How to setup the cunningham - J24 - SailNet Community

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Old 05-25-2010
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How to setup the cunningham - J24

I am nearly there. I have a question about the main cunningham. I have read articles about how to set it up, but a picture would assist me even more.

Harken's article about block # connects to block # etc, really isn't doing it for me.

Can anyone offer a photo or simpler advice? I have attached a photo of my gooseneck. I realize I have to run a line up through it to the grommet on the main, but then what? Am I tying it off at the grommet or passing it through to something...

Sorry, I bought a boat with the mast down. I have never seen it up, and have no other J's to compare it to. The images on google have failed me too.

Thanks

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Old 05-25-2010
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nolatom will become famous soon enough
first, it looks like your gooseneck plates are splayed out? Pull them back together so you can put a pin thru the holes.

Then tie your cunningham line to one of the unused holes, lead it up thru the sail cringle, then back down other side a short ways. Tie a small block to it, a few inches above where you are going to put a clam-cleat into the mast. Then tie a line from one of the gooseneck holes, up through the block and down through this cleat. Now you have a 4 to 1 advantage.
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Old 05-26-2010
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I believe the gooseneck is supposed to look like it does. I have gone to the Kenyon site and they have a picture of it, just like that.

I didn't appreciate that the cunningham actually ran up a portion of the sail. This may be the piece of the puzzle I was missing. Thanks
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Old 05-30-2010
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more than you wanted to know?

Have never seen a tack fitting splayed out like that, and can't figure out why it would be like that or how it would work, so I understand Nolatom's concern. Further reading about the J/24 class, however, mentions that the mainsails have "floating tacks", and one article J 24 Tuning Guide (dated 2002, by Shore Sails) suggests cutting the tangs off entirely, since "they're not needed". I cannot find any pictures of it, but the best advice might be to check the J/24 association website for the latest information on how the boat is rigged.

The Cunningham was invented because sails can't be stretched beyond the black bands on the mast. (This is so that all the sails in one class are the same size.) In light air, it pays to have fuller sails, as big as is allowed. If the wind increases and your sail is already pulled out as far as the black bands allow, how do you make the sail flatter (for improved performance in the higher wind) without pulling the downhaul beyond the bottom band? Enter the cunningham. It is essentially an extra-high tack grommet, invented by America's Cup helmsman Briggs Cunningham, which enables you to pull down on the main luff without making the boom go lower (beyond the black band.) Any sort of multiple purchase setup will work. You could attach a block to one of your tack-fitting holes (since you don't need the tack fitting...) and attach a line to the tack fitting on the other side. Run the line up through the cunningham hole, through the block, and back through the cunningham hole. You can then tie it off to the tack fitting somehow, or end it in some other convenient place. Harken will sell you blocks to make the thing 40:1 if you want it, but more than 4:1 is probably overkill.

Last edited by paulk; 05-30-2010 at 10:17 PM.
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