Re: Running Lines To The Cockpit....need some advice and ideas?
That photo in post 11 looks a lot like the aft end of my cabin. In my case, I have seven line locks each side, although not all of them are in use. (Stbd: 1 Spin hlyd, 2 Stbd jib halyard, 3 Main hlyd, 4 1st reef clew,5 2nd reef tack, 6 outhaul and 7 vang- Port: 1 Port Jib hlyd, 2 1st reef tack, 3 2nd reef clew 4 Pole lift, 5 pole downhwl, 6 cunningham and 7 spare.) I also have my jibsheet lead car adjusters, backstay adjuster, and jib furler line lead to the cockpit at the coamings, and my mainsheet and traveler adjusted from within the cockpit as well.
For cruising with a crew, running all the lines back to the cockpit can be seen as a great luxury that may not be worth the time or trouble. In my case, I have my boat optimized for single-handed performance sailing and single-handed racing and so ran everything aft. For that purpose, in my opinion its the only way to go.
I will freely admit that what follows is my own personal opinion and you may feel free to complete disagree with me based on how you sail your boat. If your deck plan works for you, more power to you. There is not one right answer here for everyone, but here is how I personally see this for the way that I sail my boat.
1. Winches and cleats on the mast or deck are dangerous when single-handing. They make too easy a target for a stray sheet to snag on. Alone, clearing a fouled, heavily loaded sheet can be a dangerous business and a risk I personally consider unnecessary to take. I have made guards over the years to try to keep lines from hanging up, and they work most of the time, but sooner or later you will find yourself involuntarily hove to with a heavily loaded sheet needing to be cleared.
2. If you are going to sail single-handed in all kinds of conditions (which I do), you need to be able to quickly and safely reef on the fly, on almost any point of sail, without getting away from reaching distance to the helm in an emergency. There is no time to get back to the helm and feather up when that 20 knot faster, vertical gust hits and knocks you flat while you are on the cabin top. (I know some of you think its impudent to be out single-handing in those conditions. You are probaly right.)
3.A line that is hard to adjust won't get adjusted. If the control lines are in easy reach they are more likely to be adjusted properly, and that can mean a lot more comfort and speed. It often does mean a boat well sailed, vs sloppy seamanship.
4. It is nearly impossible to raise and douse a spinnaker from the mast single-handed without a sock, and I consider a sock a bad idea for single-handing since an hourglass is too easy to get with a sock, and too hard to get out single hand making the drop much more dangerous. When everything is led back to the cockpit, and without a sock, teh raise is quick and right from the cockpit you can prefeed the chute and have the sheet and guy right at hand as the chute goes up. The douse goes under the boom and into the companionway, neat as could be.
5. The whole spagetti in the cockpit arguement is totally specious to me. No experienced and responsible sailor would pile all their control lines on the deck at the base of the mast without carefully coiling them and securing them. When you performance sail single-handed you need to be even more disciplined about coiling lines and keeping them clear of each other. There is no other choice if you want to be safe. In doing so the lines should be figure 8 coiled and placed so they can run freely. With some care and thoughtfulness, finding safe ways to place coiled lines becomes second nature just in the same way it does stowing lines up at the base of the mast.
6. I hear people voicing concern about the frictional losses of the extra turning blocks leading the lines aft. There is a little truth in that, but frankly with moden hardware there is a lot less frictional losses than is found in the mid-boom mainsheet and people seem perfectly willing to live with that for reasons that are far beyond my imagination.
7. Whoever said running the outhaul back to the cockpit is unnecessary must sail on only one point of sail in steady winds. The most used lines on my boat are the sheets and traveler of course, but close behind are the jib leads, outhaul and backstay which get cycled with pretty much any change in course, or wind speed and direction. I do agree with them about the cunningham, which I do not even rig on my boat.
But then again, all of the above may just be me.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay