Gav's First Technical Post
27th Dec 2018
Hi all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope you have all been able to enjoy the festive season including getting in some time on the water. Since taking on the role of Supernova Technical Adviser I have been planning to provide some regular articles on the website. Having never posted as an administrator on a website before I enlisted the help of Cliff Milliner to educate and guide me in this challenging (for me anyway) task. Hopefully the following will prove that I have managed to do just that (Thank you Cliff for your help).
I aim to post an article roughly every month to give some tips and hints on anything from the boat itself, the rigging, how to sail her, tips on kit and maybe a little on what to focus on as the helm, as we all know that going fast is more about what you do in the boat than anything else. Once you have the rig set roughly right the next step is to focus on what you’re doing and how you are doing it.
In this first post I will run through the main technical topics and themes as I currently see them and provide my first tip bit. I will aim to keep these light hearted so they can be enjoyed and easily understood. If anyone has some tips they think would be useful please send them to me and I can post them here as an article for our fellow Supernova sailors.
Before Christmas I managed to catch up with Mark from Hartley boats for a chat. They are currently busy building Supernova's, he said they were quite busy with orders for this time of year, he was also really chuffed with the National’s entry to-date so another positive note for both the builder and the class. He was not aware of any current significant issues so if you have any please let me know.
The following are the main class technical topics as I currently see them:
1) Sail number colours. This has been discussed recently as the new darker sails are now being supplied. The class was made aware that concerns had been raised on how easily the black sail numbers could be read on the new darker sails. This was raised after the open meeting at Haversham. We have not heard any other concerns and no issues were raised at the 2018 nationals or the inlands. The class has therefore decided to leave the sail numbers as they currently are. To remind you the class rules require all sail numbers to be BLACK unless you have an old Hyde sail which is allowed to be BLUE. No other colours are class legal unless you have been successful at winning a National championship where the class has issued a yellow/gold first number. Currently this issue is closed but the association will monitor it as we move through 2019.
2) Goosenecks seem to be an ongoing topic of discussion in terms of wear and the black dust you have to keep cleaning off your foredeck, although I have to say that structurally they are a very reliable fitting and really don’t cause any issues. I will run an article on how to maintain the standard gooseneck which is pretty simple and should be a standard thing when you look over your boat. In terms of a different fitting there aren’t many options but again I will provide an article on this. One of our members is currently developing a replacement gooseneck to reduce the wear and eliminate the black sludge, I will let you know how this progresses. I will also discuss this further with Hartley boats as ideally we just want an improved fitting that maintains the integrity of the current one supplied as standard with the boat not as an aftermarket improvement, that’s my aim anyway.
3) Battens, this has provided some very interesting and mature discussions for the class. I have given this a lot of thought and with comments from the AGM my go forwards plan is:
a) Keep it simple, they don't make a massive difference that was the conclusion of the AGM. Let Hartley supply the standard ones with an option to have sails without battens, this will help keep the price down for most of the fleet that don't care and don't want/feel the need to play with their battens.
b) The class will continue to let people get whatever battens they want as we do now, if we find that a certain type seem to have a massive advantage we can look into it with the weasel clause and decide if we need to do anything.
c) Right now it is generating good discussions and dialogue about the boat, keeps people interested for those who like playing with kit and keeps the open interest we have enjoyed.
d) I don't think we need to restrict them in the class rules as they change the feel and characteristics but they don't seem to change overall performance.
That completes my first update. May I wish you all a very happy 2019 with lots of great sailing.
Tip 1 - Lace up boots
Zhik boot lace fail…..you know that last few minutes in the changing room, your running late and all that’s left is to pull on your sailing boots. Well if you have a pair of the Zhik boots (or similar, other makes are available etc, etc…) you will already know this is not a quick job, undoing the laces enough to get your foot in can be a real challenge and then at the last moment you pull the end of the laces though the last eye. Of course this is not a problem if you have a nice new pair of boots but if like mine yours have been well used and the plastic end on the laces has long since gone, you will have a frayed end….which when your in a hurry is more than a nightmare to get back through the lacing eye. Well your be pleased to know that there are 2 things that you can easily do to solve this issue and enable you to get to the start line on time as follows:
1) Buy a pair of the thin wetsuit hot socks, this allows your foot to slide into the boot with much more ease, also they really keep your feet cosy and warm even on the coldest of days, and
2) Tie a knot in it, yes it really works I did this the other day, a simple stopper knot at the end of the lace stops it pulling through, so when your really pulling hard and wriggling your toes in desperation to get your foot in the laces can’t get pulled through. I have attached a photo. Phew all good now and ready to sail.
Tip 2 - Coming Soon
Rudder retaining line - Coming Soon