When you need a new sail, there are lots of options in the used sails market. Measuring sails for replacement will give you the information you need to purchase replacement. You will need to know the dimensions of the sails that you have or the rig dimensions. Either one will work and here we show you how to come up with the dimensions you need. There are basically two ways to get the information, first to find out the measurements from data found in various places. The second is to measure the sails you have or measure the mast and rig of your boat.
When a yacht designer specifies the rig dimension he uses these dimensions.
I The mast height above deck
J Distance from bow to mast
P The mast from the boom to the upper end of the sail track and
E The end of the boom to the mast
These dimensions are then used by sail makers to design the boats sails.
Discovering the I, J, P and E for your boat.
Here are two tools that you can use to find out the rig dimensions for your boat. Select the boat manufacturer from the drop down menu to discover the dimensions.
To figure out how big your headsail is or needs to be you need to measure two basic dimensions. They are the Luff and the LP or Luff Perpendicular. The headsail is a basic triangle and two dimensions is all that’s needed. There are other details but these dimensions define the size.
Here we look at measuring the sail you have and want to replace. If you don’t have an existing sail to measure you will need to measure the rig.
Measuring an existing sail
All three corners of the sail have grommets where you attach the headsail halyard, the tack fitting and the sheets.
Measurements are from these points. So if you already have a sail that you want to replace, measure the luff length between the head and tack grommets and the LP (luff perpendicular) from the clew to the luff perpendicular to it.
Measuring for maximum luff hoist
Measure for Hanked-on Headsails
If you attach a measuring tape to your halyard and hoist it as far as it will go, then take the bottom of the tape and measure to where the sail attaches at the bottom end. The tack fitting maybe on the stem fitting or on the deck or on a furler. In each case measure to the bearing of the tack fitting
This is the maximum length you can use. Make an allowance for measurement accuracy and stretch. You need space for the sail to stretch under halyard tension.
Measure for sail on roller furler
The red line is the distance from the head fitting on the top furler and the tack fitting on the bottom drum.
Attach a tape to the top swivel, just as the sail would be attached. Hoist the top swivel up the mast with the halyard. When the top swivel is at its upper most point, lock the halyard. With the tape measure down to the tack fitting on the bottom drum.
Measure the LP of a jib
To measure the LP you can tie the end of a tape measure to the headstay. A loop of line can be tied around the headstay and then attach the halyard to the loop along with the tape measure. Now you can hoist the tape up the headstay. Pull the tape measure to the turning block for the headsail. Hoist the tape measure up the headstay until it lies perpendicular to the headstay. See diagram 1.
Typically LP are designated as a percentage of the J measurement. This is what is called the overlap of the headsail i.e. how far the headsail overlaps the mast.
Often you will see 103% or 130% or 150%. The 150% is generally the largest LP.
Measuring a Mainsail
Mainsails are easier to measure as there are fixed measurements P and E, which are the luff length and the foot length. The diagram courtesy of ORC shows a typical mast and boom with black bands.
Boat Donation programs take boats and use them in their in-house programs for a while before eventually selling them on. These Non Profit organizations will evaluate the boat and offer you a Tax Credit. Donating your boat doesn’t make sense if a Tax Credits doesn’t work for you.
Boats of all types can be donated. Each of the organizations below have specialize in a type of boat
Popular Donation Programs;
There are plenty of donation programs from Non Profits or 501Cs. Check your local area or Charity to see if they have a Boat donation program.
Boats donated to a charity can qualify for a significant tax deduction.
An individual or a couple filing jointly are allowed to deduct up to 50% of their adjusted gross income as charitable contributions on their Federal tax return. This would include the appraised value of a boat. Most States also recognize the charitable contribution of boats but State rules can vary and a tax professional should be consulted with regard to an individual’s specific State.
When a vessel is donated to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, several conditions must be met in order for the donor to deduct the appraised fair market value of the vessel.
UsedBoatEquipment.com is a website for selling used equipment like a Craig’s list or eBay if you like, but emphasis is on the boating market.
The benefits of a dedicated boat equipment site over eBay is, we specialize and focus on the needs of boaters. The problem for boaters with eBay is the reliance on keywords to find what you need.
We made UsedBoatEquipment.com with a categories structure like you would find in an online store. We needed to allow for all equipment found on all boats, such as anchors, grills, boat lifts, tables, ladders, steering, electronics, engines, navigation equipment, safety, sails and rigging, inflatables, and water sports etc.
Benefits of UsedBoatEquipment.com
Search on page Category structure beats keywords
Audience 100% boaters
Search online SEO efforts results in high google search
Cost effective Fees $4/60 days, $19/m membership and free under $100
Community Connections, buyer meet seller
Easy to use Navigation and user interface flow naturally
1 Search on page;
if you type “Anchor” into eBay’s search bar you’ll end up with charm bracelets, wall anchors etc. Try “cateye tube” as in a towabe tube and you get lights and jewelry. Neither search brings up what you want. The point is that eBay uses keywords and unless you use the same keywords as the seller you won’t find the item you’re looking for. As a seller your items may not get found and therefore sold. This is the reason we went with a category structure like you would find at West Marine and other online stores. We went further by using a home page which has all the categories on the page. No need to use a drop down menu, get direct to the category you want.
2 Search online SEO;
We have focused a lot of effort in SEO. Because we have a defined number of products to cover, i.e. those in our category structure, we can focus on search optimization for those terms.
We rank #1 for; Used Boat>
winches (see image)
And many more
We work like traditional classifieds, cost to post is ($4/60 days) and no commissions or other costs. We have a membership pack for $19/m and free ads under $100
we have found that because we specialize in boating we have a smaller group and a social group. We have had buyers and sellers become friends.
5 Ease of use;
Sellers; our listings include a form to fill out which contains fields relevant to the category. For example; selling an outboard you’ll be asked for shaft length, fuel type, HP etc., sell an anchor you’ll be asked for weight, type material etc. This helps the seller get the right information into the listing rather than just a blank listing box. This also helps search so if a potential buyer is typing in a browser for an outboard with your HP and shaft length your ad will come up.
Buyers; as mentioned the category structure lets buyers quickly find what they need.
Examples of boat equipment that sold include;
Anchors and mooring equipment, stoves and grills, boat covers and Bimini’s, boat lifts, dock boxes, engines and outboards, fuel filters, fishing gear, deck equipment ladders, cleats, tables, ramps, steering, plumbing equipment, navigation and autopilots, maintenance, safety gear, Water sport toys, cateye tubes, canoes, kayaks, and more
Selling Used Boat Equipment
These thumbs are of actual equipment sold
One of our members recounted that he put his old Autohelm autopilot from the mid 1980’s on the site. He ended up selling parts to two separate people extending the life of their Autohelm units. This made him some money and he helped a couple of fellow boaters which made him happy.
