Image credit: Cyclops Marine Smarttune
If there was just one piece of information, one number, which could give you real insight into your rig tune and sailing performance, it is forestay load. It is the leading edge of your sail plan, controls the behaviour of the whole rig and now there is a cost effective, simple-to-install solution from Cyclops Marine. If you are interested in improving your sailing performance, you need a Smarttune!
Introducing the Smarttune
It is just so simple. That is what makes the Smarttune such an innovative product. Designed around standard imperial thread sizes (7/16, 5/8, 1/2, and 3/4, with 5/16 coming later this year) the Smarttune is, essentially, a turnbuckle body. It contains a factory calibrated strain gauge with wireless connectivity and can quickly and easily be swapped out for your existing forestay turnbuckle.
To read the forestay load, simply download the free App (Android or IOS) and connect directly to one (or more) Cyclops Marine load sensing devices, and get live data displayed on your hand-held device. For a permanent setup, there is a wireless, NMEA2000 Gateway which can interface with all the leading electronics packages to allow you to pull up rig load on your onboard displays. Waterproof to IP67, with 5 months life from x2 AAA batteries, this is genuine plug & play technology providing reliable, accurate load data.
Benefits of knowing your forestay load
There are extensive benefits in understanding your rig loads, beyond those for equipment specification (explored in more detail here).
Know your sail plan's default factory settings. Your headsails are designed to assumptions of your luff curve i.e. the amount of curvature in your forestay. This is calculated from the stay diameter / stiffness and the boat's righting moment. Sail designers model the optimum sail shape in different wind strengths and sheet positions. The Smarttune is a sailmakers "dream" and provides a common frame of reference when talking about optimising sail shape in different conditions. This allows crews and sailmakers to learn faster about what works on your boat.
Once you have your baseline settings there is still plenty of room for experiential improvement. But using the Smarttune forestay load as your reference point, it becomes much easier to replicate settings when you find "the groove" in certain conditions.
Beyond the obvious performance benefits there are other practical advantages in understanding your rig loads. Most sailing hardware has a replacement schedule designed around average use, at or below recommended Safe Working Load (SWL). Higher working loads lead to higher fatigue rates and are an important consideration for owners, and their riggers/sailmakers, when considering hardware replacement cycles. With Smarttune's data-logging capabilities, owners have a record of their seasons activity, with quantitive data, on which to base these decisions.
In addition, as volumes of this accurate, logged, REAL load data increase and are fed back to hardware and rigging manufacturers, they will be able to validate the effectiveness of their designs and make further performance improvements.
At upffront.com we are passionate about performance sailing hardware and rigging systems and we are convinced that accurate (real) load data will be the driver for the next, significant, phase of hardware development. The Cyclops Marine Smarttune delivers calibrated load, out of the box, in minutes. This is a real breakthrough and in time, you will not believe you ever sailed without one! Checkout the Smarttune Range on the link below
If you have any questions about your rig loads or hardware and rigging specification, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.