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Old 02-18-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
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Every boat that I have ever sailed has allowed me to reach the mainsheet without leaving the helm. Our newest boat does not and it makes me feel uncomfortable. One of my many mentors ask me to walk the docks at our marina yesterday and look at the newer boats mainsheet rigging. I will admit that most of them had the mainsheet run back through a rope clutch on the coachroof, but you would still have to leave the helm to release it, and under the conditions where I would feel the need to release the main in a hurry I don't won't to be trying to move around the cockpit! Am I being silly? What are your thoughts?

Yes, I know that nearly all of the "new" boats do it that way... But that doesn't mean it is the right way. Someone please enlighten me!

Thanks,

David
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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Good point!!!

As long as the weather is nice, masses of crew members can help to adjust the sails. Once, they are below (or not on board at all, because it is no fun sailing today), there is noone to do the sheets. How can modern sailors on modern boats with big modern wheels you have to climb over) cope with that?? Well they do not know it differently. They do not know the big advantage of the mainsheet close to the helm - the same applies to the genoa winshes. Maybe it is a changing role of the modern captain: standing at the helm, away from the hard work, giving out commands? Or maybe they never want to be in the situation to be able to alter course or even to tack, when everybody else on board is not available at the moment.

We love our tiller steering, the main sheet traveller with adjusting lines and all just in reach and as you stand in the cockpit, steering with the knees, we even can tack and adjust all sails to the new course! Alone.

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Old 02-18-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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Thanks Uwe,

We still own our Tillered boat with all controls within reach, and she is being prepared as the boat we are planning to cruise with... The boat I am trying to figure out how to rig for my own piece of mind is our inland boat and she has been raced a bit, but that doesn't mean common sense should be thrown out the window! Luckily the genoa winches can be reached (I'll just use larger sheets and use my aft winches if neccesary). My current mission is to find a way to run the mainsheet to where I can control it. Many at my marina think that I am being petty, but I am usually the one out in poor weather and still enjoying myself when they head for their slip. If anyone else has any input please let me hear it, though I think being uncomfortable with the current set-up is all that is required to mandate a change.

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:14 PM   #4
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On our Rawson mainsheet and headsail were within reach of the helm--as it should be! I must say our mainsheet traveler had the goal of taking your head off with the sheet if you didn't pay attention!

On our schooner, the mainsheet and headsail are designed to be within reach of the helm but we've got to re-work the lines to get the foresail sheet within reach, too.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:03 AM   #5
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Hi,

I would not panic about the set up but obviously if you can change the lead so as to get the maisheet close to hand when sailing solo - it would be best.

Personally, I like both mainsheet AND boom vang close enough to let off quickly, but neither would stop me sailing a boat where there was a safe autopilot so you could simply engage that and go sort the sheets.

As I'm sure you realise, some yachts were set up for the efficient use by a race crew - and to change that layout will invariably cost money.

Enjoy

JOHN
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:05 PM   #6
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I often wonder how folks manage the mainsheet on these boats that have the traveler on top the cabin. Seems a little stressful to have go go lunging for it in a pinch!
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #7
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I often wonder how folks manage the mainsheet on these boats that have the traveler on top the cabin. Seems a little stressful to have go go lunging for it in a pinch!
Why don't you just sit in front of the wheel instead of behind it? That puts the main and genoa sheet within reach on my boat...
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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... but neither would stop me sailing a boat where there was a safe autopilot so you could simply engage that and go sort the sheets....
The key word being "safe"... I've been on more than one boat that if you were hit by a squal and needed to dump sail the autohelm would disengage because it didn't know how to deal with the sudden balance change... luckily I was able to lunge back to the wheel and prevent a jibe but to my mind this was the ultimate arguement for a good windvane.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:02 PM   #9
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luckily I was able to lunge back to the wheel and prevent a jibe but to my mind this was the ultimate arguement for a good windvane.
ahhem...or a better autopilot!
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:09 PM   #10
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Why don't you just sit in front of the wheel instead of behind it? That puts the main and genoa sheet within reach on my boat...
Depends on the size of the boat and size of the cockpit.

On our Rawson 30, a small boat, the cockpit was very large and there's no way to really use the wheel while at the same time dealing with anything on top the cabin. In that boat, the jib halyard and the main halyard run to rope clutches on the aft end of the cabin top so you could literally drop all sail from within the cockpit. However, you couldn't reach it all at once.

Our current boat has a huge cockpit with about 7 feet from the FRONT of the wheel to the top of the cabin.

Luckily on both boats the main sheet travels behind the cockpit. Also--I'm such a klutz that when things are rough, I HAVE to be able to brace off the seat, steering gear housing, or something--and in both boats standing in front of the wheel rather than being beside or behind it during rough weather is a sure recipe for injury or worse for me.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:14 PM   #11
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ahhem...or a better autopilot!
Yeah, i thought of that too... but that's a much less controversial statement
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #12
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Check out this video:

The relevant part to this discussion is at 4:40.

I can't see how to uncleat the main with the sheet running under the dodger (or even around it), unless the cam-cleat was removed and an Oxen Block installed. I might just have to play around with something like this for my boat....
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer View Post
Check out this video:

The relevant part to this discussion is at 4:40.

I can't see how to uncleat the main with the sheet running under the dodger (or even around it), unless the cam-cleat was removed and an Oxen Block installed. I might just have to play around with something like this for my boat....
hmm. yeah... that seems like a pretty pointless system.... I don't see the point in the "double ended" sheet... why not just run the normal sheet line where you want it in the first place
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:51 AM   #14
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hmm. yeah... that seems like a pretty pointless system.... I don't see the point in the "double ended" sheet... why not just run the normal sheet line where you want it in the first place
Hi, I didn't run the video as I'm on a low bandwidth access right now--but...I always though the double ended sheet was useful in that you can use the windward sheet to set the sail position and the leeward one to pull downward on the boom--essentially as a vang.
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