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Main sheet rigging

Aug 15, 2021
16
Catalina 27 Port Aransas
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I have a Catalina 27. It’s a 1987 model. I recently bought it from someone who had not used it for over four years. I have replaced all the running rigging and found the original parts catalog. I noticed that there is a big difference between how the main sheet is rigged on my 27 versus what’s in the catalog. This is more of an academic question but does anyone have any comments on why the current rigging is so much different than the original design? Thanks in advance.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,956
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I'm not versed in Catalinas but that mainsheet system seems overly complicated. While it gets good marks for distributing the load of the mainsheet over the boom, I can't help but think there must be a way that conforms with the KISS principle. And I think mid boom sheeting imparts higher loads on the boom.
That's a hefty boom so I wonder why not an end of boom type setup near the helm. You don't want a traveler back there? So don't have one. There must be a better way.
 
Aug 15, 2021
16
Catalina 27 Port Aransas
It is beefier than the ones I’ve seen on similar Catalinas. I also think that keeping it simple is always the way to go. May be in the market to dumb it back down to original.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,770
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Looks like it has the same purchase as the diagram, just using some different style blocks.

Also, the diagram shows the mainsheet routed back the cockpit and your system uses a becket on the block to hold the sheet, instead of a rope clutch or clam cleat. This adds to the “heft” or complexity of that block.

It also looks like the aft-most block is “twisted”, or the line is twisted (so it crosses itself, which can add to friction).

Greg
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,394
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
The simple answer is that some one decided they didn't like the original set up and decided to improve it with this design. For instance running the sheet to the mast and back to the cockpit, would only be necessary if you had a dodger in the way, or you wanted to route the sheet back along the side. But the boat isn't that big. So using a cam cleat that you can operate while sitting on the bench is a good solution. It makes for a more positive connection to the mainsheet than adding more blocks.

Leave it like it is. If you want to get rid of the twists... set the blocks so they they don't swivel.
You're going to find many things differing from the old manual. Over the years there have been many documented owner improvements made to this and other popular production boats. You can set your boat up anyway you like, so if you go sailing and don't like the way something is working... change it for crying out loud.... and then let people see what you've done. That's probably what a previous owner did with this set up... he wanted a more positive connection to his mainsheet. The factory diagram will not give you that.
 
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Aug 15, 2021
16
Catalina 27 Port Aransas
I am new to this form and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all of your opinions and wisdom. Unfortunately for you, I’ll probably have more questions as time goes on. Thank y’all all very much!
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,956
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Leave it? Again I'm not Catalina versed but should releasing the main sheet be as far forward as the forward companionway as I think I see there? :yikes: Again, there's got to be a better way.
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,183
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
On boats that are raced, that mainsheet adjustment at the block is a lot quicker and more precise than the original setup. One thing that I do see is that the little rope guide hoop at the cam cleat is not designed to be a becket, but, hey, if it works .....
Mainsheet Bottom.JPG
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,722
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
SeaDog. I like your rig. It is very serviceable.

I have only 2 comments. They are more esthetics than critical.

  1. You have a bowline tied in the line to hold it on the block. I would change that to an eye splice. The knot for the bowline could hang up and in a gybe confusion. I know it might be rare, but changing to the eye splice would alleviate the possibility. The eye splice gets attached to the block by removing the bolt that is holding the padeye to the block.
  2. Your line (with the bowline) from the bottom block to the first boom block crosses the return line. It happens because you ran the line over the sheave and then back. If you go around that boom block sheave from beneath and up and around, you will remove that crossover and any chance of added friction.
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Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
This routing is just a variation on the original, and as John said, change those two items and it should be just fine.
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Here's a couple of shots of ours, it's also a 6:1, but with the block setup, it can be either a 6:1 or 3:1, and there's nothing wrong with mid boom sheeting, everything on a sailboat is a compromise, and Gerry designed the fleet to have as little "junk" in the cockpit as possible, so what you see is lines and controls up front. The tradeoff is that while you have tons of free space, you have to hoof it up front to control the sail.
meriachee.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/track-this/
 
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Jan 18, 2016
652
Catalina 387 Dana Point
<snip>
You have a bowline tied in the line to hold it on the block. I would change that to an eye splice. The knot for the bowline could hang up and in a gybe confusion. I know it might be rare, but changing to the eye splice would alleviate the possibility. The eye splice gets attached to the block by removing the bolt that is holding the padeye to the block.
Or at least a well cinched halyard knot that's trimmed smooth. Older lines can be a beast to put splices in. You may wish to refresh the line, in which case definitely put in a eye.

The blocks may have set screws to keep them from swiveling. That may be necessary to get rid of that twist on the aft portion.

As Meriachee mentioned, Gerry D designed almost all Catalinas with mid-boom sheeting and cabintop travelers. It's a great design for cruising, kinda mediocre for racing, tougher to singlehand.

With my C-30 and the C-387 my primary upwind to broad reach main sail control is the traveler. (Particularly on the C-30). The mainsheet is more of a set-and-forget once twist is the way I liked it. Being able to dump the mainsheet quickly (what you're setup gives) is a nice feature.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
I may have posted this already, and if I did, apologies, but here's a couple of shots of the mainsheet rigging on the 270, which is a variation of the original design, and way, way easier to operate.
 
May 9, 2020
51
Hunter Legend 37 Harrison Twp, MI
I'm surprised no one mentioned the main sheet terminated to a simple eye strap on the reverse side of the cam cleat. No way I'd have my main sheet, even on a Cat27 terminate to an eye strap that's held to sheet metal brackets with #10 screws intended to hold the cam cleat.

Current arrangement puts loads perpendicular to the design intent of the cam cleat bracket. The bolts in the cam cleat should be in shear... your main sheet is putting them in tension too!

main sheet should terminate at a becket on one of the blocks, not an eye strap.

Looks like you're only using two sheaves on the triple block, quick fix would be to tie the bowline around the third sheave

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