North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Kei Takakuwa, Riccardo de Felice, Tom Sitzmann


Important Settings for Key Performance

Power your new North Sails Optimist V-Series mainsail for speed following the recommendations on this quick tuning guide.


Sail Ties Top 2 mm
Middle 2 mm
Bottom 2 mm

* Parallel to the mast.

They can be adjusted in the range of 1-5mm in light wind and heavy wind to have comfortable depth and shape.

  • LIGHT WIND: Smaller space at the middle so that leech becomes easier open.
  • HEAVY WIND: Wider space at the middle so that you can make the shape comfortably flat enough to reduce the power.

Distance of space distribution to be made from top to the bottom.
Adjustment is required only for suitable sail shape (depth) for each condition and to be done only when needed.
These are sometimes required depending on mast stiffness and sailor’s weight, but only when if needed.


Wind Range 0-8 knots 8-12 knots 12-16 knots 16-24 knots 25+ knots
Mast Rake 2780 – 2800 mm 2770 – 2790 mm 2770 – 2780 mm 2750 – 2760mm 2790±10mm
Sprit Wrinkles Some Wrinkles A Few Wrinkles Wrinkles Wrinkles
Vang No tension in upwind Light tension in upwind Tension Lots of tension Cleat with main sheet trimming harder
Prebender 2 turns /
Some Slack at Luff
2 turns /
Some Slack at Luff
No Wrinkle at Luff Tension on Luff Tension on Luff
Center Board Max Max Max 0-50 mm up 30-70 mm up


  • You have to pay attention to the outhaul to adjust it properly according to the conditions and sailors weight.
  • You need to find the best position that fits your weight, mast rake( boom position), sea status, weather helm feeling for each condition.
  • Playing outhaul in the range of 20mm at the boom end.
  • Ease it maximum in 10-14knots and clew end has to be located 30-40mm away from the boom end.
  • FLAT WATER –  Trim 10mm more than the normal position.
  • LIGHT / VERY STRONG WIND –  Bottom to be flattened comfortably.

Optimist Experts

New Optimist V-Series Tuning Table headshot
Kei Takakuwa

One Design Expert — Yokohama, Japan

Kei has been a member of the North Sails team since 1996, working in sales and in sail design development at the loft in Yokohama, Japan. In addition to giving him the opportunity to work with top sailors and coaches, he finds...

New Optimist V-Series Tuning Table headshot
Riccardo de Felice

Carasco, Italy

Riccardo de Felice (ITA) has joined the North Sails One Design Class Expert team. With sailing roots and a background in coaching one design sailors at an international level, Riccardo’s interests lie in enhancing boat performance and helping athletes to be...

New Optimist V-Series Tuning Table headshot
Tom Sitzmann

One Design Expert —

A lifelong sailor, Tom Sitzmann brings a broad range of sailing experience to North Sails. Along with extensive one design racing experience and success, Tom brings a professional background that includes sail loft ownership/management, and significant sail coaching experience. Also...