Blaze set-up

The boat is not complex to optimise and good all-round settings have been proven over many seasons now.  With a standard and uniform sail this is perhaps easier than with many classes.  Even though we have 2 mast options (alloy M7 and Blaze carbon) the basic rig set-up is common to both.  The recommendations are 'mid-point' and work across a wide wind and crew weight range.  

Rake - This is measured with a long tape attached to the halyard and raised to the sheave at the top of the mast.  The measurement itself is then to the UNDERSIDE of the hull at the transom one side or other of the rudder post.  Aim for 7040mm (7 metres and 4 centimetres).

Mast Position  From the bow forestay fitting to the front of the mast tube (NOT the mast step).  1045mm (1 metre and 4.5 centimetres).  Should be set up already but do check it out.

Spreaders  This can depend on crew weight .... talk with somebody who is similar in weight to you if possible.  As a rough default for the M7 .... the outboard end of the spreader bracket has two holes - use the forward one.  The inboard adjustment range is over four holes - go one back from the front.   M7 spreader length is normally 360mm - some lightweights have shortened them to as little as 280mm and report some benefit - What is light ? Well lets assume under 70kg ...   Carbon masts ... talk with Cirrus or look at local masts/crews as some like more deflection than others as it suits the way they sail the boat - generally though if you are heavier tend towards less deflection and vice versa.

Outhaul   Different styles of sail and approaches here.  However the North sail was designed for a 'full' foot and maximum outhaul on a 2.60m boom tube will provide a hell of a lot of depower !!  The purpose was to keep the boat driving through waves and in more conditons.  Do be careful as the sail can very easily 'stall' in the bottom half if you overdo it - easily done and not so easily noticed.  This is particularly true if sea sailing in waves or where the crew are over 75kg.  Flattening the sail to depower OR improve things in very light airs is generally best achieved by using mostly the cunningham / kicker as it keeps the mid and lower sections working as intended. (If you have ever sailed with board rigs - you will perhaps know this stuff already). The developed sail shape is NOT classical/ traditional.  Our advice is to experiment as always and satisfy yourself.

Lowers  These provide a limit to the amount of bend in the bottom part of the mast when loaded up.  Again as a 'default' set so that (without sail on the mast) with finger and thumb you can move the spreader wire 50-60mm left to right at mid-point.  Have them too tight at your peril !  It will 'work' but will make life a tad difficult handling wise with absolutely no performance gain.... overdo it further and have them bar tight (cos somebody said it was a "good idea" ... they always seem to do)  with the shrouds a tad loose and you could be saying 'bye bye' to the mast when going deep down wind in gusty high wind conditons - it can encourage 'mast inversion'.   If really windy consider loosening a bit from 'default'.

Sheeting  If you are new to 'off the boom sheeting' do experiment with it.  Many if not most will tell you it is easier to use and faster - lighter sheeting loads mean you can play the main (as you should) much more easily and you can also keep your weight slightly further forward when tacking etc.   DO TAKE SOME TIME to adapt - you will not do it in one weekend if you have used other sheeting systems for half a lifetime !!  If you really cannot 'cope' with this approach the joke advice is to starve yourself (ie lose weight!!) as the transition gains are well worth learning something new anyway.  Seriously though if you cannot adapt don't worry too much you can still be quick enough with a lot of practice and focus on where you can be fast.  Just bear in mind though all these small gains can quickly add up !! 

Strop  Whatever sheeting system you use the strop setup is very important.  I could give you a load of settings to try but it is generally better to know what you are trying to aim for .... When close hauled powered  up and going upwind the end of the boom should approximately point towards the rear wing pins or just outside this point.  Overdo it in an attempt to point even higher and you risk the boat 'staggering' along in a near stall.  It might feel 'high' and powerful ... but your VMG will soon find you out.   It is very common to see extreme pinching off the start line in Blaze racing.  The front of the fleet, once they get into clear air, usually go a tad lower sailing more 'free' ... and rapidly pull away.  Aim for clear air and get the strop set-up right .. and the boat will go.  Let the 'pinchers' pinch off the line they are usually doing you a favour !  Don't pinch yourself unless you are doing it for tactical reasons up the last beat maybe - and never never early in any race (I know this is not 'set-up' really but whatever your rig pinching rarely pays)  

Carbon v Alloy  Unusually the carbon mast was developed AFTER the standard sail was in production for the M7 alloy masts (we wanted to keep the sail totally one design and standard).  This is unusual but it does mean the basic static set-up for both spars is very similar.   There are subtle differences in how you might apply mainsheet, kicker and cunningham controls to get the best out of each but our advice is NOT to move the core standing rigging settings. 

Blaze Fire settings  Identical to the Blaze and the sails can be swapped out either way without changing default settings

Blaze Halo settings  You do have to rake the mast more vertically so that the boom is almost horezontal under mainsheet load - on the latest masts/sails this means you adjust the standing rigging on the adjusters from one end of the possible range to the other.  Only takes 5 minutes without having to 'drop' the mast and away you go .....  More on this Halo sail set-up will be available shortly.




(Page in development - more soon !)       15-5-18