SailNet Community banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Voyager In Training
1992 Pacific Seacraft 34
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all,

I fancy a downhaul running back to the cockpit for my staysail and can visualize a couple of ways to go about it. I'd appreciate hearing how folks who one have it rigged and and any tips/tricks they're willing to share.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,128 Posts
Are you referring to running backstays that connect behind the mast, at the height of the head of the staysail and are used to support the mast?
 

·
Voyager In Training
1992 Pacific Seacraft 34
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you referring to running backstays that connect behind the mast, at the height of the head of the staysail and are used to support the mast?
Are you referring to running backstays that connect behind the mast, at the height of the head of the staysail and are used to support the mast?
No. My staysail hanks on. The downhaul in this scenario is used to douse the sail from the cockpit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I have a downhaul for the hank-on jib of my 24ft boat. Since the loads are light, I only have a block at the base of the forestay, then it just leads around the legs of the pulpit for a run aft to a cleat on the coaming. I use a small line (1/8" dyneema) that will fit in the hanks, spliced to some larger line (1/4" yacht braid) for better grip.
Note that it is really important to attach the downhaul to the top hank, not directly to the halyard. Attaching to the halyard can cause the top of the sail to twist and jam. I do use a bit of small stuff to attach it to the halyard, but it doesn't take any load.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my setup...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
I installed a downhaul on my 26'. Helps a lot to get the headsail down in a blow. Kind of a pain all other times; if the sail comes down fast the downhaul slack gets wrapped in the sail.

1/4" line, turning block low on the bow pulpit, a couple of fairleads on the stanchions leading back to a turning block near the cockpit. I tie a slip knot near the aft turning block to secure the slack and store the line in a Bimini coil on the lifeline.
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
10,218 Posts
I have not rigged a downhaul on a sail in awhile. The last time that I did I purchased inexpensive brass rings (from a craft store like this Solid Brass O-Rings | O-Rings for Sale | Brass Strap Hardware ) and lashed them to the side of each hank. Then fed the downhaul through the rings to the head of the sail. There was an eye at the head of the sail that I would attach to the halyard shackle where it connected to the head of the jib. The rest of the downhaul ran aft along the rail in the same way that a furler line is run aft through fair lead blocks. I think I used 1/4" or 5/16" polyester line.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
I have not rigged a downhaul on a sail in awhile. The last time that I did I purchased inexpensive brass rings (from a craft store like this Solid Brass O-Rings | O-Rings for Sale | Brass Strap Hardware ) and lashed them to the side of each hank. Then fed the downhaul through the rings to the head of the sail. There was an eye at the head of the sail that I would attach to the halyard shackle where it connected to the head of the jib. The rest of the downhaul ran aft along the rail in the same way that a furler line is run aft through fair lead blocks. I think I used 1/4" or 5/16" polyester line.

Jeff
I have hanked-on jibs and I have experimented with a downhaul. Did not really work well: Yes, it brings the sail down nicely but then it is blowing around on the foredeck. and I have to secure it anyway (tie to lifelines or bag it). I never had a problem pulling the sail down directly, so I found the downhaul an unnecessary complication/clutter. Did I miss anything?
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
10,218 Posts
I think that there are several parts to this question.
The first is why the downhaul is being used. In my mind, the reason that a boat has a jib downhaul is to be able to quickly strip the forestay of sail. Most boats will short tack under the mainsail unattended. Getting the jib to the deck buys the time to do other things more easily or to have a quick fix when getting hit with really heavy winds. It is not a complete substitute for a furler.

I have used jib downhauls and they do work well with smaller overlapping sails (120% or less) . It does not work as well with larger genoas. Once the sail was part way down, i would tighten the sheet to keep the sail mostly on deck. I had light line zig-zagged through the lifelines to keep the sail onboard and have permanently attached shock-chord that ran from the toe rail and hooked on the upper lifeline. or across the deck. My technique was to get the sail on the deck and allow the boat to short tack while I clipped the sail to the lifeline or deck. It was a very fast process. And that was all I was looking for.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
I think that there are several parts to this question.
The first is why the downhaul is being used. In my mind, the reason that a boat has a jib downhaul is to be able to quickly strip the forestay of sail. Most boats will short tack under the mainsail unattended. Getting the jib to the deck buys the time to do other things more easily or to have a quick fix when getting hit with really heavy winds. It is not a complete substitute for a furler.

I have used jib downhauls and they do work well with smaller overlapping sails (120% or less) . It does not work as well with larger genoas. Once the sail was part way down, i would tighten the sheet to keep the sail mostly on deck. I had light line zig-zagged through the lifelines to keep the sail onboard and have permanently attached shock-chord that ran from the toe rail and hooked on the upper lifeline. or across the deck. My technique was to get the sail on the deck and allow the boat to short tack while I clipped the sail to the lifeline or deck. It was a very fast process. And that was all I was looking for.

Jeff
OK, that makes sense. I am not a racer so it does not matter much if taking down a sail takes a bit longer.

There are essentially two scenarios for me when taking down the jib (any size): One is when it is replaced with another, or taken down for good, which means it goes into its bag. The other is when I take it down temporarily, nearly always in preparation for anchoring. For that, I tie it on top of the pulpit, using sail ties and its own sheets, to keep the foredeck clear for the anchor. In neither of these cases I found a downhaul useful.

But I do see the allure for a racing boat.
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,777 Posts
Looks like the OP will be using this on the staysail. I'm guessing that is not a very big sail. It will also be further back, so won't go overboard as much as a foresail. I think getting the sail down quickly can be important for single or short handed crews, not just for racers.
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
10,218 Posts
OK, that makes sense. I am not a racer so it does not matter much if taking down a sail takes a bit longer.

There are essentially two scenarios for me when taking down the jib (any size): One is when it is replaced with another, or taken down for good, which means it goes into its bag. The other is when I take it down temporarily, nearly always in preparation for anchoring. For that, I tie it on top of the pulpit, using sail ties and its own sheets, to keep the foredeck clear for the anchor. In neither of these cases I found a downhaul useful.

But I do see the allure for a racing boat.
I think that functional solutions should be suited to how each person sails. I was using jib downhauls mainly single-hand on tiller steered traditional boats. I tend carry sail as long as possible when being over taken by bad weather. Usually that strategy works in either sail clear of the.weather, or into a lee, or on the hook, or back in the slip before things get too crazy.
But that strategy sometimes leaves me over-canvassed when I lose the race against the storm.
Whether I get to safety or clobbered, getting rid of sail quickly is important.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
I think that functional solutions should be suited to how each person sails. I was using jib downhauls mainly single-hand on tiller steered traditional boats. I tend carry sail as long as possible when being over taken by bad weather. Usually that strategy works in either sail clear of the.weather, or into a lee, or on the hook, or back in the slip before things get too crazy.
But that strategy sometimes leaves me over-canvassed when I lose the race against the storm.
Whether I get to safety or clobbered, getting rid of sail quickly is important.

Jeff
There is that word again (in red) :) I am a much more conservative sailor. Yes, I have been in storms but I try to plan conservatively enough that a few more seconds needed to take down sails is not important.

I strongly agree with your first sentence. Nothing wrong with living 'close to the edge' if you enjoy it, and you clearly do, just not my cup of rum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
Tried a jib downhaul run up inside jib hanks. Lasted less than two days of sailing before the line chafed through on the hanks/wire. Lash some sail thimbles to the sail to corral the line or run it up the mast loose. Using the jib hanks to keep the line in place is asking for trouble.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top