You should not play around with rake and diamond tension, until you have a good understanding of sail trim. E.g. When I bought my boat I sailed around 50 times until I started to understood how it reacts on downhaul, sheet, rotation and batten tension. Then I could understand how the boat reacts on different rake and diamond tension setting. IMO the best reading is on the landenberger page: * More rake = more stiffness in the longitudinal axis and more pre bend * More diamond tension = more pre bend And as Matt said, rake and tension work in the lower part of the mast/sail.
Once you understand why you are slow (sail to full or flat and where; you need tell tales to see this), you can change rake and diamond tension to adjust.
If you are not sure about all the stuff above, make some pictures of your sail in strong wind and light wind trim upwind and in downwind trim (boat on the side, mast supported at the hounds) and post it here.
Actually, in very light air he would be smoking as he would be the only one flying a hull! Jody- You should contact your sailmaker (Goodall, right?) and he will send you the approximate setup for your mast for that sail. Whenever you get a new sail you should always measure your mast first (bend characteristics- see AHPC site- I think they still have the procedure listed there-) and send those measurements to your sailmaker first. My Ashby main came with setup instructions including spreader length, rake and prebend measurements for various windstrength ranges (it changes with these- not surprisingly- with a single sail, other option is to leave mast set up the same and switch sails- this is what the high end monos often do). Sailing in light air is tricky- most people tend to oversheet in general. Cats slow down considerably in maneuvers in light air (especially if it's choppy or you are throwing yourself around on the boat) so after a tack you want a fairly "fat sail" for power but as the boat gets up to speed you want to slowly keep bringing the main in to ideal setting for that speed. The self tacking jibs are quite small and usually quite flat so they don't help as much as the larger, overlapping jibs especially in light air. Try to stay very smooth and "sail" the boat through the tacks in light air, avoiding any powerboat wakes if you can (ie timing your tack), but don't take too long and end up in irons. It takes practice and many cat sailors don't like to sail in light air so don't get the practice. You have access to 2 boats- you need to compare the masts/sails of both boats. Did Olly set up the rake at 125? Olly was very good (as you know!) and I'm sure had reasons for doing so if so- probably related to crew weight (very light) and sail cut as well as technique. Might have worked great for him but you are dealing with different parameters now-
Hope any of this helps! Really sucks that Horn Island Hop was cancelled!! That's where I was hoping to be right now!
Kirt Taipan 4.9 USA 159, Flyer USA 185 Will sail for food...