Rigging Guide   |   Sailors Speak   |   From the Designer

From Bruce Kirby, designer of the PIXEL:

Using the Vang
Because the PIXEL, like many modern small boats, has no traveler, when sailing upwind the vang should be used to shape the mainsail to the wind conditions. The efficiency of the main depends largely on the curve of the leech (aft side of the sail) which can be controlled by a combination of vang and mainsheet tension. The vang should be pulled on until the upper leech tail--that's the top telltale--is flowing aft more than half the time. If it does not blow aft at all, it's an indication that the top of the main sail is stalling and the boat will be slow. If it flows aft 100% of the time, chances are the vang is not tight enough, the sail is falling off to leeward too much at the top, and the boat will not point well. When the vang is set up so that the lower leech tails are flowing all the time and the upper one is flying most of the time, then use the sheet to haul the sail in so the boom is just inside the corner of the transom. To point a bit higher, sheet harder, to go faster ease the sheet a couple of inches.

Capsize Recovery System
The Pixel has been equipped with a capsize recovery line to make righting the boat easier.  The "business end" of the line is under the gunwale, with a shock cord around the stem that makes the system a continuous line.

When the boat is on its side one of the crewmembers should stand on the centerboard two or three feet out from the hull, grab the loop in the end of the capsize line, and lean back to pull the boat upright.

If the boat has turned turtle, the crew should stand on the gunwale and grab the capsize line from the opposite gunwale and lean back to get the boat onto its side.  Then use the line  as described above to pull the boat
Before trying to pull the boat upright, be sure the sheets are free to run so the sails will not fill as the boat comes onto its feet. Then turn the boat into the wind, or so that the mast is pointing down wind, before trying to  pull it upright.  If you bring the boat upright with the mast and sails pointing to windward chances are the sails will fill and push the boat over again before the crew can climb aboard.

The stronger the wind the more important it is to be sure the mast is not pointing into it.  In very heavy air it might be necessary to let the main halyard go and pull the mainsail down so the boat will be easier to control as it comes back up.

And remember that the open transom is not only to let water out of the boat, but can also be used to facilitate the crew getting back aboard.

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