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Old 06-12-2011
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Inexpensive self-tacker

We rigged up a cheap self-tacking jib on our Soling that worked quite well. It consisted of a stainless steel pipe that we bolted to the deck (with some 2x4 blocks as spacers, to keep it up above the forward coaming). We put a big ring on the pipe, and attached a line to the ring to regulate how far out it went. We ran a wire sheet from the clew of the jib, through a sheave that was attached to the ring, and then forward to near the forestay, and to an underdeck tackle that we adjusted from the cockpit. It worked well for several years in a pretty competitive fleet of 16 boats. We didn't replace it until we came across a ball-bearing setup (used) at a price we couldn't resist: about $100.
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