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Old 09-15-2010
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Back to the topic of attaching the tack. If the bow pulpit or other hardware distorts or chafes your sail and the head of the sail has space remaining to be hoisted higher; it may be appropriate for you to add a length of wire rope to the tack. This is referred to as a tack pennant and it may improve your sails shape and lifespan. Tack pennants are normally just a few inches to a foot long for most vessels.

When attaching sheets to the clew, tie them on. Some use a shackle, but this is a risk for head injury when handling a flogging sail.
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 09-15-2010
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Your questions are very basic, and I would highly suggest you get a good sailing primer, like Dave Seidman's The Complete Sailor, about $16 at the local bookstore. This will answer a lot of your basic questions, as well as give you a lot of useful information.

The sheets need to be secured to the clew of the sail so they can control it. If you use a single long sheet for both sides, you'll probably want to use a cow hitch or larkshead knot to secure it. If you use separate sheets for each side, you'll probably want to use a bowline on each.

As CF said, don't use a shackle on the clew, since it becomes a fairly lethal object when the sail is flogging. The bowlines may hurt, but won't kill you.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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