Harken, North Sails and Beneteau are just a couple of examples of Manufacturers that have used us to sell their NOS, items no longer on the shelves but left over. Our channel allows them to sell this product without disrupting existing channels. Your customer could see some great deals like brand new North Sails at 50% due to some cosmetic flaw or they could buy some Harken stainless winches at big savings. That what our service offer Boat Owners on all categories of Boat Equipment.
By encouraging everyone who has equipment lying in basements garages, and boatyards to list them, we make it possible for someone who needs it to buy it. That’s why the boating market needs a resource which is more closely focused on its particular needs.
So in conclusion if you are thinking of Selling Used Boat Equipment
Vented loops or Anti-Siphon Valves: are inverted U-shaped pipes with a vent at the top to let air escape. Vented loops are found in toilet discharge lines or in systems which are mounted below the waterline.
Vented loops are a necessity for many marine systems to prevent back siphoning . You need vented loops (anti-siphon valves) as part of the engine exhaust system, or plumbing for bilge pumps, or the marine head. The reason you have them is to stop a siphon or backflow of water in the system. With a siphon, the water can travel the wrong way and in the case of a marine head the water can go back into the toilet and overflow it. With an engine the water can flow through the exhaust into the engine causing much damage an flooding.
Vented loops are simple devices and very rarely go wrong, but when they do the results are catastrophic. The boats potentially sinks! Mount the vented loop so it will remain above the waterline at all heel angles. Clean the anti-siphon valve regularly to keep it functioning.
What is a siphon?
diagram courtesy of Jabsco
I remember siphons from draining a swimming pool as a kid. The pool was on top of a slope so using the principle that water wants to flow downhill. A hose was filled with water and both ends blocked off. One end of the hose is placed in the pool and the other down the slope. Both ends are now unblocked and a siphon is formed resulting in the water flows downhill fully draining the pool.
So how does a siphon work in a boats plumbing system or exhaust system. The diagram right from Jabsco demonstrates the problem.
In top diagram you can see that water will flow into the lower bowl. In bottom diagram the hose has a loop. In this case the hose is filled with water and a siphon is created, so water will still flow into the bottom bowl.
Now if a vented loop is added at the top of the loop the siphon is broke and water will not flow to the bottom bowl.
How does a Vented Loop fitting work?
Forespar vented loop
A vented loop is fitted with a one way valve. This permits water to be pumped through the loop. However when the pumping is stopped and no more water is pushed past the vented loop, air is let into the pipes and the water level drops away from the loop on both side, thus preventing a siphon from occurring. The vented loop allows air in but not out.
Detail of a vented loop showing the Duckbill one way valve. The valve allows.
Obviously the raw water or sea water intake of any boats water system is below the waterline. Also in many cases so are the boats toilets, heads, engines, generators etc. This requires a through hull fitting or seacock to be added to the raw water intake. In case of any failure in the hose or any other part of the water system. The seacock can be shut off to stop water incursion in case of an emergency. However during operation of the boats systems, the seacock is left open. This allows for water to enter the inlet if a siphon occurs. Once the water comes in, a toilet or head can flood.
Boats Heads, Toilets
Marine Heads are often installed below the waterline. Therefore its important to have a vented loop. Most often this is installed on the discharge side of the heads plumbing system. See the diagram courtesy of Jabsco showing the vented loop installed above the boats heeled waterline (if its a sailboat) by 8 inches minimum.
Vetus Vented Loop Head
Vetus Vented Loop
If you add or have a Vented Loop in the discharge side of the toilet, add a breather, to vent odors overboard.
I have seen heads & holdings tanks that have vented loops but the vent breather is not plumbed overboard and odors linger below. The picture left shows a Vetus Vented Loop with a overboard breather as part of the package.
In an exhaust system without an anti-siphon valve, when the engine is shut down, raw water continues to siphon into the exhaust system until it reaches the same level as the outside, i.e., the waterline. If the engine is installed below the waterline the water will flow back up the exhaust pipe and into the engine itself.
This can be avoided with a vented loop. The vented loop, or anti siphon breaker is a Loop with a small valve that closes under raw water pump pressure, when the engine runs, and opens when the engine stops, allowing air into the pipe, thus preventing the water from siphoning.
Therefore it must be installed somewhere in the raw water line between the raw water pump and the mixing elbow. This diagram shows the vented loop (siphon break) between the pump and the manifold. It is also possible the loop be after the manifold and before the mixing elbow (where the engine exhaust & raw water mixes)
The vented loop which was installed in the seawater cooling system, by the boats manufacturer will prevent a siphon from building. You should find out where it is and add into your yearly maintenance schedule. Check that the valve is clan and working.
Servicing a Vented Loop
Look at your boats systems and find the location of the vented loops. Note their position and add them to maintenance schedule. These should be inspected to make sure they are clean and the valve is seated properly. If the valve is blocked it wont prevent syphoning.
Seaworthy Goods based in Florida have come up with an Engine Panel visor. The Engine Panel Visor is a custom cover to protect your boats engine panel from water and damage from feet and other objects that can damage the gauges or even start the engine.
The visor is hinged at the top and is made form clear lean. You have full visibility of all the instruments yet the instruments and start key are protected. Seaworthy had already been producing some custom engine visors to fit some types of panel, but now have the multi panel hinged Lexan cover.
PanelVisor Multi Panel
MP-8.5 PanelVisor for panels up to 8½” x 6½”, $78
PanelVisor™ protects engine panels from sun, knocks & water. This multi-panel style cover (MP-8.5) fits any panel up to 8½” across and 6½” high.
The clear cover protects against sun, rain, wash downs, and clumsy kicks.(It’s made of tough UV-resistant Lexan with a StarBoard frame and marine-grade fittings.) To provide maximum access to keys and controls, the friction hinges hold at any angle.
Everything for installation is provided except the drill — stainless hardware, positioning tape, and even the drill bit.
Seaworthy Panel Visor
Shell for MP-8.5 PanelVisor $21 when ordered as set, $41 ordered separately
We also designed something we’ve wanted for a long time — protection from locker knocks. Exposed wires and gauges always get hit by life jackets, sail bags, and other salty items. The damage varies from broken connections to corroded gauges.
The optional shell provides strong protection from all those locker knocks. Installation is a breeze because it fits onto the same stainless hardware provided for the cover installation. The shell is made of ABS plastic with an amply cutout for cables to fit through.
Yanmar B-Digital PanelVisor — $25 7.5″ x 5.75″
Yanmar Engine Panels
These PanelVisors™ are custom designed to attach onto specific model instrument panels using existing holes and provided hardware. They’re made of Lexan XL102-UV, with UV protective coating on both sides. Tachometer and indicator lights are clearly visible, with easy access to controls and switches.
You are getting water in the bilge and you track it down to the propeller shafts stuffing box (also called stern gland). The stuffing box houses a seal which the prop shaft passes through. Some rudder stern glands work the same. Most stuffing boxes have an adjusting nut which compresses the packing material, controlling the rate of drip.
