sail by moving the sheet point backwards. In this case,too, tell tales are very important because they tell us what’s happening and what to do.