Bolero Rigging Input

Kristian over at Shields 88 blog left me a comment on my Bolero May Never Get a Genoa post that I wanted to discuss in a bit more detail than I can easily do with comments so I reposted it below.
Your blog has been great to read, but the best parts have been imagining your joy at finally getting to sail the boat! She's still got all the good characteristics of the Shields and I'm sure will give you years of good times.

A couple thoughts: Is your mast blocked in at the partners? I can't tell in the photos but it looks like it may not be. Normally I like to have fitted delrin shims made up, but maybe spartite would be better for your uses.

The jib sheeting angle problem might be tough with the stock cut jib. We usually raise our one-design sails up so the tack is about 5" above the deck. Most people use a tied or spliced spectra loop. You could also get a couple inches by removing the pennant that holds the jib sheet 2:1 blocks to the sail, and get some Harken Ti Lites that you could lash directly to the sail. If thats still not enough it might be work getting the sail recut with a higher clew. At the same time you could have the clew grommet replaced with a webbed in ring, which would make attaching blocks easier.

But in the mean time, enjoy the last bits of sailing in 08! Niki and I just took our Shields out for a sunrise sail. Had fun and got some use (beyond racing) out of the boat. Also learned a lot, such as you don't need to be on the water at 430 when the sun doesn't actually come up until 645... woops.

Kristian is a professional rigger and Shields racing sailor (this year's Chicago Season Champion) and rebuilt his Shields, Peanut, at the same time that Tim was redoing Bolero (ain't she a beauty).

He has provided an amazing amount of great advice, some of which I may not have been smart enough take, and I was hoping that he would chime in after seeing some pictures of Bolero under sail and reading about some of my rigging issues.

Kristian is definitely right that it doesn't look like I have blocking between the mast and the mast partner. My ultimate goal is to come up with a similar system to yours but I was in a bit of a rush to get her launched this season. So I blocked the mast in at deck level with pieces of cedar shim. Tim and I had also talked about keeping the shims between the mast and the deck so as not to carry the load through Tim's custom mast collar.

Some deja vu about the jib setup. I was just rereading some Shields tuning tips on the North Sails website and noticed that they also raised up their jib.

I am going to follow Kristian's suggestion and raise Bolero's 5 inches as my new baseline.

I ordered my two part jibsheet blocks from Layline modeling the system off a the 29mm ti-lite setup that they had in their catalog. I ordered by phone and asked them to upgrade to the larger 40 mm and for some reason they switched my order to 2650 40 mm blocks. I have left a message but now I can't get through to anyone.

It was only after I really looked at the ti-lite blocks in detail that I realized that I could have done the work myself. So I am going to start over and follow Kristian's advice on this as well. I just don't think that I am that far off in the lead angle. The upper tell tails break just a bit before the lowers so I think the combination of Kristian's two suggestion might just work. I would really like to avoid changing the jib if I can.

My goal for next season is to set up Bolero much more like her racing cousins. The geometry of her standing rigging is still intact so I would like to use some of the vast amount of information that exists in the class archives to set her up next season. My best tacking angle has been about 115 degrees in moderate air so I think there is some room for improvement.

Update: And more from Kristian.
The blocking at the mast is really important for keeping the mast in column, and it also helps keep water out from below deck.

You might try as lots of racing boats use that, and it makes a watertight seal.
Our jib tack height of around 5" off deck seems to work really well. When its this high, only part of the foot (about the middle 1/2) touches the deck.

If I were you I'd ditch the pennant on the jib blocks, and lash them directly to the sail.

The photo of the jib looks pretty good, and I'd bet that if the clew gets a bit lower it'll be perfect.

Tacking angles vary depending on breeze, trim and hiking but we're usually about 100 at the widest, and sometimes it seems a lot closer to about 85.

More great info. Thanks Kristian.

The Harken's are on their way from Layline.

I am going out sailing today so I will raise the jib.

I have been looking at Spartite and will have it ready for next season. As cooperative as the weather has been, this season's fun is coming to an end. I am going to haul on Saturday.