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Old 18-09-2015, 09:48   #1
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Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

I have a Macgregor 26S. I am wondering if I could safely attach an asymmetrical tack to my bow rail? I do not have an anchor roller or bowsprit.
Could the rail hold the force. By the way, I have a fractional length headsail and forestay for the halyard. So, I won't have the pull of a masthead spinnaker.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:05   #2
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

Are you talking about the 1" stainless pulpit? If so, it won't hold the loads in anything more than very light breeze. The tack on an asymmetric is generally the highest loaded line on the boat, and can exert huge forces. Worse the load direction (Up and back) is generally the most likely to rip fittings out of the deck.

I wouldn't advise this at all.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:25   #3
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

If there is no anchor roller/fairlead, or other such very strongly mounted hardware, at the stem head, you might correct this issue by adding one. Or you could make up a bridle to your bow cleats. Though it is far better to have the tack lead in front of everything, especially the pulpit, as the tack line can be let out way forward to get the sail in clean air.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:35   #4
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

I'd assume the mac 26s has a padeye for the trailer on the bow. Maybe figure a way to use that to hold the force, and something else (a pole) to push it out in front of the pulpit.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:55   #5
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
If there is no anchor roller/fairlead, or other such very strongly mounted hardware, at the stem head, you might correct this issue by adding one. Or you could make up a bridle to your bow cleats. Though it is far better to have the tack lead in front of everything, especially the pulpit, as the tack line can be let out way forward to get the sail in clean air.
Personally I disagree with leading the tack line outside the pulpit on a cruising boat. You will get marginally cleaner air at the expense of ripping out your pulpit railing if the tack fitting fails. Much better to come inside the railing if possible. There's a reason a lot of racing yachts with sprits have split bow railings, and i've ripped one out before on a boat that didn't have a split railing.

To answer the OPs question, no i would not advise it. The load on the tack line even in relatively light air is just too high. For cruising the simplest solution is to install a pad eye in the deck just aft of the headstay (assuming you can't get in front of it). It's not ideal but still workable provided you aren't trying to race it or do quick gybes. You'll no doubt find yourself using that pad eye for a load of other stuff once you have it too, like attaching an inner-headstay for a storm jib or staysail, or a downhaul for a pole.

For a simple solution i like Terra Nova's idea of a bridle around the bow cleats........ haven't tried that before!
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Old 18-09-2015, 13:06   #6
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

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...I disagree with leading the tack line outside the pulpit on a cruising boat. You will get marginally cleaner air at the expense of ripping out your pulpit railing if the tack fitting fails...
Big advantage in gybing goes to mounting the tack forward of everything. Make it plenty strong enough.
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Old 18-09-2015, 14:43   #7
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

The bow rail will not hold that much force. Your risk a lot of damage if you try this.

If you want to run a tack line attach a block to the deck, through bolt it and use a backing plate on the inside.. I use 1/4inch aluminum plate with at least 1 inch width extended from the bolts. The bolts should be steel, therefore you will have to use an insert and a washer. Teflon works well. Aluminum and steel should not touch.

The bow rail and the stanchion are not built to take on that much pressure.

An honestly the whole project is a setup to disaster.
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Old 18-09-2015, 15:03   #8
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

Any fitting inside the forestay leads to big problems. It will work over the short term, but the spinnaker halyard will constantly be rubbing across the top of the furled jib, or forestay. The attachment point for an asym needs to be forward of the forestay.
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Old 18-09-2015, 16:34   #9
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Any fitting inside the forestay leads to big problems. It will work over the short term, but the spinnaker halyard will constantly be rubbing across the top of the furled jib, or forestay. The attachment point for an asym needs to be forward of the forestay.
From the OP, it sorta sounds like he intends to use his genoa halyard to hoist the A-kite. Sounds scary to me no matter where the tack is!

But with a proper kite halyard, I agree that the tack should be fixed ahead of the forestay.

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Old 19-09-2015, 08:21   #10
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

OK. Thanks for all of the input.

