Correct way to secure main and jib sheets?

Apr 16, 2021
13
Hunter 340 New Bern
I'm just wondering about very basic best practices for securing the lines on a 2000 340. It has two winches, on either side of the companionway, no cleats on the sides of the cockpit. Are the flimsy grips sufficient for the jib sheets? A number of experienced sailors have noted the absence of a third winch and cleats on the sides of the cockpit. How do you keep the lines secure without cleats? And are you just meant to use the clutch for the mainsheet? (I also note that the line for the boom vang has nowhere to go on my boat.)
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Feb 21, 2013
3,774
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
My practice is to keep the jib sheets cleated on a winch ready for tacking/jibing and trimming.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Hi. Your rope clutches on top are used to “stop-off” the sheets and halyards, as I see you suspect. These are more efficient to use than horn or jam cleats b/c if properly aligned fwd of the winch, the winch can hold the tension while you set the clutch, then free the winch. If horn or jam cleats there, you’d have to remove the sheet or halyard from the winch b/f stopping it off. That’s on top. As for headsail sheets, most of us have ST winches at the cockpit coaming and the sheet remains in the grip until it is released to ease or tack. As for the “flimsy” grips, they will hold tension but I would prefer a horn cleat; but, in any case, there should be a sheet winch on either side of the cockpit. So, you should have four winches, IMO.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,080
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@Kings Gambit because of the Hunters fractional rig layout the jib sheets are on the cabin hood inside the shrouds.

The two STwinches beside the cabin companion way are used to trim the jib sheets.

@MikeTheHunter I would use the sheet trimmed in on the lee side, wrapped on the winch and left there ready to adjust. I would not “lock” that sheet in any way. You want to be able to release that sheet in a hurry if necessary.

The other sheet is the “lazy sheet”. You can coil it and lay it in the cockpit or in a sailing bag.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
@Kings Gambit because of the Hunters fractional rig layout the jib sheets are on the cabin hood inside the shrouds.

The two STwinches beside the cabin companion way are used to trim the jib sheets.

@MikeTheHunter I would use the sheet trimmed in on the lee side, wrapped on the winch and left there ready to adjust. I would not “lock” that sheet in any way. You want to be able to release that sheet in a hurry if necessary.

The other sheet is the “lazy sheet”. You can coil it and lay it in the cockpit or in a sailing bag.
John,
OK. I see it now in Pic#2. Thx.
KG
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
@Kings Gambit because of the Hunters fractional rig layout the jib sheets are on the cabin hood inside the shrouds.

The two STwinches beside the cabin companion way are used to trim the jib sheets.

@MikeTheHunter I would use the sheet trimmed in on the lee side, wrapped on the winch and left there ready to adjust. I would not “lock” that sheet in any way. You want to be able to release that sheet in a hurry if necessary.

The other sheet is the “lazy sheet”. You can coil it and lay it in the cockpit or in a sailing bag.
I think he would need to use those grips to stop-off the jib sheets if the winch were needed to trim the mainsail or the outhaul. I have those things (grips) on the Bavaria to stop-off the furling line when the headsail is roller-reefed, and the jib-sheet-car control lines. They essentially function as clutches but by using the turning block (sheave), do not have to be aligned (fair lead) to the winch as a clutch would be. Rope clutches cannot take much side loading.
 
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duck21

.
Jul 17, 2020
78
Hunter 376 Washburn, WI on Lake Superior
FWIW, My Hunter 376 doesn't even have the stoppers on the block for the jib sheet--we just leave the jib sheet wrapped around the winch. We do, however, have 4 cabin top winches.

I believe the block cleat (I don't think that's a jam cleat--what are those cleats on the block called?) on the 340 are there in the event that you do need to free up a winch for the main sheet or halyard. The block cleats look small, but with the smaller head sail on the B&R fractional rigs there isn't nearly the pressure on the jib sheets as there are boats with greater than 100% head sails (in fact, the 376 manual states that with the small head sail one may not even need to use winch handles to properly set the head sail while tacking or gybing).

FWIW, we had horn cleats for the jib sheets on my Catalina 30 (~130% genoa), but rarely used those as well--we typically just left the sheets wrapped around the winches and never had an issue.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,080
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
those grips to stop-off the jib sheets
we had horn cleats for the jib sheets
One can look at these as tools or "stuff that gets in the way". It is all about the available space you have tucked under the dodger. Sometimes we get so many gadgets under the dodger it seems like everything jams or gets tangled.

