How to rig a Genoa downhaul. - SailNet Community

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Old 07-29-2011
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How to rig a Genoa downhaul.

A discussion in another thread about a downhaul for the Genny got me wondering....how do you rig the downhaul?

I'm assuming a block at the tack with the downhaul line led aft.
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Old 07-29-2011
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You have the right idea. On my boat (a Catalina 22), I attached a lightweight line to the shackle on the jib halyard. The line runs thru a small block that's attached to a ring that's built in to the portside base of the pulpit. The line runs back to a cleat on the portside handrail, about one foot lateral to the jib halyard cleat on the coachroof. I hank on the genoa to the forestay/downhaul as if they were one... I route the downhaul down thru the hanks, right alongside the forestay. This setup works great and is easy to use.
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Old 07-30-2011
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If you end the downhaul at the jib halyard shackle, it can occasionally bend the head of the jib down and foul. I've had more consistent results tying it to the top hank.
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Old 07-30-2011
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Also, I have found that if the downhaul line is not routed through every hank, but only through every third or fourth one, the friction is greatly reduced. The turning block at the forestay should be as close to in-line with it as possible.
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Old 07-31-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbetter View Post
If you end the downhaul at the jib halyard shackle, it can occasionally bend the head of the jib down and foul. I've had more consistent results tying it to the top hank.

That is absolutely correct.

Dick
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Old 07-31-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saildork View Post
I route the downhaul down thru the hanks, right alongside the forestay. This setup works great and is easy to use.
I understood if you threaded the line through the hanks you'd have trouble with it bunching up and jamming - not true? Seems like it would be neater than just rigging it as a sort of "reverse halyard".
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Old 07-31-2011
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Quote:
I understood if you threaded the line through the hanks you'd have trouble with it bunching up and jamming - not true? Seems like it would be neater than just rigging it as a sort of "reverse halyard".
The down haul would be tensioned as you yank it down (assuming the genoa doesn't just fall in a heap first). Going thru all the hanks would increase friction and add more spots that is could catch a hockle (sp?). That is why it seems a good idea to attach to the top hank (not the head cringle), then only a few hanks going down the forestay. Now if someone could come up with a method to tie the bunched up sail to the lifeline, I wouldn't have to put my drink down and go up the foredeck.
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Old 07-31-2011
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I use a thin, lightweight line that the hanks slide over with little or no friction. When I first rigged it, I tried keeping it outside of the hanks and it did indeed cause the top of the sail to bend over and bind the top hank. Running the line down thru the hanks solved that problem without friction. By keeping some tension on the halyard when hauling down on the downhaul, I never have the problem of the line bunching up between the hanks.

It's simple enough to go ahead and try it one way, and then another, and see which way suits you best. More than one way to skin a cat.
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