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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

Thanks all for your replies. Just one final question. If this system in installed on the main, am I correct in assuming you're de facto going to have a lazy mainsheet and a working mainsheet, similar to a tradition jib setup? TIA
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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

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Originally Posted by jbp201 View Post
Thanks all for your replies. Just one final question. If this system in installed on the main, am I correct in assuming you're de facto going to have a lazy mainsheet and a working mainsheet, similar to a tradition jib setup? TIA
No, you are not right. Both sides are working mainsheets. they are just opposite ends of the same line running through the same blocks and tackles.

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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

The Beneteau First 40.7 has a German mainsheet system. I crewed on one and usually trimmed the mainsail. This is a photo of one. The winches that are forward in the cockpit are the primaries for the jib. The aft winches are used to control the mainsheet. There's a dark colored line in the photo that, as I recall, runs from the aftmost winch to a point near the chainplate, and then it is routed to the gooseneck of the main boom, where it is routed aft through the boom. It runs out of the boom through a sheave, and then down through a block on the traveler, then back into and through the boom. At the gooseneck, the line is routed down the port side of the boat to the mainsheet winch on the port side. The traveler is operated in the conventional manner. The mainsheet is tensioned by using the mainsheet winches. The mainsheet tension can be adjusted by using either the port or starboard winch. It takes some "getting used to," but I sorta liked it. You can put lots of tension on the mainsheet by using the big winch and a winch handle. The typical block and tackle mainsheet system requires more physical effort. I suggest that you generally cleat the mainsheet before you gybe. The force exerted on the mainsheet by a big mainsail on a fractional rigged boat is tremendous. Wear gloves!
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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbp201 View Post
Thanks all for your replies. Just one final question. If this system in installed on the main, am I correct in assuming you're de facto going to have a lazy mainsheet and a working mainsheet, similar to a tradition jib setup? TIA
As Jeff wrote it's on single system that can be worked from both sides.

What type of boat will you be renting?

Some marketing people use the term German sheeting on systems witch is really a two sheet system..
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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

I have German sheeting on my jeanneau. For a single handed/short crewed boat it is pretty effective. Unlike mid-boom sheeting with a traveler mounted on the cabin top roof, there's no need to leave the helm to trim the main or ease it out in a puff. You can sit on the high or the low side and still be able to adjust it.

German sheeting removes issues related to end-boom sheeting. No big strand of ropes in the middle of the cockpit or a traveler that divides the cockpit into to separate sections which are not meant to be crossed! You can easily have a nice size bimini too.

I find the lack of traveler not to be an issue as you use the vang to control the twist when you ease out the boom with the sheet.

The only downside I find is that you have and extra line in the cockpit for the sheet. You also need a winch handle to trim in the sheet contrary to many boats with end-boom sheeting block and tackle arrangements. My boat also shares the winches with the jib sheet so you need to use rope clutches to lock off either the mainsheet or the jib sheet (yes, it runs through a clutch) to work the other without getting up from the helm. Usually, when sailing, the jib sheet is on the leeward winch and the mainsheet is on the windward one. If you need to tack, you simply make sure the main sheet is locked in the clutch and remove it from the winch so you can put some turns on the lazy jib sheet before the tack. It involves a little more faputzing and new comers to the boat have to acclimate to it for a bit.

Many of the new charter boats are apparently Jeanneaus with this system to make it easy to short hand and also keep the cockpit open.

As far as running out of line, I rarely find that to be a problem. At the end of the day, I adjust the ends of the sheets are about equal in length. I use a sharpie marker to indicate this.

As a strict racing setup, obviously this is not optimal. But for a short handed sailor who likes to go fast on a 30+ foot, wheel-steered boat, I find it the best possible setup.

Last edited by weinie; 08-21-2015 at 08:32 AM.
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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weinie View Post
I have German sheeting on my jeanneau. For a single handed/short crewed boat it is pretty effective. Unlike mid-boom sheeting with a traveler mounted on the cabin top roof, there's no need to leave the helm to trim the main or ease it out in a puff. You can sit on the high or the low side and still be able to adjust it.

German sheeting removes issues related to end-boom sheeting. No big strand of ropes in the middle of the cockpit or a traveler that divides the cockpit into to separate sections which are not meant to be crossed! You can easily have a nice size bimini too.