I consider the gadgets a compromise that needs to be resolved by the owner. This can only happen after you have sailed the boat for awhile in varying conditions and can appreciate the compromises that occur.

I am biased to limiting the clutter of lines, clutches, winches, stoppers, cam cleats, etc.

I just removed a "Ronsan racing jam cleat" that was recommended by my rigger and replaced it with a standard cleat. The "racing" cleat kept dropping the line out when sailing. Not what I wanted for my outhaul. It all is a compromise. Only you can really decide.
 

duck21

.
Jul 17, 2020
78
Hunter 376 Washburn, WI on Lake Superior
I agree completely.

This is my second boat (both used), but I am very much seeing how even my experiences with my first boat have changed my expectations/desires for configuration on the second boat--many of which are different from the previous owner.

Of course, many of those personal decisions come down to how you use the boat--racing, day sailing, weekend sailing, cruising--anchoring, marinas, mooring, sitting, sitting at the dock.

And let's not forget your crew--sailing with an experienced crew may lead to different decisions than sailing single handed or with less-experienced family members.
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,071
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I'm just wondering about the safety of having the jib sheets on the cabin top rather than on the cockpit combing. If you need a quick release, and you are solo or have inexperienced crew, you have to go around the wheel to get to them. Having them is a stopper just makes it worse. I would much prefer them in reach of the helmsman.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
3,774
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
I'm just wondering about the safety of having the jib sheets on the cabin top rather than on the cockpit combing. If you need a quick release, and you are solo or have inexperienced crew, you have to go around the wheel to get to them. Having them is a stopper just makes it worse. I would much prefer them in reach of the helmsman.
Witches on top of the cabin top mitigates sheets in the cockpit, which I never liked for safety reasons......easy to get tangled up on something or worst yet the leg(s) of the captain or crew. All 4 winches are on the cabin top and withit autopilot no big deal to leave the helm to release or winch them on a tack or jib. That was a really good Hunter design feature along with built-in sheet and control line pockets on each aft side of the companionway just below the winches.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,080
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
sailing with ….. less-experienced family members.
A very good reason to have color coded halyards and sheets as well as labels on the clutches. On one boat I saw the clutches in different colors. The owner had to pay a premium to get those, but if crew are not color blind a very easy way to help the less experienced help sail the boat.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,080
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
One that you better not touch.
unsure of the consequences. Keel Haul?
 
Jul 29, 2004
396
Hunter 340 Lake Lanier, GA
Mike, the 340 came standard with the 2 cabin top winches, although I've seen pictures with a second winch on starboard. I find I don't need the winch for the main sheet and normally just leave the working jib sheet on the winch on both sides. If I need the winch for other purposes, I'll use the line stopper to hold the sheet temporarily.
 
Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
I have a hard time imagining sailing a 34' boat without being able to keep the mainsheet on a dedicated winch. Having the mainsheet go thru the clutch is sort of a stylistic formality in the sense there are few circumstances where you want to use a clutch on the mainsheet, and normally you want that clutch open. So the two winches can work if in fact you usually don't need the winches to trim the jib sheets, as a poster commented. But if you do need the winches for the jib sheets, than I would certainly want a third winch for the mainsheet.

I've sailed quite a few Hunter models, but not this one, the other models had three winches or also cockpit coaming winches.
 
Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Mike, the 340 came standard with the 2 cabin top winches, although I've seen pictures with a second winch on starboard. I find I don't need the winch for the main sheet and normally just leave the working jib sheet on the winch on both sides. If I need the winch for other purposes, I'll use the line stopper to hold the sheet temporarily.
Does your comment mean the mainsheet tackle has enough turns that you can trim the mainsheet by hand? Surprising, but I would not want a working mainsheet being locked in a clutch. Being able to quickly and efficiently dump the mainsheet is the most common sail handling emergency.
 
Jul 29, 2004
396
Hunter 340 Lake Lanier, GA
Does your comment mean the mainsheet tackle has enough turns that you can trim the mainsheet by hand?
Yes, the main sheet on this boat uses end boom sheeting, and is attached to a wide traveller on top of the arch. I can reach the traveller from the wheel but not the main sheet. I trim the main sheet by hand, and have never felt the need to just dump it as you say. When beating the traveller is very effective to control angle of attack and heel, at least up to a point. Grace has a very large main and a shoal draft keel, so I've gotten used to dealing with puffs with steering as I frequently single hand, reefing early and often.
 
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