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Old 02-03-2021, 15:25   #1
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Running lines back to cockpit

I'm considering buying a Beneteau Oceanis 50, 1996.
But most of the lines are handled at the mast, which I consider less than ideal for 2 of us to sail long distances.
Would there be any reason why we couldn't modify this to run the main halyard, reefing lines etc, back to the cockpit?
The Beneteau 50 manuals I could find online all have everything going back to the cockpit except the genoa halyard. (on a furler anyway) But they seem to start from 2001, and I can't find anything earlier.
Does anyone have an owners manual for Bene 50 in 1996?
Or can anyone think why you would not be able to run back the main halyard, and install single line reefing and run the reef lines back as well?
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Old 02-03-2021, 15:47   #2
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

That would be a big mail for single-line reefing. Other than that I don't know why you couldn't run lines back to the cockpit. Just work out things like overdriving and epoxying fastener holes and making a good base for winches that you add.
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Old 02-03-2021, 16:03   #3
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

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Originally Posted by Moana Bella View Post
..................Would there be any reason why we couldn't modify this to run the main halyard, reefing lines etc, back to the cockpit? Does anyone have an owners manual for Bene 50 in 1996?
No.....the main, jib and spinnaker halyards and controls lines on my Hunter 46 are all routed to the cockpit so myself and crew do not have to leave the cockpit to operate them for improved safety and control. All you need are turning blocks, mast halyard plate and rope clutches and maybe one or two winches.

I could not find a 1996 manual but did find a 2001 manual which you may already have:

https://dicksimonyachts.com/Brochure...ers-manual.pdf
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Old 02-03-2021, 17:51   #4
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

For the 1996 manual suggest contacting 1996 owners in this link.

https://beneteau.sailboatowners.com/...rs.php?mid=202
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Old 02-03-2021, 18:36   #5
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

We have two B's. One (B35s5) has everything running back to the cockpit and the single line reefing is not my preferred approach and I am currently investigating how to best convert the single line reefing to double line reefing, still in the cockpit.

The other boat (B1150) came with reefing lines and the main halyard at the mast. I brought the main halyard back to the cockpit for a couple of years but moved it back to the mast. The mainsail is 9.8oz dacron and super heavy with 3 reef points. Raising that sail from the cockpit was just too hard and to reef it required going to the mast anyway.

We have sailed the latter boat from Vancouver to Mexico and then to French Polynesia where it is currently tied up. We did not have any issues going to the mast - we were always clipped in to inboard jacklines that would not allow us to leave the boat.

An electric cockpit winch mind change my mind about running the halyard back to the cockpit, and converting the main to single line reefing would also benefit from that luxury.
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Old 02-03-2021, 18:51   #6
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

Try sailing with with the lines as is before you spend the money and effort to run them aft. On a 50' boat, going to the mast to do things should not be difficult or dangerous--there's got to be tons of room up there and it's a long way to overboard if you clip in intelligently.
Running lines aft opens all sorts of cans o' worms, and I wouldn't do it on any boat, however small.
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Old 02-03-2021, 20:01   #7
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

In our boat almost all lines are in the cockpit. But we have a small boat.


In bigger boats, I do not mind the lines at the mast - it keeps the cockpit cleaner and the big boat has so much more stability that I can work the lines safely at the mast.


If the boat is 50', I would not convert.
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Old 02-03-2021, 20:59   #8
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

Thanks everyone. There's some good advice there.
1. don't knock it when you haven't tried it
2. don't rush to swap one set of problems for another set of problems
3. different ways and means might help - eg electric winch or double line reefing - I didn't even know that was a thing.
Maybe I need to get off racing boats which are perennially over-powered and over healing, and I am sure I will enjoy sailing a lot more at a nicer pace.
That's the plan anyway.....
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Old 02-03-2021, 22:38   #9
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moana Bella View Post
I'm considering buying a Beneteau Oceanis 50, 1996.
But most of the lines are handled at the mast, which I consider less than ideal for 2 of us to sail long distances.
Would there be any reason why we couldn't modify this to run the main halyard, reefing lines etc, back to the cockpit?
The Beneteau 50 manuals I could find online all have everything going back to the cockpit except the genoa halyard. (on a furler anyway) But they seem to start from 2001, and I can't find anything earlier.
Does anyone have an owners manual for Bene 50 in 1996?
Or can anyone think why you would not be able to run back the main halyard, and install single line reefing and run the reef lines back as well?

I would have the main halyard and reefing lines in the same place. If I brought one back to the cockpit the others would go too. I would not do single line reefing, too much complication that could go wrong, I'd rather live with an extra clutch for double line reefing.

