Newport Regatta
Cleveland RW

St Pete NOOD

Region 5 Champs 1,2,4,5


Ensign Gallery
2010 Ensign Nationals
Jeff Millin going downwind, 2nd place
2011 Ensign Midwinters
Jeff Millin, 1st Place
2010 Ensign Nationals
Zeke Durica, 1st place


To order the fastest Ensign sails, contact:

Benz Faget
(504) 831-1775 Work


1. Set up the rig up with the headstay at 26’ 21/4”
2. Adjust the step so the mast rests against the partners and chock it centered and also fore and aft
3. Set uppers and forward lowers with “loose” gauge at 40. (with slacks backstay). This will generate about 1 ¼” of pre bend.
4. Get aft lowers at 24-26 (with slack backstay).
5. Go sailing and check the mast for falloff. The stiffness of the masts vary. With about 12 knots true and the headstay at 40, the leeward upper shroud will just begin to go slack. You may have to adjust the uppers or fl to keep it in tune.


1. Set up the loose gauge on the forestay.
2. Make up a paint stirrer or ruler for making backstay position.
3. Apply tension to backstay and place marks on your guide at headstay tensions of 20, 25, 35, and 40. This will reference wind strengths for genoa and main trim
4. Head stay tension:

 Headstay Tension True Wind Speed
00 - 3
53 - 6
156 - 12
2510 - 15

Sail Trim

**bring a magic marker along when you do your test sailing. **


1. Fairly straightforward using normal trimming knowledge.
2. Use traveler to keep boat flat when sailing in higher winds, approximately 4-6” of movement. After that, go to the sheet. In light air, pull the traveler up to windward so that the bottom is about 1” to windward of center.
3. In drifting conditions use the sheet and traveler to induce lots of twists.
4. Maybe the most important item for the main is to not worry about the bubble behind the mast. The main and headsails working together cause it. If you trim the main too high to windward, you will drive the boat sideways!

As always, make sure your main has tell tales on the leech before leaving the dock and use them. Also, top batten is the second best stall indicator.


1. First item of business is to cut the spreaders down to within 1: of class minimum.
2. Drill your genoa tracks so you have holes every ½”.
3. Go sailing in about 12 knots true wind. Set lead so that the genoa touches the shroud at the deck and up near the mast. Check the tell tales for proper break. If all break even, then mark this spot as mid-range point.
4. The range of track position for the genoa will vary from 1” forward it 2” back. For 0-5 knots the lead should go forward 1” and keep the leech as close as ½” to the spreader with the lead in the mid range position.
5. Use the genoa from 0 to gusts of 20 knots true.

#2 Genoa

1. Set up the lead position as you do for the genoa. The #2 should trim in tight to th shrouds. Mark the track as we did for the genoa. Similar rules apply for the #2 for twists and lead changes, but to a lesser degree of change.
2. This sail is top performer in it’s wind range! Be careful to use it in the correct conditions. It works best when the wind is gusting from the high teens to low twenties. If the winds are sustained above 20, then switch to the blade.


1. The lead position (tracks) are placed too close to the centerline of the boat. This chokes the slot and makes the boat slow. Cure: never trim the sail super tight. If in doubt or going slow, ease it out.
2. Never trim the upper batten inside the upper shroud, as this is a very good indicator that you are violating the above rule.
3. The tracks should be drilled with the same ½” spaced holes as the genoa track. You should set your mid-range mark in about 12-15 knots true wind.
4. Twist is the key to making this sail go, so set your tell tales with the top tale breaking first.
5. The blade is to be used when the wind is sustained 20 knots or more. When you have big seas and high winds, you may think you want to use the genoa, but don’t!! Using the genoa in the swells will not allow you to steer through the seas. The genoa will only cause you to heel too much if you misjudge a puff or a feather incorrectly.
6. Replace the jib when it gets tired. The sail will slow you down dramatically when the draft moves aft. This is due to the backwind into the main, because of the narrow sheeting angle.
7. If class rules allow, use a two to one purchase on the sheet. This allows finer adjustments by the crew with less effort.


1. Fairly standard trim works well for this sail as well. Follow the old rules of not over trimming and proper pole height.
2. The Ensign can sail fairly square to the wind with the spinnaker so be careful not to sail too high on your gybing angles. The lighter the air, the higher the angles you can sail.
3. Use tweakers on your sheets, they help when gybing in lumpy seas.
4. On windy and wet days, try to keep the spinnaker as dry as possible. The nylon stretches much more when wet and that is the time when you want a flatter chute.
5. use your genoa and jib under the spinnaker under certain conditions. Genoa in over 15 knots and the jib most conditions. Remember to take them down before gybing.

Other Speed factors

Weight: Keep the weight as far forward as possible. Sail the boat as flat as possible. When the boat is flat, the helm will be neutral and that is the fastest way to sail the boat.

Preparation: Keep the boat at minimum weight. Make sure that all the running rigging is in good shape. Make sure all sail controls work freely and without much effort. Halyards should be of lowest stretch material allowable by the class rules. The mast step should be strong so as to keep the rig tension in lumpy seas and high winds.

Practice: Nothing beats good practice. Go out in different conditions and go through all the things you will do in a race. On race day, fly the spinnaker before the face (keep it dry) to warm up. Do several tacks and gybes before the start.

Have fun!! We race to learn and get better at sailing. Remember to help out the other guy when you can, because the better he or she gets, the harder they will push you. Always remember to yell starboard with a smile.

Good Sailing!

>> Contact the Ensign Experts for additional information.