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Preview: Cool Sail Rigging Tips #3, Of Rollers, Coils, & Curves

January 8, 2015

Coiling ropeĀ (or even your garden hose!) and other tips.

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BRION TOSS: There are several components that make furling easy. A big one is that the turns should exit the drum at about 90 degrees to drum. If they’re higher than 90 degrees, the turns will tend to pile up on the top of the drum. And then when you go to furl, they’ll drop down and jam under each other and that makes it very hard to furl. Likewise, if the turns are below 90 degrees, the turns will tend to pile up on the bottom, then they’ll hop up and jam. And even if the lead is perfectly 90 degrees, but the adjusting block is in close, the first lead block is in close, then the angle, the fleet angle will steepen. And the turns will tend to pile up in the middle and then it can hop up or down, and they’ll jam in both places. So 90 degrees and that lead block, as far away as practicable for a minimum fleet angle. This furler is now secured. The drum is belayed. The sheets are wrapped firmly around the sail. So even in a high wind, the wind can get under the sail and work it loose. Put a strain on this further line and set the sail in 50 knots when you didn’t wanna set at all. So this is good as it is now, but what could happen if we ran out of turns when we got these wrapped? So, there’s no turns on the drum and this lead goes right to this knot. Now any load, even from just tightening the sheets will strain this knot and that puts oscillation and chafe and unintended tension can break the knot, then this drum is no longer secured and the sail will set. Therefore, you want to have anywhere from four to six turns of sheet on the sail and a like number of turns on the drum, so that there’s friction on the drum and no load comes on the knot. Also, if you furl in a really big wind and the sail will wrap tighter than it ordinarily would and you will need these turns in reserve. It’s really embarrassing and unfortunate, if you run out of furling line before you run out of sail.

BRION TOSS: We’ve all been taught to coil clockwise and this makes sense for right laid three strand rope. It doesn’t make sense for braided rope, because the twist don’t go away and you end up with hackles in the rope. So when you’re coiling single or double braided rope or garden hose or electrical cable or wire rope, do a regular three-strand clockwise turn, which puts a twist in the rope one way. And then reverse the next turn, which puts a twist in the other way,then they balance out and there’s no resultant twist. Regular turn, reverse turn. Regular turn. Reverse turn. It works a charm. Beware though,never let the end get through the coil. It doesn’t just make a tangle, it’ll actually tie in knots. So always make sure your end is hanging below the coil, as you make a regular turn and a reverse turn. Regular turn and the reverse turn.

BRION TOSS: The beauty of a boom and mast mounted vang is that you don’t have to tack it. You don’t have to release one side when you bring the boom over into the other side. The disadvantage of it is that it doesn’t just pull down. It doesn’t pull down as efficiently as one that just has a vertical lead. So to get the most vertical efficiency out of a boom and mast mounted vang, a good rule of thumb is that the horizontal distance from the gooseneck is about twice the vertical distance to the attachment point on the mast. So, get the attachment point of the mast as low as you can. And then for a given resulting angle, twice that distance to the gooseneck to where it attaches to the boom. We’ll give you upwards of 90% of possible mechanical advantage. Two to one.


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