If adjusting the packing does not fix the leak you may have a damaged or worn shaft. If it’s in any way irregular, pitted, or damaged, the packing will be torn up each time the shaft rotates. If this is the case you can: Replace the shaft, or use a longer or shorter stuffing-box hose to move the location of the packing over to a smooth section of shaft.
1 This article looks at the stuffing box and its maintenance.
The diagram courtesy of Catalina shows a typical propeller shaft installation with the shaft log and stuffing box.
What does a stuffing box look like? The diagram courtesy of Catalina shows a typical propeller shaft installation with the shaft log and stuffing box. The shaft log is a tubular passage through the bottom of the boat where the shaft passes on its way from the engine to the strut and cutlass bearing. The stuffing box assembly attaches to the shaft log with a length of hose and a pair of hose clamps.
Water is required to lubricate conventional packing.
A properly adjusted stuffing box won’t drip when the shaft is idle, but 2-3 drops/minute when the shaft is turning.
2 Dripless Shaft Seals DSS
PSS shaft seal shows the hose barb for water inlet
Dripless Shaft Seals don’t drip but still need cooling;
Most DSS units have a small barb fitting on the graphite flange where a hose can be connected to ensure that water is always present. From the fitting, the hose runs either to a place high above the waterline, or, in the case of higher speed vessels, into the engine’s raw-water cooling system.
Notice the “locking nut” and the “adjustable stuffing box nut” in the picture.
Conventional stuffing boxes require water to lubricate the packing. Often you will see water dripping from the box. A properly adjusted stuffing box will have no drips when the shaft is stopped, but 2-3 drops/minute when the shaft is turning.
When adjusting the stuffing box keep in mind that; if the adjustable stuffing box nut is too tight you will burn the packing which can end up with a damaged shaft. If your stuffing box leaks more than 8 drops a minute, it needs adjusting.
Two pipe wrenches are the tools needed for adjusting the stuffing box. Start by loosening the locking nut, this frees the adjustable stuffing box nut. As you tighten the Stuffing Box nut check for leaks while the props are idle. If you notice any dripping tighten the Packing Nut a bit more. Once you stop the dripping tighten the locking nut.
Now you are going to need to check the drip rate with the engine running. You can do this with the engine engaged in forward and the boat securely tied in the slip. If it is more than two drips per minute loosen the locking nut, then tighten the adjusting nut slightly. Access to the engine is critical and you should be aware of the shaft turning. It’s safer to take the engine out of gear, while you’re adjusting the nut. When the drip rate is one or two drops per minute, stop the engine then tighten the locknut.
Final check; As long as the box isn’t dripping too much and isn’t running too hot, you are in the correct range. While you’re at it give threads and nuts a coat of corrosion blocker.
Note; if you use a graphite packing like Gore’s GFTO, it can be tightened until the leaking stops completely but you will need to check the temperature of the stuffing box after running the boat for a while. The packing box should not be hot to the touch. “Since GFO fiber dripless packing is four times more thermally conductive than flax, it needs virtually no sea water for lubrication or cooling. And, because it doesn’t swell or shrink, leakage is controlled and kept to an absolute minimum.”
3 Replacing flax
Ideally to do this project you want the boat out of the water. It’s possible if you’re organized to do a short haul (boat hangs in slings) at lunchtime or overnight. If you don’t have the option the packing may be replaced with the boat in the water, but water coming in may be a bit disconcerting. If you’re organized the amount of water coming in can be handled by the bilge pump.
An excellent article; http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/stuffing_box
To begin; Loosen the Lock Nut by placing one wrench on the Packing Nut and the other wrench on the Lock Nut. Using two wrenches helps prevent twisting and damaging the shaft log hose.
Removing The Old Flax; Once the Packing Nut is unscrewed from the Stuffing Box, use a pick and carefully remove all of the old packing. It can be difficult to see if all the old flax has been removed and so a dentist’s type mirror can be useful to inspect the Packing Nut. Careful not to score the Packing Nut or shaft.
Next installing the new Flax Packing. A common mistake is winding the new packing around the shaft as a continuous piece. This will not seal properly, instead It must be installed as a series of stacked rings. Usually 3 rings. This requires cutting the packing into lengths that just encircle the shaft with ends touching.
See section 4 materials for length and size.
Placing the new packing material in the nut is a delicate process and it
An excellent article; http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/stuffing_box
requires patience to get the packing right. Start by wrapping the first piece of flax around the shaft snug up against the stuffing box, ensure the 45 degree ends touch. Now slide the Packing Nut up against the flax carefully forcing the flax into the Packing Nut. Once the flax is as far as it will go into the Packing Nut, use a flat blunt object to carefully pressure the flax into the nut. Now install the next flax ring the same way and make sure the 45 degree joint does not sit in the same plane as the previous ring.
When all of the flax wraps are installed in the Packing Nut, begin to thread the Packing Nut onto the Stuffing Box. The Packing Nut will put pressure onto the packing and if it’s too full you may not be able to get the threads on, if you have it right it may take just a little pressure to get the threads. Nest apply more hand pressure to begin to tighten the Packing Nut. When you are max hand pressure, remove the nut and look to see if the flax is seating properly. If it’s OK re-install the Packing Nut and tighten snug using a wrench, back off slightly to ensure that it is not too tight when you first turn the propellers. Now thread the Lock Nut snug against the Packing Nut and tighten using your wrenches.
VIDEO; How To Replace Your Drive / Rudder Shaft Stuffing Box Packing With GFO packing
4 Materials and tools
The Stuffing Box Packing is woven flax or synthetic, squared-off rope like material.
There are two main types of material.
Stuffing box packing
1 Traditional Flax packing; has been around a long time. This grease based packing is very reliable, however if the stuffing box gland nut is over tightened, the flax packing can heat up causing high temperatures and possibly damaging the shaft.
2 Modern Graphite packing; is an excellent a lubricant, reducing the chance of burning the shaft. It is very expensive however.
Sizing and finding the correct length of Flax Packing
Ensure you have the correct size flax packing for the stuffing box, if the old packing is relatively intact you can measure the thickness. The shaft diameter and type of stuffing box should reveal the correct size of the flax. Next you should plan on 3 full wraps of flax around the shaft to fill the Packing Nut.
Now you need to cut the flax to the proper length to fit completely around the diameter of the shaft. Lengths can be cut on the exposed shaft on the outside of the hull if possible. Cut the flax at 45 degree angles like a scarf joint. This will allow the ends to mesh together once the Packing Nut pressure is applied. If you can’t use the shaft you can use a piece of pipe the same diameter as your propeller shaft.
Tools required; a pair of spanner wrenches or pipe wrenches. Razor knife or razor blades to cut the flax. You will also need a bent ice pick, or a stiff piece of wire bent 90 degrees to remove the flax.
This is a directory of Boat Salvage Yards by State in the US plus some overseas Businesses. These are Businesses which will come and help you dispose of a boat. Each has their own way of doing things so call for Information.
Boat Salvage yards operate in a variety of ways. Many charge to take boats away or will pay cash for the boat depending on condition, value etc. They can scrap the boat by removing all the useful hardware and the dispose of the hull, or they may sell the boat on.
