Mainsheet

Topics primarily or specifically about the DS2. Many topics are of general interest, so please use forum sections on Rigging, Sails, etc. where appropriate.

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Mainsheet

Postby Mackrelman » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:26 pm

I have a 70's Daysailer 2. I am a singlehander. My mainsheet swivel jam cleat is mounted on the aft end of the centerboardboard case and the sheet foes to a fiddleblock on the boom , standard assy. When its blowing a bit I have a hard time releasing the sheet from the cleat and holding it in my hand for long periods is problematic. I need to get the purchase on the boom farther aft. I have seen mainsheets led aft along the boom on DS 1's and connected to the transom.
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks , Jim
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Re: Mainsheet

Postby GreenLake » Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:26 am

Jim,

The difference between center boom sheeting and end-boom sheeting (with a traveler) is primarily in where the sheet pulls on the boom and in which direction. By pulling on the end, the pull opposes the load from the leech of the sail more directly, causing less stress on the boom. The DS booms are substantial, so either method works. By incorporating a triangle or traveler at the back, the direction of the pull becomes more sideways: there's less tightening of the leech for the same boom position.

Neither of these changes directly affect the purchase (or the mechanical advantage) you get from your mainsheet. Which, as I understand is your main concern. The purchase is simply defined by how much sheet is required to move the boom a certain amount. If you were to replace the existing fiddle blocks by some other configuration, you could modify the mechanical advantage independently from the remainder of the sheeting arrangement.

Next, if your setup is causing you problems holding the sheet in your hands, but not, say, lacking the power needed to allow you tighten it, then a different solution altogether might be worth thinking about: a ratchet block. Ratchet blocks resist the sheet load as long as you provide some (smaller) pull on the sheet. They make it much less tiring to hold sheets in your hand without the need to go to higher purchases. Depending on your setup, it may be difficult to retrofit a ratchet block like-for-like. You may have check around a bit as to what the options are. I use a Ronstan 55 ratchet block and I leave it on the auto position (where it turns the ratchet function off automatically if the sheet is loaded lightly, as in low wind conditions). I'm extremely happy with it and even use one each on the jib sheets.

Now, for single-handing, one other concern would be to be able to keep your sail shape flat as you let out the main when you respond to a gust. Normally, as you let go the sheet, the boom both goes out and up. The latter allows more shape in the sail and it can actually power up from that while you are trying to depower it with a wider sheeting angle. To overcome that, you'd ad or beef up your boom vang, so it's in the 12:1 to 20:1 range and use that to set the vertical angle of the boom even when going upwind (vang sheeting). Playing the sheet then changes mainly the horizontal angle and you can depower nicely. This is another one of the modifications that I would say worked well for me. I was hesitant at first, as the boat came without any vang, not even the stock 3:1, but I must say, I'm a convert now.

About the difficulty releasing the main when it's cleated. This can be due to the geometry of your cleat. I have sailed on a DS2 and hated the stock cleat. It kept cleating by itself. If that's an issue, you may need to replace it with something that allows a different angle that works for you. There's also the issue whether the sheet is released when pulling up or pulling down. You may find you prefer one over the other and if that's not what you have, go get it changed. Nothing worse than accidentally cleating your main and going over as a result.

My setup is the stock DS1 swivel which releases up, a 90 degree turn at the boom (ratchet block) and a traveler at the stern mainly copied from Phill Root's writeup. All combined with a 12:1 boom vang (6:1 purchase combined with a single 2:1 cascade).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Mainsheet

Postby Mackrelman » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:34 pm

Thank you for an extremely well thought out response. I'm going to think it over before changing however I expect to go (1) step at a time - setup a traveler aft, try it out and then consider the Ronstan ratchet block. My present boom vang is homemade and underpowered so that gets replaced as a matter of course.
I presently lift the mainsheet to release it and part of the problem is that I am sitting forward to trim the hull so my angle of lift is off . Maybe installing the Ronstan and having a jam cleat nearer to where I sit? Under conditions where I need to hold the sheet the Ronstan lightens the load and in mild conditions use the jam cleat. Hmmmm.
She's on the hard right now while I give her the first paint job in 40+ years and will not be sailing for at least (3) weeks , plenty of time to think this thru, I do love this Lady.
Thanks , JW
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Re: Mainsheet

Postby GreenLake » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:11 am

For release angle, the cure is to change the angle. Some HW can be adjusted (some can be customized after the fact) some must be replaced, but a setup with the wrong release angle is a capsize waiting to happen. I'd carefully consider any hardware you own or intend to purchase from the perspective of whether you can adjust the release angle to what you need. Even if it's a one-time adjustment (shouldn't need to be something you do all the time).

One downside of a rear traveler is that it can tangle with motors or stern cleats. Keeping it under tension in a gybe is definitely advised.

Nothing gained without compromise somewhere.

Good luck!
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Mainsheet

Postby jalmeida51 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:57 pm

To change the angle of the cam cleat you can buy plastic wedges from Harken. The wedges come in different angles. I had the same problem when I owned a Rhodes19 and the wedge solved the problem. I believe Ronstan also makes the wedges for their cam cleats.

John
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Re: Mainsheet

Postby GreenLake » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:41 pm

It's a bit more difficult for swivel cleats if you need to lower, not raise the angle.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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