Downhaul Cleat Solution

Moderator: GreenLake

Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby Anstigmat » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:04 am

I've ordered my replacement gooseneck slide from Rigright. Man this chunk of metal costs $75! Hopefully it fits, I think it will. The original Daysailer mast has a larger bolt rope slide groove I think so the old slide did not work. Along with that is that the slide stopper and downhaul cleat also do not fit.

Rigrite unfortunately does not sell a downhaul cleat with the same diameter tube as the gooseneck slide I just purchased. So if this thing fits, I can probably have them make me one. However, I thought I'd ask here if I'm going about this the right way.

1. Does the cleat need to be directly below the boom? I could just rivet or screw on another cleat adjacent to the grove.

2. Are there any other solutions that I should consider outside of the cleat?

My understanding is that I could add a vang, however as a dedicated pleasure cruiser and non racer I'm not sure the expense of the vang is warranted.

Thanks for your help and advice!
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby tomodda » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:48 pm

A lot to chew on in your question. As usual, I'll start with my own question - what are you trying to do with the downhaul? Obviously, haul down on the boom, but why?

I have a downhaul setup myself, love it, so I'm not doubting the utility of it. Just asking how you see yourself using it, why do YOU want it? I use it as part of my "bag of tricks" to flatten the sail. Also, depending on conditions, I'll get a "bubble" of backwinded mainsail along the luff, the downhaul helps kill that. Of course, too much downhaul and you get a vertical crease along teh luff, killing the flow on you mainsail. And the "luff bubble" can have other causes/solutions, like overdoing it with the jib inhauler. In other words, the downhaul is part of a package of controls. Its a "tertiary" control, nice to have but you can live without it.

The vang is a "secondary" control, in my humble opinion. You can still sail the boat without it, but Oh! what a difference it makes. It was eye -opening to me... I always thought that vanging was for downwind only. When running, vang the boom to keep it from rising. No, no.. it's an upwind control! Basically you can work it along with your sheet to control twist (if you don't have a dedicated traveler), you use it to flatten the sail, and you use it to bend the mast (since we don't have a backstay) - which also flattens the sail. IMHO, a higher purchase vang (12:1 or better) that you can easily adjust (led to the cuddy roof, for instance) is well worth it. Three tips for keeping the budget reasonable - Marine Salvage stores (N&J Marine, for instance), Racelite Hardware, and/or Ebay. Considering the forces involved, you don't need the latest ultra-low-friction blocks here, you need brute strength... a high MWL. In other words, a Delrin block with a strong central hub is fine, you don't need ball-bearings, etc. Greenlake expounded on what blocks are needed in one of his posts to me, look up any forum posts on "vangs." Anyway, something for you to think about until the New Meadows River thaws out.

So, what's up with your downhaul?

Tom
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:58 pm

Let me weigh in.

Vang!

I resisted a vang for the longest, because I didn't appreciate what it can do -- and mine is still recent enough that I get to learn more about it every time.

As a cruiser, what it gives you is better gust response at the upper range of wind speeds. You will be able to sail with better control, without having to reef as early. Particularly noticeable to me when single-handing. So, read up and get one (12:1 or better). Recommended.

Downhaul. The only reason the cleat is centered below the boom is so that there's no tendency to pull the sail sideways. That said, you may be able to deal with a small asymmetry w/o a big effect.

However, why not use a different tube? If you're not up to cutting a bit of tube stock, drilling and tapping it, have that done at a local machine shop. (You also don't really need a tube. A nut may be enough, or hammer a washer so you can fit it in the channel. The key is that you won't need to move this once installed, so what if it leaves a bit of a mark in the sail track.

As for the purpose. It's great to not have to use the halyard to set the tension, while you are fighting the friction of the sail and its weight. Much easier to pull on the boom.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby Anstigmat » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:15 pm

Well to answer the question of why I want the downhaul cleat, I'm still a beginner so my understanding was that if I don't use it the boom will rise up on the mast more than I want it to. Also, I thought you use it to tension to sail downwards to improve sail shape etc etc.

I'm sure vang set ups are great but the cost of a good one is more than I want to spend right now. I have a budget to finish the paint shop and wood restoration I'm doing, then buy a new set of sails. Adding $3-400 for a vang kit is not in this year's list of things I want to do. I just kind of want a simple sailing set up so I can learn on my DS1. Eventually I want to move up to a real coastal cruiser where I'll be more inclined to spend on advanced sail rigs.
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby tomodda » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:17 pm

Thank you , GL. I wrote all about what a vang DOES, without saying WHY. Indeed, it's for better control over your main driving sail - the mainsail itself. I think of it like a gear shift for the sail. I think I spent $150 for my 20-1 vang, but it took 6 months of dedicated Web-scouring, jumping on any good sales that I saw.

