Top 10 Things to Make Your Lark Go Fast

Tim Vick

Posted: 17 Apr 13 21:04
Message ID: 2303
If you were to ignore the class rules what do you think would be the best thing to do to your Lark to make it go faster. Obviously you could change the mast, put bigger sails on but these are quite obvious and people might complain. So what I'm looking for is the things that you could do to make your boat go a little quicker. Here's a starter, please add to the list.

1. Reduce the hull weight (by removing the lead if you have any) or other more ingenious ways.

Steve Hall

Posted: 18 Apr 13 13:25
Reply ID: 6435
Time for me to open a kettle of fish then...

Bigger Spinnaker
Longer Spinnaker Pole
Laminate Mainsail
Profiled Centreboard

Nick Marlow

Posted: 19 Apr 13 20:41
Reply ID: 6437
6. New helm

Mark Chadwick

Posted: 25 Apr 13 13:54
Reply ID: 6444
A little help from Neptune. Dont know the God of WIND

Tim Vick

Posted: 26 Apr 13 08:46
Reply ID: 6445
Would you profile your centreboard in the existing case, or are you thinking of modifying the hull to take a wider but profiled centreboard?

Nigel Hufton

Posted: 30 Apr 13 14:05
Reply ID: 6449
Are we inciting law-breaking here?

Seriously, if you mean legal things, apart from sail trim, I would start with
1. Polishing your hull and foils or cutting back with wet & dry (I have always done the latter)
2. Keep the ends light
3. Ideally keep crew weight to 21-22 stone (although it is possible to be competitive in a wider range than this, depending on conditions and skill)
4. Keep weight forward
5. Carry a weed-stick at Harwich and Lymington!
6. Make sure the rig, board and rudder are all vertical.

If you mean something more radical, various things have been suggested over the years.
1. A proper Merlin-style centreboard would make a difference upwind, although the character of the boat would be changed.
2. A bigger kite could make it faster albeit quite scary in a blow, the argument being that once the boat reaches terminal velocity, any more sail area would not actually make the boat faster downwind. It would make it more difficult for small/girly crews, so not great for the class.
3. Mylar/Kevlar mains have been pushed for at various times (as long ago as 1985 and 2000), but have generally been rejected on the grounds of cost and that a Lark mast is too bendy for it (this may not now be true).
4. We tried using a longer (420) pole, but it was unwieldy - it only makes sense with a bigger kite)

Stephen Dunn

Posted: 03 May 13 21:18
Reply ID: 6453
Okay, so the Lark has a couple of minor downfalls but who cares!

It's a one design class that offers some of the best racing in the Country. As for the speed of a Lark, it's one of the fastest non trapeze classes available. If I wished to race a faster dinghy, I would simply change classes!

I compare it to spotty teenagers who buy a 1lt Fiesta and then spend a few grand making it go faster. I just don't get it!

I like the fact the lark has a non profiled plate for the centreboard. It's what gives the Lark it's unique feel and sensitivity. It takes time to get a feel for what makes a Lark tick but when you get it right, it's one of the most rewarding boats you will ever race.

I have competed in many classes of the years and the Lark has always given me the biggest smiles. Great racing, great boat, great people.

Alan Krailing

Posted: 04 May 13 21:10
Reply ID: 6457
Brilliantly put steve, you are absolutely right there is nothing quite like racing a lark.....

.............i think I remember that fiesta of yours