Does my H26 main sheet need this much rope?


Aug 20, 2019
San Juan 21 Lake
The pic below is with my boom swung out until it is against my Hunter 26's spreader bars. Even then I have a ton of rope lying in the cockpit.

Do I really need all of this rope? Can I cut some of the excess off?

Jan 1, 2006
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
A little tail is good so you can get ahold of the sheet from the helm or other areas of the cockpit. But I can't see a reason for that much. Perhaps if you plan to add a six part block - but those are a PITA too.
There is such a thing as Deon's Law which is too never cut cordage. I don't adhere to that.
Feb 21, 2013
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Mainsheet length..................with the boom all the way out, mainsail against the spreader with your current purchase then maybe 6 feet should be plenty. Your current extra main sheet adds housekeeping difficulty and creates a mess under foot that creates a potential safety hazard to you and the crew.
Jan 19, 2010
Hunter 26 Charleston
ABSOLUTLY ! Yes you need it. On the H26 the mainsheet is part of the mast raising system. So you need all of that to lead the line back to the winch when raising the mast. Put the excess in the locker. The locker lip is designed so the main sheet fits under the lip. So with your boom all of the way out, roll up the excess and tie it off with a sail tie and put it in the locker and close the lid. Your cockpit will stay clear and you will have that line for raising your mast later.
Jan 19, 2010
Hunter 26 Charleston
Here is a pic showing the sheet tucked into the locker. Zoom in. You can see the sheet (and also my shore power) fits under the lip.
Aug 12, 2018
Hunter 26 Carter Lake, Colorado
@MySong, in your original post did you mean that your main sheet was eased until the SAIL was against the spreader bar or until the BOOM was against the shroud?

Even if you don't intend to ever sail with your boom all the way out to the shroud, due to sail chafe concerns, I don't think it's a good idea to make your sheet so short that you CAN'T let the boom out to the shroud, for example when heaving to or just trying to completely unpower the main in an urgent situation.

If you want to make sure the boom doesn't actually hit the shroud, you could certainly put a stopper knot in the sheet at the appropriate spot, and leave some additional tail after the stopper knot so you still have something to pull on if the stopper knot ever does get all the way to the cleat.

Regarding the designed use of the H26 main sheet for mast raising/lowering, the owner's manual specifies that the main sheet is 70' long. I haven't measured my main sheet, and I haven't taken note of just how much main sheet I have left when my boom is out, but one other thing you could check is to see if your sheet is around 70'. I also can't remember how much main sheet I have left when rigged for mast raising with the mast all the way down, so I don't know what the actual required minimum length is (vs. the factory spec).
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Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Thank you @rgranger and @twistedskipper for those comments. I designed that mast raising system for Hunter as the mainsheet serves two purposes.

With mast down and any excess can be cut off but only with mast down and still attached to mast foot. Have enough that will be able to use if winching ip
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Oct 23, 2019
Hunter marine 270 Merrick
Yes you do! I purchased a 2001 270 last year, and had to drop the mast. last time was 2003 with a h26. glad I had a friend as main sheet cut by someone ignorant of why its long. thought my buddy was going to have an MI as lots or work to lower last 20 degrees by hand.