The order of things...

Aug 24, 2012
50
Sailstar/Bristol/Herrshof Courier 26 Kemah , TX
I have an "older boat" kina like me, she aint perfect but wont give up just bloody yet, eh?
I am wishin & hopin, planning & dreamin, Ooops, SORRY I was lost in the 60's there for a minute , eh?
So, . . . wishin some one or many might pass me some trim tips relating to my rather peculiar older sail handling design, ???
 
Aug 24, 2012
50
Sailstar/Bristol/Herrshof Courier 26 Kemah , TX
The peculiar rigging of s/v Spirit
So now to my ol' sailboat. early 1960's USGC no.1205012, no auxillary (engine), a masthead sloop, 26' LOA 23' LWL Halsey Herreshoff design, cut-away forefoot/ longish (8ft length) fin keel & stout hydrofoil spade rudder w/horz.stabil. fin.


She is a raised flush deck, her oval alum. mast is 6" x 4.5"; like a phone pole, but she has been fitted with a pretty expensive back stay adjustor? As mast is deck stepped, and had crushed the cabin in about 3/4". So I made a 5" dia. alum compression post and fitted it upon and beneath 1.5" thk. 12"x12" blocks of white oak, those then I encapsulated in some 3 layers of a cloth I got from Jamestown guys that is roving on 1 side and mat on the other. ; that and duck works epoxy make a good prot. barrier I reckon, eh? Plenty strong.

So the original owner crossed the bar, ( DIED) whilst out sailing her on Lake Superior, I can't get any help out of him, Eh? I never leave the sail on the boom, I hand & bag all my sails when I am done sailing ever day.

Ever thing on the boat is in perfect working order, and the reefing works great so long as on does it at the proper angle , slowly, and bow to weather. Also I pull aft on the sail as it rolls up.

The funny thing is we have newish Harken #7 flat top winches, jib cars on several tracks , harken cam cleats, (offshore size ! ) but she still sports the original, gear drive, on/around the boom roller reefing, and the 1960s 3 point mainsheet on the tang at the end of the boom? Now the mainsheets have newer Harken standup blocks, and a Harken swivel on the end one with cam cleat for sheet locking. So i.e. we have NO out haul, no boom vang, I assume because of the roller reefing revolving boom??? She does have a sliding boom downhaul in place of a Cunningham I reckon? (but this pulls the entire boom down) but it does work to flat the mainsl. I have read all I could find about this setup for 6 years, the best I found has Hal Roth who like the set up. (in 1964-7) I'm hoping you can tell me some tips as to how to beter ulilize this system?
 
Feb 20, 2011
7,794
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
Is piked sorta like getting smacked in the kisser with a fish?
Mmmm, pike.
"Piked", to me, is being hoisted on a sharp stick.

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Mike Tyson.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
The peculiar rigging of s/v Spirit
So now to my ol' sailboat. early 1960's USGC no.1205012, no auxillary (engine), a masthead sloop, 26' LOA 23' LWL Halsey Herreshoff design, cut-away forefoot/ longish (8ft length) fin keel & stout hydrofoil spade rudder w/horz.stabil. fin.


She is a raised flush deck, her oval alum. mast is 6" x 4.5"; like a phone pole, but she has been fitted with a pretty expensive back stay adjustor? As mast is deck stepped, and had crushed the cabin in about 3/4". So I made a 5" dia. alum compression post and fitted it upon and beneath 1.5" thk. 12"x12" blocks of white oak, those then I encapsulated in some 3 layers of a cloth I got from Jamestown guys that is roving on 1 side and mat on the other. ; that and duck works epoxy make a good prot. barrier I reckon, eh? Plenty strong.

So the original owner crossed the bar, ( DIED) whilst out sailing her on Lake Superior, I can't get any help out of him, Eh? I never leave the sail on the boom, I hand & bag all my sails when I am done sailing ever day.

Ever thing on the boat is in perfect working order, and the reefing works great so long as on does it at the proper angle , slowly, and bow to weather. Also I pull aft on the sail as it rolls up.

