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Old 07-07-2009, 01:52   #1
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How to Cleat Jib Sheets - '72 Marine Clipper?

I went out for the first time in my first sailboat since sailing as a child and i was stuck for 3 hours holding the jib sheet with blisters on my hands and a broken blood vessel as well, we were in a gail force wind! What do I use on the boat to cleat it with so I can get it free easily? Or do I need to install a new swing cleat? Thanks for the help. I want to go out again this week1
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:40   #2
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Here is the knot you need. Many people don't like to pass the end through the hitch, preferring to hold the bitter end to make a quick release easy. Personally, I like to make the last pass by looping the bitter end back and passing this through. Then a quick pull on the line releases the knot like untying a shoelace.

The Cleat Hitch

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:27   #3
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Do you mean there are no cleats at all, or you don't want to use a horn cleat? Most boats I've sailed on have a jam horn cleat for a jib sheet installed. A wrap or two around the base and you're done, no need for a full cleating hitch. Quick and easy to release.

Similar to the Schaefer Self Jamming Aluminum Cleats found on this page:
APS - Horn Cleats

John
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:29   #4
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By the way, what's a swing cleat, I haven't come across that term. Is it like a cam cleat?

John
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:20   #5
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A "normal" set up would include a track running longitudinally along each side of the boat. A pulley is mouned on the track to adjust sheeting angle and there is an associate winch and cleat.

It sounds like your boat is set up more like a dinghy.

If there is a swivel block on the gunnel you probably only need a clam cleat.

If there is no swivel you can get a clam cleat with the swivel attached and mount it yourself. The one on the left has a built in fairlead which works well for smaller sheeting angles. The one on the right would accommodate sharper angles.

Are the jib sheets running through a swivel or fairlead of any kind?
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:12   #6
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I would go ahead and add a cleat for your jib sheet that suits your preference. The cheapest would be one like this or similar:
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:56   #7
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The choices in hardware posted above are excellent, but certainly not the simplest or least expensive. Captains like the one in this photo are sailing far larger boats like the Nile feluccas with minimal hardware.

The mainsheet is simply drawn back to itself and a half hitch is hand held without stress. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 07-07-2009, 13:08   #8
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Aloha Sunny,
Time to add a cleat if there isn't one. Don't you have jib sheet winches?
Let's see a photo of your cockpit and maybe we can help you solve this one.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 07-07-2009, 17:15   #9
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Jib cleats.

Thanks so much I will go take a picture right now!! There are these side cleats on the top of the bow and the owner I bought it from said they were to used to cleat the lines that I used to pull up the sails. When I sailed I always just cleated them down on the mast. But the lines are too thick for that. They are about 3/4"s in diameter.Maybe I could use these top ones then, the only problem is that when the jib is out on a run they will be too close in. I am happy to hear your views. thanks you so much! Sunnysandy
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Old 07-07-2009, 17:46   #10
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For controlling what angle your jibsheet pulls down on the jib, run the jibsheet from the clew to the jib fairlead block, to the winch and then to the cleat. Your jibsheet fairlead block is on a track which you can adjust to change the angle. Generally, the harder the wind blows, the further back you move the jibsheet block in order to de-power the jib.

You appear to have all the cleats you need along your starboard side.
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Old 07-07-2009, 18:36   #11
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Do not!--I say again: do not secure a jib sheet or any other running rigging as a jib or main sheet as described by Dick Pluta (no offense intended). His example is extremely proper for belaying a line on a dock cleat, and is Okay for a main halyard or a jib halyard but never for a sheet.

That said, you shouldn't have to hold it either. In the pictures, the boat has jib sheet winches and if you have no cleats within easy reach of the cockpit you can use a jam hitch on the winch similar to that described by CaptForce. Use 2 or 3 turns around the winch and take a bight (loop) of the line and jam the side of the bight (loop) between the turns on the winch and the part with the strain. You can keep the unloaded part near you in the cockpit and yank on it when you want to loose the jib sheet.

If you have a traditional horn cleat you can secure it with a slippery hitch. A slippery anything is any kind of a knot that will release with a pull of a line. i.e.: a slippery reef (or square) knot, is one with the 2nd overhand (or underhand) part made with one or more bights passed through. Like a bow on your shoes or a half bow. This lets you shake out a reef quicker than a reef or square knot.

Back to the slippery hitch. Just take the line from the winch (for jib sheets) and take a full turn around the cleat and jam a bight between the turn and the line to the cleat, leaving the unloaded end to yank on.
You can similarly use a jam or slippery hitch on a mainsheet block or cleat and will get you by with whatever you have.

As others have pointed out there are specific cam, clam, or jam cleats available for purchase and will be better in the long run. But you can do a lot of sailing without them.

"Never belay the main sheet" (never permanently secure the main sheet), an old saying that is insurance from rounding up and loosing control

Good luck

Joe S

Good luck

Joe S
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Old 07-07-2009, 19:04   #12
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As David M. said you have the cleats, and I can see that the aft ones are jam horn cleats. The front ones are harder to tell, but they might be as well, so once the sail is in, a turn around the cleat will hold the sheet.

