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pdqaltair 09-30-2013 07:50 PM

Attaching Genoa Sheets
Let me start by saying that I really don't want snap shackles flying about striking me and everything else. I currently attach the clew with a larks head or 2 bowlines. But I have a new problem.

I will be adding an inboard track, and in order to sheet the sail to the new track I have to switch sheets; there is a shroud in the way of any simple barber hauling trick. The existing sheeting location is outside the rail, outside the shroud, and I want to move it inside. The current sheeting angle is about 24 degrees and I want to narrow it to 16 degrees, a reasonable figure for this boat that I have tested. Why is the angle so wide? The boat was designed for a small self-tacking jib. Because of the cabin configuration (very wide) there is no place forward of the shroud to place a track, so the genoa is used more as a reacher, sheeted where a chute might be. However, it is cut as a genoa and it works nicely hauled into that position, but I need to make it more convenient; cross hauls in the cockpit are a drag.

(The set-up in the picture is just for the picture. There will be a track and a snatch block, roughly where the tape and rescue pulley are located, perhaps further back between the winches. I will also add a second slider on the outboard track.)

I'm going to add an inboard track and use the spinnaker sheet on the inside track. However, if I want to tack with this arrangement in use I must...
* remove the main sheet from the 2nd winch and place in stopper
* place the original sheet on the 2nd winch and tension some
* ease the spin sheet
* tension the 2nd winch
* remove the spin sheet from the clew
* tack through 120 degrees
* repeat everything just listed

I would really like to be able to take the original genoa sheet off when tacking up wind, so that tacking is normal, using the inner track on both sides and leaving the original sheet alone. But what to use for shackles?

* Soft shackles? Will they stay on? Are they suitable for use on the spinnaker clew as well? I'm no racer, so if they take a few moments that is fine. Taking down the chute on a cat is casual, so quick release is not needed for that either.
* Some other shackle?

PaulinVictoria 09-30-2013 09:07 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
Soft shackle would work, but it'll probably take as long as just tying a bowline.

Ajax_MD 09-30-2013 10:21 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
Soft shackles are great. I use them exclusively, and in all conditions. I've never had one fail.

You can find instructions to make them yourself on

pdqaltair 09-30-2013 10:59 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets

Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd (Post 1096535)
Soft shackles are great. I use them exclusively, and in all conditions. I've never had one fail.

You can find instructions to make them yourself on

Great link. Thanks. I like his variations.

zz4gta 10-02-2013 09:31 AM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
+3 soft shackles. They work great.

chucklesR 10-02-2013 10:18 AM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
You might have some chafe on the roof?

pdqaltair 10-02-2013 12:04 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
No, there will not be chafe. I tested this by barber hauling and the line is actually a few inches away. For the picture I tied it to a rail for demonstration at the dock. But I can see it looks that way.

I also did some more testing and determined that the correct lead is about 2 feet further back. There is enough room for the track, but the forward winch will not be able to turn a full circle. So long as I use the main on the forward winch, I can adjust by cranking back and forth (2-speed winch with little strain). Mostly I play the traveller, once set of up-wind.

I'm going to play with soft shackles. I've used old-school stropes for years but never the new-school sort. Seems easy and secure.

ilCigno 10-03-2013 07:40 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
I have attached my gennaker sheets with Dyneema soft shackles also. I made a short eye-splice in each sheet for this reason. This configuration has proven to be very reliable, very strong, very light and quite durable. And, I don't like flying stainless steel on my foredeck also, hence this solution. Soft shackles are indeed soft, although I wouldn't want to catch them on my cheeks when the sail is flapping.

One thing is a bit tricky though. If you attach or disconnect the sheets from the sail the soft shackles are open and can, in an unattended moment, easily slip out of the eye in the sheet. Next thing is that it will fall or slide overboard.

In order to prevent this I attached the soft-shackles to the sheets with some stitches. If you do this near the 'knob' end, it will not affect the sliding action of the soft-shackle. Perhaps something to keep in mind.

ilCigno 10-03-2013 07:45 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
BTW, I use this 'old style soft shackle' (no dyneema) for connecting the sheets to my genua. It's fast to attach and has never let me down.

pdqaltair 10-03-2013 08:27 PM

Re: Attaching Genoa Sheets
New school is so close to old school. I've got a bunch of the old style already, holding tarps and the dingy and such things. I need to add some more.

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