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Thread: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

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    Default What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    I am looking for the simplest/best/effective way to rig the mainsheet for the balanced lugsail of my wooden boat (Spike/Pike Gualala), a 12 feet flat bottom skiff:
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ke-quot-(Pike)

    Having tried out several versions for some years, I am still not convinced that I have the right solution.

    If I am sailing alone, solution at the moment is shown in pictures 1 and 2 below works ok: Mainsheet fixed onto boom with open bowline, going down to fiddle-swivel block hanging in a traveller on the bottom of the boat, than up again into small block fixed onto boom and down to fiddle-block, and going up again with option for fixing mainsheet into cleat of fiddle-block:

    Picture1:
    20190727_152936_HDR.jpg



    Picture 2:
    20190730_121726_HDR.jpg


    BUT: If I sail with another passenger I am getting into troubles, as the fiddle-block and the mainsheet connected vertically to the boom always gets into our way due to small space available, specially at moments we are tacking/manoevering. I tried to move the fiddle-block into the aft part of the boat, but still the problem exists.

    Now I am thinking to change the rig as follows with traveller fixed into holes of quarter-knees near transom. Both versions could use as an option one rachet-block:

    Option 1 (see picture 3): Two Blocks in the rear, mainsheet hauled horizontally


    Picture 3:

    20190731_123711.jpg

    Option 2: (see picture 4): One block in traveller, another block farther forward and mainsheet hauled down vertically.

    Picture 4:

    20190731_124545.jpg


    Question to the forum: What is the best way to rig the mainsheet for balanced lugsail in an 12 feet skiff if boat if sailed with two adult passengers? Are the solutions shown on above drawings (pictures 3 and 4) solving my problem or are there better alternatives.

    Regards,
    Christian
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    That top one is hellish powerful for that size boat.
    This is what I have in a boat 18' over the stems and 5' beam
    finished 005.jpg
    Same as your last image but no need for ratchet blocks. Hook the sheet around the horn of a cleat and then to your hand. That way with a hiking stick you can steer and adjust the sheet with one hand.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Nick, thanks for Your input, probably will save me 70 Euro by not buying a ratchet-block.
    One more question related to Your picture above and the cleat:

    If one sits/rides-out on the backboard side of the small boat, You hook the sheet around the horn of a cleat, which is mounted on the starboard-side? Or on the backboard-side? I assume that the sheet is not fixed onto the cleat as shown in Your picture, as in case of a squall one would be not fast enough to uncleat and free the sheet.
    Last edited by Pateplumaboat; 07-31-2019 at 01:02 PM. Reason: typos
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    On our 12ft dinghy, eyebolt through each quarter knee, shackle fixed end of mainsheet to one of them up through a single block on the end of the boom down through another single block shackled to quarter knee on the other side & then to hand.
    No travellers, no horse just simple.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    On our 12ft dinghy, eyebolt through each quarter knee, shackle fixed end of mainsheet to one of them up through a single block on the end of the boom down through another single block shackled to quarter knee on the other side & then to hand.
    No travellers, no horse just simple.
    Thanks Keith, this looks very interesting and very simple. Question: As mainsheet coming from block shackled to quarter knee is not centered, does it not interfere with tiller or helm-impeder?
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Nick, thanks for Your input, probably will save me 70 Euro by not buying a ratchet-block.
    One more question related to Your picture above and the cleat:

    If one sits/rides-out on the backboard side of the small boat, You hook the sheet around the horn of a cleat, which is mounted on the starboard-side? Or on the backboard-side? I assume that the sheet is not fixed onto the cleat as shown in Your picture, as in case of a squall one would be not fast enough to uncleat and free the sheet.
    That was belayed for the sake of the photo, just to keep everything taught and in place.

    You sit to windward, so hook the sheet around the leeward cleat. Change tack, change side and use the other cleat.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Thanks Keith, this looks very interesting and very simple. Question: As mainsheet coming from block shackled to quarter knee is not centered, does it not interfere with tiller or helm-impeder?
    The boom will be centred as the sheet going from one quarter to the other acts as a rope horse (traveller) as shown in your picture 3 image
    Not so convenient as the sheet does not lead so comfortably to hand on one tack, and I do like the friction provided by the thumb of a cleat.
    Is the sail so big that you need a tackle, would one block on the boom not suffice?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The boom will be centred as the sheet going from one quarter to the other acts as a rope horse (traveller) as shown in your picture 3 image
    Not so convenient as the sheet does not lead so comfortably to hand on one tack, and I do like the friction provided by the thumb of a cleat.
    Is the sail so big that you need a tackle, would one block on the boom not suffice?
    Thanks Nick, this is very helpful and clarifies my question. The size of my unreefed sail is about 5 squaremeters. I will test Your proposal to get a feel if it works sailing in stronger winds too.
    Last edited by Pateplumaboat; 08-01-2019 at 02:02 AM. Reason: Thanks to Nick
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    For a sail that size, I've found you don't really need any blocks at all. Simplest way to rig it:

    Tie one end of the sheet to the boom. Use simple thumb cleats (or standard horn cleats, which can also be used for docking) on the gunwales. Simply flip the sheet under the leeward cleat at each tack. If you want to lessen the strain, you can run the sheet from the thumb cleat forward to an oarlock, then back to your hand.

