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  1. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    I noticed a topic on another forum regarding a problem with their internal outhaul system. Personally, I don't like the internal system especially on older Catalina's. On every Catalina I boarded for sail trim instruction, I first looked at 2 items --- the fairleads were first and the second was the outhaul. In a vast majority of the boats I visited the fairleads were frozen in place and the skipper told me the outhaul didn't function. Within one minute I determine part of the reason for the owners poor sail trim performance. With the outhaul broken and stuck in place along with the frozen fairleads, the owners sail trim was like the broken clock -- it was correct for one point of sail and wind condition and wrong for all others.

    My Catalina 30's outhaul was broken when I purchased the boat. One day I had enough and decided to remove the boom and bring it home for repair. My first problem was I was driving my wife's 4 door company car at the time. No problem -- I thought I could make it fit. After lugging it down the dock (my slip was 4 slips from the end so it was a long shag) and after trying every which way to stuff it in the car, to no avail, I lugged it all the way back to the boat. The next day I brought my 1964 Chevy P/u, which I should have used in the 1st place. When I got the boom home I noticed the end caps were pot metal and the screws were corroded. It wouldn't take much to crack the end caps so I decided to paint the boom and devise a better system to operate the outhaul, which is the primary control for draft depth (belly) and is the mainsails accelerator.

    The problem with the Catalina outhaul is twofold, not withstanding the poorly designed internal system (even if you manage to repair it the thing will fail again) is the the slug in the boom track is a friction inducer and that coupled with the pulling motion of the outhaul rope, which is downward, which causes the slug to dig into the boom.

    The solution is simple and involves 2 small Harken triple blocks, which are expensive little buggers, but provide enough mechanical advantage to get the job done. A couple of shackles and a turning block to route the line to the front of the boom and you're in business.
     


    Rick D likes this.
  2. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,340 posts, 116 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    That is exactly what I did to add purchase to my Hunter 40.5 outhaul. However, I kept the internal system but replaced all the blocks and line.
    Rick D.
     


  3. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    7,348 posts, 1,213 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Fundamental truth - Every sail control needs to be easy for the crew to access, and be easy to adjust. If they are not then you’re not fast.
     


  4. Hayden Watson

    Hayden Watson

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    314 posts, 34 likes
    Catalina C30 tr/bs
    US Oak Harbor, WA
    When I repainted the mast and boom on my 1988 C30 I rebuilt the outhaul and added in-boom single line reefing for both 1st and 2nd reef. I replaced the sheave in the end cap with a ball bearing sheave and then added a 4:1 tackle to the 2:1 in a cascade. now I have an 8:1 outhaul that is smooth as butter. I just need to be careful that I don't pull the clew out of the main.
     


  5. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Absolutely, and here's why it applies to the cruising and weekend sailor. Humans will do what's easy and not's what's hard - it's human nature. The sad part to me is that the "average Joe sailor" (no reference to my good friend "Joe from San Diego") would get so much more enjoyment from their sailboat if they only knew what they are missing from not understanding the basics of how all the sail trim controls for the main & jib function. Sadly they "don't know what they don't know" so when one or two sail trim controls don't function they sluff it off and their boats efficiency suffers. Additionally, if a sailor doesn't master the basics of sail trim they'll never understand what Jackdaw and others at his level are talking about. All the sail trim controls for the main & jib have to function and a sailor has to understand which sail trim controls for the main & jib adjust draft depth, draft position, twist & angle of attack and the effect of pushing/pulling them. If a sailor can't answer that question he/she has a problem from the jump. For example - fairleads control all of the above 4 elements for the jib and if they are not functioning where are you at - nowhere because the fairleads control all 4 elements of sail trim!! If your outhaul is not functioning where are you at - again nowhere from a draft depth standpoint.

    When I was part of the Catalina 30 national team that raced against fleets in So ca and where they gave us the crappiest boats they could find (not so in So Ca as I picked the boats) the first thing we looked at was the functionality of ALL the sail trim controls. Any that didn't work were fixed to the best of our ability with what we had on hand. The result was we never finished below second. I sure miss those days.
     