I find the lack of traveler not to be an issue as you use the vang to control the twist when you ease out the boom with the sheet.
For the record, German style sheeting was developed for race boats and so is generally used with a traveler and more often than not with end boom sheeting. While it has been adopted on some cheaply constructed cruising boats without travelers, most examples of German style sheeting do use a traveler. The problem with not having a traveler is that it is impossible to properly control twist in light air unless the mainsheet lead can be brought to windward of the centerline, which obviously cannot be done without a traveler.

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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

A rigid vang with a good gas/spring system or a topping lift keeps the twist in the main in light air. You do have to have the mainsheet eased a bit to do this which brings the boom away from the centerline a tad. We've had this debate on another thread before. Another compromise, but once again, we are talking about a system designed to make it easier and faster for a single/short handed sailor to move the boat. The end result is FASTER boat as the helmsman has all his controls handy.
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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

Whatever your interpretation of that debate, you are mistaken that a boat without a traveler will be faster in almost any conditions. If you only have a block on the centerline, even with a spring or gas shock vang to lift the boom, while the boom may lift vertically opening the leach, when you ease the sheet to do so, the boom sags to leeward.

As someone who races single-hand, I can assure that the lack of a traveler makes a very much slower boat in light to moderate breezes. Running the traveler controls to the helmsman makes a much faster boat that is also controllable from the helm by a single-handed skipper. This is a very big compromise being made as a choice to save the cost of a traveler and for convenience over a choice that favors sailing capability. We each chose what is important to us individually. There is nothing inherently wrong with preferring to take the cost savings and convenience over performance, but a choice to eliminate the traveler greatly limits the performance of the boat at both the lighter and heavier end of the windspeed range, and also limits the comfort of the boat at the heavier end of the windspeed range since even a very strong vang can't blade out a mainsail as effectively as a sheet on a traveler.

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Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-21-2015 at 10:37 AM.
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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weinie View Post
A rigid vang with a good gas/spring system or a topping lift keeps the twist in the main in light air. You do have to have the mainsheet eased a bit to do this which brings the boom away from the centerline a tad. We've had this debate on another thread before. Another compromise, but once again, we are talking about a system designed to make it easier and faster for a single/short handed sailor to move the boat. The end result is FASTER boat as the helmsman has all his controls handy.
no traveler is going to make a boat slower. it is done to keep a boat simpler but not faster. if you trim them with the sheet you are giving up speed every time you let it out even a little. the sheet should be set for the wind pressure and trim the traveler out on gusts. and how do you adjust the boom above centerline for light pressure. I single hand a lot and that is why I bought a boat with end boom sheeting and a 10' traveler.

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Re: What is "german style sheeting"?

Guys,

by faster I was only saying in comparison to a single/short handed sailor driving a huntabenejennycatawhatnot who has to, after tacking the jib, lock the wheel, go foward, and trim the already luffing mainsheet by bringing the traveleler back to the new windward side, run back to the wheel, correct his course, than go foward again just to fine tune everything. Each time the guy leaves the wheel, invariably the boat wanders off course, either too far down, or pinching up and costing speed. Yes, you could just leave the traveler centered, but the comparatively long mainsheet from the coach roof to the boom will cause the boom to be way too far out. In contrast, my german sheeting setup has a bridal in the shape of inverted v, with the top of the v attached to a double block for the mainsheet. This keeps the boom virtually right on the centerline when sheeted in tight.

Im also the main trimmer for a very competitive j105 so I do get it. My own boat was a catalina for the last several years where I had to run out from behind the wheel to drop the traveler in a puff and raise it after every tack. In my next boat, I was looking for a new, affordable, family cruiser with end boom sheeting. Unfortunately, there aren't any many out there. I believe the manufacturers feel strongly about keeping the cockpit open and free of gear... so bye bye traveler. (and backstay too )

Short of a self tacking jib, a german sheeting system like the one on my jenneau makes tacking a piece of cake as the main is always "preset" from one tack to the other. And when you're all by yourself trying to duel it out against a fully crewed boat, simplicity makes for speed.

ETA: I don't believe the trend to ditch the traveler is a cost issue. If it was, they would just add it as one of the myriad of "performance options" available when purchasing.

Last edited by weinie; 08-21-2015 at 07:35 PM.
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