Organizing the running rigging... need help and advice
I am fast coming to the conclusion that I need to organize my running rigging. There is absolutely NO organization to the running rigging at all, and being on a narrow lake, we have a fairly short time before have to tack. Essentially, this just means organizing my halyards, as I so not have any luxuries on this boat at all, such as a roller furler, Spinnaker or anything like that, I am thinking this should be fairly easy.
A bit of background first. I have a Catalina 25 with a pop-top, that I cannot use under sail because the boomvang is in the way. Also, I have the 2 halyards, running down the port and starboard side of the mast. Port side being the main's halyard, starboard being the Jib's. (this in itself is a bit odd because I cannot use the wench for the jib side, not that I need to, but still...)
So what I would like to do it get a deck organizer and run both halyards across the deck, to the port side and back to the cockpit. since my halyards run outside the mast, in order to do this I need some blocks to go on the base of the mast. I will need one on each side, then an additional one to lead the starboard halyard around to the deck organizer on the port side.
1) Is it possible to safely modify an existing aluminum mast so the halyards run inside the mast?
2) Do I need to plan for 4 lines, the two existing halyards, a future spinnaker halyard and topping lift? Do I need to consider room for roller furler/reefer lines (which hopefully will be coming this winter)? What about the boomvang, is it common to run it back to the cockpit as well?
3) is it better to use a ropeclutch or cam cleats. (I am leaning toward ropeclutch, unless there is a good reason not to)
4) this may seem silly, but I will most likely need an additional next to the pop-top. Does the winch go before or after the ropeclutch? I know the one for my jib-sheets are before the cam cleats, but for a set up like I am thinking of, I would need to possibly use the winch for several lines, so I am thinking it would have to go after the clutch.
1) Yes, you can... but you will need to replace or re-fit the masthead casting with one that has sheaves in it. Normally, four sheaves, two aft, two forward—for the topping lift, main halyard, spin halyard and jib halyard respectively. Also have to add the exit slots for the four lines down on the lower part of the mast.
2) Lines commonly led aft on a sailboat include:
a) Main Halyard
b) Topping Lift
c) Jib Halyard—though not always necessary if the jib is on a roller furler
d) Spinnaker Halyard
g) First reef tack reefing line—I prefer to use a two-line reefing setup rather than single line reefing since I think it is faster and more secure.
h) First reef clew reefing line
i) Second reef tack reefing line
j) Second reef clew reefing line
k) Jib furling line
l) Asymetric furling line
You need to have the topping lift, main halyard and reefing lines in order to reef from the cockpit safely IMHO.
3) Rope clutches are better for lines that stay in the same position for long periods of time. Cam cleats are better for working control lines, like sheets. The best rope clutches in terms of usability are the Lewmars, and they cause the least line wear as well.
4) Winches go aft of the rope clutch. The line passes through the clutch and then around the winch... otherwise, you'd have to take the wraps off the winch and then tighten up the line again before closing the clutch.
Hope this helps ;)
Thats helps a lot actually. I am glad to see that I wasn't too far off. I plan on running the halyards soon, on the port side, and then I may do the boomvang, cunningham, and reefing lines on the starboard side at a later date.
At any rate, most of this will have to wait a bit for me to actually start work on them, but I want to start saving the money now for the things I need.
Regarding the mast...I understand a new masthead, but as far as creating the exits for the lines at the bottom...won't that weaken the mast or is there some trick to creating those exits that I am not aware of?
You cut a slot for each and then you put a metal plate that has a nicely shaped opening that is rope friendly into the slot and bolt or rivet it into place. Try not to have the mast exits for the ropes aligned either horizontally or vertically with each other, as that will be more likely to cause the mast to fail. Spacing them about a foot apart from each other on each side of the mast and staggered vertically is usually a good way to do it.
hmm would one need to build a reinforced sleeve containing some blocks inside the mast? I would think that may help the lines exit the mast smoothly. or can you just attach the blocks directly inside the mast?
The upper sheaves are usually mounted in the masthead fitting.
are there books or something out there showing layout options for the various types of running rigging?
I wouldn't get too excited about running the halyards through the mast just yet as you are looking at a lot of time and money. Since you are still going to need turning blocks at the mast base any way I would set them up (if possible) to be used either way so if at a later date you decide you want to run them inside. All the other stuff is a bit more straighforward but I know I wouldn't even want to consider the work involved in running them inside a mast that was not designed for it.
I am not going to make that conversion just yet, however, when I start this project, I want to set it up so that it will work in the event I do make that conversion.
There are some good books on the subject of rigging, Brian Toss's The Complete Riggers Apprentice being one of them. There is also an article on sailnet about this, by Sue and Larry IIRC. You can read it at LINK.
In their article, the did not lead the jib halyard back, because it is on a roller furler IIRC.
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