Standard props supplied with many production boats are just enough to do the job. They will propel the boat under power, but will not give optimum performance across a range of conditions. The reason for this of course is cost. The best propellers cost quite a bit more than a standard or fixed prop.
Choosing a Sailboat Propeller for your boat you would consider factors like;
Drag under sail
Speed & Power in forward
Stopping power in reverse
For the racer you are primarily looking for a low drag propeller, for the cruiser however a small increase in drag is well worth the better handling under power.
Image courtesy Propeller pages
Propeller hand. A right handed propeller is one that turns clockwise in forward.
Propeller Pitch is defined as how far the propeller advances with one full revolution of the shaft. Think of a screw and how far it goes in with one full turn.
Number of blades. Two blade props are far less powerful than 3 blades. A two blade prop has only one blade working in clean water while the other blade is in disturbed water from the keel. With a three bladed prop you have two blades working all the time.
Propeller Balance; 3 or more blades have better balance than two blades, more metal evenly spread around, which reduces vibration.
Propeller clearance; the distance between the blade tip and the hull.
Propeller Diameter; The diameter of the prop plays a big role in how much power it produces, but hull shape restricts available space.
Blade area; More blades increase the blade area.
Types of Sailboat propellers
Fixed blade propellers
Fixed blade propellers are the most common found on all types of boat. They perform quite well and are reliable and cheap. In forward the fixed blade prop is very efficient if it is pitched correctly. This applies to all props. The engine manufacturer will recommend the RPM that the engine runs best at. This is the RPMs that the engine runs when the boat is at its cruising speed and so the pitch should be designed to achieve that. If the pitch is too small the engine will run over the recommended RPM and potentially damage the engine. Power in reverse is not what it could be, due to the leading edge becoming the trailing edge. The inefficient blade shape in reverse does not produce the lift as found in forward. The problem with a fixed prop however is the drag. Drag can reduce a sail boats sailing performance by about 1/2 to 1 knot or more. One half knot if you let the prop spin and If you follow the engine manufacturers recommendations and put the shaft in gear the drag could a whole knot and more.
Pros; Cheap, Good power in forward, Reliability
Cons; Low power in reverse, High Drag, Weed catcher
If you are looking for a propeller for a sail boat and are particularly interested in sailing performance, a folding propeller may be best. Many performance sail boats specify a folding prop as it will produce the least drag under sail, better than a fixed prop by far as mentioned above and slightly better than a feathering prop.
The mechanics of a folding prop are a hub with blades fastened to the hub with a pin. The blades hinge around the pin and close by the water flow folding the blades aft of the hub. The result is a very low drag form. In modern folding props the blades have gears so they open and close in unison. The mechanics of a folding propeller work by using the centrifugal force of the shaft spinning, which opens the blades to the operating position. The blades are fully open when they hit the stop. This is the hard clunk that sometimes can be heard. Folding props come in two blade, three blade and 4 blade options.
In forward the folding prop ranks close to the top and some out perform the fixed prop. The good blade shape in forward leads to this high performance. Unfortunately performance in reverse gear is not what could be achieved with other props. In reverse the shaft rotates the other way so the leading edge becomes the trailing edge, hence the propeller shape is not optimum. When in reverse a folding prop takes longer to develop force and It will take longer to stop from full ahead. They also have a harder time opening up in reverse. Therefore reverse power is much reduced Take this into account when you are entering a harbor. With a folding prop its easy to take precautions. Slow down early and if you need reverse put the gear in reverse early to combat the slow bite of the propeller.
Pros; Low Drag, Low profile shape does not catch weed
Cons; Cannot change pitch (except Gori does have overdrive which is a different pitch), Low power in reverse
Folding propeller models include;
Gori 3 blade Prop
Gori folding props; The unique feature about Gori props is that you can change pitch in overdrive. The idea behind overdrive is that you can get to speed with less RPM. To get to overdrive go in reverse and then in forward. Normal forward is attained by starting in neutral with the blades folded.
Feathering Propeller; feathered, forward and reverse
Feathering props are one of the best propellers for sailing boats when mixing performance under sail and power. they get their name due to the feathering blades, which align with water flow when in neutral.
Feathering props have blades that rotate 180 degrees so the leading edge is still the leading edge in reverse, which makes them more efficient in reverse over folding and fixed propellers. The images right show the 3 modes. From top to bottom: feathered, forward and reverse. The blades of a feathering prop rotate about the axis perpendicular to the hub. Under sail the gear is left in neutral and the blades are allowed to fall in line with the water flow. When put in forward gear initial turn of the shaft rotates the blades till they meet the stop. The blades are in the forward pitch. By putting the gear in reverse the blades return to neutral and then rotate to the astern pitch. This mechanism produces power quite quickly.
In forward the max prop has around 90-95% of the thrust of the folding or fixed props In reverse however it is the top performer. Despite the cost, the propeller will reward you with great control under power. The best part is the grip of the prop which will give you the best power in reverse and stopping. The blades of the max prop rotate through 180 degrees when going from forward to reverse, so that the leading edge is still the leading edge in reverse. This feature comes into it own when pulling into a slip. The reasons for getting a folding or feathering propeller is to reduce the drag of the prop, while still giving good control and performance under power. I have added either 2 or 3 blade max props to sailboats from 30 ft to 80ft, with great success.
Pros; Low Drag, Good power in forward and reverse, Minimal vibration, Adjustable pitch
Another feature of the Max Prop is the ability to adjust the pitch. Part of the assembly requires you set the pitch. The correct pitch is set to load the engine at max RPM. Most engine mechanics can tailor the correct pitch for you.
The Autoprop is an odd duck and does not follow the feathering or folding model.
The Autoprop takes a different approach with the three blades operating independently. The AUTOPROP’s distinguishing feature is that each blade revolves 360 degrees. The image show the three positions for the blades. The top image is forward, the middle astern and the bottom in feathered or sailing mode. In forward the propeller rotates to the correct pitch automatically. This results in increased propulsion efficiency which reduces fuel consumption, and extends cruising range. The Autoprop also self pitches in reverse to give you the same thrust in reverse as you would get in forward. This greatly improves stopping power, backing down, and overall maneuverability.
The test results shown below (Segeln magazine) have the Autoprop at the top of the list when it comes to performance under power. The problem with the Autoprop is its high drag in feathered mode shown left. This is demonstrated in the Tank tests in the Segeln article below. If power is most important and not speed under sail, the Autoprop has a very good following. Autoprop is available as a 2 or 3-blade propeller, in sizes 13″ to 35″ for a power range of 6 to 294 kW.
Conclusion & References
If you were unsure of the differences between all the various sailboat props, hopefully we have helped clear the air. There is no single prop that performs the best in all conditions so you need to make some choices when picking the best prop for your boat.
