Originally Posted by lharmon
My outhaul is a joke. The main has slugs that run along the boom. The block at the end is very small. I go from it up to a cleat. There is no block and tackle, nothing internal. But it’s only a 30 footer and the main is 254 ft˛. So I tighten the outhaul for strong winds and loosen it as they moderate. But I cannot re-tighten it without taking the load off the sail. I wonder what would happen if I just cut the lug off?
Most outhauls need the load released on the main in order to put more tension on, esp when going upwind... unless they are hydraulic. So that in itself is not a condemnation of your setup.
The slug at the clew is important, but it may well be possible to cut off the boltrope/slugs along the foot and convert to a loosefooted main. Without the heavier slug at the clew, though, the main will tend to lift from the boom and that will reduce the effectiveness of the outhaul.
A modern day alternative to that heavy slug, esp with a loose foot main, is a double-wrap velcro strap that goes around the boom and through the clew cringle. This works well and results in much less friction on the outhaul (as does a loose foot main) It also makes it much easier to remove (unbend) the main if you need to do that.
Should you wish to go that route, the sailmaker who modifies your main can make you such a strap.
As to your reef lines, you may wish to put a light (plastic)padeye or two along the boom to keep them from sagging into the cockpit if they happen to get loose now and then.
Also cut them to length so that with stopper knots they are just slightly loose when the main is hoisted and the outhaul is eased. That will avoid unnecessary line getting in the way or flogging about and catching on cleats/heads/etc.
btw - if you ever get a new mainsail for that boat it will be difficult to really set it properly in all conditions without an outhaul that has some extra purchase, so that may be something to think about for your "wish list".