Parrot Head Rig Tuning Guide

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Parrot Head Rig Tuning Guide
The basics: find a base value:
 38 on uppers set for 8 knots – base setting
 28 on lowers set for 8 knots – adjust according
o Verify base number at beginning of season and during the season
 Snug on lowers set for 8 knots
 Gage up and down from there.
o Typically 1turn up on uppers means a half up on lowers until you really get
wound up and the back stay jacked up.
o Gage up one turn higher on uppers for chop or heavy seas.
 Note boat will not hold point when too loose
 Note the boat will not accelerate or have speed if too tight
o Settings are with Loose Gage on Boat.
o Adjust both sides evenly
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The range is somewhere around minus 2 to plus 6 turns
20 knots 6 turns on uppers and 3 on lowers
17 knots 5 turns on uppers and 2 ½ on lowers
14 knots 4 turns on uppers and 2 on lowers
12 knots 3 turns on uppers and 1 ½ on lowers
10 knots 2 turns on uppers and 1 on lowers
8 knots 1 turn on uppers and ½ on lowers
6 knots -1 turn on uppers
4 knots -2 turns on uppers
Wave adjustments
o Heavy seas add 1-2 additional turns
o Chop add ½-1 additional turn
o In flat seas take an extra ½-1 turn off
Once you get your uppers in range there are 2 key checks.
1. Sight up the mast to see that it is straight or bending off to leeward "slightly" above
the where the uppers connect to the mast (nothing in light air, 6" in 15+ knots)
 Use the lowers (on or off) to move the mast into column.
 The mast must always be straight in the boat.
 Don’t over tighten the lowers, this causes reverse bend in the mast
2. Check the head stay for "sag". Go forward and sight up the head stay and see
how far it is dropping off to leeward when the boat is on the wind powered up in normal
beat mode.
 The "sag" should be no more than 4-6 inches.
 Tune more toward 4 inches when the wind is up.
 Tune for the low range of the pressure if it is "puffy"
Baseline mast measurements
Don't forget the make sure you mast is in the center of the boat to start with before you
leave the dock. Measure an equal distant back from the base of the jib tack along the
toe rail to a point just behind the lower shrouds and mark the toe rail (Cracker uses a
hack saw so the mark can never change).
Then hoist a tape measure up to where the uppers connect to the mast and measure
down to your marks on the deck track and make sure they are the same on both sides.
 Measure in two separate locations; toe rail and shroud base
 Make sure the take is tight but not pulling the mast
 Do not measure on a windy day, the wind will affect the measurements
When they match then load your uppers up equally to the base value. The end of the
tape needs to ride up the main track via a sail slug.
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