Mainsail Handling

Rigging components, external fittings and Sails
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rexd666
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Mainsail Handling

Post by rexd666 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Mick from teamRoam suggested splitting a couple of recent comments in Solitary Island 12 thread to a new topic, decided to leave the comments there as they were relevant to the discussion. However I thought I would post a new thread over here to prompt some discussion.
44c wrote: Do the plans show mainsheet and traveller controls going through clutches?

If so, I'd suggest doing otherwise, for a performance oriented boat. You might need to dump the main in a hurry one day, and the clutch might choose that day to not co-operate.
So tell me what are the mainsail handling options out there, what details do your plans show, what are you planning etc?

Steve

44c
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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by 44c » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:03 am

The most important thing, especially with a performance oriented cat, is to be able to release the mainsheet quickly.

Cluthces on the mainsheet are not a good idea. Clutches can be hard to release when loaded, and any kink in the rope can jam them.

Self-tailing winches are another thing to avoid. (For the mainsheet) Not as bad as having a clutch, but still releasing them in an emergecy can be too slow.

I'd advise a non-ST winch(es) led onto a simple cam-cleat. A quick flick of the sheet tail and it is released.

The mainsheet system on the Spirited 380 plans is IMO plain nuts. For a start it's expensive - TWO winches and FOUR clutches. And on a boat like that, which has a bloody big rig for it's size, it's potentially dangerous.

I have ONE non ST winch and 3 camcleats for the mainsheet/traveller control.

Finally
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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by Finally » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:36 am

44c wrote: I have ONE non ST winch and 3 camcleats for the mainsheet/traveller control.
Any chance of a photo of your setup?

Thanks

David

Jim
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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by Jim » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:39 pm

I don't have any clutches on my boat except for what is on the mast. I bought them and still have them but never fitted them. One of my concerns was the possibility of a jam when you need it most, probably unlikely, but I did consider it. Might be time to sell them as they are just sitting in a cupboard. On the Easy, because the main is quite a small sail with no roach I am more at the ready to dump the Geona first as it is heaps bigger than the main.
Jim.

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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:02 pm

On the Easy's and other boats with a similar rig (relatively small and basically triangular main with a larger overlapping genoa) the only time you would ever really need to dump the main is if you get hit by a squall or a bullet. I only seriously dumped once in all the time I had Bushytales - going past the lee of Shaw Island in about 20knots with the full main and getting a bullet 35knots through Neck Bay. Otherwise it is often just as effectve and "Easy" to just round up quickly and depower that way - but only with a conservative rig!

Dumping the genoa helps depower the boat but if you do this in a strong squall the genoa can flog itself to pieces - with a sail that is even a little bit tired it is quite easy to put a sizeable tear in the leech if you let it flog in a strong squall.

As 44C says - on any boat with a powerful main you need to be able to dump the main quickly. I also agree with no cam cleats - they are great for holding lines but no good when you need to dump quickly. I have self tailers on my new boat which make life easier short handed but I am conscious of the risks with these and the massive main that I have. I have a sharp dive knife in a sheath permanently mounted next to each winch and would recommend every cat have at least one knife in a set place that anyone can grab quickly, particularly if your sheeting system is less than ideal in terms of using cams etc. With a powerful rig a well thought out sheeting system is really necessary as is a liberal helping of common sense and good forward planning to avoid gybes and predict bullets. And when all else fails keep that knife handy!!

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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:10 pm

As an aside - I looked at a brand new Oram 44C recently that was for sale. It had a full roaching main but no traveller - utilising three hoops set to port, central and to starboard. The main sheet block was intended to be shackled to whichever of these hoops was most suited to the wind angle, then being undone and reshackled to another point as angles changed. This to me is ambitious to say the least on a large boat with a powerful main and quite dangerous. I think that there are a lot of people out there building and starting to sail these larger cats who really don't appreciate the size of the loads involved in the rig. If in doubt check with the designer or with someone who has sailed similar boats before building in these sort of systems!! 8-)

44c
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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by 44c » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:39 am

Smooth Cruiser wrote:As an aside - I looked at a brand new Oram 44C recently that was for sale. It had a full roaching main but no traveller - utilising three hoops set to port, central and to starboard. The main sheet block was intended to be shackled to whichever of these hoops was most suited to the wind angle, then being undone and reshackled to another point as angles changed. This to me is ambitious to say the least on a large boat with a powerful main and quite dangerous. I think that there are a lot of people out there building and starting to sail these larger cats who really don't appreciate the size of the loads involved in the rig. If in doubt check with the designer or with someone who has sailed similar boats before building in these sort of systems!! 8-)

I'd say the builder of that boat has misunderstood how the mainsheet should be set up. There would be 3 mounting points, and there SHOULD be 3 mainsheet tackles. (Or at least two) This arrangement allows similar control to having a traveller. There are a few production cats using this arrangement.
Last edited by 44c on Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mainsail Handling

Post by 44c » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:44 am

Smooth Cruiser wrote: I also agree with no cam cleats - they are great for holding lines but no good when you need to dump quickly.

I've found cam-cleats always to be easy to release. I was talking about rope CLUTCHES. These sometimes are difficult to release under load, and because they have an entry hole just bigger than rope diameter, any kink or knot in the rope will jam solid.

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