powerclutch

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powerclutch

Postby Shagbark » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:33 pm

Has anyone ever replaced their horn cleats with a powerclutch for their main and jib halyards? I was thinking this might be an easier option for my solo sailing as well as making putting in a reef easier when things get fun. I found spinlock double clutch (#1881234). Fits lines 5/32 to 5/16. Its a double and if I install two, I can run both halyards as well as my reef line and vang through them.
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Re: powerclutch

Postby GreenLake » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:48 pm

Many boats are rigged with cam cleats for the halyards. The downside of those is that the halyard could pop out. I've seen that happen with the result that someone got their head trapped between boom and cuddy. Luckily w/o any grave consequences. Rope clutches are more secure in that respect while providing the same one-way action that allows you to tighten a halyard without opening the clutch.

I've used rope clutches on larger boats; hadn't thought about using them on a DS before. My main halyard is still on the horn cleat. That's primarily because I tighten my sail not so much by pulling on the halyard, but by pulling down the boom against the boom stop. So I avoid one of the main drawbacks of horn cleats, which is the tendency to slip a little while belaying, making it hard to set good tension (and you can't incrementally increase tension).

For my jib halyard, the same, I still use the horn cleat, but I also rigged a halyard 2:1 tensioner. For that one, I do use a cam cleat, but if it were to pop out, the only loss would be the additional tension; the sail would stay up. Also, the 2:1 means that cleat only sees half the halyard tension.

I find it easier to let out some line in a controlled way with a cam cleat; it's also an one-handed operation, whereas it's a two handed operation with a clutch. That would be a reason for me not to use a clutch for the vang, for example. Or the jib halyard, because you might want to play with both more actively than with main halyard tension.

I have a cam cleat on the boom for my reef line. I prefer cleating it on the boom rather than leading it all over the place. If I were do redo my setup I would go with a reefline that has a floating block for a 2:1 advantage, but is still cleated on the boom. I find reefing is easiest and quickest standing in the front of the cockpit where you can reach mast, reefhook and the inside end of the boom with equal ease.

So, yes, I could see a single clutch on the mast for the main halyard, possibly one on the boom for the reef line, but probably rather something less bulky, like a good V cleat or cam cleat.

Another reason why I wouldn't put any of these cleats on deck is that I would have to thread halyards through clutches every time I step the mast. Much easier if the cleat's on the mast and the halyard can stay in place. I step the mast weekly; if you keep your boat on a mooring or mast-up, you may not have that concern.
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Re: powerclutch

Postby jalmeida51 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:19 am

I own a Daysailer1 and I removed the horn cleats and replaced them with cam cleats on the cuddy cabin roof. With long halyards I can seat by the tiller and hoist the sails without going forward. I never had the problem of the halyards slipping out of the cam cleats. Not saying it can't happen. Chances of this happening are very unlikely if the cams on the cleats are not worn and the halyards are in good condition. I have a adjustable stop under the sliding part of the goose neck and a topping lift these will prevent the boom from crashing down if the cam cleat slips. I had a sailmaker install slugs on the luff so I don't have to feed the bolt rope into the slot on the mast. I use a Cunningham to tightened the luff to make the sail flatter. I can't make the luff tight by the halyard or pulling down the
goose neck. I must be getting old and weak? With cam cleats you can dose the sails real fast if you have to.

For my reefing line I use a good quality V cleat on the boom. I have 2 reef points 1 at about 20% and 1 at about 35%. I didn't use cam cleats due to the diameter of the boom. Some day I am going to install a block at the leech cringle this will reduce the friction of the reef line going through the cringle.

I had rope clutches on a bigger boat they work well but rather expensive and as GL said it takes 2 hand to release the line. This could be a problem on a small boat if you do single handed sailing?

Happy sailing, Reef early, John
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Re: powerclutch

Postby GreenLake » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:08 pm

jalmeida51 wrote:I own a Daysailer1 and I removed the horn cleats and replaced them with cam cleats on the cuddy cabin roof. With long halyards I can seat by the tiller and hoist the sails without going forward.

I've never had the need to sit at my tiller while raising or lowering sails. Never occurred to me.
jalmeida51 wrote:I never had the problem of the halyards slipping out of the cam cleats. Not saying it can't happen. Chances of this happening are very unlikely if the cams on the cleats are not worn and the halyards are in good condition.

That's what John thought as well (the John I was sailing with). Well, that day he discovered an unexpected failure mode based on the DSII deck design. It had a raised "lip" at the edge of the cuddy, which meant, that if you tugged at the tail of the halyard the pull wasn't perfectly in line, but a bit upwards. So when he sat with his back against the bulkhead, he inadvertently tightened the tail of the main halyard, pulling it up and out of the cleat (because of the slight and never noticed change in geometry introduced by that lip). And there he was, in the middle of San Antonio Bay with his head between boom and cuddy. He thought we would capsize next, but I was able to simply tack into a hove to position, which took the wind out of the main and allowed us to calmly sort everything out.

Never been so glad I practiced that maneuver.

