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Old 02-02-2008
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Retractable runners

Here is the setup I found to work extremely well, simple and inexpensive. This setup is straight out of "Riggers Apprentice" by Brian Toss. Admittedly, this is for a removable inner stay on a sloop, but I don't see why it can't be used for a cutter. I used 1/4" Amsteel which has 8280lbs breaking strength (which exceeds most of the hardware used). The basic setup is Amsteel runner led to a turning block and then to a secondary cockpit winch. I spiced a cover on the tail for ease of handling. Midway on the runner is a light weight block with a length of bungee attached. The bungee runs to a turning block on the rail, and then up to the spreaders where it is anchored. It doesn't matter where the bungee goes, just that it has enough strength to retract the runner down to the rail. Since it is not in use most of the time, I tie the runner and bungee to the rail and aft lower shroud with wool yarn when not in use. This keeps a tidy deck, and allows for immediate deployment. I only use the runners when a storm jib on the inner stay is set, so for day sailing and sitting in the slip I climb the rig and remove them to save UV degradation, however the cost of replacing them every few years is negligible. A tapered eyespice and a cover spice with 12-strand is amazingly simple, so I consider this an end user serviceable system. Not so with wire unless you use mechanical terminals.

Bungee and amsteel (before cover splice):

Bungee and termination at spreader (runner also visible)

Rail turning block and wool ties:

Overview:

Result of splicing a Sta-Set (New England) cover onto Amsteel (Samson):
You can clearly see the "flying" block used to retract the runner. I used Harken Carbo Air blocks for their light weight, low cost, and synthetic cheek. Getting hit with glass filled nylon causes less pain than steel or aluminum.

And on my (And S/V Seaya's) way to #1 of 2 times going under the Golden Gate

Last edited by sailboy21; 02-02-2008 at 02:54 AM.
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