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

  1. #71
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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 think I may have posted something about this earlier in the thread, but have you tried any kind of self-steering/tiller tender device?

    I use a simple line/bungee that hooks over a small cleat on the underside of the tiller, and the tension of the line/bungee pulling backward against the clear holds the tiller in place whenever I let go. At the same time, I can grab the tiller and steer at any moment without adjusting tension. This is a VERY handy thing to rig in a small boat, where you typically need one hand for the sheet, one for the tiller, one for the daggerboard/centerboard, one for... oops...

    Here's what it looks like in action:



    I can push the tiller over to tack, and don't need to touch it again until it's time to straighten out on the new tack, for example. Or sail for hours with only a nudge of the tiller now and then. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    Tom
    Tom, thanks for comment. On my boat I have a similar setup, a system known as "Huntingford helm impeder". I have tried various solutions of such "helm impeders" and this is what I found to be the most versatile for me. But it is more complicated compared with Your solution and probably Yours may be more effective? What I do not understand in Your solution is how it works with "line/bungee that hooks over a small cleat on the underside of the tiller"? Is there a special cleat the line/bungee is working with a sort of friction-device?

    Here my solution which works fine also for stronger winds.

    Red line: Bungee-cord allows tensioning of helm-impeder by moving small white plastic block fwd.
    Blue line: Haul-up kick-up rudder
    White line: Keep-down kick-up-
    rudder

    Helm1.jpg

    Below picture showing tensioned red bungee-cord. Tiller is fixed at required position:

    helm2.jpg

    Regards,
    Christian
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  2. #72
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Christian,

    it looks like your helm impeder is similar, but definitely more complicated. The "cleat" on my tiller is just a simple block of wood. The bungee/line is anchored aft of this cleat, so when I pull it tight, stretching the bungee, the tension of the line pulling backward against the cleat supplies enough friction to hold the tiller in place. And that tension is adjustable, just by pulling the line tighter.

    Here's a photo of the cleat:

    tiller cleat.jpg

    The line runs from gunwale to gunwale, anchored on the horn cleats I use for docking. There is a short loop of bungee (one of those bungee/ball lines with the ball removed, and the loop doubled up) hooked on the port horn cleat (not visible in the photo). I tie the tiller line off to the starboard horn cleat, and tie the other end off to the bungee loop with a quick-release tension knot (a slipped half hitch).

    Works great, very simple. Can be adjusted, removed, or re-installed in just a couple of seconds--but really, it's so useful I rarely remove it.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #73
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Tom, thanks for explaining Your system. Sure, this is less complicated and usually less complex is better for a small boat. The only advantage I can see for the "Huntingford helm impeder" is the possibility to adjust friction at the end of the tiller, which is nearer to my hands.

    Regards,
    Christian
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  4. #74
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Here my last/best version:

    See pictures below. I tried this version on stronger winds with my brother sitting on the twart/daggerboard-case and myself on the helm.

    Used mainsheht-block, sliding-bearing 10 mm - 2 sheaves, swivel and cam cleat. This "violin-block" is fixed onto an eye-plate on the bottom, about 4 inches aft of the thwart/daggerboard-case. Violin-block is connected to the eye-plate with simple shakle and stands-up by an stainless-steel spiral-spring.

    I think, I will stay with this option now for following reasons:

    - Mainsheet is all fwd and will not interfere with any traveller/helm-impeder/tiller-extension. Fwd-hand on the mainsheet, aft-hand on the tiller. Clear ergonomics, no crossing of arms.
    - Mainsheet tension hauling-upwards is good for my older body.
    - Violin-block with stand-up spring not lying-around. Bottom of boat between thwart and tiller free of any lines or other installations.
    - 4 x purchase is good to have in stronger winds, as sheet is not fixed at the aft-part of the beam, but at about slightly back of half length of beam. No ratchet-block required as purchase is more than enough for size of sail (I use a 10 mm sheet = smooth to my hands).
    - Mainsheet optionally fixed with camcleat integrated in violin-block (with precautions!! but camcleat can be opened in a fraction of a second by moving sheet down)
    - If sailing on a reach with low winds, mainsheet is not "hanging into water".

    Again, thanks to all of You for great input and suggestions.

    Anyway, the conclusion, I have arrived to, is valid only for this boat and sail only (12 feet flat-bottom skiff with balanced lugsail. Iain OUthred´s design "Spike").
    Trial and error is the method I used to set up this rig. Choice is also a matter of personal preference and other sailors will probably come to different solutions/opinions.


    Final 1.jpg

    "Violin-block" (Type: HS-Sprenger 10):

    Violin-block.jpg

    Final 4.jpg


    Final 2.jpg







    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  5. #75
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    I like the way you tried so many options--too often I think people decide on a "solution" without being aware of other possibilities. It does look like their will be minimal clutter with the sheeting so far forward in the cockpit. For me, lack of clutter is probably the biggest priority.

    One question occurs to me: It looks like you have to sit mid-cockpit or even farther aft with your set-up. Have you checked how the fore-and-aft trim is when you're sitting there? It's quite common for people to sit too far back, especially when trying to work to windward. That's one reason I use a set-up that allows me to sit a bit forward of the cockpit, steering with a tiller extension. Does the sheet get in your way when you move forward? If you sail with a passenger forward, of course, you'll have better trim, so that won't be an issue.

