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Old 30-05-2012, 10:53   #1
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Location: Vancouver BC
Boat: Cal20
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Main Sheet Rigging on a Cal20

Hello,

I purchased a Cal20 from a buddy this year and would like some advice on how my main sheet is rigged. My buddy said it was not the normal way of rigging but at the time I didn't know any better as I'm a new sailor.

Last weekend I was out sailing in some fairly heavy winds for me and the cam cleat that controlled the main sheet failed and broke. The main flew leeward but luckily nobody was hurt. (I have it all on video if anyone is interested) Anyway, when I brought the broken piece into West Marine the guy said it was an antique and that he'd never seen a wooden piece covered in fiberglass before. I also have a wooden block. Better to replace the whole unit.

After looking all over online and at local marinas at how other people have their main sheets rigged I noticed that mine is totally different. I had two places where the sheet could be let out. One at the cam cleat in the cockpit (really old) and the other was with a vang. (I think that's what it's called). The cam cleat failed so I just tied the line to each side of the boat and will only use the vang to let out my main sheet. I have uploaded some pics.

Can someone please have a look and let me know if this is safe and will work?
It's pretty much the same set up I had before except I took out the cam cleat so I can only let the main out at one spot. Just not sure if how it's currently set up is strong enough to support the weight and pressure put on it by the main.

Thoughts?
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tom.
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Old 30-05-2012, 12:12   #2
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Re: Main Sheet Rigging on a Cal20

Phenolic resin with linen or cotten cloth was the original plastic and fiberglass. That stuff lasts a long time, but it has nothing to do with wood.


I think what you're talking about is the traveller, not the vang.

Looks like what you have done will work, but places the mainsheet cleat up where it will be hard to operate.

Picture of the original mainsheet rigging: Does make a traveller, but a manual one. You sheet in, then grab the boom pull to the centerline and sheet in some more, and it will stay there. The perimeter of the isosceles triangle is smaller than the right triangle, so the boom stays centered. You just can't get it to center without helping it.

Seals Spars and Rigging:Cal 20 Rigging Guide
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Old 30-05-2012, 12:39   #3
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Re: Main Sheet Rigging on a Cal20

Hi Cal40 John,

Thanks for your input. Yeah I wasn't sure what those old pieces were made of. They definitely lasted a while but since that one gave way I'm going to try to replace all that stuff now just in case.

I agree that placing the main cleat up is a little harder to operate but it's been that way since I acquired the boat and I'm used to it now. Just not ideal I guess. I'm trying not to drill more holes and buy new hardware if possible. If what I have now is working under regular day sail conditions then I'd like to leave it as is.
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Old 31-05-2012, 10:06   #4
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Re: Main Sheet Rigging on a Cal20

Sailor Tom,

If you get your hands on a Harken catalog, either online or in your local chandlery, you'll find some helpful diagrams of various sheeting arrangements. It looks like Cal40 John gave a link to Steve Seal's page. Steve has set up a number of Cal 20's and may be a good resource as well.
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