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Thread: William Garden "Eel"

  1. #1
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    Default William Garden "Eel"

    Question for the owners of Garden's Eel that have the gunter rig with 2 reef points. How do you ensure the halyard is pulling the yard/gaff nearly vertical when you have lowered it to tie in a reef? Are you re-positioning the halyard further up the yard?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    The same question applies to many gunter rigs. The peak halyard span on Peerie Maa is not as good as it could be.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Kevin I believe you might be looking for a gaff span shackle. The yard halyard using this shackle slides along a harness attached to the yard. The harness has to be pretty snug to keep that yard nearly parallel to the mast.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Quote Originally Posted by bheys View Post
    Kevin I believe you might be looking for a gaff span shackle. The yard halyard using this shackle slides along a harness attached to the yard. The harness has to be pretty snug to keep that yard nearly parallel to the mast.
    And therein lies the problem. Solid rod bar taut or the middle of the span allows the gaff to sag off.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    The halyard on the Eel starts on one side of the mast head through a block on the gaff back to a turning block on the opposite side of the mast head, and then to the deck. When the gaff is raised the block is pulled tight to the mast, so that the gaff is vertical.

    When the sail is reefed the block on the gaff is moved father up the mast and when hoisted it is again vertical but the overall height is shorter. The sail reef points, and tack etc. all have to be taken care of as usual.

    I have one deep reef on my Eel. The block on the gaff is attached with a soft shackle, that is easily moved, the distance is a little more than the depth of the reef.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Quote Originally Posted by MW Jones View Post
    The halyard on the Eel starts on one side of the mast head through a block on the gaff back to a turning block on the opposite side of the mast head, and then to the deck. When the gaff is raised the block is pulled tight to the mast, so that the gaff is vertical.

    When the sail is reefed the block on the gaff is moved father up the mast and when hoisted it is again vertical but the overall height is shorter. The sail reef points, and tack etc. all have to be taken care of as usual.

    I have one deep reef on my Eel. The block on the gaff is attached with a soft shackle, that is easily moved, the distance is a little more than the depth of the reef.
    Do you have to untie robands to allow the soft eye to pass? How is the head of the sail attached to the yard. Peerie Maa has a luff grove.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Sails are laced to the spars, so that simplifies the moving of the block.

    An option would be two fixed connection points that the block could be shackled to, or a snatch block at each location.

    Are your spars wood?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Quote Originally Posted by MW Jones View Post
    Sails are laced to the spars, so that simplifies the moving of the block.

    An option would be two fixed connection points that the block could be shackled to, or a snatch block at each location.

    Are your spars wood?
    Yes wood. I would rather not have to unrig the main and drift if I need to reef which is why I replicated the original span when I built the new spar.
    I am thinking of screwing some sail track to the spar and making a slider to take the halyard shackle.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin b View Post
    Question for the owners of Garden's Eel that have the gunter rig with 2 reef points. How do you ensure the halyard is pulling the yard/gaff nearly vertical when you have lowered it to tie in a reef? Are you re-positioning the halyard further up the yard?
    Yes. On my gunter mainsail (Lymington Pram)...on my yard the sail there is in a luff groove. On the other side I have two rings (in effect a simple block) spaced a reef apart. Normally the dyneema halyard exits the mast passes through the ring then down the yard a way and the end eye splice hooks over a hook attached to the yard.

    When putting in a reef, you pass the halyard through the top ring and down to the hook again. It keeps the yard close to mast and simulataneously puts some 'up pull' into the yard. No falling off. The single halyard up pull on the yard transfers to a dyneema gromet through the yard heel vertically down onto a cringle at the top of the luff under the yard. This puts the slight angle yard up pull into a vertical luff pull and you get a nice tight luff. At the bottom, I am planning on adding a 6:1 on the boom downhaul to tighten it down here too this winter...super deluxe...so I don't have to really put much on the halyard. Above the heel of the yard, the sail luff tension is controlled by the outhaul at the end of the yard.