All of the feather/folding propeller options will reduce drag and increase performance between 1/2 and 1 knot over a similar sized and number of blades fixed prop. So for performance sailing and a prop with the least drag a Folding prop like the Flexofold is a good choice. For a low drag prop with good handling under power a feathering prop works well. For just the benefits under power some argue the Autoprop is best. References These articles show test data of all the prop types in a variety of conditions
As for the choice between 2 and 3 blades in either of the folding/feathering types. The difference in drag is something a cruiser will not notice. A racer will but it is just a few %. However the advantages of a 3 blade prop in maneuverability, stopping and the reverse power make the 3 blade the best choice. Three blades however does offer a greater chance of fouling with weed or a pot etc.
The Annapolis sailboat show has many racers and cruisers on show. So in October we took the opportunity to see how each type, cruiser or racer, tackles mainsail reefing. This was a great opportunity since all the major boat manufacturers and brands are on display. See survey below.
Mainsail Reefing; there are 3 types
Slab reefing systems incorporated 3 types. Bolt rope and slides, lazy jacks and Dutchman systems. The performance cruisers use systems to capture the mainsail when it drops, like the Dutchman and lazy Jacks systems. I was surprised to see so many lazy Jacks as IMHO the Dutchman system is the better system, as it flakes the sail as its drops, but it is also more expensive. Performance orientated boats including the racers tend to go with slides or bolt rope and slab reefing.
In mast furling is a very popular method of main sail handling as its found on many of the major production Boats.
Roller furling Booms are typically found on high end and larger boats and many use the Leisure Furl from Forespar. Boats in this category are the Trintella, Morris, Hylas, Friendship etc. Hylas had the GMT boom.
Mainsail Slab reefing
Slab reefing is the most traditional & simplest form of reefing. You only need some grommets in the sail and some blocks and reefing lines to make this system work.
Harken Slab Reefing diagram
How slab reefing works
Harken page slab reefing layout and equipment
The slab reefing system is the cheapest simplest and easiest to add to your main. This Harken diagram details the blocks and lines you need to assemble a slab reefing system.
Single Line reefing makes slab reefing simple. Instead of a reef line for the tack and the clew, there is one line for both. The process of reefing involves easing the main halyard to the desired point and then taking up on the single reef line. The line starts by pulling the tack of the main down tightening the luff and then the load automatically pulls the leech tight.
Slab Reefing works with a bolt rope or luff slides and can be incorporated with either Lazy Jacks or the Dutchman system.
The other types of reefing are in Mast Furlers or in Boom Furlers.
In Mast Furling
The basic design is a roller furler unit fitted inside a mast section that has a slot in the aft end that the mainsail rolls in and out of. This mast section is larger than normally required and may require less spreaders due to the extra stiffness. The mainsail because it furls like a jib cannot support battens, hence the mainsail needs to be cut with leach hollow like a jib/genoa.
Sparcraft in Mast Furler
A list of production yachts at the Annapolis Boat Show using In mast furling include; Jeaneau, Hunter, caliber, Gozzard, Fingulf, Oyster, Hylas, Halberg Rassey, Bavaria, Island Packet, Catalina 6, Dufour, Beneteau, cruisers, Passport, Robi, Impression, & Wauquiez,
The Sparcraft in mast furler is one example of in mast furlers, see image.
The Boom Furling system works similarly to slab reefing. The main halyard is dropped and the lower part of the main sail is rolled up into a mandrill located inside the boom.
One critical feature of boom furlers is the angle of the boom to mast. This is specified by the manufacturer and you will need some sort of solid vang to control this angle.
Leisurefurl boom furler
A list of production yachts at the Annapolis Boat Show using Boom furling include; Hylas 70ft, Trintella, Niad, Cabo Rico, Westsail 42, Saga, and Tartan 4400.
There are several Boom furlers including Schaefer BoomFurl, GMT PowerFurl and FurlBoom and Forespar/Leisure furl among others.
Forespars Coastal system
Forespars Coastal system is the smaller boat version of the Leisure furl boom furler and is shown on the Catalina 30 pictured below. The coastal system has the furling drum in the boom at the aft end and so does not go through the mast, unlike the traditional Leisure furl.
Survey Annapolis Boat Show 2008
The survey is based on all boats over 28ft. The boats using In mast furlers are the larger production builders, Catalina, Hunter, Beneteau, Island packet etc.
Above Image Caliber 40 “Windom”, with in mast Furler
Reefing type & # boats with system
In Mast Furlers 54
Boom Furlers 14
Slab reefing bolt rope 28
Slab reefing sides and Lazy Jacks 37
Slab reefing sides and Dutchman system 11
Since this survey was done in 2008 we have checked the results every year and similar patterns show today as did then.
So if you wonder which is the most popular reefing system it seems slab reefing is. We broke out the 75 boats with slab reefing into 3 parts, Bolt rope, Lazy jacks and the Dutchman system.
A list of production yachts at the Annapolis Boat Show using Slab reefing include; Impression, Dufour , Southerly, Outbound, Fingulf, Valiant, Delphia, Grand Solie, X41, Wauquiez, J Boats, Shannon, Catamarans, marla, Geronimo, Fountain Pajot, Alerion, Etap, Sabre, Hanse, Tartan, Caliber, Sunsail, Moorings, Hunter, Morris, Crealock
The following articles describe the various systems available to handle sails without having to or reduce the amount of manual labor required to handle them.
These systems make it easy to raise lower and reef the sail . First up are Lazy Jacks which are the cheapest and easiest method of handling a mainsail.
Roxy Vendee Globe round the world race competitor
The Lazy Jacks sail system is a method of containing the main sail when its lowered or during reefing. Lazy jacks are the simplest and cheapest mainsail handling system available. The Lazy Jack lines are installed either side of the mainsail; attached high up in the mast and down to either side of the boom. Since the jacks are either side of the mainsail it can be dropped and is captured between the lines.
Lazy Jacks will not flake the sail neatly as the Dutchman system does but it will hold the sail on the boom.
The picture shows Roxy finishing the Vendee Globe race and you can see the lazy jacks attached to a white cover along the length of the boom. These Sailors choose Lazy jack systems over Dutchman due to the extreme conditions they sail in. If the mainsail gets blown around the vertical lazy jacks capture the sail.
Lazy Jacks V Dutchman
Harken Lazy Jack system
The difference between Lazy Jacks and the Dutchman system is the lines of a Lazy Jack system are positioned either side of the mainsail, while the Dutchman line goes through the sail. The mainsail is stowed between the Lazy Jacks.
The Lazy Jacks lines capture or cradle the mainsail as it drops. Lazy Jacks will work with a mainsail with a bolt rope, while the Dutchman system needs slides.
The Lazy Jack system is much cheaper than a Dutchman system and no modification of the sail is required (although full battens work better),
The lazy jacks are attached to the mast with pop rivets or screws and the same at the bottom end . This process is relatively cheap and fast although you will need to go aloft.