On a short handed a boat I generally see good reasons to leave foresail and spinnaker halyards on the mast. If you are on the foredeck bringing a sail down alone, you can handle to sail and the halyard in moderate conditions. If the halyard goes all the way to the cockpit it will be hard to get it back to the foredeck and handle both, that means waking the offwatch crew to handle the halyard in the cockpit for any setting or dousing.

If everything is on a furler and you mostly roll them in an out there still isn't much reason to move them into the cockpit.

Given the size of the boat you may always want the second crew helping with setting and dousing, in which case if they are on the foredeck with you they can help with gathering as well as managing the halyard from the mast.

If you had a larger crew then I would say bring everything back to the cockpit.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:37   #10
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

Run your jacklines on the inside of your mast stay's. That's a must do.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:51   #11
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

I brought everything back to the cockpit on my boat years ago when sailing with a young family crew. It was actually useful a couple of times when I put in a 3rd reef.
By the way we used double line reefing for "simplicity". We also have lazyjacks & a stackpack. I have 12 clutches & 2 halyard winches: 6+1 each side of the companionway.
Years later, what I have found is this:
From the cockpit, the stackpack hides the luff reefing lines just above the boom so someone tends to get up on the sidedeck to see the reef is fully down;
The friction in the system & the need to hoist the mainsail quickly to avoid the battens catching in the lazyjacks means we still hoist the mainsail at the mast.
We also need someone in the cockpit to keep the slack out of the halyard by pulling it through the clutch.
The mainsail slides dont drop by themselves so someone has to go to the mast when we drop the mainsail anyway.
We are a ketch so if things get very windy I have found it is easier just to drop the mainsail altogether & sail on jib & mizzen.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:55   #12
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

The boats I have sailed are much smaller, but I prefer to have the lines at the mast. My Tartan 27-2 had the main and one reef brought back to the cockpit. Made it much harder to hoist. I put them back on the mast and boom. The Pearson 34-2 we have now has everything brought back to the cockpit, including two reefs. I actually put a cam cleat on the mast so I could hoist the main from there, then take up the lines after the sail was hoisted. It pops out of the cleat once it has some tension. Much easier! If I thought it wouldn't kill the resale value, I would put all the lines at the mast. It is only my wife and I sailing the boat.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:58   #13
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

So most of the time, having everything back to the cockpit is a pain in the a**e. Every now & then it might be useful but there are other ways to solve that problem. Fit granny bars at the mast & an extra jackstay on the centreline from there back to the cockpit. Maybe with a permanent lifeline on it you can reach & clip onto from behind the spray hood ?
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:41   #14
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moana Bella View Post
I'm considering buying a Beneteau Oceanis 50, 1996.
But most of the lines are handled at the mast, which I consider less than ideal for 2 of us to sail long distances.
Would there be any reason why we couldn't modify this to run the main halyard, reefing lines etc, back to the cockpit?
The Beneteau 50 manuals I could find online all have everything going back to the cockpit except the genoa halyard. (on a furler anyway) But they seem to start from 2001, and I can't find anything earlier.
Does anyone have an owners manual for Bene 50 in 1996?
Or can anyone think why you would not be able to run back the main halyard, and install single line reefing and run the reef lines back as well?
With the main halyard running back to the cockpit when you reef someone must still go forward to connect the tack to the reefing hook (if you use one) and to clean up the loose mainsail with reef nettles.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 03-03-2021, 15:29   #15
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Re: Running lines back to cockpit

I have never really understood the obsession with lines running to the cockpit on a cruising boat. I have had boats with both options and I prefer lines at the mast. There are less lines to trip over and clutter the cockpit and you invariably have to go forward for some operations anyway. It probably depends on the type of boat though and racing is of course different. I am thinking of a typical cruising boat sailed by a couple or even single handed.

Yes, putting in a reef without leaving the cockpit is a really nice thing, but it means having the main halyard run to the cockpit which is not ideal for dropping the main. For most boats you need to be at the mast to take the main down anyway. With the main halyard in the cockpit, this is a two person operation, with lines at the mast it can be done single handed. (Yeah, I know you can release the rope clutch and then go forward to pull the sail down but the halyard always seems to jamb so then you have to go back to the cockpit....PITA)

I also don't see the advantage of a spinnaker halyard in the cockpit. Someone always has to be forward to set either a pole or a snuffer so having the halyard at the mast is easier.

Safety? I think if you can't move about your boat safely in all conditions, this needs review.
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