  6. walmsleyc

    walmsleyc

    Joined Feb 2, 2006
    333 posts, 7 likes
    Hunter Legend 35
    CN Kingston
    I recently replaced the internal outhaul system on my '87 Legend 35. The old fiddle blocks inside the boom didn't run freely, the a PO used line that was too large and had too much friction. As noted above, I replaced with two small harken triple blocks. I also used spectra core line with the cover stripped for all that is inside the boom. The slick and smaller core runs even better on the harken blocks.

    Now, in all but the heaviest conditions, I can tighten the outhaul without using the winch (it's a big main!). It also runs back out easily when released.

    Controls that work well and easily make a big difference.

    Chris
     


    Rick D likes this.
  7. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,984 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    Don, I do not understand your use of the term "fairlead." Can you please explain?

    My understanding is that a fairlead is a device that guides a line, to keep in in the correct position, or prevent chafe, that sort of thing, like the image below. You seem to be using the term to refer to a line that controls the sail. Perhaps I'm misreading your post.

    [​IMG]
     


  8. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    424 posts, 97 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    I believe Don's referring to a jib sheet lead block:
    [​IMG]
    BTW: Thanks for another good post, Don. I agree that the Catalina internal design is prone to failure and unneeded friction. If only sailboat manufacturers read these threads.
     


  9. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,984 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    It will be interesting to hear his reply. Based on your response, I suspect he is referring to the position of the jib lead cars on the tracks.
     


  10. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    7,348 posts, 1,213 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Based on how he used the term in the first paragraph of his first post, I'm assuming your're correct.
     


  11. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Yup, I'm referring to pin type jib lead cars. I think I'll start using that term in the future to avoid confusion - at my age I hope I can remember it!!
     


  12. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Parsons: thank you for your help. Another devise I hated on the older Catalina's was the curved track traveler. The person who designed it probably didn't test it before it went into production. It was difficult to use -- sometimes I had to put my foot on the bulkhead to adjust it.
     


  13. CloudDiver

    CloudDiver

    Joined Sep 8, 2014
    2,368 posts, 277 likes
    Catalina 22 Swing Keel
    US San Diego San Diego
    My C-22, obviously smaller than the boats Don was racing, still had all the same issues he mentioned.
    - My Jib lead cars weren't frozen in place, but the sheaves and bearings were in such horrible condition I'm sure the sheets would have just slid around them while not turning them.
    - Just about every screw and bolt in both spars were seized with corrosion. Luckily I got most of them out with liberal application PB Blaster, only a few had to be drilled. When they built them at the factory I am fairly certain no anti-seize (let alone tef-gel) was applied to threads, or at least the previous owners never did any maintenance to renew those compounds. Also, 3M insulation tape probably wasn't invented yet or heard of in the boat industry. This Delrin tape now backs all of my stainless components where they touch the spars.
    - My boom end-cap was also seized, but I'm sure its aluminum and not pot-metal. It is cast aluminum (and poorly done), so it can be easily confused with pot metal. Regardless, I took the painful steps of trying to drill out all the sheet metal screws (they should have used machine screws), ultimately I had to cut 3/4" off the end of the boom to get rid of the end cap plus areas of the spar completely eaten through by corrosion.
    - With a shorter boom (even if its only by 3/4 inch) I have to be mindful of my out-haul set up. Many systems I have looked use a number of small blocks but each one in the system takes up space that line needs to travel (and stretch). Since I have a new sail with a nice big grommet at the clew, with a very smooth surface, this will actually be used like a low friction ring (hint hint sailmakers...).
    - I got a new goose neck fitting so I repurposed the old one to become the boom end cap. I can utilize the tack pin as a becket, take the line through the clew as the first turning point then go into the boom at an exit block I installed for the second turning point. Another exit block will be in the bottom of the boom a point forward that I will determine after everything else is rigged.
    - So I think that leaves me at 4:1 purchase? I know the friction of the line through the clew grommet will be more than a block or clew ring would be but it is negligible. After the line comes out of the bottom exit block I could add another block on the boom surface redirecting the line forward and even another to go back again If I want more purchase, but let's not get crazy here... I have a loose footed main and sail slug is a longer and slightly skinnier 'pill' rather than the original sail slugs. I'm pretty certain the friction will be less and slug wont dive in the sail slot.
     


