As part of my spring projects this year, I decided to lead the halyards aft on my boat. To do this, I asked my friend Bob to make up some halyard block attachment plates for the mast step. Here's a photo of the new mast step with some of the blocks in place.
As part of this project, I'm also installing four Lewmar D1 double-line clutches. Recently, another Sailnet user asked me about line clutches, and I told him to buy the Lewmar line clutches, rather than the Spinlock or Garhauer ones he was considering. The reasons for this are:
- The Lewmars are less expensive than the Garhauer or Spinlock clutches
- The Lewmars are less abrasive to the halyards than the Garhauer or Spinlock clutches
- The Lewmars have some of the best holding power, and can be released gradually even under heavy loads, allowing you to ease the line, rather than let it go suddenly
The Spinlocks can't always be released if heavily loaded, so IMHO, they're more of a line jammer than a clutch. The only downside to the Lewmar clutches is that they can only handle a limited range of line sizes. For instance, the line clutch in the photo can only handle 10-12 mm lines (3/8-7/16"). A Spinlock or Garhauer could handle over twice that range—5/16-9/16".
Here's a photo of one of the line clutches I installed for the halyards project.
The deck in this location is solid fiberglass, and the line clutch was installed using four 1/4x20 bolts and a 3/16" aluminum backing plate. The labels on the clutch are not correct, as the two lines are the outhaul and the mainsail halyard.
The small Spinlock PX powercleat you see just forward and inboard of the Lewmar is for one of the two ama retraction lines, which will allow me to retract the amas from the cockpit.
The other three double line clutches will be installed on the port side of the companionway, along with another winch. A fifth line double line clutch will be installed on the port side of the boat, roughly symmetrical to the one in the photo above.