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Catalina Outhaul Mod

May 17, 2004
2,021
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
This subject has been discussed before but his weekend I received a call from a Texas sailor who was not aware of the discussion. His outhaul on his 1989 Catalina 30 is jambed in place. I describe my mod but unfortunately his small marina is closed and he couldn't perform the mod if he wanted to.

The problem is two fold. First, the internal design is crappy and even if you take the boom apart after drilling out the pop rivets and manage to avoid cracking the pot metal end cap, as I did, and fix the system it will only jamb up again. The second part of the problem is the outhaul slug that rides in the bolt rope track. The pulling motion of the outhaul line is downward causing the slug to dig into the boom.

Why is it important to to have a working outhaul? The outhaul controls draft position. If the outhaul is not functioning it means the setting is like the broken clock - it's correct for one point of sail and wind condition and wrong for all others.

I removed the slug and used 2 Harken triple blocks but any triple block will work. Then you have to figure out how to attach them, I used shackles.To make the pulling motion horizontal I attached one of the shackles to the topping lift tang. I attached a turning block to the boom and ran the outhaul line through a few pad eye's to a cleat near the original opening. Worked great and later I modified the system to run to the cockpit.
 

Jimski

.
May 20, 2015
44
Catalina 30 Seabrook
This subject has been discussed before but his weekend I received a call from a Texas sailor who was not aware of the discussion. His outhaul on his 1989 Catalina 30 is jambed in place. I describe my mod but unfortunately his small marina is closed and he couldn't perform the mod if he wanted to.

The problem is two fold. First, the internal design is crappy and even if you take the boom apart after drilling out the pop rivets and manage to avoid cracking the pot metal end cap, as I did, and fix the system it will only jamb up again. The second part of the problem is the outhaul slug that rides in the bolt rope track. The pulling motion of the outhaul line is downward causing the slug to dig into the boom.

Why is it important to to have a working outhaul? The outhaul controls draft position. If the outhaul is not functioning it means the setting is like the broken clock - it's correct for one point of sail and wind condition and wrong for all others.

I removed the slug and used 2 Harken triple blocks but any triple block will work. Then you have to figure out how to attach them, I used shackles.To make the pulling motion horizontal I attached one of the shackles to the topping lift tang. I attached a turning block to the boom and ran the outhaul line through a few pad eye's to a cleat near the original opening. Worked great and later I modified the system to run to the cockpit.
I have put off addressing a crappy outhaul since I bought the boat as there were more pressing - the traveler, main sheet system and boom vang. The rigger just ran the outhaul line though the sail and then through the block at the end of the boom, effectively making it a high friction 2-1. I installed a single block there and it still sucks very much. I think the internal blocks are gone.

To really fix the problem I bought a Harken "smart box" which is just an 8-1 system inside an aluminum frame. I planned to mount it under the boom but the frame is flat and the boom is round, not providing a surface conducive to mounting it. I ready to scrap it for better ideas.
 
May 17, 2004
2,021
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
I have put off addressing a crappy outhaul since I bought the boat as there were more pressing - the traveler, main sheet system and boom vang. The rigger just ran the outhaul line though the sail and then through the block at the end of the boom, effectively making it a high friction 2-1. I installed a single block there and it still sucks very much. I think the internal blocks are gone.

To really fix the problem I bought a Harken "smart box" which is just an 8-1 system inside an aluminum frame. I planned to mount it under the boom but the frame is flat and the boom is round, not providing a surface conducive to mounting it. I ready to scrap it for better ideas.
Jim: The outhaul is your ACCELERATOR and if it doesn't work the rest of the controls for the mainsail on a C30 are irrelevant except for one point of sail and wind condition. The 2 block system is a simple fix. One I figured it out it took me longer to go to and from West Marine getting the parts than putting it together. There's no friction with this fix. There are a couple of guys on this forum that have install the mod.
 

Jimski

.
May 20, 2015
44
Catalina 30 Seabrook
Jim: The outhaul is your ACCELERATOR and if it doesn't work the rest of the controls for the mainsail on a C30 are irrelevant except for one point of sail and wind condition. The 2 block system is a simple fix. One I figured it out it took me longer to go to and from West Marine getting the parts than putting it together. There's no friction with this fix. There are a couple of guys on this forum that have install the mod.
This current crappy system works but not very well. Impossible to tighten unless the main is luffing. Its definitely time to fix it.

