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Outhaul for Loose-Footed Main

May 19, 2014
Catalina 30 Mk I San Francisco
Well, after 10 years, it's finally time for a new mainsail on our Cat 30 and we're going for a loose-footed sail.

So... it looks like we'll need to have a working outhaul and actually use it!

Has anyone modified their outhaul when going loose-footed? What did you do?
Our boat has the original 1981 Cat 30 Mk I (I think) outhaul which just runs the line through a sheave at the end of the boom and right back out through a hole in the boom to a cleat. I figure we'll need to rig a block and tackle thing for more mechanical advantage and for greater load capacity.

What have others done?


John T.


Oct 8, 2011
Catalina Catalina 25 Joe Pool Lake
On my 25 I added an outhaul. I used two to one blocks and a wedge cleat on the side of the boom forward of the bimini. Line is 1/4" Dyneema line. Line starts at clew , double block at boom end, single block with becket at clew. You may need additional strength for the bigger sail. Sorry I do not have a photo. You can also rig blocks inside the boom and rig back to the cockpit That was a lot more work than I was willing to do.
Nov 8, 2010
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
First, make sure the clew also has a strap through it that holds it to the boom. A long, strong velcro strap is often used; see pictures below.

If you want to adjust it under load, you will need a LEAST 4:1 on it. If your sailing is more casual and you plan to adjust it less often, you can leave it on a cleat 1:1.

If you DO bring it back to the cockpit, you can play it with a winch at 1:1. That what we do. Much easier than messing with a fitting on the boom.

Dec 29, 2010
Hunter 25.5 Point Venture, TX
Jackdaw's velcro strap will work, but if you have a bolt rope slot on your boom you can use a metal sail slug to rig a clew attachment similar to what they use on the Navy 44s. The Navy 44 Boat Information Book (BIB) is available online and it contains all kinds of information that is applicable to any number of sailboats.

I use a similar clew attachment scheme on a loose footed main on my Hunter 25.5. And I also installed fiddle blocks inside the boom to provide 4 to 1 purchase on the outhaul. Unfortunately the outhaul cleat is at the gooseneck, but since I don't try to race this boat, it works just fine for me.