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Old 09-13-2004
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Rigging a tack for a drifter

My sloop has a furling forestay. I also have a drifter with a wire luff that we can rarely use because the only attachment point for the tack is behind the furler - inside the forestay. The halyard for the drifter is run thru a block at the head of the mast attached to a bail that''s above the forestay and the swivel assembly of the foil - normal for a spinnaker halyard. But the inside tack point prevents me from being able to properly jibe the drifter. I should also state that the drifter attaches only at the tack and the head - no luff in the foil or hanks on the forstay. And the foot of the sail is down all the way to the tack, so there''s no high foot like an asymm.

The furler/forestay is attached to a "chainplate" at the bow, and it has three attachment points - one forward and about 3 or 4" the bow deck, and two just behind (2 or 3") that are just barely above deck level. Right now the roller furler drum is attached at the forward position.

The options I have are to re-rig the forestay and attach it to the aft point. That would bring the stay back somewhat, moving the center of effort of the jib back as well. It probably won''t be enough to affect handling or require re-cutting my headsails. But it still won''t project the tack of the drifter out beyond the pulpit, so care would be still be needed when jibing. The other option is to rig some type of pole as a sprit.

Any ideas on my options - other than trading the drifter for a high-footed asymmetrical spinnaker? Would the loads be too great for a sprit pole without some type of downward "tack support" halfway down the bow, sort of like a miniature model of a tall ship''s bow with a long sprit?
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