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Re: Sliding gooseneck, does it serve any purpose at all?
I agree with HyLyte. This isn't really a "problem".
Pin the gooseneck as previously described, or simply add the downhaul, cleat it off, and leave it cleated.
When you raise the main, simply winch against the cleated downhaul as you would if the gooseneck were fixed.
For me, the floating boom/downhaul vs. fixed boom and cunningham is "six in one hand, half-dozen in the other hand."
Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168