Are you sure your tree is okay?

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checking the mast at La Rochelle.Credit: Mark Lloyd/Marinepics.Do you remember the last time you checked the adjustment of your tree and its health status? You are wrong if you think that rigging adjustment is a topic for “racer potheads,” important only for winning because, on cruising boats, proper adjustment makes life easier, especially when sailing in challenging conditions. Adjusting rigging properly means having a sail plan shape that is suitable for the sea and wind conditions you are dealingwith. Well-tuned sails mean easier and safer conduct. Sailing in winds around eighteen knots with the mast not in trim compromises the work of the sail plan with the result that the boat will become difficult to steer.Many tricks that are often considered peculiar to the racing world are useful to be acquired even by those who sail just for fun. Before taking action on adjustments, about which Roberto Spata, one of the leading experts in the field, will show us procedures ashore and at sea to check the correct adjustment of mast trim, some preliminary checks are necessary to make sure that all the equipment is healthy. In this regard, we have chosen Walter Giovanelli of G&G Rigging as a testimonial who will help us identify the rig equipment that needs maintenance. Poor rigging can be dangerous, and loss of the tree can have tragic consequences if it happens at the wrong time. Once you have carefully maintained all components the time will be ripe to think about its proper adjustment. In this way, your cruising boat will become not only easier to handle in sustained winds and safer, but also better performing for your holiday sailing. Find the full article in the March issue of The Journal of Sailing.

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