Does your mod route lines outside the boom? Any chance you could post a photo or drawing? I do not understand where the outhaul line is tied to use all 6 sheaves of 2 triple blocks.

I dont use a topping lift anymore since I installed a rigid boom vang. The outhaul line is tied to the topping lift tang.
Thanks
Jim
 

mrreg

.
Jun 16, 2014
15
Catalina 30 8087 Alameda, CA
Don: Would love to see a photo of your installation for outhaul fix. I would like the outhaul to be accessed in the cockpit.
Thanks,
Russ
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,547
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
I rebuilt my internal 3:1 and added a 2:1 internal cascade and a second 2:1 external cascade so now I have 12:1 total purchase on my C30 tr/bs. Very easy to adjust but could probably tear the sail in two if I tried. I like it. I also took the sail foot-rope out of the boom and use it loose footed which makes shaping the sail a breeze.
The outhaul slug is critical for setting the sail loos footed so i also like that. Given the high purchase, I need to pull the sail forward to ease the outhaul but I have the control line at the front of the boom so that is not a problem. I make adjustments from the mast and not in the cockpit.
It has really improved by light air performance because before the mods, I never adjusted the outhaul because it was too hard to tension when the wind was up so it was always too tight for light conditions..
 
Last edited:
May 17, 2004
2,021
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
This current crappy system works but not very well. Impossible to tighten unless the main is luffing. Its definitely time to fix it.

Does your mod route lines outside the boom? Any chance you could post a photo or drawing? I do not understand where the outhaul line is tied to use all 6 sheaves of 2 triple blocks.

I dont use a topping lift anymore since I installed a rigid boom vang. The outhaul line is tied to the topping lift tang.
Thanks
Jim
Jim: The shackle is attached to the tang. You can still use the tang for your topping lift -- when I installed the Garhauer Boom Vang I removed the topping lift. Anyway, the outhaul line comes off the the port side of the shackle and comes down to a turning block. It continues along the boom and through a couple of pad eyes or whatever you want to use to organize the line until it reaches the front of the boom near where the original line exited the boom. At first, I added a cleat to secure the line after adjustment. Since I had to go forward to adjust the outhaul I found that inconvenient so I added another turning block to bring the line to the base of the mast. Another shackle brought the line back to the cockpit.

The only picture I have of this setup is on my website www.sailtrimproducts.com. Go to "Don's Mods". Unfortunately, the picture can't be enlarged - the guy who built the website is long gone but you can see enough of it to get the ides. If you lay the 2 blocks on the boom you'll end up doing what I did and figure out a way for it to work for you. You're only moving the sail about 6" so the devise isn't something you 'd see on Monster Machines!!

People (sailors) do what's easy and not whats hard. If the fairleads are rusted in place, if the curved track traveler (junk) is difficult to move or the outhaul is stuck in place they don't use them. Then they wonder why they can't get 100% efficiency out of the sails. ALL the sail trim controls have to work together.
 

Jimski

.
May 20, 2015
44
Catalina 30 Seabrook
Thanks Don. There is enough in the photo to see what you mean. I was thinking you were still routing the outhaul internally.

A dockmate also has a C30 TM and has also run his outhaul down the port side. They way he rigs his boat he can out point me by 5+ degrees. Dang near as high as the J-boats. No doubt getting the main flat helps with that. Going upwind he pulls his mainsheet so tight the boom bows. Yes, he wins.... a lot.

My boat is evolving. I have already installed a Garhauer traveler, main sheet system and boom vang. I use inhaulers upwind when the wind is above 12 knots (they dont seem to work in light wind). I am starting to be more competitive as I learn more. Buying an expensive race sail is not in the cards though.
Jim
 
May 17, 2004
2,021
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Jim: You mentioned the Garhauer traveler. That was the 1st change I made. My curve track traveler was so bad I had to put my foot on the bulkhead as leverage to move it. As a fix I had Garhauer build me a double stack but the first time I tried it i didn't like it and purchased the straight track, which is what I should have done in the first place. I keep the teak block and it sure liked nice when I finished.

