Puffin of Dart (Ex Maid of Slapton)

We acquired our FC last year and there are a number of things we are trying to understand and sort out. Unfortunately we are unable to ask the previous owner who passed away before we had the boat.
She is rigged as a cutter and both the Jib and Staysail are on substancial roller reefing units (very good quality and not easily moved). We also have a lighter weight Genoa. This sail is attached to its own furling gear, and looks unused. Does anyone else have a similar set up? There is a substantial eye bolt through the bowsprit, about half way between Jib and Staysail. We originally thought this was an attachment point for a pair of jack stays but it could conceivably be the attachment point for this Genoa.
If it is, how does it work? Presumably one rolls up the Jib, ties the jib to the forestay, removes the sheets, attaches them to the Genoa and off you go.
Would seem a bit dodgy with a sea running.
Our list of queries is quite large so I will feed them in one or two at a time. Less daunting that way.
Help and advice much appreciated

Your message is a little difficult to understand:

Are you saying that you have 3 furlers on the foredeck?

Hi John,
Sorry it wasn’t very clear.
We have two permanently fixed headsails on substantial roller reefing gear which it would be very difficult to move.
We also have a genoa (still in its bag) which is mounted on a lightweight furling gear with a wire luff. Snap shackle one end, fixed shackle the other.
It would appear impossible to fly this sail in place of either of the other two.
There is an eye bolt on the bowsprit between Jib and staysail and we wondered if this is perhaps where the genoa goes. That being the case, presumably we would leave the other two sails furled and attach the jib sheets to the genoa. I expected that some other boats would have a similar set up - perhaps ours is unique!

My take on this is that the spare genoa, if it comes with it’s own furling gear is probably a complete spare, as using it would require removing the existing furling gear.

It’s possible that the lighter system was supplied with the boat when new, but the owner decided to upgrade to ocean standards.

Hi Peter,

Keith Smith, the previous owner of Maid of Slapton/Puffin of Dart wrote several letters to the FC News. In each of them he talked of various ideas he had for equipment, wood finish, etc. And I know he did test some of his ideas. So he may have had the genoa rigged as you are supposing. I suggest you see if the genoa and furler works as you suspect when you tack it to the eyebolt.

I don’t know if any other FC has exactly such a system. But Coconutz, FC 29 has a roller furling jib that is tacked to an eyebolt right behind the cranse “iron”, rather than to the latter’s upper tang. That leaves his jib stay free, for a light air sail I presume.

ron walton
editor: FC News

Hello John & Ron,

Thanks for your help. I don’t think that the Genoa came as the original factory fitted foresail for a number of reasons.
There is a picture of her in Good Old Boat shortly after launching showing the standard Jib on the present reefing gear. The Staysail in that picture is simply hanked on and the reefing gear for that must have been added later.
The original invoice does not mention a Genoa so I think this came later.
On the Sam L Morse website under FC Specification there is a description of the Genoa, which appears to be the same size as the one I have and also specifies lighter fabric which this is.
Keith Smith must be jumping up and down on his cloud with frustration because it must be so obvious to him.
The answer is probably to try it and see. I am having bowsprit netting fitted to make the exercise slightly less suicidal. I will send pictures in the Spring if it works.


Peter Smith

Having wandered idly through the Sam L Morse web site to “About our boats” and followed it down to “Our paper on cruising boat design” I think the answer to the Genoa was there from the start. I Quote roughly from about 7/8ths down the piece under “Bowsprit”.
The Genoa can be set flying from a shackle on the bowsprit abaft the furling Headsail.

Looking again at the geometry, one hopefully does not even have to remove the headsail sheet.

The procedure should go something like this:

Furl Headsail.
Attach snap shackle on Genoa ( Genoa has sheets attached) to eye on Bowsprit.
Haul up Genoa on spare forward halliard.
Keep windward sheet on headsail taught ( To keep it furled) and relax lee sheet.
Pull out Genoa sheets and off you go.

I particularly liked the Sam L Morse suggestion that by attaching a line to the pin on the snap shackle one could retrieve the genoa without having to crawl out on the bowsprit

Theory looks good. I wonder if it’s going to work?

I can confirm that my father did himself make the modifications that you are querying. I remember he asked me to take some digital photos as he was going to send them to the Sam Morse Company.

We sailed with the Genoa replacing the Jib. Relatively easy task, and Maid of Slapton sailed lovely.

I built that boat for Keith Smith and do know some of the answers you are looking for but I must admit that some items seems strange right now and must have been done after delivery. If I remember right, she had a bow pulpit (could be wrong). I suggested to Keith that he attach an inverted open hook at the leading edge of the forward support stancion so the jib sheets can be slackened and set under the inverted hook and pulled taught. This gets the jib sheet out of the way when using a genoa or other free flying sail. To use the roller furling sail again, simply loosen the sheet, they drop out of the hook and off you go.

We did install the eye on the bowsprit for a light wind, free flying sail. I also suggested the snap shackle with a line to put the pin from on deck. When the tack if free flying, it is easy to get down.

The staysail on Keith’s boat had a pelican hook, if I remember correctly. When using the light wind, free flying sail the staysail is released and moved back to the mast so the light wind sail can be easily tacked through the slot.

I don’t come up on the forum often so I ask that you or anyone who may have a question for me personally to email me direct at xiphias37@yahoo.com

Roger Olson