Melges 24

Tuning your Melges 24 for Speed

>> Download the North Melges 24 Tuning Guide

>> Watch Melges 24 Tuning Clinic with Vince Brun, Andy Burdick and Chris Larson

Melges 24 FAQs:

When do you use the M24 Reacher instead of the Runner?

Harry Melges: The PZR (Power Zone Reacher) is good from 0-5 mostly when it is choppy but for sure 0-3 when it is flat water too.  Also again when it is windy and wavy over 18 or so and again when it is flat water over 22....  For sure in waves and big breeze the PZR is much easier to steer to and faster...

What are the I, J, P, E measurements for the Melges 24?

The Melges 24 measurements can be found at the Melges 24 class website.
The address is:

What's the most efficient way to move up in the standings?

Vince Brun: In my opinion we all have lots of strengths and weakness when racing and sometimes we need to take a "cold" look on the past races to see what are our worst problems. I have run clinics were the sailors asked about tuning when their major problem was starting and rounding marks. Look back on your races and try to identify the problems you had and rate them from the most to the least important. After you have identified the problem, solving will be a lot easier.

I've just put a Micronet Tacktick Windvane on the boat, so I can measure VMG, etc. My next question is. What's the best way to use instruments for boat-speed? Are there polar plots available for the boat, target speeds, etc? What's the best way to go fast when racing with instruments?

Vince Brun: I'm not a instrument guy even thought when sailing big boats we all take advantage of it. On a smaller and lighter boat the instruments aren't as important.

I do think that the boat speed is helpful, to sail the Melges around the race course, but nothing better than working on the "relative" speed against other boats. When boats are near you, nothing else will be more accurate on judging performance. Most definitely the VMG numbers aren't very practical since they will be changing extremely fast and is not very helpful with the helming. This is also true on bigger heavier boats. Boat speed is the only number that should be used and could be a good help with keeping a crew from sailing high and slow during critical periods of the race.

Can you give me some advice about jib car position? I normally use the jib car so that the piston hits the top of the third bolt from the back of the track. In heavy winds I move one hole back and in light winds I move the car one hole forward. It seems that regardless of wind conditions, I end up with the jib car about 3" in front of the cabin top.

Vince Brun:   My strategy is to adjust to ensure the jib luffs evenly top to bottom. Correct, but the M24 requires an open upper leech and tight sheet trim, so that the top will always luff a bit sooner than the bottom tell tale.

What's the right weight distribution fore-aft when going upwind? At what conditions should the knuckle at the bow be in or out of the water?

Vince Brun:  Knuckle should always be under water. This will make the waterline length bigger and therefore higher speed. Even if you have waves the bow should be in the water and the crew should sit forward, or just behind the shrouds.

Assuming all other things are equal, in an oscillating wind pattern, how many degrees of a header will you accept before tacking. I.e. If you get headed by less than n degrees you'll grin and bear it. More than n degrees means you'll tack. What's the equivalent jibe/no jibe number for going downwind?

Vince Brun:   If I have no boats around that could be affecting my wind, I will tack on 4 degrees shifts. Anything smaller than that the gains from the shift won't be enough to compensate for the loss from the tack. I do tack on smaller shifts if this would free me up from other boats ( like a boat to leeward going high and slow, forcing me to sail his angle ).

Contact the Melges 24 Experts:

Nigel Young

+353 214833485 Work