Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Fleet Roster, Capri 25 Fleet #0

Go Fast Tips

If we wanted to pretend we're sailing experts we'd spend our time golfing and only talk about sailing. But since that's not the case, here's a few comments about things we've learned on Capri 25's the hard way...

Capri 25 Target Boat Speeds
Look at the grid, sail that fast, win races. It's just that simple.

Elliott Pattison Sailmakers Tuning Guide
For all of you using sails from Harry...

WYC Seminars
General Online Sailing Tips - See Racing Basics



Note: This is not intended to be a tuning guide, but rather a list of useful things that have helped us go fast. Furthermore, we've tried to stick to suggestions that are unique to Capri 25 owners. If you'd like to suggest a tip, they will be considered, edited, modified, or completely ignored at the
webmaster's whim.
From Dallas Johnson (formally Texana)...
Got Weeds?
OK, so I sold my boat [but] every year around Commodore Cup time I get the SAME conversation over and over again from my Capri friends about how they lost the race because of weeds on their keel.
So...below are listed the once secret methods we used to NEVER lose a race because of weeds. We found plenty of ways to lose races, but never lost because of weeds. I once drilled a hole in the bottom of my boat to try and clean weeds (which the fleet subsequently outlawed) so don't think I haven't thought about this.
  1. Fill all nicks and polish the leading edge of your keel. Insure that the leading edge is not concave from top to bottom. Consider not using anti-fouling paint on the leading edge.
  2. Borrow a mooring for a couple weeks and let the milfoil motion "sand" your leading edges down to mirror finish.
  3. Before the start, the quickest way to clean weeds is to go on a beam reach and swing that rudder 180 degrees until the boat is going backwards on the opposite tack. Not only does this clean weeds, it really wakes the crew up and scares your fellow competitors. 
  4. While sailing upwind in light air, try a hard roll tack. The sudden rocking of the boat will help pull weeds off. Lost time: zero.
  5. While sailing upwind in medium air, if the boat feels slow over trim your main for a second while you send two or three crew to the leeward rail. This rocks the boat to leeward and causes the keel to momentarily stall, which will wash weeds off like a garden hose. Lost time: one boat length.
  6. While sailing upwind in heavy air, simply over trim the main for a second until you see the keel has stalled. Again, this washes the keel off immediately. Lost time: 1/2 boat length.
  7. While sailing downwind in light to medium air. We only did this if we felt really slow, but it was a popular trick during CC races where we often intentionally sailed through weed beds for tactical advantage. Have all your crew run from one side of the boat to the other several times to rock the boat. It sounds funny, but it works. Really, I'm serious. Check your knot meter before and after to see how your speed is. Lost time: zero if you properly scull the rudder.
  8. Leeward mark roundings. Don't be afraid to over trim the main and make the boat over heel while going around the leeward mark. Sure, it's not pretty, but you don't lose much and it's yet another way to make sure the keel is clean. Just make sure your crew doesn't fall off. Lost time: 1/2 boat.
Do these things on a regular basis while racing. If you know you have weeds, it's already too late. If your crew doesn't think you are obsessed with cleaning weeds, you're not trying hard enough. Paranoia is your friend here. Lost friendships: a couple.
Be cognizant that weeds floating on the surface are always worse after a 180 degree wind shift from the day before.
A spin will cost you 20 boat lengths. Backing up will cost more. DON'T DO IT.
From Persistence...
Bimini, Bimini, Bimini
One of the best additions I have made to the boat has been to manufacture a bimini. This can be done for around $20 and if you can raise your boom can provide standing headroom. Contact Steve Truax (Persistence) for detailed files to construct your own personal bimini.
From Persistence...
Mast Alignment
Some mast steps are not centered, so check that. Regardless, raise your mast while still on the trailer, then tune your shrouds until the mast is aligned with the keel. Then measure your masthead side-to-side numbers and record those for future settings. Just make sure your keel isn't moving, but that's another story.
From Persistence...
Trimming Jib in Heavy Air
If your jib trimmer has to go down low to trim jib, the winch  placement and width of the Capri make it extra important to drop the traveler and prevent extra heel or side slipping. Even if the main is flogging, your going faster if you're flat.