The funny thing is we have newish Harken #7 flat top winches, jib cars on several tracks , harken cam cleats, (offshore size ! ) but she still sports the original, gear drive, on/around the boom roller reefing, and the 1960s 3 point mainsheet on the tang at the end of the boom? Now the mainsheets have newer Harken standup blocks, and a Harken swivel on the end one with cam cleat for sheet locking. So i.e. we have NO out haul, no boom vang, I assume because of the roller reefing revolving boom??? She does have a sliding boom downhaul in place of a Cunningham I reckon? (but this pulls the entire boom down) but it does work to flat the mainsl. I have read all I could find about this setup for 6 years, the best I found has Hal Roth who like the set up. (in 1964-7) I'm hoping you can tell me some tips as to how to beter ulilize this system?
Yes for sure the roller-boom limits sail control; its one of the reasons that system passed into obscurity. New systems are much better. The sliding boom down-haul does act as a Cunningham of sorts, so use it as such. Same with your mainsheet system, the rotating boom limits hardware anywhere else. So just make the best of it; its a 50 year old boat, sail it with those expectations and you'll be fine!

ss4.jpg


ss2.jpg


ss1.jpg
 
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Aug 24, 2012
50
Sailstar/Bristol/Herrshof Courier 26 Kemah , TX
Many hearty thanks Jack'
The vessel pictured is a centerboard version ( whilst mine is a fixed keel ) but otherwise I believe it is damn near the same.!
I really value someone going to the effort to look that up from my description and I reckon you've hit the bugger on the very nose here Jack! Thanks so much.
 
Aug 3, 2012
2,542
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
If you recently purchased the boat, I like the idea of starting with fundamentals: standing rigging, running rigging, bottom, sails, and hardware. Make sure they are in good shape.
Then sail the boat for a season. You will see what you like or dislike about how she sails. You will see where she performs and does not. That tells me where to put time and money. Then, you can continue this process over the next few seasons, mixing in upgrades to comfort and increasing useability.
If standing rigging is good, I focus on running rigging, bottom, sails.
I like what Jackdaw said, make it easier for the crew. The easier the work, the more and faster you will compensate for changes in conditions. If a control is not effective or easy, redesign it.
 
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Oct 26, 2013
16
MacGregor 26S Spanish On.
Why go to all the installation bother of Genoa Tracks, I use tweekers on my Mac 26S works great, infinitely adjustable. The only criteria is when you mount the turning block is to mount it slightly rear of the full genoa position so that the only direction to go is to pull the sheet down.
 
Nov 13, 2015
45
Hunter 290 Toronto Ontario
The peculiar rigging of s/v Spirit
So now to my ol' sailboat. early 1960's USGC no.1205012, no auxillary (engine), a masthead sloop, 26' LOA 23' LWL Halsey Herreshoff design, cut-away forefoot/ longish (8ft length) fin keel & stout hydrofoil spade rudder w/horz.stabil. fin.


She is a raised flush deck, her oval alum. mast is 6" x 4.5"; like a phone pole, but she has been fitted with a pretty expensive back stay adjustor? As mast is deck stepped, and had crushed the cabin in about 3/4". So I made a 5" dia. alum compression post and fitted it upon and beneath 1.5" thk. 12"x12" blocks of white oak, those then I encapsulated in some 3 layers of a cloth I got from Jamestown guys that is roving on 1 side and mat on the other. ; that and duck works epoxy make a good prot. barrier I reckon, eh? Plenty strong.

So the original owner crossed the bar, ( DIED) whilst out sailing her on Lake Superior, I can't get any help out of him, Eh? I never leave the sail on the boom, I hand & bag all my sails when I am done sailing ever day.

Ever thing on the boat is in perfect working order, and the reefing works great so long as on does it at the proper angle , slowly, and bow to weather. Also I pull aft on the sail as it rolls up.

