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Jib Sail Trim Controls

May 17, 2004
2,023
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
I was talking with a beginner sailor from Melbourne, Australia, who has just moved up from a Catalina 30 to a Catalina 34. His concern was mastering the jib sail trim controls. He told me he has been following another C30 and trying to mimic his fairlead adjustments. My first thought, to myself, was if I followed Phil Mickelson around the golf course maybe I could become a better golfer!!

Anyway, he indicated he felt he had mastered the mainsail controls, which is nice, but the mainsail is not the engine of a masthead rig sailboat - the jib is. I mentioned to him that there are a number of jib controls and they are the sheets, halyard, fairleads movement forward & aft, fairleads tracks inboard & outboard and headstay sag, I really don't like these conversation because of the number of jib sail trim controls and ALL the the jib controls have to work together. For example, as older sailors will remember, with the four barrel carburetor, you can't only adjust 2 barrels and expect peak performance. So, I asked him which sail trim control he'd like to discuss. I was afraid he'd select the fairleads and that's exactly what he did. The fairleads are the most important jib sail trim control because they adjust EVERYTHING. The everything being draft depth, draft position, twist and angle of attack.

The first thing I notice when I went on a boat was the condition of the pin type fairleads. If they were frozen in place I then checked the outhaul and most times that didn't work either. What that meant was both were like the broken clock and right twice per day. The were right for one point of sail and wind condition and wrong for all others. Pin type fairleads are a problem because they are difficult to adjust under load and sailors (and humans) will do what's easy and not what's hard - it's just human nature. I prefer the Garhauer adjustable fairlead system. There are other but when I lived in So Ca I sold and installed Garhauer products.

My book THE SAIL TRIM USERS GUIDE devotes 8 pages to the jib sail trim controls and if you were to highlight the chapter all the pages would be yellow!! He decided to buy my book and SAIL Trim Chart together with the FREE Quick Reference and all the stuff was in the mail the next day.

Additionally, I was sad to hear from him about the difficult time the folks in Melbourne and all of Australia are have dealing with Covid.


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Apr 5, 2009
1,578
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
I would love to have the Garhauer EZ adjustable fairleads but they are just too many boat-bucks. Until then, I will continue to "walk down" my genny sheet to change them (which I do a lot) Easy? NO but it does not prevent me from properly adjusting the fairlead position.
I also adjust my 12:1 outhaul on my loose footed main anytime the wind strength or heading changes.
 
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WayneH

.
Jan 22, 2008
863
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
I would love to have the Garhauer EZ adjustable fairleads but they are just too many boat-bucks. Until then, I will continue to "walk down" my genny sheet to change them (which I do a lot) Easy? NO but it does not prevent me from properly adjusting the fairlead position.
This is how I adjust my fairleads on my 37 footer. Sometimes. Sometimes, there's enough pressure on the jib sheet to prevent a walkdown. So I am going to get some low friction rings and use them on a barber hauler to the daisy sail track and use the daisy winches to lower the jib clew. Then I can move the genoa fairlead easily.

I trim, trim, trim also. But after every trim, I ask the Admiral how much pressure she has on the wheel. Usually, I can get it down to one hand nearly centered for her.
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,578
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
This is how I adjust my fairleads on my 37 footer. Sometimes. Sometimes, there's enough pressure on the jib sheet to prevent a walkdown. So I am going to get some low friction rings and use them on a barber hauler to the daisy sail track and use the daisy winches to lower the jib clew. Then I can move the genoa fairlead easily.

I trim, trim, trim also. But after every trim, I ask the Admiral how much pressure she has on the wheel. Usually, I can get it down to one hand nearly centered for her.
I have also thought about twings but have not found a good anchor. Maybe a double anchor between the aft lower and my midship cleat. For balance, I have a line whipped to the wheel at straight ahead and trim to keep it near center. Not the topic of this thread but I have found some really big gains in light air with very deep draft in the main (a foot or more).
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,417
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
If you don't have an adjustable sliding jib car system and you want to change the car's position while it's under load, you clip a pendant to the clew and anchor it to the toe rail, another car, a pad eye or convenient deck fitting. Once that's done you can ease the sheet while the pendant carries the load as you make the adjustment.

If you have an inside track, it's even easier by running a second sheet through the unused jib lead to take the load off the active lead while the adjustment is made.

And.... even... more cool... you can rig BOTH inside and outside lead cars, employing TWO sheets... the play between them will let the trimmer tweak the side to side position, besides allowing for easy fore and aft car adjustment. It will make things easier to equip the secondary sheet with a clip, rather than a knot, so you can quickly remove it when preparing to tack.

I myself have the ez glide system, but I still occasionally rig a simple barber hauler... using a piece of line with a snap hook controlled by the halyard winch.

I guarantee there's plenty of other variations on this ... sailors can be pretty creative.
 
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Likes: All U Get
May 17, 2004
2,023
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Additionally, I was sad to hear from him about the difficult time the folks in Melbourne and all of Australia are have dealing with Covid.


I just heard from our brother sailor in Melbourne, who saw his conversation in print - I get many of the topics on this forum from sailors questions. I feel that if it's a question to one sailor it also might be of interest to others.

Off topic but maybe of interest, remember the dark days of covid in the US when many of you couldn't get to your boat due to restrictions - our Melbourne sailor has just joined that club. Apparently the lock down restrictions are worse there then they ever were in the US. He told me the covid cases vs the population are very low and he feels the severe restrictions are ridiculous. I'm sure our thoughts and prayer go out to our brother & sister sailors in Australia and hope they get back to normal soon.