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I can't seem to find the thread where I read about tying a knot unto a jib. I use a bowline having two seperate lines to the yankee, but someone told about just using a continuous line passing a loop at midpoint through the clew and then putting both or just one line through that loop. Not sure if it was both or just one line?? The reason for asking is that when I tack with my cutter rig the yankee will sometimes get hungup on the staysail baby stay. It's hanging up on the knots tied in the clew of the yankee and it seems like a continuous line will offer less area.
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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I use a continuous jib sheet. I just passed the center of the line made into a loop, through the clew, then passed both ends through the loop. I've seen some guys use a fisherman's bend for this, but then it's just about impossible to untie.

I'm sure someone else can offer a more secure solution, but this works well for me.
 

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We do it as US27 described -- works fine. It is a bit lower profile at the clew than two separate bowlines, so might reduce somewhat the hang-up on the staysail.

Just a note on terminology. In my experience, the term "continuous" jib sheet usually refers to a single sheet, with an end tied at the clew of the sail, then led aft along one side of the boat to the cockpit (through sheet leads), where it spans the cockpit, then continues through the sheet leads back up the other side of the boat, where the other end of the line is tied off to the clew. Many smaller racing style boats are set up like this.

I think it would be more apt to describe the arrangement discussed here simply as a single sheet?
 

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The knot described above for a single sheet is called a Larks head The Girth, Strap, Cow, Lanyard Hitch, or Lark's Head
I have a sheet attached with a larkshead for all of my head sails so I only have to feed them through the fairleads when the sail is changed. Works well on my 25 footer.
I was cautioned about using snap shackles at the clew due to injury if you happen to be forward on deck and have a flapping clew flying around with a half pound of metal on it.
 

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Junior Senior
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I know there is a better name for it but it escapes me at the moment. The most descriptive is "luggage tag" hitch. This is how I attach my jib sheets; they also used to hang up on the inner forestay.

I attach my staysail sheets with this soft toggle arrangement; they have never flogged loose in over 30 years of sailing. It is easily undone and allows me to reef the staysail quickly.

 

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Heinzer: very interesting setup, but I'm not sure I'm interpreting the photo correctly. Is it an eye spliced into the middle of a the sheet, and then passed through the grommet? Also, how is the... purple thing constructed? Is it stiffened in any way?

I'm surprised to hear that it doesn't hang up on an inner stay, especially the protruding part.
 

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Heinzer: very interesting setup, but I'm not sure I'm interpreting the photo correctly. Is it an eye spliced into the middle of a the sheet, and then passed through the grommet?
Yes, the eye is formed with a Brummel splice.

Also, how is the... purple thing constructed? Is it stiffened in any way?
The purple toggle is a piece of old 3/8" double-braid sheet doubled over. I stiffened it slightly by using hot-melt glue to hold the two sides together and then put a whipping over the whole thing. I could simply have used a larger diameter stiffer line but this is what I had.

I'm surprised to hear that it doesn't hang up on an inner stay, especially the protruding part.
It probably would. I use this on the staysail (set on the inner stay) on my cutter rig. This sail does not overlap the shrouds so there is nothing to get hung up on.

I use a similar attachment for my asymmetrical spinnaker and my drifter sheets. This lets me use the same sheets for either sail. I keep the sheets rigged on deck even when not using either large sail.
I tack/jibe the drifter/spinnaker through the slot between the inner and outer forestays just like a genoa. These sheets do occasionally hang up on the inner forestay but a quick tug releases them.

I use the lanyard "luggage tag" hitch on my jib, flown on the outer forestay. It has never hung up on the inner forestay itself but would frequently get caught on one of the piston hanks of the (inner) staysail. I solved this by replacing the offending hank with a smooth carabiner.
 

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S/V Lilo, Islander 32
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Thanks Heinzer, I have been looking for a simple and reliable way to make a single sheet removable to use with multiple sails. We have not had our boat long, but I quickly tired of pulling the the sheets out of the blocks every time I changed sails and having to re-rig the whole thing.

I did come up with a temporary fix for last summer, but ended up with a large knot flailing around in the wind which did land a few good blows, enough to let me know that was NOT a long term solution. :)

Thanks!
 

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I have given up on the larks head and would not recommend it as it has failed twice for me. Summer winds around here are in the upper 20's to low 30's most every afternoon so jib sheets get heavily loaded. Using 7/16 Vizzion I find the good old bowline knots are more reliable. Tie one enough longer than the other to keep them from "doubling up" as they round shrouds or baby stays. The other advantage is you can end for end the sheets when the knot end starts to chafe.
 

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Lance,

I read your well-written response with interest. Here's more BLAH, BLAH

As a solo sailor, I had to figure out new ways of doing things. For example, I soon learned I couldn’t run back and forth to the cockpit to haul in or let out... the mainsheet. On my Hans Christian, as with many boats, the mainsheet goes from aft blocks on the boom to the blocks near the mast before returning to the cockpit winch. I discovered I could let the main out as needed before going on deck and then hauling it in as needed at the mast. I often temporarily cleated it off there also and that gave me the extra time to do whatever had to be done.