    It's great how, as you say, different sailors find different ways to accomplish the same goals. Cheers!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  6. #76
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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 Anders Bjorklund View Post
    Christian, I just saw this thread, and have a few comments.
    First, your boat is BEAUTIFUL.
    Mid-boom sheeting makes for nimble boathandling, which I think is crucial on a boat of this size.
    I would probably reduce the power to 3 parts, and add a ratchet block to the system to make it easier to hold.
    For safety reasons, with a mainsheet rig like this, it's important that the boom blocks are prevented from swiveling freely. Otherwise, the parallel parts of the mainsheet can get twisted around each other, and when that happens it's impossible to quickly ease out the sheet when you absolutely NEED to.
    As for the free end of the mainsheet, I tie mine off to something. That helps keep the spaghetti in the cockpit from getting seriously tangled.

    Best of luck with your sailing!
    Anders
    Thanks Anders. The ratchet block is a fine thing, I have tried also (see my posts above), but the purchase on my rig is now one to four and therefore reducing tension on mainsheet considerable. Otherwise I wanted to have a camcleat combined with the violin-block as an option (wind-conditions allowing). Such option is not available combined with a ratchet-block.
    Your point about the tow blocks swiveling freely on the boom is very important, I can see that this could cause a problem. I will change this to simple not-swifeling blocks fixed to the boom.

    Also Your point regarding "spaghetti" is good to take into consideration. Will try out next time on the water (spring 2021). Thanks again, and best of luck!

    Christian
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  7. #77
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    That is a lot of purchase on the middle of the boom.
    Although you have a pretty hefty boom there, it will be much easier with that amount of power to put considerable pressure on it.
    I'd keep an eye on it.

  8. #78
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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 like the way you tried so many options--too often I think people decide on a "solution" without being aware of other possibilities. It does look like their will be minimal clutter with the sheeting so far forward in the cockpit. For me, lack of clutter is probably the biggest priority.

    One question occurs to me: It looks like you have to sit mid-cockpit or even farther aft with your set-up. Have you checked how the fore-and-aft trim is when you're sitting there? It's quite common for people to sit too far back, especially when trying to work to windward. That's one reason I use a set-up that allows me to sit a bit forward of the cockpit, steering with a tiller extension. Does the sheet get in your way when you move forward? If you sail with a passenger forward, of course, you'll have better trim, so that won't be an issue.

    It's great how, as you say, different sailors find different ways to accomplish the same goals. Cheers!

    Tom
    Thanks Tom, Your points are very valid and good to discuss with an experienced sailor.

    beating against the wind I am sitting just aft the oarlocks on my side-benches. (my weight is about 80 kg) With stronger winds and without passenger I have to ride-out (using tiller extension), sitting on the gunwales. Yes, this small boat is very sensitive and trimming of weight is important and I learned by experience, not to sit too far back. With the rig I have now, the sheet is not in my way, even if I move more forward when starting to tack.

    After some time sailing my boat, I realized that my boom of my balanced lug was too low, hereby hindering myself and an optional passanger to duck more comfortably under the beam while tacking or jibing or taking out the daggerboard while reaching/jibing. I changed my mast and added about 40 cm of mast-length, this allowed my to lift up sail and beam higher. As I also built a movable mast-step in my boat, I could then move the center of gravity of the sail more to fwd by inclining mast to fwd and this allowed me to sit more comfortable in the boat, just behind the oarlocks.

    Thanks a lot and Cheers!
    Christian
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  9. #79
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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 Anders Bjorklund View Post
    Christian, I hope you won't mind if I add a couple more thoughts about rigging a mainsheet (or any other line that needs to reliably run free when it must be released).

    Automatic cleats such as camcleats or clamcleats that are mounted very close to a fitting like a fairlead or a block, make it more likely that the lines will become cleated when we don't want them to. In some cases that isn't much of a problem, but because a mainsheet is often in almost continuous adjustment, and because the consequences of a jammed mainsheet can be so serious, it is something that might be worth thinking about.

    Another thing I should have mentioned about tying off the free ends of mainsheets: Before doing that, it helps to carefully remove any twist in the line before tying it off. Otherwise, as the sheet is paid out, twisted kinks can form in the line that will jam tightly in the block, with sometimes dire consequences. One good way to remove twist from a line is to let to drag behind the boat through the water for a while.

    It isn't really possible to prevent 100% of mainsheet jams, but developing good "mainsheet hygiene" certainly helps. Before beginning a maneuver where significant amounts of sheet will need to be quickly paid out, it's good to manually remove any tangles in the pile of spaghetti before they can cause trouble.

    Anders
    Anders, thanks and both remarks are helpful. On the issue of fixing the mainsheet with a cleat, one has to find a compromise. Sometimes, in particular for cases sailing alone, I need to adjust/work something in the boat and need one or two hands free. This is only possible if one is making the mainsheet fast to something. The solution I have now (with the violin-block) gives me the chance to free the mainsheet in parts of a second. There is also the option to NOT to run the mainsheet within that camcleat, which is the option I almost exclusively when sailing. I found that any other fixing of the mainsheet (on horncleats or other parts of my boat) is more problematic (slower!). Will see how the cleat on the violin-block works, if I see that there is too much risk I will remove this clamcleat from the violin-block.

