No indicator has been developed that approaches the sensitivity and effectiveness of telltales along the luff of the jib. These yarns or “ticklers” monitor the flow of wind across the sail.
Telltales are used for fine-
Telltales come in pairs, one on each side of the jib. The best set up is to have three sets evenly spaced along the luff so that you can see how the wind is flowing at different heights of the sail. Telltales should be anywhere from six inches to 18 inches aft of the luff, depending on the size of the boat — the bigger the sail, the further aft the telltales should be. Also, the farther forward they are, the more sensitive they are.
All UK Sailmakers sell inexpensive packets of green and red telltales that stick on to your sail. When applying telltales, always put the starboard one of each pair higher than the port one. This will help you figure out which is which when reading the telltales from the cockpit. The most basic way to read telltales is to get the yarns on both sides of the sail streaming straight back. If the leeward one stops streaming, head up and sail closer to the wind. If the windward one stops streaming, fall off. When the yarn streams straight back, it tells you that there is attached flow over the sail at that particular point. If a telltale stops streaming and hangs limp, there is no air flow and that side of the sail is stalled. If the telltale dances around, flow is turbulent.
By concentrating further on interpreting the telltales, you can get even more information. The following are four different “settings” for telltales:
2. Max Speed Mode: Both telltales streams straight aft.
3. Pointing Mode: Leeward telltale streams aft, and windward telltale dances between straight back and 45° above horizontal. This mode is used when sailing to windward in flat water in winds over 10 knots.
4. Pinching Mode: Leeward telltale streams aft, and windward telltale stands straight up. To be used when trying to get over another boat or make it around a channel mark.
When sailing to windward, the degree of course change between “Bow-
Remember not to sail with the telltales in the pointing or pinching mode in light winds or in wavy conditions. The boat will lose too much speed. In heavy winds when the boat is overpowered, you can reduce heeling by heading up into the pointing mode.
Use your telltales to fine-
To learn more got to: http://www.ukhalsey.com/learningcente r/encyclopedia/encyclopedia5c.asp
Courtesy of UK Sailmakers, www.uksailmakers.com