As for the downhaul, now I see what you're looking for, just a static "lock" for the boom. GL's suggestions should work fine. I now have a "running" setup for my downhaul - 2x1 purchase, a standing block leading the line back to a cam-cleat on the lip of the cuddy. But as I wrote, it's a "tertiary control." I started out with a simple eye-strap screwed into a metal tube that fit into the sailtrack slot. Tightening the screws jammed the tube against the inside of the sail track, fixing the eye-strap in place. And I had a bit of 1/4" line going from the gooseneck to the eyestrap, tied off with simple clove-hitches.
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:34 pm

I'm not sure about using a dynamic downhaul. I think, if you need that, make your Cunningham dynamic (although a Cunningham shouldn't be needed except in stronger winds; it's purpose is to tighten the luff of the main).

I found an affordable 6:1 purchase with integrated cleat at my usual source for sailing related gear, and then added another block for a cascade to get to 12:1 (that one was "free" because it was one I already owned). Even adding a snap shackle and a 90 degree twist shackle at the other end did not appreciably add to the cost.

You should be able to put together a good vang for not more than 1/2 of what you estimated. The key is to not go unnecessarily big in the size of the blocks. This is a DaySailer, not a yacht. Some people do a dual cascade (i.e. 4:1) and that means a 5:1 purchase would give 20:1. I chose to go with a 6:1 and single cascade for 12:1 total. Because a 5:1 could be a bit cheaper than a 6:1, the extra block won't add much to the cost. However, you can size the 5:1 at 1/4 the working load of the total vang, whereas my 6:1 had to be sized to work at 1/2 the working load.

The total working load on the vang is then defined by the block that forms the apex of the cascade.

By using small diameter line and close attention to not making each item in the chain stronger than it needs to be, I believe you can attain your goal within the range I mentioned, even with new parts.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby tomodda » Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:23 pm

Hear, hear! on the vang setup. Heartily agree that it can be done for a reasonable amount of cash, and that it's a great addition. My boat originally cost me $800, there's no way I was going to sink $400 into a vang ;-)

As for my dynamic downhaul, I don't use a Cunningham. I'm not racing, so don't care about bringing my boom too low for the class rules. But for THIS conversation, I completely forgot that most folks use a boom downhaul only to hold the gooseneck in place. A strap or cleat and a bit of line will do nicely for that!
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby Shagbark » Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:53 pm

My advise is to get the downhaul cleat to prevent the boom from lifting. That's pretty much a necessity. The boom vang can wait. I had my boat for 3 years before I installed the boom vang, spending that time deciding just how I was going to use my boat and what was necessary. I believe its better to learn with the most basic of rig setups, then build in complexity as your skills go up. Learning to sail is a journey where you will never fully reach the destination. No reason to rush it.
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby Anstigmat » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:20 pm

Well I got the new slide from Rigright. Wouldn't you know it, it doesn't fit. Dag nabbit!

I'll get this thing rigged up one day!
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby jalmeida51 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:38 am

You can get the complete gooseneck assy. or just the gooseneck slide and the the downhaul cleat and tube from D&R marine.
John
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby Anstigmat » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:23 pm

Not for a Proctor mast.
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby jalmeida51 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:02 pm

Call Selden Masts 843-760-6278
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby Anstigmat » Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:05 pm

Already tried them. They had no info on this vintage mast.
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby tomodda » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:14 pm

The original O'Day Daysailer masts were made by Zephyr Spars - which, believe it or not, was bought our by Cape Cod Shipbuilding (who makes DS's today). I've called them up with my mast questions before, and they've been very helpful. But to start with, try here:

http://www.capecodshipbuilding.com/zephyr/extrusions.php

Measure the outer dimensions of your mast and see if you match one of these. Mine is a #2, IIRC. Doesn't really matter, all of the sail tracks are 0.562" ID, so just get yourself a 1/2 tube and screw a cleat to it, like GL suggested. My own "cleat and tube" (well actually eyestrap and tube) used a bit of soft-steel rod rather than a tube. The rod had two screw holes tapped into it and I used machine screws (flat bottom), so screwing them in tight jammed the rod into the sail track.

Just to triple-check everything, get yourself a set of cheap calipers (you can get them under $10) and measure the sail track using the step measure. Calipers are good to have around anyway. Overall, this is an easy machine shop project, if you know one in the area.
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Re: Downhaul Cleat Solution

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:51 pm

How do you keep that bit of soft steel from rusting?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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