Since the engine of a masthead rig is the jib and not the mainsail, the next upgrade I made was the Garhauer adjustable fairlead system. What is your jib adjustment system - pin type fairleads?

My neighbor saw my set up and asked me to install his. It comes on it's own shipping track. When I came to his boat he was fiddling with it and I was just about to tell him don't remove the car from the track!!! He did and we both watched the ball bearing bounce all over the place with most falling in the water. He said he didn't know not to remove it -- i showed him the sticker note on the side.
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,547
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
...
My neighbor saw my set up and asked me to install his. It comes on it's own shipping track. When I came to his boat he was fiddling with it and I was just about to tell him don't remove the car from the track!!! He did and we both watched the ball bearing bounce all over the place with most falling in the water. He said he didn't know not to remove it -- i showed him the sticker note on the side.
Speaking of loose balls, ;) my 1988 Mk-2 came with the straight track Garhauer traveler but over the years, it started to get really hard to move under load. I contacted Garhauer and they sent me a full set of new bearings (200-300 of them) and a short piece of track for loading. What a difference! I almost waited too long because I was just beginning to get some metal-on-metal wear but was able to clean it up with some emery cloth. The secrete to putting the ball into the carrier is to firmly tape it in place on the short track so that just enough of the slot is showing to allow one ball to fit. You then place each one into the 4-slots one at a time with a pair of tweezers. (you will be there a while)

My main sheet trimmer is my wife so at the same time, I got a couple of extra sheaves from them and increased my traveler purchase from 3:1 to 4:1. Happy wife, Happy life!!! :biggrin:
 
Last edited:
May 17, 2004
2,021
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Yes - the tracks are stock Catalina 30 toe rail with pins.
Jim: I thought that would be the case. How often do you adjust the leads? Probably not often when sailing or racing. Take a look at the Garhauer adjustable fairlead system.It would be a great addition to your boat and with it you'd give your dock mate friend a run for his money.
 

Jimski

.
May 20, 2015
44
Catalina 30 Seabrook
Jim: I thought that would be the case. How often do you adjust the leads? Probably not often when sailing or racing. Take a look at the Garhauer adjustable fairlead system.It would be a great addition to your boat and with it you'd give your dock mate friend a run for his money.
We set the cars for what we expect the wind to be before the race and make adjustments "before the next tack" if required. Sometimes we do a tack that we would not otherwise do just to adjust the car. We have also been a little successful at standing on the sheet to adjust it if the wind is light enough.

No doubt, adjustable leads would be very nice.
 
  • Like
Likes: Hayden Watson
Apr 5, 2009
1,547
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
We set the cars for what we expect the wind to be before the race and make adjustments "before the next tack" if required. Sometimes we do a tack that we would not otherwise do just to adjust the car. We have also been a little successful at standing on the sheet to adjust it if the wind is light enough.

No doubt, adjustable leads would be very nice.
This is the same technique I use. I would like to get the adjustable cars but they have to come after new cushions (wife started sewing them tonight), new rudder, new instruments, new bottom paint...
With my mk-2 the walk-down the sheet works for me up to about 15 knots of wind on a beat. After that, If I really need to adjust the lead but don't need to tack, I ease the sheet about a foot and then I can walk it down.
 
May 17, 2004
2,021
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Jim/Hayden: The Garhauer adjustable set up is the best $300.00 you'll spend. It will allow your jib trimmer to trim to 100% efficiency and do it effortlessly. I forget what I did to improve the set up. I think it had the tendency to set itself a bit forward of where I wanted it and I think I rigged it so I could pull it back a bit. Time dulls my memory. Maybe a lister who has the set up could chime in and explain any changes they made and how they like the system.
 

jim9t

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May 1, 2016
4
Balboa Balboa 26 Muscatine
Don, Do you have suggestions for an outhaul if there is not enough space for blocks like yours between the end of the boom and the clew of the mainsail. I have a Balboa 26.
thanks
 

Alan

.
Jun 2, 2004
4,174
Hunter 35.5 LI, NY
Shortly after buying my Hunter 35.5, I realized how poor the factory outhaul was. So I removed the guts of the puny high friction outhaul and installed a cascading 8:1 internal outhaul system that has worked perfectly ever since. We make adjustments on the fly for each point of sail with ease.