  14. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    7,348 posts, 1,213 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    A great trick and very common nowadays as a way to double your outhaul purchase. In particular if you use straight dyneema or de-covered line.
     


  15. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
     


  16. PAC3142

    PAC3142

    Joined Dec 18, 2012
    118 posts, 7 likes
    Hunter 37.5
    US Annapolis
    I think one thing about making the controls easier to use is that cruisers can put off starting the engine for longer. If depowering (flattening, twisting, reefing) and powering up (adding draft, flying a spinnaker or code 0) is easy, then there will be more SAILING. Going fast is fun (and I am racing anybody going in my general direction) but keeping sailing with ease and confidence as the conditions change is great and noble. Fist bump to those cruisers sailing, maintaining speed and control, while most have furled and started the Yanmar.
     


  17. MikeO53

    MikeO53

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    4 posts, 1 likes


    Parsons likes this.
  18. sesmith

    sesmith

    Joined Jul 1, 2010
    509 posts, 51 likes
    Seaward 25
    US Ithaca, NY
    I've been working on our outhaul for a while now, and finally have it working well. It originally was a single line through the boom to a bolt rope attached mainsail. The other end went to a jam cleat at the mast end of the boom. It didn't work.

    The first and largest improvement, was getting a loose foot main sail. The new sail was worth adjusting...the original sail, not so much. The loose foot sail was much easier to tighten and let out, but not easy to do under load. First, I ran the outhaul line through the grommet on the sail and to a fixed point at the rear of the boom. This got me 2:1, which helped. Last winter, I took the boom apart and added a block and 2:1 internal to the boom. The last thing I did, late this summer, was adding a 3 block set at the base of the mast for the 3 lines coming out of the boom (outhaul and 2 reef lines), so I could pull the lines straight down and back to the cockpit for cleating there. This did away with the jam cleats on the boom, that were a pain to deal with. They were too easy to inadvertently release, and occasionally slipped, always requiring a trip up to the mast to reset.
     


  19. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,867 posts, 34 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    [ The last thing I did, late this summer, was adding a 3 block set at the base of the mast for the 3 lines coming out of the boom (outhaul and 2 reef lines), so I could pull the lines straight down and back to the cockpit for cleating there. This did away with the jam cleats on the boom, that were a pain to deal with. They were too easy to inadvertently release, and occasionally slipped, always requiring a trip up to the mast to reset.[/QUOTE]

    Sesmith: I like that idea and wish I had thought of it. I also didn't like the trip to the mast but I was so happy that I could adjust the outhaul I put up with the trip. When I was singlehanding the boat, which was 95% of the time -- it was a quick trip.
     


  20. sesmith

    sesmith

    Joined Jul 1, 2010
    509 posts, 51 likes
    Seaward 25
    US Ithaca, NY
    Don,
    I used to bring the lines diagonally straight back to a cleat near the cockpit and forego the jam cleats. This worked pretty well for the reefing lines. For some reason, the outhaul line would jam at the boom sheave (same sized line as the other 2). The angle of the boom created uneven tension on the lines when cleated, though this wasn't a big deal. The 3 way block I got from Garhauher (I saw it at the Annapolis show this fall) was the answer. The outhaul operates flawlessly now. Having a 2 line reefing setup right from the cockpit is pretty nice too (the 2 luff reefing lines and cunningham are also led back to the cockpit via mast base blocks and a deck organizer).
     



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