Rebuilding the mainsail outhaul

I need to rebuild Anhinga?s main outhaul. Her boom just has the outhaul car that has attached a small length of wire rope with a swaged eye splice. That rope has been cut for some reason. At the boom?s end there is a turning block and next the mast end, starboard side, there is a slot and a cleat. That?s all.

I don?t know what the original setup was so I ask your good help.

What I?m thinking to do is install a 5:1 tack inside the boom like in the picture attached. The bitter end will go through that starboard slot that I?ll cover with an exit plate, leading the line to the cleat.

Is this the normal setup?

By the way, before posting this message, I searched the forum and fund a message where Bil of Zygote advises to ?cut the wire rope and swaged a new eye splice that I shackle direct to the clew of the mainsail (and so change the angle of the turn, making the outhaul easier to adjust and stopping the wire rope from chewing into the outhaul track)?.

I?m thinking to go that way too.

5-1internal_out.gif

Luis:

IDUNA’s outhaul is external and is rigged as follows. The end of the boom is fitted with a strap-eye on the starboard side and a cheek (turning) block on the port side. The bitter end of the outhaul is secured to the strap-eye with a bowline. The outhaul is led through the clew to the cheek block then forward along the boom. The forward end of the outhaul is spliced to a single block. A line is led from the outhaul cleat back to this outhaul block then back to the cleat. Theoretically, this yields a four-to-one purchase excluding friction. To prevent the block on the end of the outhaul from scratching the boom, I leathered it. The arrangement is simple, easily adjusted and easily repaired.

We are not racers and only occasionally fiddle with the outhaul control.

Rod
BCC IDUNA

Luis, My thoughts on outhaul setup are interspersed below,
Scott

Anhinga Wrote:

I need to rebuild Anhinga?s main outhaul. Her boom
just has the outhaul car that has attached a small
length of wire rope with a swaged eye splice.

So far this is like Itchen’s Forespar boom setup

That

rope has been cut for some reason. At the boom?s
end there is a turning block and next the mast
end, starboard side, there is a slot and a cleat.
That?s all.

Again, this is identical to Itchen, but Itchen still has the internal boom adjustment line in place.

I don?t know what the original setup was so I ask
your good help.

What I?m thinking to do is install a 5:1 tack
inside the boom like in the picture attached. The
bitter end will go through that starboard slot
that I?ll cover with an exit plate, leading the
line to the cleat.

Is this the normal setup?

No. In my opinion 5:1 is much more power than one needs and has annoying additional disadvantage of leaving one with a lot of extra line to coil at the cleat. The only times one wants to seriously flatten the foot is in light air to promote attached flow, or in heavy air to reduce power. But in heavy air one is already down to 1st or more likely 2nd reef so the outhaul is out of the game anyway. I never peeked inside the boom to see the setup but I assume the wire strop ends with a single turning block and the bitter end of the outhaul adjustment line is secured internally somewhere, thus giving 2:1 at the cleat.

By the way, before posting this message, I
searched the forum and fund a message where Bil of
Zygote advises to ?cut the wire rope and swaged a
new eye splice that I shackle direct to the clew
of the mainsail (and so change the angle of the
turn, making the outhaul easier to adjust and
stopping the wire rope from chewing into the
outhaul track)?.

A good idea, but our setup works pretty well and an occasional shot of WD40 helps. We seldom adjust the outhaul unless going from a reach to close-hauled on a very long leg.

Regarding sail shape adjustments, I think that proper placement of the reef line pad eyes and turning blocks on the boom is MUCH more important. One wants to really stretch out the foot, especially for 2nd reef and then tie in the reef points quite tightly. That is the only way to get a nice draft-forward and punchy shape to the main in heavy going. I’ll post a lovely photo of Itchen that someone on another boat took when we sailed into Manjack Cay in the Abacos. It shows exactly what you want to avoid when reefing – slack foot, lumpy reef point tiedowns and miserable mains’l shape. Definitely not racing-mode, we were feeling very very relaxed sailing over from Green Turtle and didn’t even bother to shake out the previous day’s reef. More recently I finally became modern and installed a winch and pair of clutches for the reef lines. Less traditional than my old handy billy tackle plus rolling hitch but a lot faster and more effective in easily getting a reef snugged down tight.

I?m thinking to go that way too.

