How to attach sheets to jib

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Sep 28, 2008
17
2 30 palmetto fl
I have a 30 Catalina and the sheets are currently attached to the jib using a two bowlines (one for each sheet).
However, I recently noticed another boat that was using one lenth of line, folded the middle which created a loop at the end. This loop portion of the line was put into the clew of the sail and ends of the line pulled through. This eliminated two bulky bowlines on the clew. Any comments, pro or con?
 
Sep 25, 2008
615
Morgan 415 Out Island Rogersville, AL
There was a thread here a while back that covered the technique you discribed plus a few more. It was a very interesting thread and I hardily recommend it.
 
Oct 18, 2007
707
Macgregor 26S Lucama, NC
Jody, I believe the objection to the Lark's Head knot in the double sheet was that, if one of the sheets broke at the knot, the knot would come undone and the jib would fly free. -Paul
 

RichH

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Feb 14, 2005
4,773
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
The probable best knot for tying a single length of line to a jib clew is the 'constrictor' knot.

Difficulty is that it will be VERY hard to untie, so the single length jib sheet becomes somewhat permanently attached to the jib clew. A 'constrictor' can be untied with great difficulty using pliers and a sharp fid.
Variations of the 'constrictor knot' is the 'strangler' knot
http://www.animatedknots.com/constrictor/index.php
 

Eric M

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Sep 30, 2008
159
Island Packet 35 Jacksonville
The Lark's Head knot is used extensively in many small boat (J/24 and Thistle) racing classes for the benefit of less weight on the clew which helps the sail shape in very light air conditions. The second benefit is the knot is much less prone to hanging up on other parts of the rig during tacks. FWIW - back in the J/24 days, we wore the cover off the sheets from the winches & cleats long before any sign of wear at the clew.
 
Dec 1, 1999
2,391
Hunter 28.5 Chesapeake Bay
I was astounded to read an article in "Good Old Boat" some years ago about how many different ways people use to connect their sheets to headsails. Some elaborate, some simple. The bottom line in that article was NOT to use bowlines as they may come undone. That said, I have used bowlines to connect my sheets to jibs for over 30 years, have sailed in a lot of different/difficult conditions and NEVER have had a bowline come undone -- until I was ready to untie it for some reason.

I do not like any of the various ways one can connect one continuous sheet to the headsail (i.e., cow hitch) as that does not allow me to turn my sheets end-for-end to avoid chafe in various locations and lengthen the usefull life of the sheet. While the constrictor and buntline hitch are great knots, they are near impossible to untie once set and stressed. I also would not recommend the use of any kind of shackle to connect sheets to headsails. One bonk on the head and you'll know why....

I suggest continued use of the ever-faithful and wonderful bowline.
 

RichH

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Feb 14, 2005
4,773
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
The bottom line in that article was NOT to use bowlines as they may come undone. <SNIP>
I suggest continued use of the ever-faithful and wonderful bowline.
You do not want to be out, far from shore, in dangerous breaking seas ..... and have the damn bowlines flogging loose when you NEED to tack. There is a good reason that rock climbers, ocean sailors, rescue personnel DONT use bowlines on jibs, etc. - they easily 'capsize' and come loose / shake loose at the wrong time, even 'doubled' bowlines with double loops and double ends. The buntline (doubled preferably) is THE knot to use on a flogging clew .... been so since the middle ages and since the dawn of large sailing ships. The bowline is a very weak knot (65% of rope strength IF its tied correctly), is subject to 'capsize', is subject to sudden slippage in SYNTHETIC rope !!!!!!!! No rock climber nor rescue person in his/her right mind would ever DREAM of using a bowline --- that should be a very strong indication/hint to NOT use a bowline for 'important' knots. Learn how to tie a buntline or an 'alpine butterfly' ...... or the easiest and 'most strong' - doubled figure of 8 on a bight.

Bowlines --- too damn dangerous and vulnerable to use on a jib's clew.
Buntline, (or buntline/constrictor) etc. is the 'age old' PROPER knot to use on a clew. Cant untie one? just cut it off ... and 'waste' about 3-4" of line - not a BIG deal.
 
Jun 8, 2004
853
Pearson 26W Marblehead
attaching jib sheets my 2c

I have to agree with Warren Ive been using bowlines for over 40 years and have never had
one come out yet. they are easy to tie and easy to undo. The only disadvantage I can see is in a light air tack when sometimes a bowline gets jammed against a stay and the jib wont come across. This means you have to go forward and pull the clew around the stay. Not a big deal when you consider the disadvantages of a one piece sheet. 1 you cant get the sheet untied without a lot of work with tools. 2 If you want to adjust the rollerfurling line you have to take the sheet out of the blocks coil it and bring it forward and tie it on to the furled jib before you can lengthen or shorten the roller line. 3 You need a separate set of sheets for each jib.
 
Dec 1, 1999
2,391
Hunter 28.5 Chesapeake Bay
I guess Rich H and I have had very different experiences in regard to the bowline. While I am neither a rock climber or rescuer, I am an experienced sailor with quite a bit of coastal and offshore experience. As mentioned, 30 years of sailing and mine have never come undone. I do not believe a properly tied bowline presents any risk of coming undone when you least expect it. I think the argument about its strength/weakness is without merit when used with a correclty sized sheet on a headsail clew. All the formulas I know that measure pressure at the clew of headsail under various wind conditions do not even come close to the breaking loads of a 7/16th inch sheet tied with a bowline.
Perhaps Rich and I just tie our bowlines differently....
 
