There's no substitute for adjustable jib leads. They let you adjust the sail's draft
to power up, such as when it's light & choppy, or power things down just as easily.
They're worth their weight 10-Fold if you're using a furler
, & roll the jib partially in or out. As you can re-set your lead position, without having to use 2 sheets
on the one side, in order to re-set pin stop type cars without luffing up or tacking.
Ditto when you change course from say, a close reach, to one further off of the wind
. They're essentially a traveler for your jib, & add a lot to your headsail's efficiency & versatility.
I've used a huge percentage of what's out there, & my Fav's are Harken
. Both from a functionality standpoint, including ease of use/adjustment, as well as durability, that & customer support.
In addition to fully standing behind their gear
, Harken tends to make parts
for their older stuff for far longer than most. Although it's Rare to need it, as the durability of their gear
vs. that of others tends to come out leagues ahead.
That said, there are plenty of other good makes of gear out there that'll do the job for you; Ronstan, Schaeffer, Antal, etc., etc..
And you needn't get cars with ball bearing in them either, the ones with plastic slider inserts work fine. They just need a bit more grunt in order to adjust them, due to their higher friction.
For a full on DIY job, on the cheap
, you can cut the stopper pin out of a car for 1 1/4" track, then bolt or tie a block onto the car, add a towing purchase
, & use said setup as a towable car lead also.
Some pin stop cars are "semi-designed" for such, in that they have a setting where you can lock the pin stop on the car so that it's fixed in the up position. And if you go this route
, try & find cars which again, have plastic inserts.
I'd say, on a budget
, get a pair of purpose built (dual lead) towable cars for 1 1/4" track. Plus a couple of pin stop cars. One set would be for use with your #3 (100%) & smaller sails
. While the other pair can be mounted on the toe rail track, for reaching.
And to keep your towing hardware
costs down, look at using a setup with rings, or some of Colligo Marine's "sheaveless" blocks. That, & or do some Ebay shopping
- you'll also see towable jib cars on there for cheap