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Discussion Starter #1
I've got an Irwin Mini-ton sailboat.
It's jib has a very stout wire cable along its luff... 1/4" at least.
Irwinjibhanks.jpg
These are the jib hanks I'm using.
The stiff wire cabling seems to be the issue.
Is it normal to have such a large/stout/stiff luff cable in a jib?
I have a downhaul for the jib but it isn't working due to stiff luff cable.

Any suggestions/ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Hal Nash
Waldport OR
Irwinjibhanks.jpg
 

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If it has a wire luff it may be a staysail not a jib. It is meant to be tacked to the deck on the foredeck somewhere and the wire luff acts like a forestay. That is the only reason for a wire luff that I know of.

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Discussion Starter #3
This is the jib that came with the boat.
I don't see another point on the deck where this jib could be attached.
This link Haven't seen this type of jib hanks... shows some very different jib hanks that this jib came with. Might those jib hanks be more for a staysail than a typical jib sail?

Thanks for your comment.
 

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My smallest headsail, about 90%, also has a heavy luff wire. It doesn't come all the way down on its own and I haven't used it since I put on a downhaul recently. Unfortunately, I can't splash it now because the hoist is inoperable after Sally while we wait for power and a grounded boat to be moved away.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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That is an ancient jib. Modern jibs have low strength rope instead of wire. Old jibs used "flexible wire rope" like old race boats used flexible wire rope halyards. When that sail was new, the wire was pretty flexible. With age and corrosion, the wire becomes stiff and brittle.
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is an ancient jib. Modern jibs have low strength rope instead of wire. Old jibs used "flexible wire rope" like old race boats used flexible wire rope halyards. When that sail was new, the wire was pretty flexible. With age and corrosion, the wire becomes stiff and brittle.
Jeff
Jeff... thanks for your insight into this sail. I can't feel any breaks in the wire and the material around the luff is still intact. But as you say, it's likely stiffer than it was new.
I'm going to get a new jib and hopefully that will solve this issues mentioned in the original post.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you wish to salvage the sail you could try replacing the wire rope with dynema.
Big Cat...any ideas about how to do that? All three corners of the sail have sewn leather strengthening and protecting the corners.
 

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Perhaps it was meant as a storm jib, to be hanked from where the tack of your present jib goes and pulled aloft until the wire is tight.
If it is old as Jeff suggests, it may be of no value, but if the sail is still good, cut the hanks off and mess around flying it in conjunction with your normal jib, or instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Perhaps it was mean as a storm jib, to be hanked from where the tack of your present jib goes and pulled aloft until the wire is tight.
If it is old as Jeff suggests, it may be of no value, but if the sail is still good, cut the hanks off and mess around flying it in conjunction with your normal jib, or instead.
This sail IS the only jib I have. The sail is too large to be a storm jib.
 

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My only experience with this has been wire ropes in the luffs of jibs of sailing dinghies.(e.g., Lightnings & Thistles). Without seeing your sail It's hard to guess how the leather chafing prevention integrates with the grommets at the tack and head of the sail. Unless the grommets have been set with a hydraulic press to capture the luff wire, I'd start picking at the stitching with a seam ripper to see what you have.
 

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Irwin mini ton is a dingy with ballast daggerboard . very fun boat. Back in the day they used a small size forestay and then used the wire in the luff of the big deck sweeper jig to set the forestay curve with the halyard and backstay. are you sure it is 1/4" wire, does seem a bit excessive on a 20' boat. you can have a sailmaker change it to low stretch line. had a friend that had his luff changed to a zipper luff and removed the wire. he went to a rod rigging forestay.
 

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This sail IS the only jib I have. The sail is too large to be a storm jib.
Time to get a new jib or have a sailmaker remove that wire and replace it with line.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My only experience with this has been wire ropes in the luffs of jibs of sailing dinghies.(e.g., Lightnings & Thistles). Without seeing your sail It's hard to guess how the leather chafing prevention integrates with the grommets at the tack and head of the sail. Unless the grommets have been set with a hydraulic press to capture the luff wire, I'd start picking at the stitching with a seam ripper to see what you have.
Irwin mini ton is a dingy with ballast daggerboard . very fun boat. Back in the day they used a small size forestay and then used the wire in the luff of the big deck sweeper jig to set the forestay curve with the halyard and backstay. are you sure it is 1/4" wire, does seem a bit excessive on a 20' boat. you can have a sailmaker change it to low stretch line. had a friend that had his luff changed to a zipper luff and removed the wire. he went to a rod rigging forestay.
Time to get a new jib or have a sailmaker remove that wire and replace it with line.
I may indeed get a seam ripper and see what's underneath that leather.
I'm sure that the jib luff wire is at least 1/4" diameter.
And I've ordered a new jib.
I'll wait until I get the new jib before dissecting my current jib.
Thanks for all of the comments/suggestions.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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By the way, that is a cool boat. O.H.Rodgers was a very talented designer. He designed some of the most rounded IOR boats.

Jeff
 

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Hi i also have a irwin 21 mini ton. Its a nice boat to sail but can be a hand full. You can see my boat on youtube under irwin 21 mini ton. Do you know anyone else with one?
 

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The wire is probably plastic covered like lifelines. The actual wire is a small diameter flexible wire but the plastic covering stiffen it. The plastic covering is to prevent staining the sail with rust spots of bare wire. This was a common way of making the luff of a sail before the advent of the near zero stretch 'magic' line. with near zero stretch. Without the wire or 'magic line' overzealous tensioning the luff of the sail would quickly stretch sail into a mess.
 
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