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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-26-2009
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running halyards to cockpit..

So, you guys have been such an amazing help everytime I've asked a question, I figured I'd ask another ... It probably won't be my last

I want to run the halyards aft in my Starwind 22 - a trailerable sailboat with a swing keel, and a mast I can lower with the wife.. because i single hand pretty often. We don't race, just goof around in the bay.

So here are my ?'s

1) what kind of loads are we talking about here ?? I want to run the halyards through blocks at the base of the mast, and then through cheek blocks to make the 90, then cam cleats.. everything is rated at 400-600lbs.. is that enough (I can leave the existing cleats on the mast base just in case the sh!t hits the fan and the cams blow out.. although pretty unlikey)

2) I oversized the halyards to make them easier to handle. I can't remember what was recommended, but the sailing guy at WM suggested I go up to 5/16 for ease of handling..the blocks I want to use (Harken Carbo 29's) have a max line diameter of 5/16.. is it cool to use the max line diameter for the block, or should I reduce the line to the original recommended ?? ( keeping the blocks @ 29 saves 50% of $ of upsizing to 40's)

3)don't use foul language in response to this one.. I recently saw an image of a similar boat using clam cleats instead of the more fancy pants and modern cam cleats to secure the line.. what are your thoughts on that ?? ( i would prefer gold and diamond spinlock organizers, labeled in neon, but it's just not on the cards..

Again thanks for all your help !!

~Joey
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Old 07-26-2009
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edit all the below is assuming you will have 2 halyards to control ( main and jib )

i think most boats use line clutches because they are less likely to accidentally release. also clutches can be used to allow the line to slip then stop, unlike a cam cleat, which depends on your hands to slow it down.

defender has double clutches for about a 100 bucks
line clutch sorry i did not search sailnet the sailnet search sucks

you need to make sure you use a line fair lead too, with a stopper knot on the line to make sure if it gets away it does not get too far away. by the time you buy 2 cam cleats and the fairleads you will have 50 bucks in it. and the clutches will last longer, and be easier to mount. with a clutch the stopper knot works too, and they work with winches. you just close the clutch and pull, the line holds where you stop, with out you making sure its in the cam cleat. cam cleats do break occasionally, and they can be harder to release under load, where you need to pull a little more while you lift the line clear .

honestly the cam cleats will work, but line clutches will work better, smoother and be easier to mount ( ie less screws )

cam cleats and fairleads linked below for price reasons

cam cleat

line fairlead

Last edited by scottyt; 07-26-2009 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 07-26-2009
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Instead of using check blocks, I would use deck organizer's

Organizer
Item #: 607167
Length: 4-7/8 height: 1-1/8
2 sheave, 5/8" line

Manufacturer: LEWMAR
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Old 07-26-2009
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I second the line clutch / deck organizer approach.

I'm more interested in where you could mount the blocks at the base of the mast. If the mast comes down each time a plate at the base may be a nuisance. A large backing plate under blocks mounted on the deck would probably take care of the loads, but I'm not sure. You would certainly want a backing plate if you do mount blocks on the deck for this application.
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Sounds like overkill on a boat that size. Remember that there will an increase in friction for each part; turning block at mast collar, line organizer,and clutch. Plus your halyard will need to be longer to reach the cockpit with the sail all the way down. Are you thinking of both main and jib or is jib on a furler?
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speciald, I was beginning to think it was overkill on a boat my size too !
It will be jib and main, one on each side of the companionway..
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It's only overkill until you are trying to take down your sails at the mast and it's blowing like stink and there are 6 ft foot rollers and that cabin top is moving up and down like a trampoline.
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Hi there,
I have an old Islander 33 which has large flat decks and a large cockpit. Years ago I did alot of single handed sailing and thought I was clever and ran my halyards to the cockpit and thought (and read) that this was the way to go. The flat decks made installation of turning blocks and running of lines very easy and straight forward. I soon changed my thinking and returned my boat to one where all halyards are raised and lowered from the mast.