    Regards
    Christian
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  10. #80
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    I made up a rig with an open cam cleat on a base that goes into an oar lock socket, well away from a main sheet block. No way that it can get auto cleated and its right next to my hand when I am sailing my boat. Pics of it in Small Boat Monthly. It also had a couple of other tricks, slipped hitch on a half pin etc.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  11. #81
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Hmm... I tend be a little less dogmatic about cleating off the sheet in a small boat. There are times when it's a bad idea--but those are the times when you'll likely be too scared to even be tempted to cleat off the sheet.

    There are other times when you might be sailing for 20+ miles on a steady broad reach.

    I'd say, make sure to keep the sheet run clean, with no clutter and nothing to foul on--but given that, and fairly steady conditions, I have no qualms about tying off the sheet.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  12. #82
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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 Anders Bjorklund View Post
    Oh no, am I being dogmatic? Sometimes I get right to my point to save everyone's time. I didn't mean to be rude. Adjust your receiver accordingly?

    Cheers,
    Anders
    I didn't say anything about anyone being rude--my apologies if that is how you read my post.

    I just happen to think differently about how to handle a mainsheet. In my experience, the standard oft-quoted admonitions about never cleating off the sheet in a small boat over-emphasize the dangers, and do seem to be argued for strongly enough, and often enough, to be a kind of dogma.

    dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.


    I think it's worth pointing out that other opinions do exist, and that cleating a sheet can be done safely, and that doing so can improve the sailing experience for long days at the tiller. Probably I'm biased to some extent because of the kind of sailing I do--often 30-40+ miles per day, alone, for several weeks at a time.

    So far what I'm doing seems to be working for me, as I've never capsized my boat except on purpose.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 10-12-2020 at 10:10 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  13. #83
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Nope, no feather-ruffling going on for me!

    I daysail on gusty lakes, too, and still find it quite reasonable to cleat the sheet for much of the time--but when it's gusty or fluky, not so much. I think there is a school of thought that rejects the very idea of ever cleating the mainsheet in a small boat, and I just think that's overkill if insisted upon as an ironclad principle of sailing.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 10-13-2020 at 11:29 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  14. #84
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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 Anders Bjorklund View Post
    Tom, please don't associate me with any imagined "school of thought with ironclad principles that are insisted upon". I don't think that promotes the friendly exchange of ideas.

    Anders
    Well, apparently it was your feathers ruffling--but that was not my intention. But the fault is mine, I think--I paid too much attention to these parts of your posts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Bjorklund View Post
    If I needed both hands free for some purpose I would momentarily park the boat, beam-to-wind, with the boom eased all the way out and the sail luffing.
    ...
    When we need to stop to be safe, we need to STOP, and I wouldn't compromise that ability for any amount of convenience.
    And not enough to other parts where you come across as more flexible about handling sheets.

    The quotes above seem (to me, at least) to suggest that cleating off the sheet in a small boat is a bad idea on principle. I disagree with that conclusion. And that's OK--we don't have to agree. There are many ways to approach small boat sailing, and many judgments each of us make about how to do things.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  15. #85
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    Default Re: What is the best way to rig mainsheet for balanced lug sail in 12 feet skiff?

    Anders, now I have changed the attachement of the two blocks at the boom according to Your remark: "For safety reasons, with a mainsheet rig like this, it's important that the boom blocks are prevented from swiveling freely. Otherwise, the parallel parts of the mainsheet can get twisted around each other, and when that happens it's impossible to quickly ease out the sheet when you absolutely NEED to."
    See pictures below. How You feel about the change?

    Regards,
    Christian

    Remark: Mainsheet not cleated

    NoWirbel1.jpg

    Blocks fixed to boom. Non-swiveling!

    NoWirbel2.jpg


    "Reaching"
    NoWirbel3.jpg

    Main fixed with cam-cleat. Only during exceptional situations. Fast uncleating done by pushing main slightly down.
    NoWirbel4.jpg
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  16. #86

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

    That looks great Christian. Did you build the entire boat? You do beautiful work!

    Anders

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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 Anders Bjorklund View Post
    That looks great Christian. Did you build the entire boat? You do beautiful work!

    Anders
    Thanks Anders, yes I have built the entire boat. Only the sails bought from "Tuchwerkstatt". If You lookup in this forum for the User Name "Pateplumaboat" You will see threads showing some of my builds.

    Boats I have built up to now:

    Amberjack/Stickleback Dory (Design Iain Oughtred)
    Spike with Sprit-Rig (Oughtred)
    Spike with Lug-Rig (Oughtred)
    A "Shoe" for Spike (for 5 hp Outboard, my own invention and design)
    Seahawk (Bolger, Payson)
    Payson´s Pirogue (Bolger, Payson)
    Auray Punt (Bolger, Payson)

    Regards,
    Christian
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

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