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Old 06-03-2012
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Question Cunningham Design Suggestions?

So I bought this 58 ft. (18m) length of 5/16 in. (8mm) Sta-Set the local WM was selling at half price. What can I say: I'm a sucker for a piece of rope that's just laying about

I'm thinking Abracadabra needs a Cunningham. Well... not so much needs as... I've now got this piece of rope, see... and Abracadabra already has a cam cleat and deck organizer sheave set aside for a Cunningham... and I've been wanting to add a Cunningham for a couple years or so, so...


I've seen Cunninghams rigged a couple different ways. The traditional way (actually, the only correct way and it still properly be a Cunningham) would be for me to add a single-sheave block directly below the gooseneck, and simply run the line through the cringle. (I'd probably get a block with a becket for this purpose.) The other way I've seen it done (this on a J36) is with a couple blocks, the top block having a Cunningham hook on it. The advantage to the latter being increased purchase.

30 ft. (9m) boat. 40 ft. (12m) mast, if that makes a difference.

Suggestions?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 06-03-2012
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

On our boat the cunningham is a 4 part tackle, led aft, with an 18 inch strop off the top block to a cunningham hook. Our cunningham and first reef tack 'cringles' aren't really.. they are sewn on loops of webbing, into which the hook gets inserted. We use/move the cunningham to the reef tack points rather than struggle to get the tacks onto the reef hooks on the gooseneck.

It seems to work well, you only really need 6 inches or so of travel so there's no need to run much of the multi-part, and with the tackle it's an easy adjustment with no winching.
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Old 06-04-2012
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

This thread needs pictures. I'm re-rigging my cuningham too, and would love to see "how" they turn out.
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

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Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
This thread needs pictures. I'm re-rigging my cuningham too, and would love to see "how" they turn out.
Here ya go: The cunningham..how to make one, how to use one. However, since I have just about the right amount of rope for it, I may just choose to rig an Alexventer, instead .

I dunno... Maybe I'll do both...

Jim
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

Is stretch a concern?
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

As the Cunningham’s job is to tension the main after the halyard has stretched, logic would dictate that it should have, at least, the same properties as the halyard. Funny how Alex thinks he has invented something new. What you are looking at is a boom preventer and they have been around many years. The USNA uses the “Alex” on their 44’s and the yawls before that. Check out the USNA website and the manual for the 44 goes into great detail how to set it up, deploy, gybe, etc. In fact, they use some “tricks” that Alex hasn’t invented yet.
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

Sat Set is pretty stretchy, but may be suitable for a Cunningham since you have it on hand. If your trimmers stay on top of their job constantly monitoring sail shape, they will be adjusting that Cunningham frequently anyhow so stretch is not that big a deal. If you race, I would avoid Sta Set for halyards and even sheets, but if you have it and need a Cunningham you could do worse.

I would be careful not to add too much purchase. Its easy for an excited crew member to over tension and harm the sail. Many people do run the line through the cringle, but a hook is a nice thing to have. That way the cringle does not become a friction point agains the line.
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

Here is my thought on rigging a cunningham. Find two double sheeve blocks and run line through them. Place them in a box. Stick the box in the trunk of your car. Forget where you put it. Now go sailing.

There are few more over used devices on a small sailboat tnan a cunningham, and in most cases if you mainsail is in decent shape, the cunningham only screws up an otherwise nicely shaped sail.

Okay, I am braced for the outcry.

Jeff
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Re: Cunningham Design Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
There are few more over used devices on a small sailboat tnan a cunningham, and in most cases if you mainsail is in decent shape, the cunningham only screws up an otherwise nicely shaped sail.

Okay, I am braced for the outcry.
I don't know about outcry, but I'll offer disagreement. If you want to control the draft position of the lower half of your mainsail, a Cunningham is what you need. If you want to go fast, you need to be able to adjust the draft position.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Here is my thought on rigging a cunningham. Find two double sheeve blocks and run line through them. Place them in a box. Stick the box in the trunk of your car. Forget where you put it. Now go sailing.
I wish we were in the same marina. Listening to sailing BS is fun. Hearing it from a guy that actually knows something would be refreshing.
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