With a Dutchman system when you are reefing or dropping the mainsail in heavy wind conditions the Dutchman filament lines drag on the discs and that may prevent the sail dropping easily. This is why the Vendee round the world racers use Lazy jacks.
lazy Jacks Layout (number of legs)
Single leg splitting twice to make 4 legs. Diag courtesy NUBS
The lazy jacks start with one line mounted high up on the mast. This one line then splits in to two more lines and its possible to make as many legs as you need.
The simplest system has just one top leg and splits into two bottom legs. You can ad more bottom legs as required for larger mainsails.
The 60 foot long Vendee Globe boats like Roxy and PRB have 3 legs which split into 7 legs for the very long boom they have. You can add as many legs as you like, but I would follow the boat manufacturers recommendation.
Lazy Jacks installation tips
The best results with Lazy Jacks is by using full length battens. Short or regular batters end up getting caught in the Lazy jack lines. With full length battens the mainsail folds down in a stiff manner in between the lines and does not flop around.
When you hoist the mainsail and its fully raised the lazy jack lines should have some slack in them. The slack allows the mainsail to set properly.
The Harken Diagram, shows the lazy Jack legs being held outboard at the spreaders, which helps separate the sail, from the Lazy Jack Legs.
The boom cover will need to be modified unless you pull the Lazy Jack line lined forward after the sail has been dropped and secured. The modification includes slits and zippers or Velcro where the Lazy Jack Lines attach to the boom.
Lots of sailboat classes have descriptions on the Class forums about how to install Lazy Jacks or Dutchman systems.
Lazy jacks and Mainsail cover
PRB Vendee globe racer
If you combine the Lazy Jack system with a mainsail luff track and slide system, the front of the sail may flake itself somewhat, and then you can tidy up later.
In the case of the vendee Globe boats the lazy jacks are attached not directly to the boom but to canvas which is in turn attached to the boom. This picture of PRB, shows how the canvas captures the huge mainsail on these boats. Stack packs are versions of this concept.
Lazy Jack Manufacturers
It is quite feasible for you to make your own Lazy Jack system, many do. However buying a pre made kit takes some of the time out of the project.
Harken and Schaefer are two of the manufacturers for lazy Jacks. The Schaefer system is a bit more expensive, but has a feature allowing the lazy Jacks to be pulled forward which removes the need for boom cover modification.
Each have sizes based on boats length from 21ft to 48 ft. Both are available through the links below.
Most of marine stores have ready to go Lazy jack systems. All you need to do is install the legs, all the lines blocks and cleats are provided.
The Ezjacks system lets you pull the lazy jack lines forward. This enables you to use your existing mainsail cover. Otherwise you will need to modify you main cover with slits where the lower legs meet the boom.
USCG requirements mandate boats carry the following equipment.
Link to the USCG requirements for required safety gear. The USCG may board your vessel to check your equipment so check to see you have the correct gear and that fire extinguishers are not out of date.
Required safety equipment;
visual distress signals VDS,
Back fire flame arrestor,
Owners ships documents,
Its not just carrying the right equipment it’s also handling your boat safely.
1, Personal flotation devices
Boats over 16 feet;
One approved Type I, II or III PFD for each person on board or being towed on water skis, etc.; and one throwable Type IV device. ( A type V PFD may be used in lieu of any wearable PFD, if approved for the activity in which it is being used. A TYPE V HYBRID MUST be worn to be legal.) A type IV lifejacket is required for all boats over 16ft. This is a Throwable flotation device (see newsletter on throwable devices)
Boats under 16 feet;
One approved Type I, II, III or V (must be worn) PFD for each person on board or being towed on water skis, tubes, etc.
Boats 40 feet and above
Every vessel 39.4 ft (12 meters) or larger in length must carry a whistle or horn and a bell. The whistle must be audible for 1/2 nautical mile. The mouth of the bell must be at least 7.87 inches (200mm) in diameter.
Boats Under 40 feet
Every vessel less than 39.4 ft (12 meters) in length must carry an efficient sound producing device.
However you do not need to carry a bell if you are operating on international waters.
3, Visual distress signals
All boats over 16 ft, Must carry approved visual distress signals for both daytime and night-time use.
All boats under 16 ft, Required to carry approved visual distress signals for night-time use. Coats Guard require 3 day and 3 night signals.
This Boat safe diagram will provide you with a full description of all the available types of visual distress signals (VDS) for inland waterways and international waters.
Shelf life of flares; Note it is important to check dates for flares and rockets and smoke signals as these will be checked by the coast guard, plus its for your safety, Pyrotechnics have a shelf life of 42 months.
4, Fire extinguisher
Boats less than 16ft: One B-I type approved hand portable fire extinguisher. (Not required on outboard motorboats less than 26 ft in length if the construction of the motorboat is such that it does not permit the entrapment of explosive or flammable gases or vapors and if fuel tanks are not permanently installed.)
Boats 26ft to 40ft: Two B-I type OR one B-II type approved portable fire extinguishers.
Boats 40 ft to 65ft: Three B-I type OR one B-I type PLUS one B-II type approved portable fire extinguishers
If a fixed fire extinguishing system is installed in engine and machinery rooms, it will replace one B-I portable fire extinguisher.
(For Boats built after 8/1/80) They must have at least two ventilation ducts capable of efficiently ventilating every closed compartment that contain gasoline machinery and fuel tanks, except those having installed tanks which vent outside of the boat and do not contain electrical equipment. Engine compartments containing a gasoline engine with a cranking motor are additionally required to contain power operated exhaust blowers which can be controlled from the instrument panel.
(For Boats built before 8/1/80) They must have at least two ventilation ducts fitted with cowls for the purpose of efficiently and properly ventilating the bilges of every closed engine and fuel tank compartment using gasoline as fuel or other fuels having a flashpoint of 110 degrees or less.
6, Back-Fire flame arrestor
Back-fire Flame Arrestor. One approved device on each carburetor of all gasoline engines installed after April 25, 1940, except outboard motors.
Note: Some states have requirements in addition to the federal requirements. Check your state’s boating laws
7, Owners/ships documents
Carry either State registration or documentation papers. Since 9-11, the U.S. Coast Guard can ask you to produce a pictured identification card, such as a drivers license.
8, Navigation Lights
If you are going to be afloat after sundown then you will need Navigation lights.
The skipper of the boat is responsible for all onboard; therefore you should not rest on what the USCG says you need for safety. there are many more items we could add.
When boarded safety inspection, failure to produce any of the above equipment could result in fine and/or termination of your voyage. Make sure your safety equipment is in good working condition. Some states require more than list list so check for your states requirements.
Chapmans says “There are no federal requirements that a boat (if used exclusively for recreation) be equipped with a bailing device, but all boats should be equipped with some form of bailer…
Dr Sails is a two-component epoxy adhesive ideal for fast and flexible and underwater curing and is especially designed to repair sails.
Companies like saillrite make sewing machines so sailors can repair sails, but they are expensive and bulky, so not very practical for onboard use. DrSails being a flexible glue that will work with wet substrates and sail material is a simple solution for sail repair.
