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Old 05-26-2003
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bayme is on a distinguished road
self tacking solutions

Would love to hear more about self tacking solutions people are using
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Old 05-26-2003
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self tacking solutions

We rigged a homemade self-tacker on our Soling (27[ sloop) that raised a few eyebrows but worked quite well. My father secured a 2" stainless steel pipe to serve as the traveler, which we bent to a gentle curve. (I''m not sure the curve was necessary.) I made a pair of teak chocks for the pipe to rest in, and we then drilled through the pipe, chock and deck at each end for a pair of hefty (3/4inch?) stainless bolts to hold it in place. Before putting it all together, we placed a ring (2 1/2"?) over the pipe. A wire sheave was shackled onto the ring. The wire jibsheet ran from the clew of the sail, through the sheave on the ring, forward to a through-deck sheave near the tack, and then to a tackle under the deck to provide the power needed to trim in any wind conditions. A short line led though a padeye and then to a cam cleat set the travel on the "traveler car" ring. The same sort of setup could be done above deck using all line- making it even simpler. A ball-bearing traveler car & track from Harken eventually replaced our setup. It was easier, but a lot more expensive!
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Old 05-27-2003
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self tacking solutions

The previous response was excellent. You can get some ideas from most cutter-rigged boats in your marina. Island Packets all have self-tacking staysails. My own cutter has a cabin-mounted traveler and a boom that is attached to the midstay. The mainsheet is led back to an aft-mounted winch. I can see that this would be a nice option for a single-handed sloop. Doing this with a furling headsail would require an investment in some hardware. But Island Packets have furling staysails so you know it can be done.
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Old 06-02-2003
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self tacking solutions

Most self tacking refers to staysail. At the last Miami boatshow, there were perhaps a dozen manufactuers represented that had self-tacking staysails, with almost as many different methods. Most involve a boom. Booms can be good and bad--I don''t like the clutter and the thrashing on the foredeck in heavy air. But Island Packet has used them successfully. Harken has a nice drawing of a non-boom method on their web site. Involves a couple of blocks and a single lead back to cockpit. You can mount a curved track just forward of the mast and a car runs on it, then the sheet takes some path back to a winch--some manufacturers run the sheet forward to the stay, one runs it up the mast about 20'' and then back down!!!
So, there are lots of ways to skin the cat. No matter what, to make a foresail self-tacking, it cannot overlap the main, so will be smaller than you might want. On my inner forestay, I can run a storm jib, but not self-tacking.
Peace. M.
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