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  #1  
Old 08-05-2013
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Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

So I was sailing in Raritan Bay yesterday. I had just put on my jiffy reefing lines for the season having gotten a very delayed start because of Sandy. When I raised my main with the reef in place, I noticed that the gooseneck had a stay in place both below it preventing it from dropping, as well as above it preventing it from rising. I also noticed that I have no cunningham or downhaul in place on this boat. Since I couldn't get the sail to go up any further, when I released my topping lift, the aft end of the boom just lay against the bimini. So I needed to keep tension on the topping lift to keep the boom off of the bimini. As a result, my main was just a big bag. So much so, that in sailing into a head on 25k breeze, we were barely able to maintain a steady 3k and continued to loose the helm being forced off from severe lee helm. I tried everything from leaving out the full 140 genoa, to furling it to a small head sail, the latter of which seemed to work better, but even with my mizzen sail out we struggled to maintain a helm and 3k. Meanwhile, friends on an Island Packet 38 roared past us doing 8.2k.

Questions:

Is the gooseneck supposed to be fixed? On my previous 32 the gooseneck was able to rise so that when I tucked in a reef I could raise the sail up away from the dodger and bimini, so that the topping lift could be slacked and the sail could be flattened.

I know it is difficult to sail upwind with just the jib and mizzen as the boat does not point well without the main, even when the centerboard is down. Combine that with the rough seas we had yesterday and this might explain the terrible sailing we did. However, I would have thought that the main, even bagging, would have helped us in 25k be able to do better than 3k???

Does anyone have a similar setup? Shouldn't there be a downhaul in place?

Hopefully, a picture of my gooseneck successfully uploaded. I unscrewed that upper fitting till it was loose, but I still couldn't get the gooseneck to rise under tension:
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

Neuro:
I don't know your specific boat that well but I know boats in general.

Goosenecks started to be fixed when racers started playing free and loose with how their sails were measured for ratings. Before that you would often have the gooseneck sliding on the mast track with a line and even a tackle below it that was used to get luff tension. When the goosenecks were fixed the only way to get luff tension was the use of a Cuunningham. You were limited in halyard tension due the the fact that the head position on the mast was also fixed due to rating constraints.

You need a simple Cunningham, a cascade type block and tackle arrangement with a cam cleat on the lower block. This means you will need a cringle in your luff up about 30" above the tack and a pad eye on the mast or the deck ( below the goosneck) to take the lower end of the Cunningham. The upper block should be a single swivel with a becket. The lower block should be a fiddle block with cam cleat.

You could also rig a downhaul and remove that lower "stay" but that's not going to help with the boom height problem. It will make it worse. And yes a big catcher's mitt of a mainsail can be very slow and just knock you on your ear while providing very little drive.

But it seems that obvioulsy your Bimini is too high. Using a Cunningham is not going to raise your boom. Using the topping lift to raise the boom is a very bad idea as you found out. Did you have all the halyard tension you could get? Did you have the mainsheet OFF when you raised the main?
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

Doc -
Seems to me, that if the upper stop is in the right place, you should be able to raise the main and control luff tension with the halyard. Is this the original main? My B27 has a sliding gooseneck that needs to be pulled pretty low to get the required tension on the luff. Can the bimini be adjusted any lower?
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

I don't believe this to be the original main as the condition is pretty good and the boat is 32 years old, (1981). I did have as much tension as I could generate on the halyard, and the mainsheet and boom vang were free. When I release the topping lift, the boom falls on the bimini frame and needs at minimum another foot of room. The aft reef cringle was tight to the boom. To get a visual on this, it looked as if I forgot to tension the reef line to aft cringle and it just drooped.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

Well here is the deal. The boom clears the bimini when under full sail and also when under 1st reef, however, under a 2nd reef and 3rd reef, the aft cringes are cut at lower angles and the boom lies on the bimini once the topping lift is released, which it needs to be to flatten the sail properly. As such, I took the upper retaining screw out this past week. Now I can raise the halyard and thus the boom height, enough to clear the bimini and be able to fully release the topping lift. I don't see any other way around this, other than to keep the topping lift tight enough to clear the bimini. I sailed home like this in 25k on Sunday last, trust me, this doesn't work. Boat sailed like crap. I was barely able to do 3k.

Obviously if I am going to keep her this way I need to fabricate a downhaul.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

No you need higher reef cringles on your leach. You should always be peaking the boom up as you reef deeper.