There are some excellent examples of current sailors using DrSails and that is the current Volvo round the world race. During the race there are legs which stretch out for thousands of miles and to be able to fix damaged sails is a top priority. Out of all the teams most have opted for DrSails adhesive while one team opted for a sewing machine.
So what is DrSails; it has a fast cure time (8 min) and can be applied on wet surfaces
Once cured DrSails is pliable and flexible which makes it idea for repairing sails. DrSails is ideal for gluing sail cloth, fiber glass, carbon, Kevlar, metal, wood and neoprene. Its easy to apply with the supplied mixing nozzle.
Dr Sails Epoxy Adhesive
DrSails is an epoxy adhesive developed to repair and mount various applications on a sailboat. It can be used to glue fiber glass, carbon, metal, wood, wetsuit and can even be used to repair sails.What makes DrSails unique is the fact that is stays flexible and therefore is shock-resistant. It can also be applied on wet surfaces or even under water.
DrSails is a 2-component adhesive that will be mixed by the unique nozzle and therefore it is always ready to use.
Working Time: 8 minutes
Working Temperature: Tested Range: -9 oC to 22oC
Can be applied on wet and/or greasy surfaces
Easy to apply with the supplied mixing nozzles
Suitable for Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber, Sailcloth (Mylar, Dacron, Kevlar, Thecnora, Twaron), Wood, Metal, Leather, Neoprene & Plastics
Flexible: 4.5MPa flexural strength (ISO 178). Flexible as a PU, structural as an epoxy.
Structural: Reaches over 200kg/cm2. Ideal for bonding a full range of materials such as metals, wood, composites, sailcloth, wetsuit and plastics.
Underwater: Bonds under fresh, salty or even sparkling water. It also bonds under fuel or gasoline.
Elongation: 108% at elastic limit
Shelf life: 36 months.
There are no hard and fast times to replace your boats standing rigging, so regular inspection will help you know when to replace any stays. At the end of the season a thorough check leaves you time to make changes, while a quick check at the beginning of the season for clevis pins cotter pins etc. makes sure your rig is secure.
When inspecting your boats rigging check for;
Clevis & cotter pins
Cracks in swages and studs (see image)
Damage to wires (see image)
Damaged to turnbuckles
Wire damaged near T terminal
During an inspection you find a shroud which has some issues. This observation becomes a concern and you inspect other parts of the rig and you see a couple of problems.
How do we go about fixing any problems.
Replace the wire part A
Replace the whole shroud B
Or Replace fittings
Typical Shroud with marine eye and swaged on turnbuckle with toggle
The answer is it depends on the damage. If the swage is cracked or the wire frayed, and the turnbuckle is OK, then you could just replace the wire. If the damage is local to the swage fitting or its cracked you could cut it off and replace with a swageless fitting with a extra long stud. For the DIY enthusiast this is a simple operation.
If just the turnbuckle is damaged this may be all that needs replacing. If the wire and the fitting is damaged the whole shroud should be replaced. This may be one shroud or the whole set of stays.
Whichever it is well look at how to do this.
Shroud Replacement (what you need to know)
Once you have figured out what you are replacing, the next step is how.
1; Remove shrouds and give to Rigger
To do this it’s best to have the mast pulled during the winter or any downtime. If you remove the shrouds and send them to a rigger it’s almost unnecessary to do much more, as the rigger will be able to reproduce. If they have any questions they can ask for additional details.
2; Measure rigging and order to swap out later
Measure rigging and order replacement for swapping out old for new at a later time. If you measure the rigging and send dimensions to a rigger for them to build replacements, this involves a lot more knowledge plus measuring in situ can be problematic.
3; Replace yourself
Swageless fittings allows a boat owner to replace stays himself. You can replace one shroud at a time or if the mast is removed you can pull all the shrouds at one time.
Shroud details you need to know
Clevis Pin diameter; these are sized to wire diameter.
Length of shroud (see measuring)
Terminal types; marine eye, fork, t terminal
Mast Tangs and backing plates
Turnbuckle stud thread diameter and hand right or left
For these fittings you’ll need the tang type wire diameter plus the pin size
Tangs and backing plates; if you replacing shrouds make sure you have information on the existing mast tangs and plates so you can match to new fittings. Some T-Terminals are no longer made and new ones may have a different shape and the Gibb style T-ball may not fit into those backing plates.
marine eye, double jaw closed body turnbuckle, swaged stud, swaged open body turnbuckle
For these fittings you need wire diameter, clevis pin diameter, turnbuckle Stud diameter, and thread direction.
Note for a given wire size the thread could have 3 diameters. For example ¼ wire fittings can have a 3/8, 7/16 or ½ inch diameter.
If you have a turnbuckle stud at the bottom end you will need to know the wire diameter and the hand of the thread,
What sizes do you need; pin to pin dimensions, the wire size, terminal identification and terminal pin size are important. Some riggers use the pin centre as the definition of one end, other use the bearing point.
Top end bearing points, Eye, Jaw, Stemball and T terminal
bottom end bearing point
To measure a shroud, bang a nail into a suitable surface. Hang the shroud terminal on the nail and then hook the measuring tape on the same nail. Stretch out the shroud and tape, puling tight.
If you are making a whole new shroud you should measure the old stay and then when making the new one set the turnbuckle 2/3 open.
Turnbuckle 23 open
With the turnbuckle 2/3 open, you have enough room to tighten the stay once the mast is stepped. Rigging stretches so the extra length to tighten the stay will be very beneficial. This 2/3 open is an Industry standard although some may set them at 1/2 open.
Replacing a terminal without replacing whole shroud
Wire damage close to T Terminal
One advantage of swageless terminals is they can be made by the DIY boater.
In the example shown in the image (wire damage close to T Terminal), well show you how to fix this problem with swageless extra-long studs. Diagram A shows a normal swage above a extra long swageless fitting. The two lines show
Diag A; Difference between normal swage and extra long swageless
where the wire ends inside the fittings. The distance between the two lines is how much can be gained by using a long swageless fitting. If you have the damage to wire and the damage is limited to 2 inches or less from the swage fitting then it’s possible to cut off the swage fitting and replace with a swageless fitting with a long stud.
Lets see how this works in practice with 1/4 inch wire. For this we need to look at the specs for normal and long fittings.
Diag B; Navtec Norseman swageless fittings; long and normal
The difference between c and b is what can be gained in length (diag B).
Specification Norseman fittings for ¼ inch wire; For 1/4 diameter wire with 1/2 inch thread; C = 5.71 inches, B = 3.27 inches
C-B = 2.44 inches which is the distance gained by using an extra long fitting.
Sailboat rigging is simple in concept once you have a basic understanding. There are several parts which all work together to support a mast and sails. To make sure that your rig stays in one piece there are a few things you should know. Most mast failures occur from a simple loose cotter pin, frayed shroud or a cracked fitting. In this article we will be looking at Swaged Rigging Terminals, to help you understand what you may have and what other options are available.