    Benefits:

    No heavy blocks clanking around, no expensive blocks to buy.

    Much shorter sheet is possible, leaving less line to clutter and tangle underfoot.

    For a sail of 5 square meters, I don't see any reason to do it any other way. This works very well for such small sails.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 08-01-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Thanks Tom, sounds interesting, in particular I like what You write about short sheet and less line to clutter and tangle underfoot.
    Will try Your proposal also. The only issue I have some doubts is about the load onto the sheet without 2/1 purchase which I could get with two simple blocks which I already got.
    Christian
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Rigged today according to proposal of Keith and comments from Nick.
    See pictures below. Hope I understood text-description correctly, any comment welcome.
    Christian

    20190801_193530_HDR.jpg

    20190801_193652_HDR.jpg
    Last edited by Pateplumaboat; 08-01-2019 at 04:07 PM.
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Thanks Keith, this looks very interesting and very simple. Question: As mainsheet coming from block shackled to quarter knee is not centered, does it not interfere with tiller or helm-impeder?
    I have never noticed any interference with the tiller the sheet just comes from aft & is offset on one tack, you dont notice it. Effectively its a 2:1 puchase, Biggest boat i used it on was an 18ft sail & oar skiff with a 100 square foot standing lug mainsail, she was a bit of a handful in a breeze & i never cleated it off!

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    For a sail that size, I've found you don't really need any blocks at all. Simplest way to rig it:

    Tie one end of the sheet to the boom. Use simple thumb cleats (or standard horn cleats, which can also be used for docking) on the gunwales. Simply flip the sheet under the leeward cleat at each tack. If you want to lessen the strain, you can run the sheet from the thumb cleat forward to an oarlock, then back to your hand.

    Benefits:

    No heavy blocks clanking around, no expensive blocks to buy.

    Much shorter sheet is possible, leaving less line to clutter and tangle underfoot.

    For a sail of 5 square meters, I don't see any reason to do it any other way. This works very well for such small sails.

    Tom
    Hey thanks Tom, I see these dinky dinks with all of 40 sqft of sail with triple blocks specified and I'm thinking what the actual heck???
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Thanks Tom, sounds interesting, in particular I like what You write about short sheet and less line to clutter and tangle underfoot.
    Will try Your proposal also. The only issue I have some doubts is about the load onto the sheet without 2/1 purchase which I could get with two simple blocks which I already got.
    Christian
    I find that the increased friction from not using blocks helps with handling the sheet loads comfortably. Then running it from a leeward horn cleat to the leeward oarlock, then back to my hand, makes it quite relaxed to hold the sheet. I used this system on a balanced lugsail of 6.3 square meters with no problems. The short sheet really is the nicest feature--much easier to keep tidy.

    Tom
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Thanks to Tom, Keith and Nick for great input.

    Below drawings of Options until now.
    Remark: Option 3 and 4 shows more realistic location of end of boom in respect to distance to end of tiller.

    What is the best way for my 12 feet skiff with 5 m2 (53 squarefeet) balanced lugsail?

    Option 1:
    Option_01.jpg

    Option 2:
    Option_02.jpg

    Option 3:
    Option_03.jpg

    Option 4:
    Option_04.jpg

    Regards,
    Christian
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post

    Option 4:
    Option_04.jpg

    Regards,
    Christian
    Go with this, but move the cleat forward to align with the end of the boom. If your gunwale is deep enough use a thumb cleat or pin pointing straight down
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Nick, thanks, will definately try out Option 4 (but cleat aligned with endo of boom, sheet straight down to thumb cleat/pin as Your suggestion), next time I am on the lake.

    Today friend of mine (experienced sailor in modern skiffs) told me, I should stay with Option 2a. (See photo below)

    Is there any advantage of Option 2a vs. Option 4?

    Option 4 (suggested by Tom): Simple, and as Tom has suggested "Much shorter sheet is possible, leaving less line to clutter and tangle underfoot."
    Option 2a: Advantages vs Option 4 may be (?): Allows boom to be hauled into centerline, additional purchase.

    Below see photo Option 2a with slight changes compared to Option 2 (yellow line with knot in boat-center fo fix block into position).

    Option_02a.jpg
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    FWIW, with a balanced lug rig, you won't want to haul the boom to the centerline. At close-hauled with this rig, I think, you'll want the end of the boom just at the gunwale, not further inboard than that. It's very easy to over-trim if you're used to sloops.