The funny thing is we have newish Harken #7 flat top winches, jib cars on several tracks , harken cam cleats, (offshore size ! ) but she still sports the original, gear drive, on/around the boom roller reefing, and the 1960s 3 point mainsheet on the tang at the end of the boom? Now the mainsheets have newer Harken standup blocks, and a Harken swivel on the end one with cam cleat for sheet locking. So i.e. we have NO out haul, no boom vang, I assume because of the roller reefing revolving boom??? She does have a sliding boom downhaul in place of a Cunningham I reckon? (but this pulls the entire boom down) but it does work to flat the mainsl. I have read all I could find about this setup for 6 years, the best I found has Hal Roth who like the set up. (in 1964-7) I'm hoping you can tell me some tips as to how to beter ulilize this system?
If there's a way to rig a boom vang, do it. Decades ago, I bought a cruising Thunderbird (26') and started racing it in Toronto's very active fleet. By the end of my first season, I had beaten a total of ZERO T-Birds to the finish line!
A new main helped a ton. At some point I successfully invited the fleet champ to join my crew for a midweek race. Sailing out to the race on a close reach in modest white caps, I was pretty pleased with our speed. Hotshot Pat looked around and asked "Where's your boomvang?" I said something about not having invested in all the go-fasts - and I wasn't losing races by a few boat lengths, I was losing SIGHT of my fleet. He said "No, you've got to have a boomvang."
I wasn't convinced. So Pat climbed up on top of the cabin and sat on my boom! Talk about firing the turbocharger, the boat took off like a rocket!
You've got to have a boomvang.
 
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May 17, 2004
2,032
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
I wasn't convinced. So Pat climbed up on top of the cabin and sat on my boom! Talk about firing the turbocharger, the boat took off like a rocket!
You've got to have a boomvang.[/QUOTE]

Here's a very simplistic non scientific explanation as to probably why the boat "took off". Without a boom vang the top 1/3 or more of the mainsail (and the jib) is twisted off. In other words, power is spilling off and ONLY the bottom portion of the sail is driving the boat. Here's what it looks like if you sat in your cockpit and looked up at your mainsail. Form your right hand as if you were going to make a salute. Now turn only your fingers to the right. That's what twist looks like and you can see how power is spilling or bleeding off the top of your fingers. Now slowly turn your fingers to the left (as if you were cranking on the boom vang) and you can see how the entire length of the sail is now driving.
 
Nov 13, 2015
45
Hunter 290 Toronto Ontario
Yup, I think that's about what happened. Probably worth mentioning that my old cruising T-Bird also had no traveller, which can also help pull down on the boom when the breeze and sail pull it up too much and add too much twist to the main. BTW, I don't think I was getting a lot of excessive twist on the jib, but I'm sure I also didn't have very sharp eyes for these things. Now that I've been racing mostly dinghies for the past 30-ish years, my eyes have sharpened up a lot!
 
May 17, 2004
2,032
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
T-Bird also had no traveller, which can also help pull down on the boom when the breeze and sail pull it up too much and add too much twist to the main.

Nope, the traveler has nothing to do with twist. The traveler only adjusts angle of attack. The mainsheet that is attached to the traveler does effect twist but only in a secondary manner. The boom vang is the primary twist adjuster.

When you think of the function of the traveler, picture a screen door in your garage and picture a pin in the outside corner that would ride in a groove track cut into the floor. When you open and close the screen door does the shape of the screen door change -- it doesn't. Same with the traveler. It could be 30' long and when you move it the shape of the sail doesn't change.
 
Nov 13, 2015
45
Hunter 290 Toronto Ontario
Same with the traveler. It could be 30' long and when you move it the shape of the sail doesn't change.
That's exactly the point, Don! When you sheet out from a fixed point in a breeze -- either without moving a traveler or on a boat without a traveler -- the shape of the sail DOES change! The sheeting angle becomes less vertical/down and more horizontal/in, so the boom is free to rise and it lets the main twist. So especially when the boom is sheeted over the traveler (which could be ALL the time if you really had a 30' traveler), it's possible to crank down on the boom just as hard as with a vang. On a broader reach, when the boom is farther outboard than the rail/gunwale, the traveler's vertical pull gets diluted -- though the sheet angle is still more vertical than it would be with no traveler, or with one that's left amidships or to windward.
 
