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Thread: Racing Goats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Racing Goats

    Meet Mountain Mist. She is my racing goat. Built by the kids, and endured by my wife, she sails and rows at 9000ft in DurangoColorado.
    2013 Gov Cup day 2 077-(ZF-7576-40062-1-001).jpg2013 Gov Cup day 1 362-(ZF-7576-40062-1-009).jpg
    My wife and I race in the Buccaneerclass around Denver when we can, and when I selected the GIS, I wanted a versatilecraft for fishing and exploring our lake at home, but also take to the regattasand race competitively. I wanted tostart a thread dedicated to racing the GIS so we could swap race specific tips,data, and tuning information.

    Three weeks ago, I raced my GIS in the Governor’s Cup, atCherry Creek. Some great professional photoscan be found at After some web questions and off line e-mailchains I settled on racing with a handicap of 97.6 which is the same as the420s. After 8 long races and a discard,I placed 2nd overall (of 12) in the Portsmouth fleet. The final race results for the top three arebelow (information and full results can be found at'sCup2013Scores.htm)
    Sailed: 8,Discards: 1, To count: 7, Rating system: USPN, Entries: 12, Scoring system:Appendix A








    1st Portsmouth Open Fire Escape Finn 505 DSA Joe Chinburg 90.1 6.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 2.0 (7.0) 3.0 26.0 19.0
    2nd Portsmouth Open Mountain Mist Goat Island Skiff none None David Wait 97.6 1.0 7.0 3.0 5.0 4.0 6.0 1.0 (8.0) 35.0 27.0
    3rd Portsmouth Open Swift Solo 002 DSA Philip Ryan 80 (10.0) 10.0 2.0 2.0 8.0 1.0 10.0 1.0 44.0 34.0

    We need more data and results posted!!!!
    Conditions on day 1 were extremely choppy from motor boatson confined water, with 0 to 5 knots. Very tough sailing and made tougher with the yard flapping from thewaves. I used lots of heel angle tocompensate for this, and for the chop.
    Day 2 wind ranges 4 to 15 on the water (though this wasreported differently by the committee boat) with slightly less chop. I sailed flat in the puffs and heeled in thelulls to keep sail shape.
    If anyone is interested I can post some additional detailson
    1. downhaul tensions, vang settings, weightdistribution
    2. I also have more photos if anyone is interested,and have attached a sequence of shots of the Goat dominating the start line!!!
    3. I have rig distances and angles recorded
    4. Elapsed time data and race notes on which boatspicked the right shifts

    I am sure some of you out there have faster setups and otherrace results, so please share!!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Savannah GA USA


    Sounds like a fun and valuable project, one I can only observe, though.

    I'm curious about the set of your sail, with the yard and boom on the starboard side of the mast. I've seen videos and pics of Gruff with the sail on both sides at different times but IIRC MIK and Peter seemed to settle on (prefer?) the port side set up. That is what seemed right for me so it's how mine is done.

    Back when I was setting up the rig on my Gazelle (junk rigged schooner) I tried to take into consideration prevailing winds and passages most likely to be undertaken. My gut kept telling me to set up the sails on the port side of the masts.

    So I'm curious what prompted you to choose the starboard side for your Goat.
    The "Cosmos Mariner,"My Goat Island Skiff

    Starting the Simmons Sea Skiff 18[email protected]/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    New Jersey, USA


    Ex. Cell. ENTTT!!!! Way to repreSENT!!!

    I love how flat you are in photo 4! I see you're flying the Doyle radial lug. Simonlew should be proud!

    I hope you're familiar with George in the UK and his racing experience with "Sneaky Shark". His full thread is here: but I think he reported more on his racing in the Facebook group.

    I have no questions but will gladly soak up any and all discussion on your set-up.

    Well done mile-high Goater, well done.
    StorerBoat Builder, Sailor, Enthusiast
    Dave's GIS Chronicles | Dave's Lugs'l Chronicles | Dave's StorerBoat Forum Thread

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Queenstown New Zealand



    I take it you race solo. By choice/necessity/because it's faster? Are you ahead of the pack in some conditions and not others? (wind/water state/going to windward or downwind).

