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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-13-2009
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Rigging for Self Tacking

I'm probably going to be spending a great deal of my time on the water either single handing and/or sailing with passengers that don't necessarily know how to sail. So I'm curious about what options there are for rigging a self tacking jib setup.

I looked at some of the "out of the box" self tacking jib systems, but most seem to require either a fore deck traveler like the Harken system, or an ankle smasher like the Hoyt system. Those all require permanent modifications to the boat and are pretty expensive.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that an overlapping fore sail isn't going to work for this. So can you just furl up until the foot of your sail comes back just to the front of the mast. And then from there, rig a single swivel block at the base of the mast and bring a single sheet back to a single cockpit winch for trim?

Or could you tie off a line on the port side in front of the mast and thread it through the clew to act as a traveler. Then run the other end through a swivel block on the starboard side that leads the sheet back to a single cockpit winch for trim?

I'm not looking for something that's going to give me perfect racing sail shape, but I don't want something that's just going to heel the boat and kill all semblance of thrust either.

Would love to hear from anyone that's tried rigging for self tacking, what your experiences were/are, and pictures would be helpful.
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Old 04-13-2009
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The problem with doing what you're suggesting... reefing the sail on the roller furler until the clew is forward of the mast and then using a single sheet and turning block are:

1) The sail will be very baggy and have lousy shape because of being reefed on a roller furler. Most roller furlers are good for about a 30% reduction in sail area...but more than that, they get really baggy.

2) Unless you're planning on only sailing close hauled, the turning block for the sheet will be too far inboard for the sail to have any decent shape. The clew will be pulled in and destroy any resemblance to an airfoil shape on the jib on any point other than close hauled.

This second point is kind of the reason they use a traveler track or a jib boom, so that the clew of the sail can move outboard as the sheet is eased...
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-13-2009 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 04-13-2009
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We have a factory-installed Hoyt Jib Boom and it's really great for single handing!!!

I'm not sure what you mean by an "ankle smasher".

It does require permanent modifications and, like all things marine, is expensive.

You're right in your presumption the regular working jib for this set-up is less than 100%.

We also have a 135% Genoa the previous owner added. In an emergency, it can be furled and controlled by the boom, but, as sailingdog points out, it's far from a perfect set-up.

One issue I would caution you is to consider how the rigs you're thinking of will work at, or near, dead down wind. The Hoyt has an optional "extender" which we don't have. Without it, it's virtually impossible to sail wung out in less than 10kts of wind.

Paul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
We have a factory-installed Hoyt Jib Boom and it's really great for single handing!!!

I'm not sure what you mean by an "ankle smasher".
That would be the Hoyt Jib Boom or the Camberspar...

Quote:
It does require permanent modifications and, like all things marine, is expensive.

You're right in your presumption the regular working jib for this set-up is less than 100%.

We also have a 135% Genoa the previous owner added. In an emergency, it can be furled and controlled by the boom, but, as sailingdog points out, it's far from a perfect set-up.

One issue I would caution you is to consider how the rigs you're thinking of will work at, or near, dead down wind. The Hoyt has an optional "extender" which we don't have. Without it, it's virtually impossible to sail wung out in less than 10kts of wind.

Paul
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Old 04-13-2009
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I'm just trying to visualize this and noodle it through...

In the turning block at the foot of the mast scenario. A single sheet would be tied to the clew, fed through a turning block at the forward base of the mast, and the other end of the sheet would come back to the cockpit where it could be paid out or pulled in for trim.

Ignoring the efficiency of furling the jib clew to the front of the mast for a moment (because a smaller jib "could" be used)... This setup would only allow the clew to travel from one lifeline to the other, (e.g. close hauled to a border line close reach). Otherwise when the sail went up and over the lifeline even with lifeline rollers, the downward angle of the sheet to the turning block would have it sawing against the top of the lifeline and destroying the sail shape.

BUT... what if instead of attaching the block to the "base" of the mast you attached it to the spinnaker pole ring moved down to a point that was near level with the topmost lifeline? Wouldn't that allow the clew to travel outboard as far as you wanted without any downward force causing the sheet to be bent over the top of the lifeline?

I'm just trying to understand if there's any way possible to rig for occasional, functional, albeit maybe not pretty, self tacking that could be used in fairweather conditions, (not in a gale), without the expense of a major deck hardware upgrade.
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Old 04-13-2009
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Anything other than a prorperly configured self-tacking deck track/Hoyt system will be both not pretty and not functional. Forgetaboutit. Not to mentionsthat if you install isuch a system on typical cruiser, one not designed for performance with only a working jib, you will quickly get tired of going nowhere, slowly with a small jib in under 13 mph winds.
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Old 04-13-2009
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I also sail with people who are not expereinced. I have a 150% genoa. Sine the main sail pretty much takes care of itself during tacks, that leaves you availabel to tack the head sail. You can easily talk a person through a tack, especially if thier only job is to release the now windward sheet. If you want to get together sometime and talk sailing PM me. I am docked at Watergate.
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Old 04-13-2009
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I have a jib boom for my working jib, but I rarely use it. As you become more experienced I doubt that you will find tacking with the larger genoa a problem. If I'm single-handling I will sometimes briefly engage my autopilot to leave me free to handle the winches in a stiff breeze. I must admit that my jib-boom sees more use as a mount to place shading cover on the foredeck than as a sail tending device. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 04-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmerc View Post
I also sail with people who are not expereinced. I have a 150% genoa. Sine the main sail pretty much takes care of itself during tacks, that leaves you availabel to tack the head sail. You can easily talk a person through a tack, especially if thier only job is to release the now windward sheet. If you want to get together sometime and talk sailing PM me. I am docked at Watergate.
Nick - You apparently aren't setup in your profile to allow PMs. (The option doesn't come up when I click on your name).
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Old 04-14-2009
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I turned on PM's. sorry about that.
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