May 17, 2004
2,032
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
That's exactly the point, Don! When you sheet out from a fixed point in a breeze -- either without moving a traveler or on a boat without a traveler -- the shape of the sail DOES change! The sheeting angle becomes less vertical/down and more horizontal/in, so the boom is free to rise and it lets the main twist. So especially when the boom is sheeted over the traveler (which could be ALL the time if you really had a 30' traveler), it's possible to crank down on the boom just as hard as with a vang. On a broader reach, when the boom is farther outboard than the rail/gunwale, the traveler's vertical pull gets diluted -- though the sheet angle is still more vertical than it would be with no traveler, or with one that's left amidships or to windward.
I agree with what your now saying but you've now introduced other sail trim controls (Mainsheet & boom vang) into the situation. Stick with just the traveler - what I'm saying is that if you ONLY adjust the traveler the shape of the sail won't change. Only the angle of attack changes. The boom can't rise because it's fixed in position.
 
Nov 13, 2015
45
Hunter 290 Toronto Ontario
We agree completely on that, Don. But I think we also agree that a boat with no vang or an underpowered vang can still maintain decent leech/twist control by use of the traveler (and mainsheet of course!).
My original point (to which you objected) was simply that my old cruising T-Bird had NEITHER a vang NOR a traveler, so the ONLY option to lower the boom & straighten the leech and decrease the excessive mainsail twist in a breeze was for somebody to sit on the boom. And that's still my story, and I'm sticking with it.
 

shnool

.
Aug 10, 2012
556
WD Schock Wavelength 24 Wallenpaupack
Fascinating thread... and I'll state, that I've done this, now 3 times (4?)... You can infer my priorities by my work lists.
My Capri 25 (1982 masthead rig racing boat, outboard).
My order of "repairs" was:
  • Bottom job (sand to gelcoat, barrier coat 5 coats, sand smooth, 5 coats VC17m)
  • Outboard bracket (outboard was dragging in the water) new bracket caused outboard to clear water
  • new halyards (less stretchy)
  • new sails (all sails were dacron and 15+ years old)
  • smaller outboard (6hp down to 2.2 hp)
  • new running rigging
  • upgraded vang from 4:1 to 6:1
  • upgraded outhaul purchase from 4:1 to 8:1
  • installed a boomkicker (removed weight of topping lift aloft)
  • installed low profile genoa cars, installed inboard tracks for genoa
  • upgraded backstay purchase from 4:1 to 8:1, pinch style backstay
  • templated keel (before bottom job)
  • templated rudder (before bottom job)
Best part is I did this all above over the winter season. It was like sailing different boat. I went from 13th of 25 boats to 2nd overall of 21 boats, in one racing season! Oh and my starts still stunk, so my boat handling was abysmal.

Next boat (my S2 7.9)... This was an outboard model fractional rigged retractable weighted daggerboard boat.
  • Bottom was good, just quick smooth sanded, and applied VC17m
  • installed new cleats for genoa sheets
  • upgraded vang from 4:1 to 8:1
  • internal outhaul was already 8:1, changed to loose foot main, for easier outhaul adjustment
  • backstay was pinch style, I upgraded it to cascaded style, amsteel backstay (lighter) with 6:1 purchase, and controls split port and starboard
  • upgraded to boomkicker, rigid vang would work too, this is a great light air upgrade, also handy.
  • new mainsail (sails were mostly trashed on the boat, and on the fractional, the mainsail is your big power) couldn't afford new headsails yet, so mainsail first.
  • low lead genoa cars installed (already had adjustable cars)
  • main cunningham installed
  • upgraded halyards to low stretch VPC (replaced every bit of running rigging)
  • Installed velcro locks onto rigging turnbuckles (faster to remove and adjust)
  • kept a log of rig tensions per race, including wind conditions, learned settings for each wind condition, applied them consistently using a loos tension gauge
  • checked shape of rudder, and keel to class standards
  • rerouted spin pole downhaul to mast base, for faster spinnaker adjustments
My present boat is a Wavelength 24, a fixed keel Masthead rig race boat (also outboard)
  • First thing I did was quick sand the already smooth bottom, and apply 3 coats of VC17m
  • Presently fixing the depth/knot meter, as speed over water is my most important "tool." both prior boats had very accurate (verified by GPS - we have no current ) knot meters. I am considering a speed puck too (GPS speed), my S2 had a VHF SOG GPS in the handheld.
  • upgrading vang, and installing boomkicker
  • replacing all the halyards with VPC or I may upgrade to endurabraid or MLX, I'm about 2 weeks away on this yet
  • All the sails are recent vintage (some never used) racing laminate sails. I have full sets for the boat, including, Number 1, Number 3, main, and spinnaker (so at least 8 sails there) and a brand new used 1 time asymmetrical cruising spin, used once...
  • Replaced aging motor mount (wood) with starboard and replaced aging 3.5 Nissan 2 stroke with Mercury 4 stroke that tilts clear of the water. I'm considering removal of outboard for racing and storing below.
  • Removed all loose gear from below, and only adding back safety equipment.
  • Will upgrade split backstay to cascaded before launch.
  • Otherwise, boat already has sail controls missing on the other boats.

