Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
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Re: Easing the Mainsheet
Our traveler is mounted forward in the cockpit. The mainsheet comes down to a cleat, which is hard to pop open from behind the wheel. I am going to fabricate a Y-shaped tool to help with this.
I am curious what you have in mind when you say a "y-shaped tool"! You shouldn't need to make a tool to release your mainsheet! In fact I would say that is a very bad idea! (I have visions of you poking at your mainsheet cleat with a forked stick!
) Most blocks with cleats attached have adjustable beckets so that you can change the angle of the cleat. It could be as simple as playing with the angle so you can get a bit more downward pull. There is definitely a technique to releasing a sheet from a cam cleat from a distance. You have to give the rope a sharp downward snap that pulls the sheet back and down simultaneously. This will unload the cams enough to release the line. It is only really an issue when you are sheeted on hard sailing upwind. It is a technique you must learn; there will come a time when you have no time for tools!
Also, there are lines leading to port and starboard and then back, which moves the pulley on the traveler left and right. There are gybe preventers in the cockpit.
My question is, what combination of these lines do you use when easing the main out? It seems easier to just use the main line that comes down from the boom. I am having a hard time describing this, I hope this comes across as a valid question.
When you are sailing close hauled you set your sail shape using the outhaul, sheet and cunningham/halyard, and then you adjust the angle of attack using the traveler. Close hauled and close reaching the traveler is what you should be using to adjust the position of the mainsail, either for course alteration or depowering. That is the whole point and primary purpose of the traveler. Once your point of sail becomes so broad that the boom needs to go beyond the range of your traveler, you pull on the boom vang to take over the job of leech tension from the mainsheet. Then you can use the sheet to control sail angle.
1979 Santana 30 Tall Rig