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  #11  
Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post

Lastly, I am 49 years old, fit, and with good balance. I find it easy to leave the cockpit to go to the mast (or bow) and perform any necessary tasks. I don't have a complicated dodger / bimini setup that makes leaving the cockpit difficult, and my boat has decent hand holds as I go forward.

Take care,
Barry
And, that is as it should be... On a proper sailing yacht, there should be little fear, or hesitation, of leaving the cockpit in anything short of extremely boisterous conditions, and darkness should not at all add to the risk of doing so...

Perhaps my biggest gripe with many modern boats, is the poor cockpit and deck ergonomics - the subtle contours and facets of the deck and coachroof, large expanses of areas uncovered by non-skid, the huge coamings that must be straddled in an ungainly fashion without good handholds to gain access to pathetically narrow side-decks with minimal toerails, and on and on... Then, bolt on some of those Canvas Contraptions becoming more and more prevalent, and it's easy to see why some folks fear having to drag themselves out on deck... (grin)

Last boat I was on, leaving the cockpit was as safe as could be, the boat was an absolute delight to move around on deck (absent the ice, of course) A sturdy, unobtrusive dodger with side rails, 30" high lifelines, and absence of jerry jugs and other crap creating needless deck clutter, etc...

As it should be... A sad sign of the times, that going forward in a gale at sea would entail far less risk on this 31-footer, than it would on many modern boats almost twice her size...

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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

If you run everything aft it has to work.. this means good gear, blocks, the right tackle etc..

I agree that for this kind of the a working autopilot is a huge advantage, being able to move around the boat and tend to things without having to dash back and forth to correct a course or wind angle is really nice.

Headsail halyards (if not furling), spinnaker lines, downhauls, vang if applicable are all good candidates. Depending on the boat I'm not sure I'd run the main halyard aft unless the reefing lines are run aft too. If you have to go to the mast to deal with the reef tack and clew, the halyard may as well be there too. (and see 'autopilot' reference above )

Running reef lines aft is the most problematic, as they are going to be the most friction-prone. This can add up to a good bit of good (costly) gear, but it's out there if you want it.
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Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

I made my reefing lines run a lot better by doing a Amsteel to XLS splice using these instructions:
Splicing Amsteel to Sta-Set

The portion running through the sail is 3/16" Amsteel. What runs back to the cockpit is 3/8" XLS. When the reef is in use the splice ends just at the clutch. This has made the single line reefing work well on my boat and it's nice not having a heavy line running up and down along the sail cloth. The Amsteel slips nicely through the reefing grommits on the sail. It also doesn't stretch.

I'd say keep it simple on what you run back. On my boat I have a dodger and the following run back: outhaul, reef, main halyard, vang, jib halyard, spinnaker halyard. This is how the boat came setup (except for the vang, which I added). The only control not run back is the topping lift, which is forward under the boom. Furling and spinnaker tack line both run back too, but along the stanchions.

I setup my previous boat and only ran the two halyards (jib was hank on) and reefing lines back to the cockpit. Topping lift and outhaul are on the boom. Spinnaker halyard is on the mast. Vang is at the base of the mast and is accessible from the companionway. It's less cluttered and still pretty easy to access everything if single handing with an autopilot. It's also easier for guest crew to figure out.
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by John B View Post
...when the wind gets past 20 kts .I am not leaving the cockpit...
What? That's when the fun starts!
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Lastly, I am 49 years old, fit, and with good balance. I find it easy to leave the cockpit to go to the mast (or bow) and perform any necessary tasks.
We are about the same age. Once you start acting old, you are old. Once you start acting scared, you are scared.

To me, this is further evidence of the "wimpification" of our culture.

Come on boys and girls, make your way up to the mast, even if you have to crawl on hands and knees, crying all the way...

Every sailor should read K. Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing" to find out what our courageous predecessors did in the days before push button convenience sailing, GPS, electronics, electronic depth sounders, and weather faxes. Those guys had balls. We are mere shadows of the trailblazing sailors of earlier times.

If you read about the first, solo, nonstop round the world race, you will discover that the race winner, Robin Knox Johnston, eschewed the use of a safety harness, because he felt he was more safe without one. It may him aware of the danger and he had hours and hours of practice walking around the boat in the worst conditions without a harness.

One of my most memorable moments from my racing days as foredeck crew was pulling down a genoa while a Chesapeake Bay cold front came through the fleet during the Solomons Island Invitational Race. Wind was gusting in the 50s and I literally had to lie down on top of the sail to hold it down, no harness, no PFD, clutching the bow pulpit with the boat heeled over, dipping the rail.

That's when you know you are alive!

Now get off your arses and crawl up to the mast, dangit.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 03-15-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
.....To me, this is further evidence of the "wimpification" of our culture.

Come on boys and girls, make your way up to the mast, even if you have to crawl on hands and knees, crying all the way........
Do you still hand crank your car? Refuse an elevator to the 10th floor? Take the train over the plane?

I don't see why not take advantage of a modern convenience, when there isn't a particular advantage of doing it the old way.

Of course, if one is unable or unwilling to go to the mast, that's a problem. I had to go out to unfoul the main halyard down in the BVI in 8 ft seas north of Virgin Gorda, even though it was lead to the cockpit. One should not be fully reliant on the new tech.
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Before you spend all that money on lines, halyards and hardware, list on a step by step basis all the tasks you will need to reef your main.
You will then realize that you still have to go to the mast for at least two tasks: hook the reef cringle and lash the sail to the boom.
In my opinion, if your lines run aft and you still need to go to the mast, what is the purpose? The only thing I can think of is to stay there less time, but what da heck, 5 minutes or 10 minutes of exposure will not do any harm, besides, its fun!
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

I have everything aft except the spin pole topping lift.

All reefing lines are aft.

I don't like having to get out of the cockpit in very nasty weather.. Although when reefing often I need to go forward and play with the reefing lines at the mast where they tend to get themselves caught up.


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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Not all reefing systems require a cringle.
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
You will then realize that you still have to go to the mast for at least two tasks: hook the reef cringle and lash the sail to the boom.
Neither of those are necessary in many reefing systems. Often the reef tack cringle is held down with line, just as the reef clew cringle is.

The sail should never be lashed to the boom, the reef knots should go around the sail cloth only. That is an optional step that makes it neater, but it's not mandatory.

Here my boat Elena is reefed with neither of those things done:


Here my friend's boat Jackie is reefed with reefing line tidying up the loose sail at the boom:


His boat has no lines going to the cockpit and and he single hands all the time. His boat is also engineless (he even glassed over the propshaft through hull).
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