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Old 19-11-2013, 14:22   #1
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4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

This is a total newbie question but I couldn't find any threads on it so here you go. I'm getting ready to buy new blocks for my mainsheet and need some help. I bought the boat with the mast down and finally got it rebuilt (wood mast) and up. I have a bucket of old wood blocks but no idea how they go together so I'm basically starting from scratch. Here is my boat info.

TRIPP 30 (SEAFARER) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

and here is what I'm looking at

Harken

So my main is 196sqft with a long boom and no dedicated mainsheet winch. Should I just spend the extra $150 for 6:1 or is that overkill? Also I'm looking at the ones recommended for small boats with 10mm line but maybe I need the midrange size with 14mm?
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Old 19-11-2013, 14:37   #2
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

Absolutely go 6:1 and I would probably add a fine tune as well. Main sheet loads can climb quickly, and nothing kills a day of sailing faster than not being able to control the main because the loads are too high.
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Old 19-11-2013, 14:38   #3
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

While a higher ratio makes it easier to haul on the sheets, it also requires a lot more line.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and "assume" that you will reef BEFORE you need to. Based on that:

I think the 4:1 will be fine.
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Old 19-11-2013, 14:40   #4
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

4-1 should be fine for end boom sheeting on your boat. Had 4-1 on both our Westsail 32 and Morgan 35 which worked fine but I was much younger then. Current boat has a 15' boom and it was a grunt sheeting the main in hard on the wind. Changed to two speed 3-1/6-1 system and made handling the main a lot easier. That was a much larger sail than yours, however.
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Old 19-11-2013, 14:45   #5
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

10 MM line is hard on your hands if there is any strain. You will have more ability to pull with 14 MM even if you go with 4 to 1. Take a look at the boats near you or call a rigger about the ratio. Good Luck. ______Grant.
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Old 19-11-2013, 15:01   #6
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For 12-15m boats I like a 4:1 with a 4:1 fine tune
Less line and more power than a 6:1

If you sail a lot you will appreciate the fine tune

We use 14mm line, larger is easier, on the primary and 8 or 10 on the fine tune
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Old 19-11-2013, 16:04   #7
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

I guess I've never seen a "fine tune" assembly.

All I've seen is 4-1 blocks and line. What does a fine tune assembly look like? Can any of you post a picture, please?
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Old 19-11-2013, 17:01   #8
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

> What does a fine tune assembly look like?

Several varieties on this page:

http://www.apsltd.com/c-643-mainsheetsystems.aspx
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Old 19-11-2013, 17:24   #9
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

Fine tune in my experience is more for racing and high performance sailing. I presently sail a high performance boat and rarely need the fine tune. for a boat that is not all that sensitive to sail trim it would be a definite waste. It also takes a really good sailor to appreciate the fine tune(often with the help of plenty rail meat) most often needed hard on wind in near overpowering conditions not a place most cruising boats want to be.
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Old 19-11-2013, 23:53   #10
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

For my day sailer we have a 2:1 gross tune which allows lightning fast general tuning, and minimizes the amount of line we need, then have a 8:1 fine tune. This allows both quick adjustments, and extra purchase when needed.

Racing boats work their sails much more than cruisers, which requires a much easier system. Since a cruiser is ok if they have to work hard for 15 minutes every 2 days, racers who need to adjust things constantly are almost always over purchased to make things easy.
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Old 20-11-2013, 00:13   #11
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

It its still endboom sheeting, as in the Sailboat data image, 4:1 will most likely suffice. If it were mid boom sheeting you may need the extra purchase. End boom sheeting gives you added purchase to begin with.
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Old 20-11-2013, 00:24   #12
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

With boom end sheeting 4:1 ought to be plenty. Our main is a bit less than 600 sq ft, and most of the time 5:1 is enough. (There's a winch for when it's not enough)

10mm rope would be strong enough, but bigger is nicer on the hands.
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Old 20-11-2013, 05:51   #13
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

Interesting how many think that sail trim is for racers. I've suggested to many cruisers to spend one year racing keelboats. In that time they'll tack and gybe more than in a lifetime of cruising and really learn how to trim a sail. With my 4:1 fine tune on my end boom sheeted Hughes 38 (S&S Plan 601) I was able to easily tweak the main for a 1/4 to 1/2 kt more, especially in moderate seas. That adds up. People may disagree on this but I never considered cruising a reason to sail badly. For grins look up a book called "Precision Cruising" by Arthur Chance. That level of skill and dedication to both boat handling and speed aren't for everyone but I like sailing enough to enjoy sailing well even when cruising a big, heavy ketch--perhaps even more then?

Precision Cruising Hardcover
by Arthur F. Chace (Author) , Brad Dellenbaugh (Illustrator)

Of course, YMMV
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Old 20-11-2013, 06:17   #14
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

I was happy with a 4:1 Easyblock setup, but my wife who, while fit, is considerably less "leverage-blessed" than myself, prefers 6:1 on both our 33 (mid-boom) and 41 (end boom) footers.

Your mileage, etc.. It does mean a bigger set of loops coiled when you are sheeted right in.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:08   #15
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Re: 4:1 or 6:1 Mainsheet System

It is only 196 square feet of sail, so 4 to 1 will be fine under most conditions you will find yourself in.

If for some reason you don't like it you can place a doubler block on the mainsheet, for less than $150.

I also would recommend you check prices at Garhaurer Marine. Their blocks are half the cost of Harken and are well made. Garhauer makes all the running rigging for Catalina and are used on many other brands as well.
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