TUNING Taipan

Taipan F16

The Taipan is a remarkably well-balanced boat even like this, in the big winds off Koh Samui, Thailand with Dan & Kingsley showing everyone how to do it! Here are some settings to make sure you start in the “ball park”.

SLOOP mode 
In two-man mode with the mainsail, jib and two people onboard. You need enough forestay tension to keep the jib luff straight. Too much tension on the side stays will just compress the mast more.

Light conditions
Forestay: pin in the 4th hole from the top 
Sidestays: Sta-Master adjuster system about 2.5 – 3 on the calibration
Outhaul: Mainsail foot 30mm off boom
Jib sheet block: second loop from the inside

Normal conditions
Forestay: pin in the 4th hole from the top of the adjuster
Sidestays: Sta-Master adjuster system about 2 – 2.5 on the calibration
Outhaul: Mainsail foot 30mm off boom
Jib sheet block: 2nd loop from the inside

Fresh conditions
Forestay: pin in the 3rd hole from the top of the adjuster
Sidestays: Sta-Master adjuster system about 1.5 – 2.5 on the calibration
Outhaul: Mainsail foot 0mm off boom
Jib sheet block: 3rd loop from the inside

CAT RIGGED mode
The Taipan is very potent when sailed cat-rigged i.e. one-man with mainsail only. Without the jib onboard there is no need to set tight sidestays i.e. do not load then up as much as you would if you were sailing two-up. 

The cat-rigged Taipan should out point and out gun the sloop version. If you are not out pointing the sloop you are doing something terribly wrong! Most often it’s caused by over-sheeting the main or having the shroud tension to tight. Try easing things a bit.

Normal conditions
Forestay: pin in the 4th hole from the top 
Sidestays: Sta-Master adjuster system about 3+ on the calibration
Outhaul: Mainsail foot 30mm off boom
Lightweight solo sailors might want to try carrying 1 hole more rake when sailing in fresher winds.

FORMULA 16 Mode
F-16 mode refers to carrying the 17.5sqm spinnaker.

In F-16 Cat rigged mode
Keep all the same settings as for the cat-rigged boats except a slight increase in sidestay tension to stop the mast rocking forward under the pull of the spinnaker. In this mode the Taipan is at it’s most potent. You should be able to put point and out gun the sloops upwind and when you put your kite up you actually have a far better power:weight ratio, considering you don’t have to carry the burden of crew weight!

In F16 sloop mode
Consider going to more rake slightly earlier than you would for the normal sloop. Run the sloop “Fresh Condition” settings in more moderate airs. 

Raking the mast further aft de-powers the whole rig but allows the bows to ride a little easier through waves especially when pressed hard by the spinnaker. The Taipan sloop only has one real advantage over the cat-rigged Taipan and that is running without the kite where the jib can actually help feed some air onto the mainsail.

Sailing effectively in either mode with the spinnaker means keeping powered up. Hoist the spinnaker, go hot to build up the speed and then as the apparent wind builds progressively drive deeper angles. It’s all in the steering. Play the traveler not the mainsheet. Go fast, hang on!

TUNING
Most of the tuning work has already been done before you receive your new Taipan. Unlike some other designs it is not tricky to tune. 

Jib slot
On the trampoline are 5 loops of which you will attach the jib sheet block to one. No. 1 refers to the innermost loop. The more inboard you move the block the better the pointing ability will be. No. 3 is a popular set and forget position. I prefer to use No. 2 loop and only move it outboard when faced with really strong winds. This is your upwind working position. To go downwind you will need to use the barber hauler to pull the jib outboard. 

Mast rake
Basically to be balanced the forestay needs to be in the 4th hole from the top on the forestay adjuster plate that’s it. We then de-power the rig by using the downhaul and the mast rotation.

Mast tune
Diamond wire tension and spreader rake are adjusted to achieve 35 – 38 mm of pre-bend in the mast. This helps the mast bend fore and aft when the downhaul is tensioned and allows the top of the sail to twist and spill wind in gusty or strong winds. 

Increasing the pre-bend will make the rig bend more under downhaul tension and therefore de-power more. 

Rudder rake
This is factory set but controlled by the upper rudder arm – the little one you touch to get the rudder blade up and down. Rotating this arm will change the rake on the rudder. The upper arm has a lock nut so should you adjust this, return it to its original position. That way your Taipan under the standard settings will exhibit no weather helm. 

Hull alignment
The hulls are beamed up in the factory and the front beam is bedded in place so that the molding takes the exact shape of the individual beam. There is nothing tricky about setting the hulls up, as the bolt patterns will align the platform.

Trampoline
The torsional stiffness of the platform comes from the beam arrangement and not from the trampoline. Just make sure your trampoline is tensioned as it looks a lot better than a lose one

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