Is the tension belt really needed? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-17-2013
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Is the tension belt really needed?

I have a sirocco 15 and from the inner stern to about mid way where the floor elevates there is a belt that is the same material as a seatbelt and goes from the elevation to the stern (looping around a O hook) and back to the elevated part on the other side of the keel.

I realize this is to prevent flexing in the boat but the thing is 30 years old and the belt looks extremely worn down.

Already been sailing with it in tatters.

Anyone else just take theirs off instead of replacing?

It is not very long either, maybe 4 feet.
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Old 08-17-2013
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Re: Is the tension belt really needed?

Not sure, but what you describe sounds like a "hiking strap" to me, something to hook your feet on when you "hike out". Which means sitting on the windward rail or gunnel and leaning back. Maybe a picture would help.
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Old 08-17-2013
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Re: Is the tension belt really needed?

I do not think it is a hiking strap, will get a picture.

Edit: Here is a picture off the internet

The strap along the floor.

It might indeed be a hiking strap, if I do not need it I am just going to toss it.


Last edited by Spider0804; 08-18-2013 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Is the tension belt really needed?

Yes those are hiking straps. Instead of getting rid of them, replace them and learn to use them. They will allow you to get your body weight outboard for better righting moment when you are sailing upwind. hiking is lots of fun, the boat goes faster, and it is a great abdominal workout!

Warning: if they are as old and weathered as you say, don't trust them with your full weight or you will likely be going for a swim! Ask me how I know!
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Last edited by SchockT; 08-18-2013 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Is the tension belt really needed?

And When it breaks while you're fully hiked, it's a backward flip reverse-face plant into the water.
I found this disorienting--"..where am I? What happened?" Ah, now I remember, I was sailing a Force 5, and now I'm upside down underneath the Charles River". I figured it out after that, and the boat had waited for me (why a little weather helm is good ;-).
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Re: Is the tension belt really needed?

I bought two sirocco 15s, an s15 and an e15 and the parts are mostly interchangeable.
I had to cut a bit off the strap from the other boat but it looks in good shape so I stuck that on there and tested my weight on it.

Works good, and now I know what it is for and will be using it!
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