    More on you setup - downhaul and vang and so on would be great. There's a lot of us fiddling with this or that, but we're mostly sailing on our own so often don't have an objective measure of what is an improvement or not.

    Welcome aboard, I hope we hear a lot more from you!


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    NSW, Australia


    Interesting. How does the Goat go boat for boat alongside the Finn?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    Thanks forthe comments guys. I am sure someone outthere has some better information than me, so let me know what you guys thinkis faster.
    MiddleAgesMan: I put the spars on starboard as it gives moreroom for me to step in on port, and raise the rig (since this is the side I planto have lay against my dock). No otherreason. I debated having a stronger starboardtack for start lines, but I feel this is a negligible issue based on myobservations from the Sunfish and Sailfish. On a well set course there is no tacking bias like there may be on yourlong voyages.
    IanHowick: I normally race with my wife in theBuccaneer, my daughter when sailing the MC Scow, and solo on the obvious boats(Force 5 and Laser). I have only racedthe Goat in this one regatta. I wouldlove to sail with one of my kids, but I am a big guy (230lbs 6’-1”) and thinkthat this is enough hiking power for most racing conditions. I think 1up will be faster for me.
    SumBloak: The Finn is just plain faster on all points. I love my goat, enjoyed racing her, plan torace more, and don’t want to offend anyone, but…… the GIS is fast, but not compared to a highperformance race boat especially on the beat. On a windward leeward, so much of the race duration is on close haul andupwind VMG is everything. Every boat inthe fleet could outpoint me. I needed tosail about 4 deg lower for what I think was my best vmg. Even though I was faster through the water,boats like the Finn just eat up the course. On the races when there was a larger shift and the windward leg began toloosen a bit, I could start to hold even at times, and placed higher. In a ‘round the cans race’ where lots of thelegs are not hard on the wind, I think the Lasers and Finns would have to keepan eye out for Mountain Mist!!!! I wasin the back of the fleet for most races within 15min of the start (take a lookat the boats though, Solo Swift, H17 etc) At the end of the day, I dropped sail, pulled out oars and whooped everyone of ‘em back upwind to the dock for a beer!! All fellow competitors were surprised at the GIS speed, and versatility.
    Anyone outthere figured how to get more VMG than a Laser on a hard beat, or do us goatsjust have to outsmart themJ I will post my rig measurements tomorrownight.
    Another photoof goat racing. This goat looks fast.


  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    NSW, Australia


    Hey do us a favour: stop trying to mess with the fonts. No offense intended, but it really is best to just let the default css deal with the formatting. Your last post is really difficult to read, despite the increased font size, because the line height is terrible for legibility.

    Anyway, I'm not at all offended. Personally, I'm not a passionate lover of goats. I was just curious how it went against a Finn, since I know what Finns are like. My guess is that the Goat should be able to hold a Finn offwind, especially if there is a bit of breeze. Finns aren't anything outrageous offwind, and can get quite rolly if pushed.

    If the Finn will currently flog a Goat upwind, that's interesting. There may be room for improvement there.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    Sorry about the font issues guys. I was trying to cut and paste from Word and it came out poorly. I owed you some dimensions from my setup. Please let me know what your setups are like if you are "out beating the lasers", and what I can do to be faster/ point higher.

    Halyard block is at 63” from lower end of yard which is 8”or so below center line.
    Boom is centered on mast 16” from tack
    Downhaul attached 10” back from tack (well in front of mast)
    Traveler tension is 18.5” above floor when “peaked” on center line
    I used 4” of out haul upwind on day 2 where we had some wind, but in the really light stuff I pulled it tight to give a bit less curve for the wind to try to wrap. Used 6" downwind.

    I used a vang and downhaul system with the downhaul positioned forward on the boom. (I tried the bleater and it worked fairly well, but I am more familiar with a two line system so went with what I know) I do not like the boom sliding forward and back so I use double rolling cloves to lash to the mast so there is slack to rotate but not much fore and aft slide. I use tight down haul, but found that if too tight, the upper leach would lose twist and I could not get the tell tails to fly, so with vang off, I put on downhaul just prior to loosing clean flow off the top. This needed to be reset on each tack and for each wind speed. I used the vang only very limited on the runs when a puff would start to lift the boom. No vang seemed needed on the beat in all this light air.


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