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tdw 10-22-2008 06:48 PM

Mainsheet System
Help !!

A while back Alex posted a diagram of the mainsheet system on Giulietta.

I'm trying to understand how that system works.

If you don't know about his system it essentially has a mainsheet that goes to two winches, one on either side of the cockpit. I'm trying to understand how the line splits into two when it exits the boom attachments.

Even a pointer to a web link would be great cos Alex is away I believe and may not be able to answer himself.


sailingdog 10-22-2008 07:01 PM

His mainsheet doesn't dead end at the boom... it goes through a block there IIRC. It probably looks a bit like this:

Hope that helps. :)

Classic30 10-22-2008 08:42 PM

TD, here are a few of his photos taken for various threads that should help show his set-up:

Basically, he's taking the mainsheet the full length of the boom, then down to the deck and back to sheet winches in the cockpit.

I hope this helps. :)

tdw 10-22-2008 08:45 PM

Thanks Dog. There is something in the system that I don't understand but I think I get the basic idea. I've simply fogotten how it worked from my time on the G Boat.


Thanks to you too Cameron.


Faster 10-22-2008 08:46 PM

Gui's system is basically SD's diagram upside down.. it's the same tackle.

Since we have a pair of winches free in the cockpit (and an underpowered mainsheet tackle) I tried to set up something to use the winches in that fashion... simply couldn't arrange fair leads to the winches so went to plan B.

JohnRPollard 10-22-2008 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by tdw (Post 388723)
Thanks Dog. There is something in the system that I don't understand but I think I get the basic idea. I've simply fogotten how it worked from my time on the G Boat.


That is a fairly common mainsheet arrangement, I see it on plenty of production boats here in the States. What aspect is troubling you, young padawan?:)

Valiente 10-22-2008 09:10 PM

I think you had a touch more wind than we did (except for a brief 20 knots or so down by "the washing machine" at Sagres), but you may have noticed that while Alex's tackle is smoothly operating, you have to stare at his line organizers for a few minutes to figure out what NOT to pull.

I did a two-hour watch at dawn alone and despite the near-absence of wind, I threw the engine into neutral and did some sailing using that mainsheet. It's actually pretty straightforward, but you have to be quick, not strong!

sailingdog 10-22-2008 09:24 PM

Yup... he's got the single block on the traveler and the lines go up to the double block on the boom and forward to the mast, down to the cabintop and then back to the winches, but basically the same idea as the Harken drawing I posted.

Speed is of the essence with this type of system since the winches do the heavy lifting.

Delirious 10-22-2008 09:53 PM

On our C34 the mainsheet was "butted" at a turning block on the boom about a foot behind center-boom (I marked the middle of the line with a blue string whipping), down to a double block on a cabin-top traveler below center-boom, back up to two blocks side-by-side on a bail about a foot ahead of center-boom, down to two blocks on either side of the mast base and then back to a winch on either side of the companionway.

tdw 10-22-2008 10:11 PM

Thanks to you all.

Young Padawan indeed. Well I never. (well sometimes maybe :) )

I've got it now. I can't really explain my confusion but it had to do with the anchor points for the sheet. Consider it sorted.

It really is a great system. In many ways vastly superior to the standard system you see on most older boats .(4:1 purchase with a jaw jammer).

When we had Raven re rigged I did'nt redo the mainsheet system other than to add more purchase. I've always regretted that but at the time the option seemed to be going forward then aft to a single winch which layout I didn't like at all.

Have been discussing the 'Admiral's Cup' system elsewhere and am thinking about redoing the Womboat's setup even though it means buying and installing two new self tailors. Would prefer to stay with a system similar to what we have now but I loath the ratchet blocks we now have.

Valiente - yep the G Boat is a wow to sail but yes it all happens far to quickly for an old fart like me.

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