    Tom
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Nick, thanks, will definately try out Option 4 (but cleat aligned with endo of boom, sheet straight down to thumb cleat/pin as Your suggestion), next time I am on the lake.

    Today friend of mine (experienced sailor in modern skiffs) told me, I should stay with Option 2a. (See photo below)

    Is there any advantage of Option 2a vs. Option 4?

    Option 4 (suggested by Tom): Simple, and as Tom has suggested "Much shorter sheet is possible, leaving less line to clutter and tangle underfoot."
    Option 2a: Advantages vs Option 4 may be (?): Allows boom to be hauled into centerline, additional purchase.

    Below see photo Option 2a with slight changes compared to Option 2 (yellow line with knot in boat-center fo fix block into position).

    Option_02a.jpg
    I do not like option 2a, it stops you from going aft so sort problems at the transom. Too much clutter and stuff. I am a firm believer in KISS around boats.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Thanks Tom, in this case (balanced lug, 12 feet flat bottom skiff, 5 m2 sail), the best way seems to be Your suggestion Option 4a (hope drawing below interpretes Your ideas correctly).

    I think this could be "The Winner". Simple, effective, elegant and cheap!

    Option_04a.jpg
    Last edited by Pateplumaboat; 08-02-2019 at 02:07 PM.
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    On my ducker I have a simple 2x1 tackle that trims from the bottom, all I need. I have two eyes on the centerline, an after one that is just ahead of me I use with a passenger and an amidships one that I use solo. At the upper end, I've found a strop doesn't move once in position. All on carbiners so its removable when derigging or just rowing. May not be optimal but sure convenient.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Thanks Tom, in this case (balanced lug, 12 feet flat bottom skiff, 5 m2 sail), the best way seems to be Your suggestion Option 4a (hope drawing below interpretes Your ideas correctly).

    I think this could be "The Winner". Simple, effective, elegant and cheap!

    Option_04a.jpg
    That looks like what I meant exactly--it really works for me.

    Tom
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    For option 4a, if you find you would like a 2x1, put a loop of small line on the lower block to hook it on your thumb cleat. If you find you get tired of switching the rig from side to side, a loop of line with a carbiner through the center hole I see low on your after frame would give you another place to hook your sheet.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    For option 4a, if you find you would like a 2x1, put a loop of small line on the lower block to hook it on your thumb cleat. If you find you get tired of switching the rig from side to side, a loop of line with a carbiner through the center hole I see low on your after frame would give you another place to hook your sheet.
    I've found a metal ring is easier to hook on a cleat or pin than a loop of line, which always wants to close on itself before hooking it. Then again, with a sail this small, I haven't found a block to be essential. Try it both ways and see which you like better.

    On my current boat (7.9 sq m standing lug) I have a ratchet block with a 1" metal ring tied to it, and at each tack I just hook the ring on the leeward cleat. That helps me avoid double sheets, which I tried and really disliked. Dead simple, and works very well.

    Tom
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Here photo for dry-test Option 2: This to show disadvantages discussed:

    Disadvantage: If hauled in, lots of line to clutter and tangle underfoot, if running, sheet not long enough due to purchase!
    Picture: Long sheet even not long enough for running with the wind.

    20190803_171953.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Pateplumaboat; 08-03-2019 at 01:41 PM. Reason: typo
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Dry-test Option 4a with thumb-cleats installed today. Sheet more than long enough if sail is set-out for running:

    20190803_180019_HDR.jpg

    Thumb-cleats (sort of):

    20190803_173300.jpg

    Option 2b: Benīs proposal (thanks!) with small block hooked with small line onto thumb-cleat:

    20190803_181114_HDR.jpg

    Now with shorter sheet: less clutter but still long enough for running.

    20190803_182429_HDR.jpg

    Alternative Option 2c: As per Tom with block (carabiner could be used too) in bottom center-bolt just before aft-frame.

    20190803_175127_HDR.jpg

    Still to be tried out as suggested by forum members in this tread (Thanks!) :
    - Option 4d: Steel-Ring with small block hanging in tumb-cleat.
    - Option 4e:carabiner in bottom center-bolt.

    - And test all Options on the lake

    Regards,
    Christian
    Last edited by Pateplumaboat; 08-08-2019 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Wrong options mentioned in text below picture
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Option 4z (z=zero ;-): No blocks, no cleats, no rings, no carabiner. Just the sheet only, fixed at the end of boom with a bowlin.

    Today with reefed lugsail in good wind on lake. One hand fwrd with the sheet, one hand on the tiller. Due to wind no chance to hook into cleats on the leeside!