Luis Dordio Gomes
Anhinga, hull 83

I’ve attached a couple of photos of Itchen – taken for other purposes but do show some clew outhaul details.
Scott

Boom-outhaul_end_overall.jpg

Scott_Dot_Itchen_November-sml.jpg

Anhinga Wrote:

I need to rebuild Anhinga?s main outhaul. Her boom
just has the outhaul car that has attached a small
length of wire rope with a swaged eye splice. That
rope has been cut for some reason. At the boom?s
end there is a turning block and next the mast
end, starboard side, there is a slot and a cleat.
That?s all.

I don?t know what the original setup was so I ask
your good help.

Your outhaul’s original setup sounds the same as Itchen’s Forespar boom, probably standard for Sam L. Morse production for that period, maybe later, Roger Olsen would know. I have not fussed with the internal leads of Itchen’s boom but I assume that it (and yours originally) has a block on the bitter end of the wire strop and then a line running from the cleat near the gooseneck through that slot and then inside the boom around the block and back to a termination point, giving a 2:1 purchase. If anyone knows to the contrary, please set me straight. I think that is plenty for a BCC because if it is blowing hard enough to need more advantage it is probably time to reef anyway and then the clew outhaul becomes redundant. The only other time to flatten the foot of the main is in really light air when a flatter main helps maintain attached flow, and then who needs any mechanical advantage anyway. The disadvantage of 5:1 is that you then need more than twice as long an outhaul line with much more of a coil to secure when the foot is flattened.

What I?m thinking to do is install a 5:1 tack
inside the boom like in the picture attached. The
bitter end will go through that starboard slot
that I?ll cover with an exit plate, leading the
line to the cleat.

Is this the normal setup?

Not a bad design for a dinghy or hot racing boat with shelf-foot main but overkill for a BCC, I believe.

By the way, before posting this message, I
searched the forum and fund a message where Bil of
Zygote advises to ?cut the wire rope and swaged a
new eye splice that I shackle direct to the clew
of the mainsail (and so change the angle of the
turn, making the outhaul easier to adjust and
stopping the wire rope from chewing into the
outhaul track)?.

I?m thinking to go that way too.

I’ve gotten by with an occasional shot of WD-40 but have been known to go days without adjusting the outhaul. We seldom touch it unless going from hard on the wind to a reach or viv=ce versa, and then only when planning to stay on that leg for a very long time. Very different from round the buoys dinghy racing, but in my experience the BCC has a very forgiving rig and sail plan, and small adjustments haven’t seemed so important.

Jib and staysail fore and aft lead adjustments are more important, and if I were to get serious about speed when match racing another BCC (Rod of Iduna, shut your ears!), I would certainly rig barber haulers to play with the slot between jib staysail and main. But have been to the Bahamas and back and up to Maine without bothering, so go figure . . . Just one guy’s opinion, there are lot’s of options and sometimes it is just plain fun to play around with all those expensive strings.

Luis Dordio Gomes
Anhinga, hull 83

One last thought on sail adjustments. I finally abandoned my traditionalist romance with rolling hitches and handy-Billy tackles and actually mounted a winch and two clutches for my reef lines – and oh my, how much easier and faster it is to throw in a reef when it’s dark and bouncy. Just as important, it makes it possible to get the foot really really tight – that and tightly secured reef points make for a much better set to the main, with noticeably more draft-forward punch through waves. To see what a really bad reef looks like, see the photo of Itchen sailing into Manjack Cay which I posted earlier today. WHen I saw that photo I realized it was time to spend some $$$$ on another little winch and clutches.

A couple of Itchen outhaul photos are attached.

Boom-outhaul_end_overall.jpg

Thanks Scott.

The photos are very informative. I like the leather detail at the boom end. I?m going to add one protection like that to Anhinga?s boom.

About the 2:1 setup my only doubt is where the line termination point inside the boom was.

Anhinga Wrote:

Thanks Scott.

The photos are very informative. I like the
leather detail at the boom end. I?m going to add
one protection like that to Anhinga?s boom.

Yes that’s one of many nice details added by Mark Giegel when he owned Itchen.

About the 2:1 setup my only doubt is where the
line termination point inside the boom was.

I will check when I get back to Maine, unless someone else knows and replies first. It could just run the length of the boom and terminate somehow at the gooseneck end where it would be easily accessed. Unless the gooseneck fitting is inextricably frozen into place like so many aluminum fittings, alas.

Luis Dordio Gomes
Anhinga, hull 83