TK 68 & 78 Rigging Guide

29 June 2006

Ali Masters on the kit.

Your Tushingham TK 68 and 78 RIG

The Tushingham TK rigs are recognised under the Techno 293 International Class Racing Rules. In the UK the rigs have been nominated by the RYA as the ‘one design' rig for squad selection and trials. Tushingham Sails have designed a high performance rig that will suit a wide range of sailor size and ability. Particular attention was paid to providing the performance necessary for UK representatives to win on the world stage.

The rig comprises of three components:

  1. The Tushingham 6.8m / 7.8m Sail: These sails are specially designed to maximise the performance of the Techno board in the widest of wind ranges. Therefore the sail is constructed of materials that are strong and lightweight, with extra reinforcements in areas of need.
  2. The Tushingham mast: The masts are made by the Worlds leading carbon mast manufacturer, equipping sailors at the cutting edge of all race disciplines. The high carbon content allows the rig to be lightweight, with a fast reflex response period that vastly improves the performance and handling of the sail.
  3. The Aeron/HPL boom: The boom is of the highest specification built of T8 alloy, ultra strong. The reduced diameter grip reduces the strain on the forearm muscles particularly for younger sailors with a smaller grip.

Adjustable outhaul. If or when you start competing at a higher level of competition the sail will need to be trimmed on the water. The system allowing you to do this is called THE ADJUSTABLE OUTHAUL. It contains a pulley, cleat and rope. This is available from most windsurfing retailers.

Care

The TK rigs are engineered to perform at the highest levels of racing. To achieve the best possible performance and longevity from your rig it needs to be treated with a high level of care, as would any other piece of high quality, technical sports equipment. e.g. tennis rackets, mountain bikes.

The simple steps outlined below will help you to maximise the performance and lifespan of your rig.

General

Sail setting

Some sailors are using extreme rig settings in the belief that this will improve pumping and light wind performance. We're talking about the practice of setting the sail with very little downhaul and no outhaul with the result that the sail is extremely full and rounded in the mast area. This may feel powerful but it is not correct and will not give the best performance. A sail needs a good airflow across the windward and leeward sides to work. By setting the sail overfull at the front, the airflow over the leeward side will be compromised. Furthermore, this extreme setting will place undue strain on the rig components and could lead to failure and/or premature wear. Please see the comments about individual rig components below:-

The Mast

  • High carbon masts need to be handled carefully - try to use a mast bag for transport and storage.
  • Dropping the mast onto a hard surface can damage the internal structure of the composite material, this is called carbon concussion. After such a knock there may be no visible damage but it may well have created a weak-spot that may lead to subsequent failure. Don't do it!
  • The TK mast is a sophisticated piece of composite engineering. Its construction has been proven over many years experience in the high performance windsurfing market. It may well be a far more technical product than what has been used to date by an emerging young racer. Treat it with respect, exercise reasonable care together with common sense and it will give excellent performance and long service.

The Sail Battens

  • Because of the constant extreme flexing and the stresses involved, it must be accepted that battens will have a finite lifespan, much less than the other rig components. A useful analogy is the need to periodically replace the brake blocks on a mountain bike used in harsh conditions. Replacement battens are available at modest cost through Tushingham dealers.
  • Sailors need to check the two cammed battens periodically and replace them if there is any sign that the tip is starting to fracture.
  • It's a good idea to wrap a length of duct tape along the forward section of the batten. This will make removal easier in the event of unexpected breakage and will prevent damage to the sail.

The Sail

  • Prolonged exposure to UV light will weaken the monofilm and ultimately cause it to become brittle and crack - Don't leave your sail frying on the beach all day. Heat is also bad for carbon masts which don't reflect sunlight well.
  • Only rig up when you are ready to go sailing and between sessions try to get the sail in the shade, in a rig bag, under a tarpaulin or even standing on it's edge, in order to reduce exposure to harmful UV.
  • Always roll your sail carefully and store it in the sail bag. If you need to store the sail on end, then make sure that it rests on the luff tube.
  • Take care to avoid abrasion damage or any contact that may puncture the sail fabric. Re-enforce any part of the sail that is rubbing on the boom or outhaul cleats by applying some clear self adhesive film (the type of film that is used for stickers) Repair any small cuts or nicks in the same way. Make sure the part of the sail needing attention is clean and dry before repairing and free from salt.
  • If you can hose the sail with fresh water before de-rigging to remove any sand or salt, this will preserve the sail's appearance and through sail visibility.

The Boom

  • Try to protect the boom wrap (High density EVA foamgrip) from abrasion by placing the rig on soft surfaces. The boom wrap is not tough (in order to keep it soft and grippy) and if it gets scuffed up, there is a greater chance of you developing blisters after pro-longed sailing.

Rigging

  • Avoid rigging up on concrete or other hard surfaces as this will wear the sail materials and stitching. If you can't find a suitable soft surface to rig on then you should try to use a tarpaulin (around £5 from Wickes) to protect your sail.
  • When un rolling the sail and sleeving the mast, handle the sail with care to ensure that the sail does not flap around as this can lead to creasing.
  • Before sleeving the mast, make sure that it is clean and free of any grit. Similarly, check the luff tube to make sure that there's no sand in it. This helps to avoid cam wear on the mast.

    A common cause of grit in the luff tube when sailing on the sea, is dropping your sail in the churned up sandy water that you invariably get close in to the shore - do everything you can to avoid dropping your sail here during launching or recovery.
    If you do get sand in the luff tube then hosing water through from the head of the sail will clear it.

  • When sleeving the mast, take care to ensure that the mast joint remains tight and that there is no gap between the top and bottom sections. Check by running your finger down the luff tube after sleeving. To be absolutely certain that the mast stays connected properly you can wrap a bit of electrical tape around the joint.
  • Set up the whole rig in one go - this helps to balance the loads in the sail and reduce pressure on the battens. i.e. it's not good to leave a sail rigged without the boom in place and some outhaul tension.
  • Take care not to over-tighten the boom clamp as it can crush the mast sufficiently to break the carbon composite, causing the mast to snap when loaded. If you do find that the boom is slipping try gluing a small piece of thin/soft rubber or foam (thin neoprene, pro grip or bike inner tube is good) to the inside of the boom clamp with impact adhesive.
  • Do not flick the cams on your rig unless there is proper tension on the downhaul and outhaul.
  • Make sure to use sufficient downhaul tension, especially in lighter winds. You need to achieve a balance between keeping the lower leech reasonably firm to assist pumping, while at the same time creating an efficient foil that the wind can flow over and create lift. Baggy sails are not usually fast and will reduce the lifespan of your battens.
  • Do not overtighten the screw adjusters on the battens - you only need sufficient tension to remove any vertical creases that show along the length of the batten.

Sailing

  • The TK masts are tough, but any mast can be broken in waves - even a very small shore-break. Do everything you can to keep the mast out of the water when launching and recovering.
  • Assuming that you've released your outhaul to go downwind. Before you gybe, make sure to pull the outhaul back on as this helps to reduce stress on the battens as the cams flick round.
  • Always try to pull your outhaul back on before dropping your rig into the water while resting between races, as once again this helps reduce the stress on your battens.
  • On the shore between sessions ease the downhaul and outhaul slightly, but do not release the outhaul completely as this places a lot of strain on the battens.

De-rigging

  • Don't leave your sail rigged overnight . Even if the sail is de-tensioned, there are still significant loads on the battens that will reduce their lifespan . Furthermore, the practice of stacking rigs together to prevent them from being blown around during the night quite often leads to other damage.
  • Try to hose off any sand or salt from the sail before de-rigging as this will help to keep your sail looking good by minimising any cosmetic scratches that can occur when the sail is rolled. If you don't have a hose, try to let the sail dry in a shady place and then remove any sand with a soft hand brush before packing away.
  • Try to hose off your boom after sailing in salt water - make sure to remove the extension and rinse out the boom arms. A little squirt of silicon lube or WD40 will then keep everything running smoothly.
  • When you are unsleeving your mast do everything you can to keep the sail on the ground and not flapping around. In windy/exposed conditions it is helpful to leave some of the mast inside the sleeve as you start to roll the sail. A partner can then pull it out gradually as you continue to roll the sail up.

More Information? Here are some key contacts:

In the UK the RYA/UKWA have set up a support group called the TSG. (Techno Support Group). They hope to answer any questions you have on matters regarding the equipment and the operations of the class. The contact details are: technosupport@ukwindsurfing.com

Updated equipment details (like tuning tips) can be found on both the UKWA site and the Tushingham Website. The UKWA also have a very active internet forum.

Be sure to view the Tushingham ‘Rig it Right' DVD with Peter Hart for a good grounding in rigging and sail care together with basic tuning.