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Use an eyesplice to attach headsail clue?

Jul 9, 2018
65
Catalina 25 Lake Monroe
The bowline knot in my headsail clue gets caught on my mast every other tack. Likely, the issue is that the headsail on my roller furling is too large, but I haven't pulled off all the sails to investigate it (I have a tall rig and the PO got these sails were from a standard rig.) I've tried making the knot as small as possible, but it still happens. Sometimes it gets caught on the shrouds instead, but usually it's the mast it gets caught on.

What do guys think of using an eye-splice (without a thimble) to "permanently" attach the jib sheets to my headsail clue? I realize in an emergency I might have to cut the splice out, but I would only lose about 10" of line if that happened.

 

NYSail

.
Jan 6, 2006
2,488
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
I use a single line for my headsail sheet and do a basic loop to attach at the clew. Simple
And easily removable. Never had an issue with slipping.

Greg
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
1,884
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
I’m sure that an eye splice would work, and it looks neat...Three strand line is easy to splice, but in most cases, people are using braided line for sheets and that is not quite as easy to splice

I have always used bowlines because that was what I was taught. If they are tied properly with the tail inside the loop, the chances of the knots catching on the mast or shrouds is fairly minimal.
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,104
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
Just do a luggage tag like NYSail has suggested. I have for years with no issues.
 
Jan 11, 2014
5,762
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The bowline knot in my headsail clue gets caught on my mast every other tack. Likely, the issue is that the headsail on my roller furling is too large, but I haven't pulled off all the sails to investigate it (I have a tall rig and the PO got these sails were from a standard rig.) I've tried making the knot as small as possible, but it still happens. Sometimes it gets caught on the shrouds instead, but usually it's the mast it gets caught on.

What do guys think of using an eye-splice (without a thimble) to "permanently" attach the jib sheets to my headsail clue? I realize in an emergency I might have to cut the splice out, but I would only lose about 10" of line if that happened.

Certainly one could splice jib sheets to the jib, however, 3 strand nylon is possibly the worst choice. Nylon is very stretchy under load. As the jib is trimmed the line will stretch making it more difficult to properly trim the sails and if the sails are trimmed, over time the sheets will stretch even more. This is potentially quite dangerous if the line should break, the line will snap back with considerable force, possibly injuring the crew.

There are a number of reasonably priced dacron/polyester lines that will work well, Sta-Set, and Regatta Braid come quickly to mind. These can be spliced, however, since these are double braid lines, splicing is a bit more challenging.

The easiest way to attach a line to a jib is to use a cow hitch. The sheet will need to be 3 times the boat length, 75 feet for the Cat 25. Find the middle of the sheet and loop it through the clew. The knot is as small as it can possibly be. Until the line is really tight, the cow hitch may slip a little making the sheets uneven. The more the jib is used the tighter the knot gets so it may take a marlin spike to release the knot. https://www.animatedknots.com/cow/

Edit: The cow hitch and luggage tag are the same knot with different names.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,614
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
A luggage tag is nice if your sheets are long enough, but the OPs sheets are in two pieces.
Often if the knots are separated from the clew just a little, that solves the problem.

Try this. Cow hitch a Dyneema climbing sling to the clew and tie the sheets to that. Yes, they will float around on the sling, and that actually helps. Another option is to splice a dog bone about 3 feet long (dogbone means splice in each end) and cow hitch that to the clew.

Don't want to splice doublebraid? Can't splice old double braid (splicing used rope is VERY difficult)? The eyes can be sewn.
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2016/11/rev.html

My last boat was really good at snagging genoa sheets. These things helped.
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
3,836
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
We have eye splices in the ends of our jib sheets which I lash to the clew with 6mm Dyneema. Never gets caught on anything and never had it break, even beating in 40+ knot gusts on a 77,000# boat.
 
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meb135

.
Nov 17, 2012
92
Hunter 33 Shediac Bay
I had the same problem when tacking. My solution: 2 separate jib sheets with eye splices attached to small soft shackles that I made of dyneema. The soft shackles are attached to the clue. No more snags when tacking and I can easily remove them.
 
