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    what is the best rachet 4 racing whats the difference between them all ?

    As long as you chose one with manual ratchet control, you can't really go wrong. Auto-ratchets may or may not work great, but the manual control removes the doubt.
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    wet suits

    In all the northern frostbite series that I'm aware of, nearly everyone uses a drysuit, except maybe the first and last couple weeks of the season. So much more comfortable than a thick wetsuit, and you can control your warmth with layering under it. Personally I can't imagine true winter...
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    yet another mast step repair question

    First, the step hole is supposed to be elongated from front to back at the deck. It's that way by design to give appropriate mast rake up and down wind. Second, is it fixable? It's likely fixable. You have to cut one or more access port holes and do lots of glass repair work. I've done this...
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    Class Politics What does "OR" mean to ILCA?

    I would have to agree with Al that 'or' is to be taken as the exclusive 'or'. BTW Shevy, your idea that minimizing the area of surface contact reduces the friction probably isn't true. In general, the resistance force from friction (both static and kinetic) is not affected by quantity of...
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    Class Politics Wax

    From the class rules (avail at 11. HULL FINISH (a) Waxing, polishing and fine wet and dry sanding of the hull is permitted, provided the intention and effect is to polish the hull only. Polishing/sanding shall not be used to remove mould imperfections. (b)...
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    Laser vs. Force 5

    I grew up sailing a F5. It's generally considered a better boat in terms of design (it had the Laser to learn from). It's considerably more stable than the Laser (wider beam), and I used to have better speed on all points of sail than the other kids in their Lasers. But it's a dead class with...
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    Have to agree that it's a little hard to tell what you're talking about, but... Current general practice is to have the traveler as tight as you can while still having the taveler block pass over the tiller without trouble. Obviously the stronger the wind the tighter it can be. Some sailors...
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    Golden Nuggets

    The Newport Laser frostbite series has a web page containing winners' daily writeups by some of the better Laser sailors in the country, including a couple of great ones by none other than Ed Adams. Worthwhile reading.
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    Class Politics RANT - leading edge of daggerboard trunk

    In every Laser I've been in, even with a new rubber brake, the board won't stay up or down without shock cord. Yours is tighter than the norm.
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    Carbon Tillers

    I recently got the latest Rooster tiller and sailed with it for the first time last weekend. The ONLY reason I shelled out the cash was to get the lowest-to-the-deck tiller out there, which I believe it is. The whole light-weight thing is a bit silly to me.
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    Vang purchase poll

    With the end of the vang control line tied to my centerboard, I never have trouble with there being too much line using the 15:1. One thing I like about 15:1 is that it's easy to get the vang nearly as tight as you need it for the beat without 2-blocking the main. And a co-effect of more...
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    Polypropylene v. Rooster "Inside Out" Mainsheet

    Didn't like my Rooster main at first since it is not tangle-proof as implied by the advertising, but after over a year with it I'd use nothing else. It's stiff and light and doesn't absorb water.
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    What I did to fix my step leak was to mix some very thin epoxy resin, poured it in the step, and pressurized it by plunging it with a rubber ball attached to a stick. Then I used a syringe to pump the excess out. After it dried I had to sand inside the step a bit as the mast was a little tight...
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    Wetsuits for tall sailors

    Try the Ronstan XXL. It should be perfect in terms of height, but it might be a little loose around the middle.
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    Class Politics overlapping rule 17.1

    Overlaps exist without regard to distance. The only requirement is that both boats be on the same tack. The leeward, overlapped boat has the right to luff, even within the 2 length distance, when the windward boat gets the overlap from astern, when the leeward boat gets the overlap from...
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    Sitting still

    Be careful developing a standard routine the involves backing the boat up. When you are backing the sail and the boat is moving in reverse, you loose your rights and must keep clear of other boats. Best to use backing the sail to slow down, and only go in reverse when you have to or it's...