Running Lines To The Cockpit....need some advice and ideas? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 31 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: Running Lines To The Cockpit....need some advice and ideas?

I singlehand Heron, a 35' sloop, much of the time, all the main sail lines are at the mast, so I have always used jack lines and a harness. I am over 65 now and figured why not make things a bit easier for myself, so this year I had the lines lead to the cockpit. As it came originally, vintage 1989, the main halyard, its clutch and winch were on the mast.

The tack reef points are rings in the sail that hook to horns at the boom. The clew reef lines are lead thru the boom to clutches on the bottom of the boom and then turn down to the cabintop.

I was thinking of a jiffy reefing system that would reduce the number of lines back to the cockpit, but it required rerouting the internal boom lines to it's exterior so that they could be lead to the tack reef points. This would have required drilling holes in the boom and adding SS fairleads for the lines to exit the boom and then more hardware to turn the lines up the tack reef rings. So instead I opted to have all the individual reef lines (4 of them, 2 for tack and 2 for clew points) lead back to the cockpit.

For all my changes I left all the original hardware in place, so everthing can be done at the mast as before. When using the lines lead back to the cockpit is just need to leave all those forward clutches open.

On my original cabintop I had 2 winches; one, on port, for the mainsheet and one, on strbd, for my swing keel line. The swing keel line also had a clutch to hold the line in place.

I can free up the strbd winch by locking the keel lifting line, so I placed a clutch on that side for the mainsheet. I also placed 2 clutches there for the first reef point lines. The tack reef line does not need to use the winch as you just pull the sail down until it stops. I might need the winch for the first clew line, so it is placed closer that winch. I offset the new clutches from the original clutch that holds the keel line, so they would not be confused.

Here you see 4 clutches on strbd; the original keel clutch set forward of the 3 newer ones. All open the same way, they are Spinlocks. the outside clutch is for the mainhalyard, the 2 inside are for the first reef point lines. At the mast base I added three blocks; one for the main halyard and a double for the first reef lines. The clew reef lines comes out of the boom, turns down then thru this block to aft to the cockpit.

On the port side of the cabin top, see above, I added a triple clutch; one for the mainsheet (in case I need to lock it off while using the winch to tighten the second reef point clew line) and two for the second reef points, clew and tack.

The reef lines are handled with blocks at the base of the mast on the port side just like the strbd side.

Before I had this work done, I tested raising the mainsail from the cockpit by hand using a block to run the halyard back to the cockpit. I found I could do it easier there than at the mast as I was pulling aft and had a place to brace myself. So with this as a test I concluded this system would work. And it does.

The only other hardware added are fairleads, for all lines, at the edge of the cabintop companionway hatch cover.

My dodger has inside pockets which I use to organize the lines, but I am considering adding some bags there as the traveller lines also come into the cockpit. I am really happy having moved the lines to the cockpit, it just makes is so much more relaxing to know I don't need to leave the cockpit for most changes. I still run the jack lines and have the harness handy. I find that I can raise the mainsail and reef much faster now, putting little strain on the awheel utopilot (which is still very nice to have).

Capn Ron
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