Also if you're worried about having to go to leeward to free the sheet, you can take the sheet to the windward side of the boat and cleat it there. Chews up cockpit space but the racers use it to keep everyone on the high side of small keelboats for speed.

John
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Old 07-07-2009, 21:37   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandy View Post
Thanks so much I will go take a picture right now!! There are these side cleats on the top of the bow and the owner I bought it from said they were to used to cleat the lines that I used to pull up the sails. When I sailed I always just cleated them down on the mast. But the lines are too thick for that. They are about 3/4"s in diameter.Maybe I could use these top ones then, the only problem is that when the jib is out on a run they will be too close in. I am happy to hear your views. thanks you so much! Sunnysandy
I took the liberty of suggesting how the jib sheets might run. The first picture is similar to how our boat is set up. I would use the forward cleat or in blustery conditions simply taking 2-3 turns on the winch will make holding the sheet a lot easier as the friction on the winch will relieve the pressure from your hands.

You could use the aft cleat but on our boat we use the aft cleat for the spinnaker guy. A turning block will be right at the back of the boat then run forwad to a winch, then cleated although we rarely cleat the spinnaker guy. If you don't have a winch aft of the aft one in the picture you may end up using the forward winch for the jib, although the angle looks tight to the jib fairlead car track, leaving the aft winch free for the spinnaker gear. I attached that configuration as well (picture 2).

As Cal40John suggests you could also run from the fairlead block across the boat to the high side (cross sheeting) as in picture 3. This is how it would look on starboard tack. I don't see the main traveler gear but this configuration could interfere as it does on our boat so we only use it when were are well powered up (jib cars forward) so as not to interfere with the main gear.

As David M points out the fairllead car is used to adjust the twist of the jib. Car forward pulls more downward on the leach "closing" the sail and powering up. Car aft pulls more along the foot of the jib allowing the leach to twist off spilling wind.

In terms of securing the sheet on that horn type cleat, the same as we have, we simply take one wrap clockwise - contrary to how I drew it - and jam the sheet against itself. We've never had a slip. Remember the winch takes the load - heavy load more wraps. The cleat should not be experiencing the full force of the sheet.

Finally I agree with you that the main and jib halyards should be secured at the mast unless there has been some modification to run them to the cockpit. If this is the case they are usually run to the coach roof. 3/4 line for a halyard on a 21 foot boat sounds crazy btw.

The small bullet clams on your coach roof are a mystery but could be there for reefing lines, spinnaker pole uphaul and downhaul or even the vang/kicking strap.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:56   #14
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Thank you sooo much for takinig the time to draw out the lines for me! It makes much more sense ans I will get a lighter line that I can cleat at the mast for each sail.

Do you have any experience with the swing Keel in the clipper. We couldn't let it down all the way to put the srew through the casing. The other problem we had was water seemed to slosh in from the keel casing when were going along quite fast!

I scared my daughters on the first sail and now they don't want to come again! We were heeling to much for their liking. Our gunwall was touching the water. Can a clipper 21' actually capsize or will the wind spill out first? Thanks so much! Sunnysandy
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:56   #15
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That's why you make the last turn with a loop. A tug and a flip and the sheet is free. Beats hanging on. A jam cleat is nice but, IMHO, doesn't hold up to the perssure of a big jenny. You do it your way, I'll do it mine.

Dick

Quote:
Originally Posted by svquest2 View Post
Do not!--I say again: do not secure a jib sheet or any other running rigging as a jib or main sheet as described by Dick Pluta (no offense intended). His example is extremely proper for belaying a line on a dock cleat, and is Okay for a main halyard or a jib halyard but never for a sheet.

That said, you shouldn't have to hold it either. In the pictures, the boat has jib sheet winches and if you have no cleats within easy reach of the cockpit you can use a jam hitch on the winch similar to that described by CaptForce. Use 2 or 3 turns around the winch and take a bight (loop) of the line and jam the side of the bight (loop) between the turns on the winch and the part with the strain. You can keep the unloaded part near you in the cockpit and yank on it when you want to loose the jib sheet.

If you have a traditional horn cleat you can secure it with a slippery hitch. A slippery anything is any kind of a knot that will release with a pull of a line. i.e.: a slippery reef (or square) knot, is one with the 2nd overhand (or underhand) part made with one or more bights passed through. Like a bow on your shoes or a half bow. This lets you shake out a reef quicker than a reef or square knot.

Back to the slippery hitch. Just take the line from the winch (for jib sheets) and take a full turn around the cleat and jam a bight between the turn and the line to the cleat, leaving the unloaded end to yank on.
You can similarly use a jam or slippery hitch on a mainsheet block or cleat and will get you by with whatever you have.

As others have pointed out there are specific cam, clam, or jam cleats available for purchase and will be better in the long run. But you can do a lot of sailing without them.

"Never belay the main sheet" (never permanently secure the main sheet), an old saying that is insurance from rounding up and loosing control

Good luck

Joe S

Good luck

Joe S
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