Foerster Jens rig?

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#2
Here is the paragraph that Becool referred to

Speaking of doing things that have worked in the past, there is a new rig that the Southern group is using. It is basically a Forrester Jens rig that is used in light air. It allows the rig to sit farther aft. This moves the center of effort back and allows for tighter sheeting, without bending the boom. I used it the first day and had good results (I don’t think it had anything to do with the rig) and felt slow the second day, so I took it out and did not think about for the rest of the week. I just don’t think a World Championship is a good place to test a new rig. This set-up does deserve some further thought however. Amanda used it all week and was fast. She said that she had to move her gooseneck back to 16’’ to balance the boat. This makes sense, since bringing the center of effort aft increases helm. Tom Whitehurst used it all week and was one of the fastest on the course. Had he not had starting penalties, he would have been in the top 3. On the other hand, the winner, Alex Zimmermann, was clearly the fastest guy on the course and he did not use it. Perhaps, we could do some speed testing with it this winter if we get some good Southerly’s and thus some fairly long beats.

I haven't been to a recent Worlds, but I do know that modifications of the Jens rig have become quite popular among racers, even among the not-so-lightweights. I also know that there are at least two flavors of a modified Jens rig. The one I have tried uses two halyards, and although it is functional, it's a bit of a hassle to rig. Another version uses a single halyard/line. Rigging instructions for the latter are on youtube; Google Gust adjust jens rig
I don't know if the Foerster way of the Jens is identical to the 'Gust-adjust' version.
 
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#3
Since I got mentioned in the Bill Brangiforte article I thought I'd tell you what this is. What Bill is talking about can be set up with either the newer two halyard setup (which I happen to prefer) or the Foerster rig, invented by Paul Foerster. I know how to do what Bill is referring to with the two halyards, but I don't know exactly how you do it with the Foerster rig.

With the two halyard setup, you hoist your Jens into position. Then you only lightly tighten the 2nd halyard. You tighten it until there are perhaps 4 inches of halyard between the upper spar and the top of the mast. If you zoom in on 4754 in this image
https://www.sail-world.com/Australi...rld-Championship--Day-2/-156714?source=google you will see his orange halyard has about 4 inches between the upper boom and mast as I mention.

The idea is that the whole rig is rocked aft, meaning you can center the sail more by sheeting tighter without overtensioning the leech. At the same time the normal halyard (the orange one in the pic) keeps the boom from bending off as much as it would with a normal Jens.

My comments:
1) I know Amanda has stopped bothering with the upper halyard and uses a Jens all the time. She did not think using the upper halyard made a difference
2) I find it hard to believe the upper halyard is really doing much when used as shown in the pic, so I am not surprised Amanda came to the conclusion she did.
3) I think Eugene Schmidt was about the only one rigged as in the pic at the NAs this summer. Some used a normal Jens all the time, but I am pretty sure those at the very top of the fleet were rigged "normally" with one halyard as Sunfish have always been rigged. Eugene was very fast, but a couple issues unrelated to his rig caused him to have an inconsistent series.
4) I personally hope the version as shown in the pic is no faster than a regular Jens because it is already hard enough for newcomers in the class to get used to : A) a lateen rig, B) the Jens, which is very helpful but unique to a Sunfish, C) a two-halyard system, also unique to the Sunfish, and lastly D) the possibility you need to use two halyards all the time!

Hope all this helps!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#4
Thanks for that response Chris!
To me, one of the advantages of the 'modified Jens' was that one could change to the normal rig on the water (or vice versa). Is that still relevant?
 
#5
Thanks for that response Chris!
To me, one of the advantages of the 'modified Jens' was that one could change to the normal rig on the water (or vice versa). Is that still relevant?
Hi, I agree. The two halyard system lets you do that too. In the picture I showed, that guy could tighten the orange halyard and be back to a regular rig (although the orange halyard is just above a the grommet on the sail, and I think to be able to get back to a normal rig the halyard would have to be below the grommet.) And he could go to "full jens" by completely loosening the orange halyard.
 
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