Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 157 Old 03-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

I am planning on doing some deck work and everyone says this is the time to run lines to the cockpit. What lines should I run aft? Right now the only lines aft are the main sheet, jib sheets, topping lift and travelers. I was planning on running the cunningham and boom vang back. Should I do main halyard? Spin Halyard? I am going to be using an Asym. Spinnaker I assume the topping lift isnt needed? Anyone have before and after pics?

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post #2 of 157 Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Boom vang yes, but I would leave the rest alone, Just because you single hand does not mean you cant leave the cockpit. I find it annoying trying to sail a boat with everything back to the cockpit, It can be like standing in a bowl of spaghetti if your not anal about trying to keep it neat . It might have been the reason some boat use continuous lines.
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post #3 of 157 Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

I agree, with the exception of the spinnaker halyard, so you can blow it if you broach, the mainsheet, jib sheets, foreguy, spin pole topping lift, twings, and spin sheets. Don't bother running other lines aft unless you are an invalid or like to buy gear. Otherwise, there is no need. You can walk the 10 feet up to the mast.

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

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
I agree, with the exception of the spinnaker halyard, so you can blow it if you broach, the mainsheet, jib sheets and spin sheets. Don't bother running other lines aft unless you are an invalid or like to buy gear. Otherwise, there is no need. You can walk the 10 feet up to the mast.
I think this is a question of where you sail. I do offshore cruising - including a solo trans-Atlantic. That 10 feet to the mast can be quite a challenge in 35 knot winds and 25 foot seas (did I mention at night?)
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post #5 of 157 Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

We have everything but the topping lift run back. Love it. But, it's ten feet or more from the helm to the cabin top winches. Quite a bit further to the mast. Reefing from the cockpit is a real plus, because that's usually done when you would prefer not to be on the deck. Of course, you need a furler or jiffy reef type system to do it.
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post #6 of 157 Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

I predominantly single-hand in coastal waters and have for nearly 50 years. I tend to sail my boats in conditions that most people do not, enjoy keeping my boat properly trimmed and up to speed, and I also race my boat single-hand.

Because of that I typically set my boats up with all halyards and sheets run aft, the boom vang run aft, the outhaul and at least one reef run aft, and the pole lift and foreguy run aft. I also have my jib sheet leads run aft. I don't use the cunningham when single-handed since it does so little that cannot be done with the main halyard. In large part I do this to clear the winches and cleats off the mast, boom and deck forward since I firmly believe that fouling sheets on these is a bigger hazard to a single-hander than having to go to the mast to reef. I also run my backstay adjuster to the helm, which in your case may mean bringing your baby stay adjuster to the helm.

But beyond that, I believe that people adjust the control lines that they can easily reach. If you are single-handing and you need to leave the helm to make an adjustment, you will not adjust halyard tension, outhaul, or vang. This can make a huge difference in performance or be a big nuisance.

I must admit that running everything aft did not come free. I had to add a number of Garhauer blocks at the mast base, and a rack of stoppers and also cam cleats where they made more sense. I regularly use 6 of the 12 aft stoppers on my boat (9 when the chute is up since the pole lift and foreguy are run aft as well). On a boat your size you might get by with small cam cleats for the majority of minor control lines, with only stoppers for the halyards.

If you were only going to run one line aft, I would suggest that it should be the main halyard. To some extent, on most boats, if you can get the mainsail up, the boat will short tack upwind with the mainsheet cleated and the helm loosely tied amidships allowing you to raise and adjust the jib at leisure.

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

I know you didn't ask but I will offer this bit of advice. For single handing if you do not have midship cleats, and you are doing deck work anyway, you might consider adding them with sound backing plates. A line from a midship cleat lead back to the cockpit winch or a cleat will make you look like a docking genius when you are single handing.
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post #8 of 157 Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

This was also recently discussed here:

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

I have been sailing for about 2yrs and I can tell you that when the wind gets past 20 kts .I am not leaving the cockpit.Lines leading aft would be helpful.
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post #10 of 157 Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewportNewbie View Post
I am planning on doing some deck work and everyone says this is the time to run lines to the cockpit. What lines should I run aft? Right now the only lines aft are the main sheet, jib sheets, topping lift and travelers. I was planning on running the cunningham and boom vang back. Should I do main halyard? Spin Halyard? I am going to be using an Asym. Spinnaker I assume the topping lift isnt needed? Anyone have before and after pics?
Hey,

IMHO, for single handing, the nicest piece of gear is an autopilot. With the AP on, I can leave the wheel and do whatever needs to be done. Depending on your boat layout, just having lines run to the cockpit may not be enough. For example my boat has the typical layout of traveler on the cabin top with control lines led port and starboard. If I am at the wheel I can't reach the main sheet or the traveler lines. So even though those lines are 'led aft' I can't reach them unless I leave the wheel. Since I don't particularly like to steer, I usually use the AP (or have a guest steer) and this allows me to trim the sails to my heart's content.

Regarding the main halyard, where is your reef line? If you need to go to the mast to reef then running the halyard aft isn't going to help. On my 28' boat I had single line reefing (led aft) and the main halyard aft too. It was very easy to raise and lower the main from the cockpit as well as put in a reef. On my 35' boat there is too much friction to make raising the main from the cockpit easy (but it's very easy to do from the mast). There is also too much friction for single line reefing to be easy. So I raise / lower the main from the mast, as well as put in the reef at the mast too.

I do have the outhall, vang, topping lift, and reefing line (for the rear of the sail) run aft.

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
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