But it leaves me with a healthy respect for the downside of cam cleats: because they are so easy to release, there times when they might release when you don't want them to. And conversely, because they are so easy to cleat, they are times when they "self-cleat" some line when you don't want that. Some main sheet setups have the cleats at such an angle that you can inadvertently cleat the main when you are trying to let it out.
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Re: powerclutch

Postby Shagbark » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:52 pm

I currently use a cam cleat for the vang on the cuddy roof. After reading the above posts, I'm leaning towards leaving the vang as is. I don't like my current reefing setup with using the hook on the gooseneck and tieing the reef line off on a boom-mounted horn. Trying to keep the cringle on the hook while belaying the main is not a pretty site. Additionally, I've had the reef line come off of my horn, not good. Seems like jiffy reefing to a cuddy roof clutch would solve the cringle issue as well as not allowing my reef line to come loose.
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Re: powerclutch

Postby GreenLake » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:44 pm

I would swap the boom mounted horn with a V cleat or similar, just pick a design/model that really grips your reef line. Also make sure that it's inboard enough. The horn that was on my boom was on the outboard end, not sure why. (I used it to start the outboard end of my reefline - it now goes up from there to the sail, down to a cheek block and then forward to a cleat). The horn cleat self destructed some years ago, and now has been replaced by an eye strap - equally good for starting the reefline.

I've never used a reef hook on a DS, but I have used one on bigger boats, and I must say I found that experience easy. But that boat had a halyard winch on the mast, with the horn cleat only needed to belay the free end. You'd never belay that until after the operation was done, but it needed someone to tail that winch. Still, even with that, it looked like a setup manageable, if necessary, by a single hander.
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Re: powerclutch

Postby jalmeida51 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:12 pm

I single hand my Daysailer1 about 95% of the time. That is why I have all of my running rigging long enough so I can control the boat while hoisting the sails, dosing the sails and trimming the sails. I do have a tiller clutch to trim the rudder heading the boat into the wind but when I used to move forward the boat would lose the trim and not stay headed into the wind. I don't want the boat to fall off and be away from the tiller. I have a 3to1 purchase to raise the c/b which I can raise the c/b without leaving the tiller. Main reason for this I can't raise the c/b with the handle due to the increased weight of the new board.

I have to use cam cleats if I am controlling the running rigging from the tiller. You can always use wedges to get the correct angle of the line entering the cam cleats. I did have a problem on a Rhodes 19 with the mainsheet dropping out of the cam cleat. I called Harken and they sent me several different wedges and that fixed the problem. I am aware that you can have problems with cam cleats but if you install them properly they should work well.

I tie my reefing line around the boom with a bowline knot. I was told by a sailmaker at the Doyle loft in St. Pete not to use a eye strap to tie the starting part of the reef line. Due to eye straps can be weak. I have used eye straps before and never had a problem.

I think you have to use the best system that works for you and you are comfortable using it.
John
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Re: powerclutch

Postby Shagbark » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:38 pm

I replaced the V cleats (jam cleat?) on my boom with the horns. I could never get my lines (outhaul and reef) to stay cleated. I switched to the horn for the peace of mind that they were going to stay better in horn. GL, if you don't use a hook on the gooseneck for the reef and you don't use a jiffy system, how are you securing the tack of the reefed sail?
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Re: powerclutch

Postby GreenLake » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:37 pm

I don't singlehand quite as often as you, but still a substantial fraction of the time, and generally avoid conditions requiring reefing. However, I've done it. Now, I rarely raise/drop sails while underway. That's mainly because my favorite locations for launching or tying up allow me to sail right up to them. The one location where I beach launch, I do have turn the boat around first before I can raise the sails or I end up back on the beach. I've only done that location in company and someone can stand up in front while someone else shoots into the wind. Even then, the secret seems to be to do it fast, because w/o using a motor, the DS will not point into the wind for long. (For reefing I heave to, so that's not the issue).

Heaving to doesn't require anyone at the tiller, the tiller gets tied off and the boat is stable, even in gusty winds. You need the jib up for it, of course, but it's backwinded so perfect trim isn't needed. Never tried raising the main all the way in that position - it should be possible as there really shouldn't be any pressure on it. Does work for reefing.
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Re: powerclutch

Postby GreenLake » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:52 pm

Shagbark wrote:I replaced the V cleats (jam cleat?) on my boom with the horns. I could never get my lines (outhaul and reef) to stay cleated. I switched to the horn for the peace of mind that they were going to stay better in horn. GL, if you don't use a hook on the gooseneck for the reef and you don't use a jiffy system, how are you securing the tack of the reefed sail?


V cleats come in a number of different designs. I find that they are not all equal in how secure they are. There may be differences in which one is best for what rope and perhaps the preferred diameter isn't obvious w/o looking at the specs. I have an 8' dinghy that came with a tubular cleat w/ a V slit at the exit for the vang. That one ended up splitting lengthwise after not holding all that well before. I replaced it by a metal one that is literally a flat piece with a V shape in it. Needs more service life to be sure how it performs, but looks tons better.

My reef setup is a single line (both clew and tack). I'm not advertising it because it doesn't work as well as I'd like: it's difficult to get both clew and tack to be tight; to use it, I have to pull on the middle of it (between clew and tack) to first set the clew then pull on the tail to set the tack. With a hook, you'd first set the tack then pull tight the clew.

I do terminate the reefline in a cam cleat on the boom that has a fairlead (wire loop) but is also mounted at 90 degrees to the angle of pull. Not sure that's ideal, but it has served well (once I manage to set the reef it stays put). This picture shows the reef in action, but not the details of the setup. (I use really strong but thin line for the reefline, 3mm I think, with a very tight cover. Same as I use for the outhaul).

2717

As you can see, I don't bother with tying up the reefed portion of the sail. Usually it just stays in folds above the boom, if not, it's easy to push it back up.
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