pseudo-Cunningham on a catboat? - SailNet Community

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Old 06-07-2012
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pseudo-Cunningham on a catboat?

I have been enjoying a thread here on Cunninghams, and got some new thoughts about that on a catbaot. Generally, on a catboat, no one goes on deck while sailing (no foredeck, very low long boom to sweep you off, etc.. ) Result is that everything you want to handle better lead back to the cockpit or be reachable on the boom from the cockpit, particularly for a singlehander. On my cat, a Marshall 22, the masinsail is 388 sq. feet, so it can be a bear. I have just converted from single line jiffy reefing to a double line system that uses a dedicated line for each cringle of each reef. As I read the Cunningham threads, it occurred to me that the new line for the first reef cringle at the mast might serve as a sort-of Cunningham. It seems to me that the only functional differences would be that the reefing line doesn't have real multi-part purchase (it starts at gooseneck and goes up through the first cringle, then down to turning block on deck and back to cockpit), and also, the first cringle is further up the leech than I would usually expect a Cunningham cringle to be. However, the boom is about 24 feet long, so there is a lot of room to potentially move the draft around, and cats have fairly heavy weather helm which a good Cunningham should help alleviate. Adding a real Cunningham cringle and another line is just not feasible, as I have no more room for lines across the cabintop.(7 Endura 12 lines to 7 Spinlock XTS clutches now, and the boat is only 22 feet).

Any thoughts on pros or cons or tips if trying the forward reefing line as a Cunningham? I have many more years sailing a sloop with flattening reef, cunningham, downhaul, preventer, et al, but I always had a reefing hook for forward reef cringles, and a boom mounted winch for the outer reef lines, so never thought about a set-up like this before reading that thread.
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Mike sullivan
1985 Marshall 22 catboat
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