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Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

That would entail much sail surgery.
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Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

If this is a DACRON mainsail, from your description its sounds like youre not fully raising your mainsail in the first place - not enough 'luff tension' in the raised sail (or you have a severely 'shrunken' bolt rope along the luff of that sail)

If the aft end of your boom is lower than the horizontal level of/to the gooseneck with your sail 'raised' most probably youre raising the main to 'just up' and NOT putting in enough (additional) halyard tension on the mainsail's 'boltrope' (the three strand rope inside the sleeve at the luff).

As a 'trial' with the gooseneck/downhaul in proper position on the mast .... follow the directions advice from: How to properly RAISE a woven dacron mainsail - SailboatOwners.com
BTW - the correctly 'luff-tensioned' tack angle for a mainsail on the B40 is 88 degrees, as measured from the top of the boom to the mast.

Such 'corrections' via proper raising of the mainsail with 'proper' luff tension will also tend to remove/alleviate 'weather helm' if your boat is at near proper mast rake as with more tension on the 'boltrope'/luff, the point of where the maximum draft in the mainsail occurs .... will move 'forward', and the clew will move 'up' taking the boom aft end with it.

hope this helps.


edit/add: From the 'databook', The typical amount of boltrope 'preload' for a B40 with a mainsail luff @ 39.5ft. is: to raise the mainsail to 'just' full up ... and then: 'crank on' an additional four+ inches of additional halyard 'stretch' ... that four inches will be correspond to the aft end of the boom raising (as a reaction to the luff now stretching out by 4 inches) by that same 4+ inches !!!!!!
... & the sail will now be closer to its 'as designed' shape, will be more 'draft forward', its leech will be 'straighter' (more 'open') and not 'hooking up to windward', the sail will have less 'overall' draft (less 'baggy'), etc.; the boat will less aggressively heel over, will be faster, less 'cranky', and the helm pressure will become 'more neutral'.
If you cant get that 4+ inches additional 'stretch' to get the tack angle to ~88° when fully raised and fully tensioned, then the boltrope needs to be 'eased' or replaced by a sailmaker, etc.

Ill give you 10:1 odds that this is a SAIL problem ... happens to old dacron mainsails when the luff boltrope eventually and predictably 'shrinks' due to age.

Last edited by RichH; 08-13-2013 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

I am definitely tightening the halyard as much as can be. And with a full main and a 1st reef, it still sits fine, although the boom is closer to the bimini under 1st reef than it is when full. It isn't until I get the the 2nd and 3rd reefs that the aft end seems to lower to the point where it rests on the bimini.
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Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Bristol 40 Main gooseneck adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcneuro View Post
I am definitely tightening the halyard as much as can be. And with a full main and a 1st reef, it still sits fine, although the boom is closer to the bimini under 1st reef than it is when full. It isn't until I get the the 2nd and 3rd reefs that the aft end seems to lower to the point where it rests on the bimini.
OK now understand better.
To get the 2nd &/or 3rd reef clew higher which will result in the boom end being higher .... apply a small (rope) 'jumper pendent' between the 2nd (and 3rd) reef tack cringel and the 'reefing horn' or whatever you attach the reef tack to; whatever the total length of the small pendent is, the clew will raise by an equal distance. Use small diameter 'high tech / high strength' line to make the 'small' pendent and make such permanently attached to the sails reefing tack cringels. This will artificially raise the position of the tack reef cringle and the result will be aft end boom rise, be sure to leave some 'looseness' when you tie in any reefing 'bunts'/points. Dont get carried away with the length of the reefing 'pendent' as the longer you make them will be less able to counteract the horizontal force from the tension from the reefed clews. Keep the added tack cringels pendents ... as short as possible to make the boom aft end 'clear' what you need.

Suggestion of how to make such a 'pendent': make a loop with the 'ends' tied together with a LARGE stopper knot (doubled figure-8 or figure-9) that is much larger in diameter than the ID of the cringle. If the cringle is very large in ID push the loop first through a thick SS washer that has all the sharp edges removed, etc. Push the loop end through the cringel - done.

Usually, there is sufficient 'reinforcement patch' material 'below' where a reef cringel is applied to a sail, so consider to later on to have a sailmaker add an additional cringel 'lower' to the position of the OEM tack cringels. If not sufficient 'patch' material, just add an additional set of 'patches', leaving the OEM tack cringels 'covered' by the new, as cutting them away will/may reduce luff strength.
Do this at the tack positions, as 'messing around' with leech can/will only weaken it.

The sails CE when reefed will rise an insignificant amount ... and will add a less than trivial amount of 'heeling moment'.

Last edited by RichH; 08-14-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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