Here's the deal: So everything is run to the cockpit and when it is time to lower the sails you release the cam or pop the halyard out of the jam cleat. You move forward as the sail is now coming down and unless you want a mess all over the deck you need to gather and put sail gaskets on the sail. As to be expected the sail hangs up part way down and so you have to give it a tug along the luff, but the halyard in the cockpit has formed a loop and jammed in the fairlead or in the cam. You now have to return to the cockpit to clear the jam then return to getting the sail down and secured. Same with the jib especially if it's a large 150% or such but in this case you have a sail part way up and you are just about as far as possible on the boat from where the jam is. Let go the sail and it is either in the water or blowing back up the headstay, the sheets are flogging or in the water and the boat is blowing off the wind. Oh, perhaps this is just outside your marina and you had the engine running but not in gear and by now the boat has blown off and lies abeam to the wind with the lee sheet trailing and the weather sheet flogging. You don't want to risk putting the boat in gear (and wrapping the sheet around the prop) to get her pointed into the wind and everything is rapidly becoming quite the entertainment for all and sundry.

Been there done that and all that stuff soon came off my boat. Sure under ideal conditions it worked and looked kinda smart, but when it's dark and things are getting sloppy, the wind increasing and weather deteriorating and you need to get that sail down now, you want a simple system that works.

And something more to give some thought to: Just how are you going to take a reef?

Oh, and now for the disclaimer: I have sailed my Islander 33 boat single handed from the Marquesas to New Zealand and from Hawaii to California. Lots of other "points between" but that was with crew and so there would have been someone to untangle the lines, halyards and sheets in the cockpit had I continued with the "running everything to the cockpit idea".

Hope this helps, I expect you will do what you want to do, but you won't be able to say you weren't warned.
Wiley
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Wiley, lazy jacks and batten cars would have taken care of your problem, I am trying to figure out a way so I don't have to get off my cockpit seat to release my rope clutch.
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Bubb2,
Oh I tried lazy jacks, all nicely spliced and adjustable and everything seemed fine with them until one memorable night and I slipped and got tangled in them and near went overboard. They were off the next clean sailing day.

Lazy Jacks are fine to contain the gaff (on a gaff rigged boat) and keep those on deck from being smacked when lowering but unless one has a high aspect rig I do not see the need. If one learns to grab the mainsail about the first row of reefs, pulling toward yourself forming a pocket between the boom and the first row of reefs into which one stuffs the rest of the mainsail. Gasket held in teeth, one quick wrap, down over the top, one hand each side swapping ends beneath the boom and pulling back up one end each side of the boom. A quick tug and a square not and one gasket can hold a mainsail (11 ft boom). Takes but a moment and worth learning to stow a mainsail that way. The area of the mainsail between the boom and the first row of reefs is all that is exposed to the weather and over the long term the UV extending the life of the sail (The sail from the first row of reefs up is in beter condition than the sail taken as a whole). Flaking "proper" on the boom exposes the leech all along the length of the sail to the elements shortening the total life of the sail.

And that's for the main, I am unfamiliar with any sort of Lazy Jacks for the headsail.

Oh and before you start, my boat came with roof furling, needless to say it didn't stay long. I was mate on a deliverey of a Camper Nicholson 39 center cockpit (POS boat IMHO) with top of the line roller furling and we ended up cutting of the remains of a nice 150 that wouldn't roll up off the Galapagos. Flogged itself to pieces. A danger all the while to anyone on deck. Fortunately the boat (new from Camper Nicholson) had another forestay ouboard and a couple of hank on sails. We took down the remains and stowed as best as posssible on deck and made the rest of the delivery with proper hank on sails. So yes, roller furling is nice if you are cutter rigged (or have dual headstays) and can roll it early and get it out of the way; any of the partially rolled (a 150 can be used as a 100 working jib or smaller) BS is toying with calamity. Again totally IMHO.

Alot of these "aids" seem to work well in nice conditions but when off soundings and the weather doesn't give you a "time out" the principle of KISS for me was the answer.

Wiley
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