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I recently bought a Ranger 26 that someone has set up with a sliding gooseneck. I've never sailed on a boat with a sliding gooseneck before.

Am I right in thinking that adjusting the downhaul for the gooseneck does the same thing as adjusting a cunningham, but without putting a wrinkle in the mainsail at the tack?

It seems like by adjusting both the gooseneck position and the halyard, it's possible to slightly change the mainsail's position along the mast. Is there any advantage to that?
 

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A sliding gooseneck is similar to a cunningham. The wind speed increases as the altitude from the sea level increases. The wind speed is defined as the speed 10 meters above sea level. Therefore raising the sail higher will have an effect on driving force. But this will be minimal due to a very small increment in height.
 

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You do have to remember that while raising the sail will give you a tiny bit of extra drive, it will also increase the heeling moment of the sails, by shifting the COE upwards slightly.... The range of adjustment isn't really enough to bother mucking with. The sliding gooseneck is just an alternative to a cunningham, that is aesthetically a bit more pleasing if a bit more mechanically complex.
 

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A sliding goosneck also allows you to hoist the main those last few inches relatively easily and then adjust the luff/halyard tension via a multi-purchase system below the boom.
 
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