So basically from a cost perspective (because I do my own work), I start with bottom jobs first. Then sail adjustments, like adjustable cars for genoa, upgraded purchase for outhaul, vang, and backstay. Upgrade running rigging (especially halyards). Then I work on finer tuning stuff like rope clutches, cleats and such (for speed of trim changes) or I add them if they are missing. The easiest thing to make the boat faster is get all the stuff that drags in the water smooth or removed (fixed to folding props or in outboards get them out of the water)... Then other obvious stuff is to lighten the boat!

The pricey stuff to do but also the most dramatic is new sails! On a masthead rig, I'd focus on the genoa first (if you are primarily light air venue, number 1, if you consistently see 15 knots or better, then Number 2)... On a fractional rig I'd focus on a proper new main (loose foot is nice, get at least 1 reef point for when its howling). If dacron, make sure you have a cunningham (less necessary on laminate main). Outhaul, from cripes sake, make sure your outhaul is easy to adjust! You know ease in light, on in heavy (and all that). I can't tell you how many times I've lost my downwind leg because someone (me) forgot to ease outhaul downwind!

Upgrading running rigging helps lots (for making trim changes quick). Upgrading to low stretch halyards allows you to MARK the halyards (with a sharpie or a stitch), for optimum settings once you've found an optimum setting for a given condition.

I use a 3-2-1 rule (because we aren't hard core racers)... Everything has 3 settings for me... it makes it easier on the crew, and easier to convey settings for given conditions. There are of course exceptions... but
Outhaul starts as fully eased at 3, then moves to 2, then 1... genoa cars 3 light, 2 medium, 1 howling. etc... you get the point... if everything is numbered correctly for the crew, then they know Light air, medium air, and howling wind settings at a glance for each control. This gets you your "coarse" settings, and should get you to 90% of where you need to be, then you can fight for that last 10% under sail.

You asked I ranted.
 
Nov 13, 2015
45
Hunter 290 Toronto Ontario
Great history, shnool, you've been busy - and apparently successful too!

Only one peripheral comment jumped off the page for me: the eased outhaul on runs!
I mostly race 15' Albacore dinghies in a huge and world-class fleet, and I think the one sail control that most divides (or confuses) us is the outhaul on a run!
The theory, IMO, mostly supports a TIGHT outhaul on a run, as follows: A little below a beam reach, it becomes impossible to sheet out the boom enough to get attached flow over either side of the mainsail, so it stalls. It is undeniably stalled on a run, producing no lift. Not bending the wind, just slowing it down. You might as well have a sheet of plywood up there, and the bigger it is, the more breeze has to hit it and push it (and your running boat) on its way by. Cranking on the outhaul makes the mainsail bigger, end of story.
OTOH, there's a view that a concave, parachute-like surface holds the wind better than a flat one, so a bunch of our racers do it your way, running with eased outhaul. I know no theoretical basis for this approach, though lots of things are true that I can't explain, so that's hardly persuasive! ;-)
The only thing I'm semi-persuaded of is that it's probably not a huge deal, because I think the top of the fleet is split.
 
May 17, 2004
2,032
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Shnool: You indicated that "oh, my starts still stunk". I didn't notice anywhere in your piece where you indicated they improved. What was wrong with your original start line procedure and if you corrected it, what steps did you take? Jackdaw is pretty good with this kind of stuff and maybe he can help you if you're still having start problems but he needs a beginning point to work with.