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Old 05-26-2011
puddinlegs puddinlegs is offline
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Originally Posted by nolasailor View Post
I have a Niagara 31 sailboat that was once raced and thinking about raceing her again. I am going to rework the deck organizers and was wondering what lines should run to the cockpit...

as of know i have 4 halyards, 2 reef lines, out haul for main, up haul for spin pole.
Still have down haul spin pole, cunningham and boom vang,,, would it be better to have all lines running to cockpit,,,,,and am i missing any other lines,,,, thanks for the input,,,,
Any detailed pics of other layouts would be helpfull too,,,, thanks,,,
No picts of ours, but if you ask yourself a few questions, you'll be able to prioritize your set up and choose the appropriate hardware, leads, etc...

What lines necessitate a winch? Do you need to keep a line on a winch, even if it's passed through a clutch, to keep it properly tensioned?

What lines can be controlled with just some extra purchase, and or just a cam cleat?

What lines do you find yourself reaching for and thinking,"what a pain in the arse!"? We cruise (single and double) and race (crewed, and double handed). Here our set up:

Port left to right:

• jib car lead adjustment line (cam cleat)
• foreguy control lines (split to both sides of cockpit, cam cleat)
• spinnaker twing (cam cleat)

Through clutches to port halyard winch:
• port spin halyard (we're going to cross these in the future)
• reef 2
• reef 1
• main halyard (stays on winch except when sailing downwind to maintain
proper tension)

• vang fine tune (split to both sides of cockpit, cam cleated)
• cunningham (8:1 at mast, cam cleat at cockpit)

continuing starboard side, left to right:

• vang fine tune (cam cleat)

through clutches to stbd halyard winch:

• outhaul (8:1 in boom.. doesn't really need a winch, but it's nice for
• jib halyard (left on winch except downwind)
• starboard spin halyard

• foreguy (split, cam cleat)
• spinnaker twing (cam cleat)
• jib car lead control line (6:1)cam cleated.

At the mast:

• Vang gross tune (6:1, long enough that the tail can be brought back to the
pit area when single or double handing,split fine tune, 12:1)
• Spinnaker pole topping lift (swivel cam cleat)
• Spinnaker pole mast track (two opposing cam cleats... one is sometimes
used to temporarily cleat the jib or spin halyard when hoisting single

Our halyards are long enough so that one person can put a wrap or two on the winch, open the clutch, and walk forward to control the sail take down or when reefing the main single handed.

In the cockpit:

• main sheet (6:1, ratcheted, w/ 4:1 fine tune... 24:1, cam cleated)
• traveller (4:1, windward tacking, cam cleated port and starboard)
• jib sheets and spin guy (when rigged) to primary winches,
• check stays (clutched), spin sheets, changing sheets to secondary self
tailing winches.
(Sometimes spin sheets are lead back to cabin top halyard winches)
• hydraulic back stay adjuster... hate it. Very slow, hard to reach while
driving. We'll eventually replace with a simple block system that will be
split and lead forward within reach of the main trimmer.

I'd love to replace the cabin top winches (2) with self tailers, but like the oversized standard primaries. If we were only cruising or racing sailing exclusively short handed, then I'd want these to be self tailing as well. ST secondaries are fine!

Nola, I'd also go walk the docks and look at some race boat set ups. There are any number of efficiencies that you'll see and be able to easily adapt and use on your boat. Have a look at a well raced J-29 or similar. Your sail plan is probably a bit smaller, but it will give you a start.
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