I am not going to attach it to the bow rail. I am going to swage a stainless steel rope line for the end of the trailer bow cleat to the end of a bowsprit. I will use my gen pole (for mast raising) as a removable bowsprit with a rear deck mount to bolt it to the deck. I will add a clamp around my bow center cleat to also clamp it to the bowsprit.

Thank for all the input.

By the way, I can't use my jib halyard? I took off my genoa. If I still had the genoa I would be using the tack device with a downhaul for the tack.
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Old 19-09-2015, 10:53   #11
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

I don't think some of these responders realize how small your assy is. Your idea sounds good. After getting used to it I'd consider a higher aspect assy flying from the top of the mast.
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Old 19-09-2015, 13:47   #12
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

My setup (new and untested as of now) is a block attached to a long shackle through the forestay turnbuckle. The tack strop passes through the block and back to a bow cleat and can be adjusted for length. I hesitated attaching the block to the anchor roller as didn't think it might be strong enough for an upward pull. My boat is a Beneteau 423.

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Old 19-09-2015, 17:40   #13
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

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Originally Posted by Jhhastie View Post
OK. Thanks for all of the input.

I am not going to attach it to the bow rail. I am going to swage a stainless steel rope line for the end of the trailer bow cleat to the end of a bowsprit. I will use my gen pole (for mast raising) as a removable bowsprit with a rear deck mount to bolt it to the deck. I will add a clamp around my bow center cleat to also clamp it to the bowsprit.

Thank for all the input.

By the way, I can't use my jib halyard? I took off my genoa. If I still had the genoa I would be using the tack device with a downhaul for the tack.
If I understand correctly you don't have a headsail?? I've read of people attaching a couple of sail hanks to the luff of an asymmetric gennaker and hauling it up the fore stay with the jib halyard. You would need reinforced patches on the hank attachment points. I've never tried that but it might work well with the right sized sail. It would make raising and lowering easier and changing tack inside the forestay easy. You could do that OK even if you have a hanked on jib that is lowered out of the way.


If you're making a retractable bowsprit, have a look at the Selden web site. They make a good one which might give you ideas. I made a fixed one myself using 2" X 1" square SS tube suitably braced, that extends about 18" forward and incorporates an anchor roller. Then I modified the front of the bow rail for clearance of my top down furler torque line. That last mod would probably not be necessary with a standard gennaker.


I cut out all SS the bits for my bowsprit which is angled at the inboard end along the gunwale to clear the anchor well. It's about 1/3 forward and 2/3 along the gunwale with a 1/2" tube strut down to the stem. Then I took it all to my SS welder friend. I made a pattern first out of cheap 2 X 1 timber. A stock chandlery anchor roller assembly in a channel is bolted through along the top / front. Works well. It also helps clear the anchor away from my almost straight stem.


If you're towing your boat obviously you would need to check clearances if you do that.
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Old 20-09-2015, 20:20   #14
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

Check the Macgregor owners website for others that have used asyms. I worked for Macgregor and can share that they were not intended for high loads from larger sails than Roger designed them for. That said, Macgregor got more people sailing than anyone I know and he himself was the Macgyver of all sailors.
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Old 21-09-2015, 07:32   #15
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker tack line to bow rail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhhastie View Post
OK. Thanks for all of the input.

I am not going to attach it to the bow rail. I am going to swage a stainless steel rope line for the end of the trailer bow cleat to the end of a bowsprit. I will use my gen pole (for mast raising) as a removable bowsprit with a rear deck mount to bolt it to the deck. I will add a clamp around my bow center cleat to also clamp it to the bowsprit.

Thank for all the input.

By the way, I can't use my jib halyard? I took off my genoa. If I still had the genoa I would be using the tack device with a downhaul for the tack.
If you're looking at adding a pole:

I once raced on a far 40 in an international regatta. We were getting our asses whipped by all the a-sail boats, so the owner took the track off the mast and had it bolted to the deck, then made up a ring at the stem just next to the headstay to support the pole. We were now able to choose whether to fly assymetric or symmetric chutes. The pole was extended forward on the track using the same gear that was previously used as pole uphaul and downhaul at the mast end. It worked surprisingly well and was quite inexpensive. Of course, this assumes you already have a track and a pole!
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