    On the beach, ready with reefed lugsail and Option 4z:

    20190806_134434_HDR.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Now retired Mystic Seaport boat builder built a melonseed type ( Long Island style) for his son when his son was about 10. Didn't give him any parts to his main and let him sail in any weather he wanted. David wasn't strong enough to get into trouble! The switch from side to side systems can give you a nice lead but you have experienced the down side.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    The switch from side to side systems can give you a nice lead but you have experienced the down side.
    I haven't actually run into any downside, though I've often heard similar comments about people not wanting to reach down to a leeward cleat.

    In practice, in my present boat (85 sq ft boomless standing lug, I haven't needed to lean down to leeward at all. I sheet to cleats on the gunwale, just aft of the cockpit. When tacking, I change the sheet to the (new) leeward cleat just after the sail starts luffing during the tack. When gybing, I control the sheet by hand, no problems. I never feel like I'm leaning down to leeward to change the sheets. It's been a non-issue.

    In this photo, you can see the tiller is over for tacking, the boat is starting to come about, and the sail is just starting to luff. And I am just about to move the sheet to starboard, to (what will be) the new leeward cleat--at which point the boat will not really be heeling anymore. As the sail comes over, I move to the new windward side (port). I never have my weight in the wrong place:

    DSCN1213.jpg

    Once you have the timing down, this is quite a smooth, secure operation. (Of course, reefing properly to match the conditions helps a lot, too).

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 08-06-2019 at 04:45 PM.
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pateplumaboat View Post
    Windy!

    Tom
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    My system is the sheet fastened to the starboard side, going through a block at the clew, down to a block at the port side and to a cleat in the centerpart of the boat. The whole thing is above the aft deck, so usually it doesn't disturb anything.
    This way I don't need to move to leeway to adjust or untie the sheet and I've got a kind of horse built in naturally.
    On my previous boat I had a sheet without any blocks that I tied/untied with every turn, it worked fine too, but I've gotten old and lazy.
    Both boats around 19 feet long, not sure about sail areas.

    /Mats

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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Windy!

    Tom
    I think the downside was big wind, bouncy boat when turned into the wind and things generally chaotic! Just hooking the sheet around a thumb cleat is what I used to do on my skiff, then I got lazy and into short tacking in sqiggly crookedy stuff.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I haven't actually run into any downside, though I've often heard similar comments about people not wanting to reach down to a leeward cleat.

    In practice, in my present boat (85 sq ft boomless standing lug, I haven't needed to lean down to leeward at all. I sheet to cleats on the gunwale, just aft of the cockpit. When tacking, I change the sheet to the (new) leeward cleat just after the sail starts luffing during the tack. When gybing, I control the sheet by hand, no problems. I never feel like I'm leaning down to leeward to change the sheets. It's been a non-issue.

    In this photo, you can see the tiller is over for tacking, the boat is starting to come about, and the sail is just starting to luff. And I am just about to move the sheet to starboard, to (what will be) the new leeward cleat--at which point the boat will not really be heeling anymore. As the sail comes over, I move to the new windward side (port). I never have my weight in the wrong place:

    Once you have the timing down, this is quite a smooth, secure operation. (Of course, reefing properly to match the conditions helps a lot, too).

    Tom
    Thanks Tom, great picture, very nice boat! Wished I have built such longer, wider boat (and bigger cockpit) instead of my small 12 feet skiff. She (Gualala) is lively in windy condition and needs very fast responses to wind/waves. What I found out in such condition is that it is important to hold sheet in fwrd hand and tiller in aft hand.
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  34. #34
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by mohsart View Post
    My system is the sheet fastened to the starboard side, going through a block at the clew, down to a block at the port side and to a cleat in the centerpart of the boat. The whole thing is above the aft deck, so usually it doesn't disturb anything.
    This way I don't need to move to leeway to adjust or untie the sheet and I've got a kind of horse built in naturally.
    On my previous boat I had a sheet without any blocks that I tied/untied with every turn, it worked fine too, but I've gotten old and lazy.
    Both boats around 19 feet long, not sure about sail areas.

    /Mats
    Thanks Mats, it seems Your system is similar to Option 3 as my drawing above with the difference that Your cleat is centered.
    Again, 19 feet boat is much more stable and not as lively to sail compared with 12 feet. And I found (especially in windy condition) that it is better to have clear separation of location of holding sheet (always fwrd) and tiller (always aft).

    Still, I have not come to a conclusion what is the best way to rig my boat. Will continue to try out and I am grateful for all hints/comments/critical observations.
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I think the downside was big wind, bouncy boat when turned into the wind and things generally chaotic! Just hooking the sheet around a thumb cleat is what I used to do on my skiff, then I got lazy and into short tacking in sqiggly crookedy stuff.
    Next chapter, "...and things generally chaotic!"

    struggling to get out... lifting daggerboard, kick-in rudder, sheet? tiller? OPTION 4Z:

    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

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