View Full Version : A request for JohnB (topsail images, advice)
I am in the midst of setting up the topsail gear on my cutter, and have been researching as much as I can about specific setups (beyond the cursory treatment in Hand, Reef and Steer and the like). There have been many great discussion on this forum involving you, Ed Burnett, ACB, Andrew Craig-Bennet and the like, from which I have leaned much... but...
Thanks to the demise of imagestation all of the great pictures posted, especially by you, have been lost. Would you be able to find the time to post images of Waione's setup and the diagrams of the Carr/Curlew topsail rigging? Anything would be much appreciated.
Anyone else with supporting images are also incouraged to share :D ... maybe also the image detailing the downhaul/leader tensioner that Ed Burnett has mentioned?
-Eric "I want to go faster" Bott
11-03-2008, 03:11 PM
You can do it with blocks Bott, thats how we set up Little Thelma when Johnny G had her and probably how she still is now.....but its better with rigid /fixed fairleads as it really locks the topsail yard into the mast. I'll have a look through and see what photos I have left.
If you're choosing a side to set up on , one good point made here by Andrew some time back is to set up so that you set the sail on the stbd side .. that way you're always on stbd tack when you're stooging around setting and dousing.( asuming a windward set /douse ,which is the only way :p ) and have right of way.
Another point for consideration although not critical is that ideally you want enough weight below the halyard attachment on the yard so that the sail tips upright easily.
Note that on Waione we set to port :rolleyes:and the fulcrum for the topsail was low by a couple of feet .. it always was a struggle to get the thing upright in the first place.:rolleyes:. But that was a really long topsail yard and a lot of sail up there.
Something that was extremely successfull for us was carrying the whole topsail and yards rolled up on the boom on chocks, inside the lazy jacks and ready to go by just hooking up the halyard/ sheet / tackline.
What I would seriously recommend if you went that way is to have enough extra line so those parts are basically permanently tied on. Most of the zen of the topsail is about running reeving and puttting those three lines in the right place every time you want to use the sail. get em on permanently and you'll get a clear set every time. Sound silly?.... do it a few times and you'll know what I mean.:D
Thanks for the extra discussion... any images you can bring up would make things much more solidified too.
Another thing, I've always heard you want to set your topsail on the port side (regardless of a windward or leeward set, make it end up port of the peak halyard). This is because (in the northern hemisphere) puffs of higher-velocity, upper-atmosphere air reaching the surface from a low will be more likely a lifter instead of a header. Down in Oz, I guess it would then be set for a better draw on the port tack.
It goes down to the "if nothing else, favor the starboard tack."
Anyhow, thanks for your help
11-03-2008, 04:06 PM
Wow, don't know what to make of that one except to say I wouldn't give it credit. These days of busy harbours I'd place much more emphasis on the stbd tack idea. Never caused us a problem but I would have done it if I was aware of the idea at the time.
11-03-2008, 04:16 PM
I found this old sketch of mine over on Frank Hagans forum. This is the Curlew system I took from the wb article way back when.
http://www.classicyacht.org.nz/files/ForumJP/IMG_0535.jpgI did a bit of reading before I set mine up, most of it advice from JohnB, so I store my topsail permanently rigged on the boom, I hoist it on stb tack but I use the "Rawene" system for controlling the yard which is an extra halyard attached to the base of the yard into a fixed fairlead just above the throat so the bugger is held in tight as. Means I can hoist it single handed and take it down the same way, all halyard ends are tied off so when i am single handed (which is most of the time) I can douse it quickly and get back to the helm:)
Excellent, that is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!
I imagine the correct course is to set the topsail a number of times before attaching the fairlead to the mast to make sure the halyard attachment height is set and figured out? It looks like one would want those two fairleads as close as possible to each other...
11-03-2008, 04:32 PM
I did it all dry run in the workshop before stepping or rigging the mast. But yes, its driven by the halyard position and the fairlead on the heel of the yard... that sets where the mast fairlead/ block goes.
Thats what i did, except I had the luxury of having the mast out of the boat and an aircraft hanger to lay it all out in :D the only issue is my yard is not very well balanced with a whole heap more out the top than the bottom, so its challenging to get up unless you are built like the incredible hulk..... :D The joys of putting a 40 foot sail plan on a 28 footer :D
11-03-2008, 04:36 PM
Well fortunately you Dr Banner, you don't have that problem.
11-03-2008, 04:43 PM
That was fun looking at some of those old pics
You can see the topsail heel fairlead on this mast shot.
and make out the chocks on the boom for the topsail storage. No way could we have cruised with those spars and sail down below or anywhere else for that matter.
:eek: topheavy indeed! Does the single halyard/jackline setup not keep the yard as controlled in hoisting than rigging a separate jackline?
i need to exert a fair amount of righting motion to the spar as i pull it up so i hang on to the sail downhaul to keep it in the correct alignment as i haul the 2 to 1 halyard for the spar. The one off the bottom just flaps til i haul it in. I was afraid of tangles using the curlew system.
11-03-2008, 05:11 PM
With the curlew system you concentrate on getting the spar upright at deck/ gooseneck level. Once thats done , yes ,the halyard through the heel fairlead keeps it pretty well upright and very controlled. IE, dousing for example , you can step away from the mast a foot or so and the heel will follow down fully controlled like a jib hanked to a forestay , no waving off and filling the sail bizzo like you get with a wire luff jib .
I think the Curlew system would work well with a balanced spar, think mine would be way too top heavy to work.....
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