From Debauchery...
Backstay Adjuster
Capri's need to play the backstay as it greatly effects genoa trimming on a masthead. Toss the stock adjuster and bring the line controls up to where the jib trimmer can reach them. Also, never take advice on playing the backstay from a fractional rig sailor.
From Debauchery...
Jib Cunningham
One should live or die by this adjustment when using your genoa. Consider placing cleats on each side of the deck so that the foredeck person can trim from the rail. 
From Texana...
Helm Feel
Capri rudders are arguably oversized. This means you need to be extra extra sensitive to having too much helm. Difficult to learn if you've only sailed a Capri, but start by ignoring the sailing guides that tell you what angle of helm is ideal for different wind conditions. Instead, learn to feel the pressure on the stick.
From Texana...
Rudder Wobble
After a few years all Capri rudders housings will wear and the rudder will start to wobble. The big fix is to install rudder bearings. The easy fix is to buy a thick mylar/teflon adhesive backed material that Laser sailors use to shim their masts ($5) place a dime sized piece on each side of the rudder post housing, at the top, where you have seen wear. Just a small amount is needed. This fix lasts a season or two before you have to replace the teflon again.
From Sudawn...
Leaky Windows
Uf Da! What was Butler thinking when he spec'ed these? If you don't want to tackle making flush windows from scratch, completely disassemble the whole window, including taking out the frames. Drill a small seep hole in the bottom of each frame for when water eventually makes it's way back in. Then reinstall using lots of modern 101 sealant. This will work until the next rainstorm (well, I'm sort of kidding).
From Texana...
Loose Bulkheads
If you notice your leeward shrouds hanging slack and you see bolts constantly loosening at the base of your bulkheads, it's time to stiffen up your boat. One option is to replace the bulkheads since it's only plywood (Again, Frank, what were you thinking here, three #10 bolts holding the cheep plywood bulkhead down?). Others have added stays inside the hull that continue down from the deck to the hull or base of the mast. Another solution is to disassemble the bulkhead and use a small amount of epoxy to keep the bulkhead from moving. This, along with the three #10 bolts will keep the bulkhead from moving, but still allow you to remove the bulkhead at a later date. Watch for rot here!
From the fleet...
Rig Tension
You have to be careful about this because loose bulkheads and hull flex mean that not all boats will want to use the same rig tension. But more often than not a Loos Tension Gauge (the smaller model) will read 45 for the main shrouds, 35 for the forward lower shrouds, and 30 for the aft lower shrouds. On windier or lighter days we'll adjust the main and forward shrouds a bit to control mast bend and mainsail shape. We fine tune these numbers by observing the leeward upper shrouds while sailing in light/moderate air, under which conditions they should just barely be slack. The mast typically starts with about three inches of rake. We use this as a start and fine tune further based on the sail inventory and desired sailing characteristics. We've seen different sails manufactures require very different settings, so you'll have to work out the details yourself. 
From the fleet...
Pole Down Haul
Move the block for your pole downhaul line to the base of the mast. Would someone please tell me what Catalina was thinking when they mounted this block in the middle of the foredeck.
From Sudawn...
Main Traveler Cleats
Harkin's popular windward sheeting traveler does not work well on a Capri 25 (regardless of what John Speltz tells you) because Capri 25 traveler bars are relatively low. If you want use what's known as Brady Blocks, which are L shaped pieces of aluminum that have two cleats on each unit. These mount where the regular cleats are with one cleat in the normal position, while the other is mounted to allow you to lock the leeward traveler cleat from the rail. J22's often use these.
From Texana...
Ordering Parts
I'm still mad at Catalina for refusing to link to our web site, but I have to admit that the Catalina parts department rocks. They stock tons of Capri 25 original parts and the prices are very fair. The only deal is that they communicate via fax at (818)884-3810. I see the website now has a parts contact as well at


Fleet Captain Derek Schmit Website Updates Bret Barnes
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