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post #1 of Old 08-10-2010 Thread Starter
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Running rigging for my boom...


So I've read about 200 threads on reefing, outhauls, leading lines aft, topping lifts, etc... My boat has no good setup for any of these. I'm the (fairly) new owner of a 1977 Mirage 26.

Current setup has this:

Outhaul - a nylon cleat secured - with wood screws - on the upper port side at the end of the boom. It's bent and scares me.

Topping lift - 1/8th inch SS cable running from a support pin at the mast head to within about a foot of the end of the boom, terminated with a small thimble. Then, a 1/4 inch line is tied to it with a couple brass hooks at 12" and 18" from the thimble. The mast has an eystrap riveted to it that the brass hooks clip into (sort-of).

Reefing - the Starboard side of the boom has a track with a pair of cheek block on it each with their own becket (the blocks are old and both are damaged). Toward the gooseneck are two clamcleats. And, at the gooseneck is a reefing hook. We have been reefing by taking a line from the cleat at the aft end of the boom (the outhaul) and running it threw the reefing clew straight down to the appropriate cheek block and forward to the clam cleat - it works but does not inspire confidence.

Lines led aft - None really. The Mirage has a fairly strong 'storm hood' (I've been told that's what it's called). It's the cover for the companionway hatch (when it's open all the way). The Main halyard runs to an old winch there through a clutch. The clutch is... well, old and scary, and the winch is too. The winch shifts when the halyard is tightened.


The wife and I would like to upgrade. My friend sails an HR25 that was rigged for racing - ALL lines led to the cockpit. I know how much easier and safer it is to sail his boat.

The budget won't allow for a completely new setup for everything to be run aft, but I'd like to address the whole system to make it safer. We're thinking that bringing the main halyard to the cockpit is perhaps the first priority followed by a proper outhaul adjustment and then two line reefing.

I get the principles behind doing all of this (mostly) but, I'm not too sure about the details when it comes to what hardware I should use and how to use it.



Outhaul setup - can a cheek block be used to control the outhaul at the end of the boom? Is running the outhaul internally through the boom far superior because it pulls the clew directly back?

Reefing - I have a mainsail with three sets of reefs. I'd like to have it setup with two line reefing for at least two reefs. The mainsail has a boltrope at the foot and no cut-outs below the reefing clews. Is there a reason NOT to attach the end of the reefing line to the boom behind the corresponding reefing clew and use a cheek block on the other side of the boom to pull the line down vertically (I think that's opposite to the norm)? What can I use to attach the lines to the boom on the opposite side of the cheek block? Alternatively, if I used cheek blocks with beckets, and placed them behind the clews, I'd have problems keeping the clew held down to the boom, correct?

Topping lift - I was thinking of putting a small block on the end of the SS cable and a small camcleat at the end of the boom. Then I'd just use a small line to manually adjust the boom height and loosen the topping lift when I start to sail, leaving it loose until I drop the main. For those of you with an easily adjustable topping lift - do you find it to be a very useful feature?

Lines led aft - The area I can't quite get my mind wrapped around is the lines coming off the boom... So say I want to run an outhaul and two reefing lines for the reefing clews back to the cockpit. Getting the lines running toward the mast seems simple enough, but what about the downturn? Suppose the lines aren’t internal, they're running alongside the boom, what hardware do I use to make the downturn? How do I avoid interfering with the Boomvang? And - I've always wondered this - when the boom is pointing directly aft, won't the tension on the lines be different (increase/decrease) as it swings to the side?

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by serenespeed; 08-10-2010 at 05:47 PM.
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