Jan 19, 2010
8,494
Hunter 26 Charleston
I like the shackle idea. I have a metal shackle on mine but will probably go with a soft shackle the next time I change up my sheets.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,614
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I like the shackle idea. I have a metal shackle on mine but will probably go with a soft shackle the next time I change up my sheets.
Absolutely!

I'm not a soft shackle fanatic, but less metal flying around the foredeck is a real improvement!
 

Gunni

.
Mar 16, 2010
5,937
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
The bowline knot in my headsail clue gets caught on my mast every other tack. Likely, the issue is that the headsail on my roller furling is too large,
If you have a large genoa a simple change in tacking techique would blow it well forward of the mast. Don’t attempt to drag your genoa across the boat, use good helmanship take it over. Your trimmers need to release the working sheet with better timing and you lazy sheet trimmer needs to be patient while the sail blows forward and clear of the mast...then quickly reel in to trim.
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,059
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
I have GOT to get my k pics loaded on this new computer!!

I have used a method for years that doesn't snag, let's me transfer the sheets to the reefing clue quickly and has NEVER come loose. Will try to get pics today
 
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Mar 29, 2017
471
Hunter 30t 9805 littlecreek
Try waiting until your jib is heavily back winded to release it then it will come over so fast it can't get hung in anything
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,614
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Try waiting until your jib is heavily back winded to release it then it will come over so fast it can't get hung in anything
This is a great way to stretch the leach of overlapping headsails. As they lean on the spreader they experience stresses they weren't designed for. This method is ONLY safe for non-overlapping headsails. Obviously, it also increases chafe and thread wear. (I didn't read this in a book--I learned it the old fashioned way, by making the mistake years ago. Pretty obvious once you ruin a sail that way.) You bring the sail across just slightly after it breaks. This is progressivly more dangerous as the wind builds. A correlarly is that you never heave to with an overlapping headsail; it is very bad for them.

Backwinding is also a slow sailing method. You should NEVER need to backwind a sail to make a tack, even on the most pig-like sailboat; it stops the boat. Better to learn proper timing. (This is not what Whatfiero1 was suggesting, I'm just mentioning it.)
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
768
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I have the same problem with my heavy sheets catching when there isn't enough wind. I just tried a one piece light sheet with a cow hitch this year and it completely got rid of the catching problem!
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,623
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
I have the same problem with my heavy sheets catching when there isn't enough wind. I just tried a one piece light sheet with a cow hitch this year and it completely got rid of the catching problem!
Saling 101... don't use heavy sheets.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
768
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Saling 101... don't use heavy sheets.
Yeah, I know. They came with the boat and they are really nice on the hands so I used them. I realized they were causing more problems than they solved so I switched to the light sheets.
 
Mar 29, 2017
471
Hunter 30t 9805 littlecreek
This is a great way to stretch the leach of overlapping headsails. As they lean on the spreader they experience stresses they weren't designed for. This method is ONLY safe for non-overlapping headsails. Obviously, it also increases chafe and thread wear. (I didn't read this in a book--I learned it the old fashioned way, by making the mistake years ago. Pretty obvious once you ruin a sail that way.) You bring the sail across just slightly after it breaks. This is progressivly more dangerous as the wind builds. A correlarly is that you never heave to with an overlapping headsail; it is very bad for them.

Backwinding is also a slow sailing method. You should NEVER need to backwind a sail to make a tack, even on the most pig-like sailboat; it stops the boat. Better to learn proper timing. (This is not what Whatfiero1 was suggesting, I'm just mentioning it.)
On a cat if you find yourself on a chartered one or enjoying the double hull life just about the only way I've found to tack one is by waitn on back wind I don't know why but you need that force to bring both hulls around
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,059
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
On a cat if you find yourself on a chartered one or enjoying the double hull life just about the only way I've found to tack one is by waitn on back wind I don't know why but you need that force to bring both hulls around
even on a Hobie, or a Prindle