Feb 26, 2004
22,015
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Tying bowlines on jib sheets needs to be done in the right direction, i.e., facing away from the clew. If not, the ease of removing the bowline goes away, because the part you loosen is going the wrong way. Think about it.
 

RichH

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Feb 14, 2005
4,773
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
Properly tied bowlines WILL shake loose.... thats why virtually NO ONE will recommend them.
I do mountain rescue, rock climbing, and a lot of long distance sailing, etc. If I HAVE to use a bowline I will invariably tie a 'safety jumper' across them, including the old 'doubled/doubled' bowlines (doubled 'holes' and doubled 'around the tree' and double wrapped through the connection rings, etc. - and that only winds up @ ~80% breaking strength of the rope.
;-)
 
Dec 30, 2009
679
jeanneau 38 gin fizz sloop Summer- Keyport Yacht Club, Raritan Bay, NJ, Winter Viking Marina Verplanck, NY
Come'on guys, do ya think we are taking some of this shi*, a little too seriously.....Its a piece of friggen rope,oops,sheet, oops line. Last time I had such a problem, I found my 2 bowline knots attached quite nicely to the clew loop of a small piece of what was left of my jib. I think the failure will come at the sail b-4, 2 properly tied bowline knots....just me.......Red
 
Dec 1, 1999
2,391
Hunter 28.5 Chesapeake Bay
Rich, please feel free to use whatever knot/hitch you prefer to attach you sheets. But I thought it may be interesting to apply the wind-load at the clew formula to the breaking strength of two low-tech lines tied with a bowline.

Forumula is Windspeed squared x .004 x sail area in sq ft = load in lbs at the clew.

Using 7/16th inch Samson XLS with a break strength of 6100 lbs and tied with a bowline it would probably break at around 4,000 lbs. Moving up a notch to common old Sta Set X, a 7/16th inch line has a break strength of 7400 lbs and may break at 4810 lbs of pressure. I actually believe both these lines would break at much higher loads. And the differences become even greater if one uses any of the higher tech lines.

Using nominal windspeeds of 20 and 30 knots and my genoa of 310 sq ft (and I would not be using such a genoa in those winds without furling it a bit), I can't even come close to the break strength of sheets tied with a bowline.
 
Jan 3, 2009
821
Marine Trader 34 Where Ever I am
Properly tied bowlines WILL shake loose.... thats why virtually NO ONE will recommend them.
That is really odd since our jib sheets were attached using bowlines and stayed attached for over 17 years and with thousands and thousand of miles under the keel and just about every know possible weather and sea conditions. Almost every cruising boat we ran into along the way had their jib sheets attached with a bowline. Kinda shows it here if you look hard,
http://tinyurl.com/3ajabof .Chuck
 

KandD

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Jan 19, 2009
193
Hunter 40 Corpus Christi
hehehe, I use a old, lightly used, static line from my repelling days for my jib sheet. It's 150' line with a figure 8 with a bight midway which attaches to the clew. It works great.
 

RichH

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Feb 14, 2005
4,773
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
So KandD would you like to state why you didnt use a bowline? hahahahaha. :)
Fig. 8 on bight is probably the strongest and non-shake-loose knot there is.
 

RichH

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Feb 14, 2005
4,773
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
Rich, please feel free to use whatever knot/hitch you prefer to attach you sheets. But I thought it may be interesting to apply the wind-load at the clew formula to the breaking strength of two low-tech lines tied with a bowline.

Forumula is Windspeed squared x .004 x sail area in sq ft = load in lbs at the clew.

Using 7/16th inch Samson XLS with a break strength of 6100 lbs and tied with a bowline it would probably break at around 4,000 lbs. Moving up a notch to common old Sta Set X, a 7/16th inch line has a break strength of 7400 lbs and may break at 4810 lbs of pressure.

Using nominal windspeeds of 20 and 30 knots and my genoa of 310 sq ft (and I would not be using such a genoa in those winds without furling it a bit), I can't even come close to the break strength of sheets tied with a bowline.

IMPACT, Warren, IMPACT ..... you're only describing static line load values. IMPACT values can easily move the ultimate strength range down to four or FIVE or more TIMES LESS than the 'static' values. Under assumed IMPACT values your 7/16 Samson XLS may be breaking at 1220 lbs..... and the bowline doesnt handle IMPACT very well thats why climbers, etc. DONT USE IT. Just like your boat is designed to 2 to 3 (or 4 times) stronger than 'normal' conditions - IMPACT and other unpredicted sudden applied dynamic loads. Designing/selecting an object or device for static loading is a sure way to get hurt or worse when its application is for a DYNAMIC application. Sorry.
 

zeehag

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Mar 26, 2009
3,197
1976 formosa 41 yankee clipper santa barbara. ca.(not there)
if bolines shook loose, there would no tbe any in use anymore--lol they may shakeloose if you use specrtra,a rope not liking knots--i use cheap rope formy lines and they work just fine with bowlines ties as i see fit--lol --directional be damned---unless was meant to be fun,,in which case, this entire thread is silly..LOL--on my 26 the lines were hooked and looped my big boats and all the big boats i crew and sail on --30 ft and over--use bolines..lol...works perfect. easy to change if fail in bad weather---i know that one well......and a zip tie will ensure the integrity of the knot..LOL...shake loose--LOL.....sorry, boys, i have sailed too long to fall for that one!!!!-- i only use spectra lines for lifelines. i use bo'lines for jib sheets. works well and is trouble-shootable in a big blow...while underway..
 
Nov 22, 2008
3,562
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
If you can put (or have put) eyesplices in your jib sheets, here is a very neat way to do it that makes a connection that has minimal tendency to hang up on shrouds:





(Shown mocked up with docklines)
 
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