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Old 23-07-2011, 06:30   #1
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Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

Hi,

What is the best way to increase tension on luff of the mainsail?

Our Vivacity 650 (21"), does not have a cuningham, and create a proper tension (remove horizontal wrinkles) simply by pulling on halyard requires a lot of strength.

Our mast only has a cleat for a mainsail halyard. No winches on it for help.

Any advise here?

Thank you
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Old 23-07-2011, 06:34   #2
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Re: mainsail luff tension without winches

Parito,

Cast ofthe downhaul before raising the sail, raise the sail to the top and cleat, then tension the luff with the down haul.

Cheers
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:04   #3
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Re: mainsail luff tension without winches

Buy a stainless S hook and two pulleys to make up a 3:1 or 4:1 purchase with some 1/4" string. One of them will need an integral cam cleat - upper or lower as you prefer. Shackle to something near the mast collar like a padeye or the vang mount.

Disconnect the tack ring from the gooseneck. Haul the halyard up a little too high. Hopefully your mast will allow you to go up an extra 3" or so.

Place the S hook in the tack. Use the purchase as if it were a cunningham system. If the tack goes a touch below the gooseneck that's OK.
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Old 23-07-2011, 08:00   #4
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Re: mainsail luff tension without winches

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Originally Posted by AnsleyS View Post
Parito,

Cast ofthe downhaul before raising the sail, raise the sail to the top and cleat, then tension the luff with the down haul.

Cheers
Unfortunately our boat does not come with a downhaul/cuningham
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Old 23-07-2011, 08:02   #5
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Re: mainsail luff tension without winches

Could it be we have difficulties tensioning the luff because it is a very old mainsail ?
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Old 23-07-2011, 08:29   #6
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Re: mainsail luff tension without winches

Old sails go soft.
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Old 23-07-2011, 09:22   #7
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Re: Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

Tensioning the luff should be easy on a 21' boat. Is the sail hitting the top of the track or groove? No? Then "banjo" it tight. That is where you pull the standing part sideways with one hand, then take up the slack with the other, while the line has one turn on the cleat.
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Old 23-07-2011, 09:24   #8
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Re: Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

Good idea.

Not too sure about duelling banjos though. Could get ugly.
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Old 23-07-2011, 13:40   #9
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Re: Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

On my 23 footer, there is no cunningham either, there used to be a strap that fed into a pin between the gooseneck and the boom, a pretty hokie system but it worked. With the new sail I had made the sailmaker did away with it and i just use a clevis pin from the pin point through the cringle. After the season he is going to put a better solution to it, but my old sail ripped and needed one asap so for now it will do, it sounds like you have a system like mine.
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Old 26-07-2011, 16:56   #10
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Re: Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Tensioning the luff should be easy on a 21' boat. Is the sail hitting the top of the track or groove? No? Then "banjo" it tight. That is where you pull the standing part sideways with one hand, then take up the slack with the other, while the line has one turn on the cleat.
I believe that is called sweating the line.
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Old 26-07-2011, 17:29   #11
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Re: Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

Yes, called sweating but would be better to put tension using a fore and aft movement. The side to side way is harder on the masthead block and the cleat.
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Old 30-07-2011, 17:49   #12
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Re: Mainsail Luff Tension without Winches

Sailed a Cal 20 years ago that had a simple setup that allowed 3:1 purchase once the main had been (nearly) raised. I think Herreshoff used this on some of his smaller boats.

The 420 that junior sailors use has the same system for the jib halyard. They use a single becket block inserted in the halyard such that when the sail is raised, it will be maybe 2 feet above the cleat. Tail is hooked below the cleat and threaded thru the block. So you have 3:1 less some friction.

This also "wastes" some of the tail.
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