Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 10-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

Hi All,

I haven't yet really dug into the running rigging on the boat yet. But I have snagged those monster bowlin knots of the genoa sheets on the shrouds one too many times now and was looking for an alternative method of tieing the sheets to the jib. I saw a video from Capt John showing the Larkshead used on the jib. Anyone have any input and or experience with this?

Dave

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post #2 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

I've done it plenty of times when one long sheet is used (instead of two short sheets tied with bowlines).

If your clew ring is inset a little bit then it will abrade and eventually damage the sail cloth at the clew of the sail. If the lower and aft section of the clew ring is just metal then you are golden.

The knots can take a lot of work to undo after a year or two of hard sailing. Not a big deal unless you want to move the sheets to a different sail.

My current preference is to use two sheets with an eyesplice at the end of each one and a soft shackle (not a metal one!) attaching the sheet to the sail. The eyesplice plus soft shackle slides around the shrouds cleanly. I have tapered sheets that don't weigh down the clew of the sail as much, and this allows them to be made of material (dyneema) that can be easily spliced, but can't hold knots.
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post #3 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

Have used a larks head on a sail that never had the sheets removed.. but it's problematic if you need to change the sheets around for other sails.

Alex's system works well; we've gotten by with (longish) bowlines, they seem to hang up less if they are longer. I prefer not to store sails with sheets attached.

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post #4 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

Hi.

I use the larks head on my boat. I rarely change sails so the single sheet is easy. I race on another boat and we change head sails all the time so on that boat we tie the sheets on w bowlines.

Barry

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post #5 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

I to use the larkhead, blow by the staysail stay quite easily where bowline did not

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post #6 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

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Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Hi All,

I haven't yet really dug into the running rigging on the boat yet. But I have snagged those monster bowlin knots of the genoa sheets on the shrouds one too many times now and was looking for an alternative method of tieing the sheets to the jib. I saw a video from Capt John showing the Larkshead used on the jib. Anyone have any input and or experience with this?

Dave
After a year the Larkshead is well and truly jammed, and the only way to get it off is to cut it.

Good practice is to make the two bowlines of different length, so that the knotty parts are staggered. Did you do this and they still caught on the shrouds?

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post #7 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

At the sailing club where I sail, we remove the headsail after every sail. We use the lark;s head always on the headsail. One thing to note is that our sails are (or were? I think they put the new ones on yesterday) *old*. The genoas looked and felt like feed bags in the bits that didn't have holes in them. Chafing on the fabric along the clew has never been a problem.
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

I've used both soft shackles and (I confess not deliberately) Marks idea of staggered bowlines both with great success. We are very much a cruising boat and with all the rubbish we carry on deck I'm afraid getting lines tangled under kayaks, inflatables, fender boards and the like is more of a problem for us. I honestly cannot remember the last time we got a bowline caught up in the rigging.

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post #9 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

I prefer to minimize knots on the headsail... I use two part soft shackles. Where the diamond knot stays on the sail and the sheets can be easily detached.

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post #10 of 24 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Who uses a Larkshead on their jib sheets?

Larkshead is so much more lyrical than Cow Hitch; call it what you may I've used it for years. If I removed the sheets I'd go for a soft shackle - less weight in light air, no steel or big wet bowline to hit you in the eye in heavy weather.
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