I'm curious as to opinions on the merits or lack therof of the fixed vs sliding goosenecks(with downhauls)
Most of my boats have had sliding types with downhauls
I was given to understand they give more sail adjustment options
What say you all?
Sliding goosenecks were common on dinghies and still are to some extent. As boats got larger in the early 70's they became heavier and more difficult to use. Then the racing rules provided a solution, albeit kind of an "unintended consequence" ....
Since judging whether a competitor was cheating with an oversized main out on the course, by sighting in on his black band on the the mast, and, hauling downward harder on the sliding gooseneck would better tension the luff on a main built a bit over-sized.....
The solution was to switch to fixed goosenecks. This solved other non racing problems, too. As boats grew, and sailors were buying 27's and then those huge
30' racer/cruisers (!)....
The heavy booms needed something to keep 'em up there when the main was dropped. Then... roller reefing began to be replaced by more-efficient slab reefing and a fixed attachment point made this much easier.
As to tensioning that luff, that's where the cunningham grommet came in to everyday use. Works fine still, after all these years.
So boats, even large ones with original gear, from the 60's will still be found with a big ol' bronze sliding gooseneck, most have been replaced by now or
had their old slider pinned in place.
I'm probably missing some more details, but this is a start.