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Old 10-04-2012
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Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

For those that might not be aware, most dinghies ( like my FJ) have a wire luff in the headsail that functions as the forestay when the sail is raised. Anyone have any thoughts what I should use in its place if I want to sail with just mainsail alone? Was thinking 3/16" dyneema. One cannot just depend on the forestay, as you can't really get it tight enough, and I don't want to wrap the headsail around its luff wire (messy).
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Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

I should mention, "tight enough" regarding the forestay is important on these boats, as otherwise the boom rides too low to really sail it easily (mast rakes aft naturally or from weight of the boom). I guess I could rig a turnbuckle to the existing forestay (?).
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Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

A high tech, low stretch line like Dyneema or Amsteel sounds like the way to go to me.
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If you can rig a block to where you attach the jib or at the top of the mast you might even get some mechanical advantage for tightening your substitute fore stay - if you have a cleat to put the new line through.
I was going to say that some aft rake in the mast can be a good thing but too much rake such that you are bonking your head on the boom is not.
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Just run the existing halyard to the tack and tension. Should be fine.

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Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

not sure why your forestay is not tight enough to sail without the jib. we do it all the time when teaching with a cat rig. the forestay and shrouds should be slightly tight when the rig is up before the sails are hoisted. The forestay on the FJ is a set length and the shrouds have adjusters. the rig should be set to have a little tension on it when not sailing.
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Last edited by overbored; 10-04-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

@Sic - to the tack attachment point at the bow? Makes sense, I may need a longer halyard .
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Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

@overbored - I raise the mast, attach forestay tightly using shroud adjuster. Once the boom with mainsail are rigged, boom rides too low to sail, without using headsail. Don't know what else to say.
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Re: Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

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Originally Posted by FlyingJunior View Post
@overbored - I raise the mast, attach forestay tightly using shroud adjuster. Once the boom with mainsail are rigged, boom rides too low to sail, without using headsail. Don't know what else to say.
it should no be that low, check the forestay length. someone may have changed it with the wrong length.
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Old 10-05-2012
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Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

I guess I'm failing to understand why it's tight, and then not. I thought from talking to others that this was the norm. Thank you for being patient with me and for your trouble, however. Maybe I will just wrap the headsail around its luff wire, and secure with sail ties.
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Old 10-07-2012
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Sailing dinghy w/o headsail

Ok, rigged boat up in the driveway today. I just wrapped the jib around the forestay, and secured it with a sail tie - easy! Also, I tied a loop into the jib halyard about 2 feet above where it gets cleated off when the jib is raised. With this loop, I can get more leverage on the halyard so that the luff is as tight as it can be - voila! I know there's a way to incorporate a block system for this purpose, but I'm not sure how to do that.
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