    On my luff I took the lacing off, it's a pain and slows raising and lowering the sail on several boats I had before it. By decent transmission of halyard tension onto the yard and down vertically onto the sail, the luff is nice and tight and I don't miss that luff lacing...at all. It doesn't seem needed. This is on a small stayed 15ft/ 12sqm gunter bermudan that points high. I've not seen or used this arrangement before, only a wire strop arrangement, but it seems to work well. There are many, many gunter reefing systems worked out.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Edward Pearson, i think I am following your system. So for you to put in a reef am I right that you pretty much need to completely lower the sail in order to reset the halyard?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    I think the sail track would work with some kind of a positive stop at each position.

    I also am intrigued by the idea ring arrangement Edward explained, and thinking maybe a snap shackle or snap hook at the reef point so that the block is not moved but just clipped into the shackle.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    And yes I do drop the main to reef. Often just sail under jib and mizzen, especially when sailing alone and need to reef underway.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    I would have to drop the mainsail to boom level or into the boat, to re position the halyard, through the second higher ring. To do that quickly my halyard runs down inside the mast and exits at the base then through a Spinlock cleat, it then turns around a block so I can raise it again from the middle of the boat. To let the halyard off, you just grab a bit of halyard and pull up on it, to make the Spinlock cleat release off. The advanatges of Spinlock cleats are you don't have to overcome the pull on a conventional cleat before it releases off.

    My boat is relatively small (14-15ft with a transom, and main is I think 8-9 sqm. Because it's 6ft in beam she seems stiff enough to manage in 25 knots without bother under full main and bigger jib. I use a bigger jib (not quite what I'd call a genoa) and I have an unused small jib ready for action to keep it balanced. I'm a bit fat right now - 90kg should be 75kg - 5'11" which actually is a good thing in windier conditions for rail ballast - havn't had to reef it on the water yet, but I don't go out if I know its pushing 30 knots as the sea conditions start making it less fun with wind over tide. My rig is carbon, so it's also lighter and also means the boat heals less. I have an adjustable outhaul led back so I also flatten the sail before reefing. A powerfull kicker led back also means I can open the leach to depower the sail. I don't use a mainsheet traveller, as it's a step over the line for me, making the boat look too busy.

    Does my arrangement make sense of should I draw a picture. It's how my boat came but I can say, with everything else, that it points high. I have yet to measure it, but I reckon I might be tacking through 60 degrees at a push, which is as good as it gets. Sails are quite new.

    If I changed it....I would look at the system used on Iain Oughtred gunter bermudan sail plans. A rope goes from the yard....around the mast, then back to the same point, through a small block, then down the yard towards the mast, where it cleats off at the heal of the yard. If your mast doesn't taper much, ideally not at all, the yard will just go up and down vertically with the halyard pull, and you wouldn't have to reposition anything. Providing there is enough overlap with the mast in the first place, it should stay firmy against the mast. When you done sailing, you drop the halyard, and the yard somes down to the boom vertically, then you let the rope off the cleat and it goes back horizontal ontop of the boom. If I was starting from scratch, I think I would probably use this system, what used to be called a sliding gunter. I might change mine to this arrangement - it would be preferable to not have sail and yard in the boat if possible when reefing. I don't have a mizzen - so to hove to I back the jib and push the tiller away - that leaves wind coming accross the boat a bit. I think Iain's arrangement might be best, and ideally the mast section would need to be straight, otherise you would have to adjust the yard rope. If you want a vertical yard, the sail will have to be cut for it. Some sail plans, it's at an angle.

    At the bottom of the sail, if you want single line reefing, you want to buy two of the small 16mm Harken blocks with a hook on, to fit in the cringle, so there is no resistance and use thin dyneema line.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 11-07-2018 at 08:03 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: William Garden "Eel"

    Aunt Louise at Panther Key.jpg

    This my Eel "Aunt Louise" at Panther Key last January

    I'm posting this so I could remember how to post photos from the computer since Flickr doesn't seem to work any more.

    you can see the two part halyard coming down to gaff. it is at the full sail position- main 125 Sq Ft

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