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Old 05-26-2003
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self tacking solutions

We rigged a homemade self-tacker on our Soling (27[ sloop) that raised a few eyebrows but worked quite well. My father secured a 2" stainless steel pipe to serve as the traveler, which we bent to a gentle curve. (I''m not sure the curve was necessary.) I made a pair of teak chocks for the pipe to rest in, and we then drilled through the pipe, chock and deck at each end for a pair of hefty (3/4inch?) stainless bolts to hold it in place. Before putting it all together, we placed a ring (2 1/2"?) over the pipe. A wire sheave was shackled onto the ring. The wire jibsheet ran from the clew of the sail, through the sheave on the ring, forward to a through-deck sheave near the tack, and then to a tackle under the deck to provide the power needed to trim in any wind conditions. A short line led though a padeye and then to a cam cleat set the travel on the "traveler car" ring. The same sort of setup could be done above deck using all line- making it even simpler. A ball-bearing traveler car & track from Harken eventually replaced our setup. It was easier, but a lot more expensive!
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