Regarding jib sheet knots…I'll add two more cents although I don't think it is needed. As you know port and starboard sheets are usually tied separately with bowlines. Two shorter sheets, instead of one continuous line, are easier to handle and quicker to remove, Also, if one of the sheets needs replacing it only cost half the price.

On the other hand, two bowlines tied to the jib sheet can sometimes get hung up on a stay during tacking. Using a long jib sheet attached with the one, much smaller knot (described below), can lessen that problem.

ONE CONTINUOUS JIB SHEET KNOT (sorry no photos.)

1. Measure the entire length needed of, say the port jib sheet. Start at the port winch, and include not only extra line to wind on the winch or the length to the bow but also the additional feet needed to attach to the largest sail sheeted in on the starboard side. Double that figure to determine the total length of your CJS LINE.
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2. Mark the middle of the CJS line with tape

3. Feed the line through the jib clew to the tape then coil each side of the line,( the Port and Starboard sheets)

4, Face the clew with the Port line in your left hand and Starboard in right hand. Pass the coiled Starboard line OVER the standing part held in the left hand, then up, around and through to form a half hitch. Now pass the Port coil UNDER the the standing part held in the right hand, then up, around and through to form a half hitch. Work the knots together until snug to the clew.
 

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S/V Loon
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Alternatives for larger boats

Follow up on the same subject, so I'm dredging up this older thread. Since I already have two lines and I want to eliminate knots it looks like I need to splice an eye in the end. So far so good.

I also looked at the Attaching Jibsheets article.

Then the options are:

1) larks head (hard to undo)
2) Tylaska Spool Shackles
3) Tylaska J-Shackles
4) EquipLite Connectors (too expensive!)

Any thoughts on these. It seems like the Spool shackles might be a good compromise. Has anyone used these for genoa sheets on a larger (40'+) boat?
 

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Call me “old school”, but I’m still a fan of the bowline. I can tie it easily and quickly. I have never had one come undone or fail. And, when properly tied, I don’t have a problem with the knot hanging up on the forward shrouds (make sure that the loop and tail aren’t too large and the tail finishes inside, not outside of the loop).

If your sheet is properly sized and made of the correct material, any knot you tie should not weaken the line to the point of failure. Your sheet will be stretching and ruining your sail shape long before any potential breaks. If you are still worried about this, stop buying clothesline from home depot for your sheets!

<O:pI am probably a different than most sailors as my gear is more performance oriented. I run spectra genoa sheets and they are too expensive to leave them out, gathering (salt and grime) between sailing weekends. I take them off and put up a sacrificial line for my furled headsail. I have different colored whippings on each end so it is easy to constantly swap them end for end. I don’t get much wear from the knots, but I do get a lot of cover wear from my winches so swapping is a good idea for me.

<O:pWhen racing, we do peels and cruising bald headed changes while underway. Either way, I want to use the existing sheets rather than string new ones with each sail change. Also, on light air days with long runs or deep reaches, we will untie the lazy sheet entirely to get the weight off the clew. We will even swap out to our “dental floss” if conditions persist, so a simple, quick, reliable knot is important to us.

<O:pI have used the Tylaska J shackle and although light and compact, I have had difficulties in getting the pin out while wearing gloves. I have no experience with spool shackles, and I wonder how well they will hold up to a flogging headsail. They do look intriguing however. <O:p
 

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'Old school' has a lot of experience to have as back up.

I have 2 seperate sheets, tied with a bowline. I have seen a genoa sheet come apart.

Slip knots like the above clove hitch can slip and slide along and a bowline will not slip.

I was told 2 seperate sheets as if one fails, the other is already tied on. I think this is good seamanship for safety reasons.

As to the knot weakening the line, I agree and every 18-24 months, I shorten or turn around the sheets. As to thickness, I use as thick as the car and winch will take. My Genny sheets are 16mm - just for the sake of my hands. When stretched, they seem about 14mm thick.

Its just what I do, its great to see what others have.
 

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I know they say the Clove Hitch knot will slip, but my jib sheets have never slipped. I read about this knot for this use years ago and went for it with perfect results. I sail a 40' (24000 LB) sloop with 5/8" double braid jib sheets on a big roller furled genoa in all reasonable conditions.
 

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I was thinking of using a figure eight knot with my single sheet. Seems more secure/easier to untie than a larks head. Also a bit cleaner than two bowlines with two sheets. As a side note, I think the climbing world has decided that the figure eight is stronger than the bowline. Haven't tested it yet so I will have to see how it will work. Certainly will be a PITA to tie compared to larks head.
 

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GeorgeB makes some good points, but not to my application.Knot knowing much about jibs when I first raised one I simply used a long sheet doubled to the clew with a cow hitch. They are like permanent on the jib and stow on a belaying pin. Each jib is on its stay so no sail changes. I'm not racing and ease of management everything. Never slipped but replacement would be all or nothing. 22 tons, sailing daily.
 

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Barquito
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Here is a dumb question: How difficult is it to undo a bowline from the jib after it has been loaded for hours? Does it ever get tight enough to require a fid?
 
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