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Barquito 12-12-2011 02:27 PM

Main sail foot vs boom length
When slack, my mainsail clew is within maybe 3"-4" of the end of the boom. There doesn't seem to be enough room to fit a block in there for an outhaul, and still have room to tighten the thing much. Does this seem right?

zz4gta 12-12-2011 02:59 PM

The difference between a tight outhaul and a loose one is usually only 3-6" depending on how big the boat is. I only ease mine around 3". Do you have a picture? Most outhauls route the line inside the boom.

joeording 12-12-2011 03:04 PM

Does your boom end cap have a sheave? It may be designed for an internal outhaul tackle. Or you could use microblocks and smaller diameter but high breaking strength line for an external outhaul. That's the setup I have, two micro triples (one with becket), giving me lots of mechanical advantage.

I don't think the outhaul is normally under tremendous amounts of stress, unless you've got a loose-footed main.

Faster 12-12-2011 03:13 PM

Outhaul loads are similar, if not the same, whether the sail is loose footed or not... in fact the friction of a bolt rope foot can make the outhaul harder to move..

It does sound as if your range of adjustment is a bit low.. it's possible the sail was meant for another boat and it was a 'close fit' when someone bought it (probably second hand?) or if not the sailmaker should have paid attention and done it properly.

But as indicated above, even 3-4 inches of adjustment will be helpful and on a non racing boat perhaps totally adequate. In all likelihood your tackle is on the weak side and you may be pressed to get full extension there anyhow.

Barquito 12-13-2011 11:53 AM

I don't have a picture handy, but, the end of the boom just has a fitting with a couple holes in it. Nothing goes through the boom. I tried putting a small block between the boom-end and the clew cringle. There was little room left for adjustment. I'm guessing the sail may have been made a little too long in the foot, or the boom a little short. I think the original Bristol 27 had a furling boom. Mine isn't. I could just lash the clew directly to the boom end, but it wouldn't be adjustable, and may be difficult to get enough mechanical advantage to get it tight.

Faster 12-13-2011 12:19 PM

It's possible to set up an outhaul tackle externally if you need to, aft from the clew to a block on the boom end, and down one side of the boom to a cleat.. you could even run the end down to near the gooseneck so you can easily adjust it with the main eased out on a run or a reach.

Here's an example from Harken: I'd probably move the aftmost block further aft a bit...

Barquito 12-15-2011 09:47 AM

I won't be racing (on purpose:D), so I think I will not run it back to the cockpit.

Liquorice 12-15-2011 02:33 PM


I have the same outhaul system that Faster shows. I have a 26 ft C&C and the 4:1 outhaul is easily adjusted, so I expect it would be fine for your 27 footer.
I don't know this for sure, but I would have thought that a Bristol 27 would have a black band around the aft end of the boom to show the class length for the mainsail foot. This should tell you if the sail is too long in the foot.
Keep the outhaul control in the cockpit - it is an essential sail trim device and will be a pain if you have to go the mast every time you need to alter it.
(I once met a sailor in a race who told me he'd never moved his outhaul since he bought the boat. He didn't win much!)

Barquito 12-15-2011 03:15 PM

The Harken link didn't come through on my computer, but, I see it on their site. That is just the solution I was looking for. With that setup I can pull the clew right up to the end of the boom. Do most cruisers have the outhaul run all the way back to the cockpit? I would like to have everything in the cockpit, but, expense and coach roof space dictate otherwise. Right now, the first reef is CLEATED on the boom well aft (I am going to run that back to the cockpit).

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