Nicopress eye Bosuns Supplies
Most sailboats rely on swage fittings at the terminals of wire shrouds. Swaging is the compression of the fitting onto the end of a wire by a roll swage machine. Therefore unless you have access to a swage machine you have to get a professional rigger to make them for you.
Swaging is different from Nicopress Type Swages which is the compression of a wire thimble over a wire to form an eye.
There are other wire terminals, swageless mechanical terminals, such as Noresman and Sta-Lok rigging terminals. These fittings can be installed by the DIY boat owner without any specialized tools. We will look at these in another section in this sailboat rigging series.
Main types of Swage Sailboat Rigging Terminals
Marine eye / Marine jaw
T Ball Terminal
Wire Terminals are normally made from Type 316 stainless steel.
1 Swage Marine Eye
These are the most common rigging terminals on sailboats. There are lots of sailboats with this setup of wire rigging with Marine eye ends attached to a stainless steel tang. Tangs are through bolted through the mast from one side to the other with compression tubes so the tightening won’t crush the mast wall. Now all you need to make is a set of wire shrouds with a marine eye at the top end. As well as Marine eyes and forks there are Aircraft eyes and forks. These are thinner than Marine eyes and often used for lifelines.
Marine Eye (click for larger Image)
The picture above shows a simple single spreader rig, using Swaged Marine Eye’s with through bolted Tangs.
Masthead Tang for marine Eye
The tang and eye fittings are the most popular seen on sailboats especially older ones. They are easy to make and inspect for maintenance. They can easily be made by a DIY boat Owner. Tangs can be bought from retail stores or specialized sellers like Rig Rite. Left is a Masthead Tang for marine Eye.
2 Swage Stemball Terminal
With this fitting the Stemball sits in a Cupel which itself sits in a tang, spreader base or spreader bar. The Stemball can articulate in the Cupels so the shroud can self-align. Here are three examples of Stemball terminals
A; Swaged Stemball in Cast Spreader base
Stemball and cupel
The cast spreader base with integral shroud attachments were popular in the late 80’s and later. They proved to be quick and cheap to manufacture. However the problem with these mast fittings is the weakness in the spreader castings that attach to the mast. When these fail the whole mast is at risk, so it becomes a one point failure.
Stemball seated in spreader base
The Stemball seats in a Cupel which sits in one of the two cutouts in the spreader base. Notice the T Ball terminal just in front of the spreader.
B; Stemball in Spreader bar
A spreader through bar is a more modern use of spreaders and stemballs. The stemballs are fitted into a spreader bar which makes the Spreader bars structurally very secure. They take the load from the Spreaders and transfer through the mast without putting undue pressure on the mast wall. This is probably the strongest mast spreader shroud combination. It does require very accurate machining and needs professional Mast makers and Riggers to manufacture. This solution is more expensive but the lightest and is used mostly on racing sailboats.
Spreader through bar with hole for Stemball Cupel and Pin for spreader
Spreader through bar and Stemball
The above picture shows a rig with a Spreader through bar in which the Stemball is secured. The through bar has a hole for Stemball and Cupel. The second hole is for the Spreader Clevis pin. When assembling this type of set up you need to install the spreader through bar, push the shroud through the hole and then install the spreader over the bar and secure with the clevis pin. To remove the shrouds you need to remove the spreaders.
C; Stemball Tang is fitted into the mast wall
More modern thinking using Stemball fittings for larger cruising boats. The Stemball Tang is fitted into the mast wall below the spreader. This approach is a little easier to build as the precise position of the shroud is not so important. However it not as structurally secure as the shroud is relying on the mast wall to transfer the load to the spreader, but can be built without specialized equipment or machining. Because the design is not as strong as the through bar solution the fittings and mast wall are larger and therefore heavier, but this is not a concern for most cruisers.
Stemball Tang in mast Wall on 45 ft Cruiser
The Stemball fits into a Stemball Tang which mounts in a cutout in the mast Wall. In this case the wire fitting is inserted into the tang and then the complete assembly is pushed into the cutout. The tang is then screwed or riveted into place. The shroud cannot be removed without the tang also being removed. In the above picture the shrouds are discontinuous. The uppers and intermediates are terminated at the spreader. The upper shrouds join at the spreader tip with a Marine Eye and Fork and a Long Clevis pin. The diagonal shroud has a swaged turnbuckle and Fork.
3 Swage T Ball Terminal
Swaged shroud T terminal, sometimes called round T ball Terminals and even LollyPop’s. With the backing plate installed in the mast wall the round T ball is inserted into the mast plate at 90 degrees and then the wire and T ball is rotated inline. The black plug is inserted to secure the shroud in place. These are the easiest shroud fittings to install. However they are not quite as strong as some others. The weak point is the curved bearing point. However convenience is a big factor in using these fittings.
T Ball Terminals & Backing Plate
A Smaller Gibb style T balls on a J80
Gibb T ball terminals are the first of this type. Now there are other T ball terminals like the Navtec ones seen below.
Gibb T ball terminals J80
T Terminals can be removed just by removing the plug and turning the shroud through 90 degrees.
B Navtec style T Ball terminal on 42 foot cruiser
Navtec style T Ball
Navtec style T Ball terminal are newer and better for larger sailboats as the designs have bigger backing plates and the T Ball sits closer to the mast wall and not inside as with the Gibb Terminals. T Ball Terminals can be removed without removing the backing plate. The shroud is turned through 90 degrees so the T ball can be removed. There is a rubber plug that is inserted after the T ball has been installed so that the T ball cannot accidently fall out.
4 Swage Turnbuckles
Whatever the fittings you have at the mast or spreaders the bottom ends depend on the chainplates fitted to the deck and turnbuckle you will use. When setting up the turnbuckle it should be 2/3 open. That way you have enough room to tighten and half the amount to loosen when tuning the rig. This 2/3 open is an Industry standard and is you need a replacement shroud the rigger will set up the turnbuckle 2/3 open to the length you prescribe. The image below shows a boat with two examples of turnbuckle attachments. The chainplates seen are typical straps of stainless steel. Either on the side or through the deck. Turnbuckles to fit these chainplate should have a toggled bottom. This is important so the toggle can align with the line and load of the shroud. Without a toggle at the bottom end the turnbuckle bottom thread can bend drastically reducing strength.
Two different Turnbuckles
A Swaged threaded turnbuckle; this open turnbuckle body has a toggle at one end and a swaged stud at the other. The stud is swaged to your wire and is the recommended solution in this case. The fixed eye Turnbuckle on the other shrouds are prone to bending as they do not have toggles.
Swage stud Open Body Turnbuckle with Toggle
B Marine eye to fit on double jaw fixed turnbuckle
Fixed jaw turnbuckle from e-rigging
The issue with this fixed jaw Turnbuckle is that there is no toggle. If the chainplate is not aligned up properly with the direction of the wire than the threaded part of the Turnbuckle (i.e. weakest link) can bend. Also as the rig moves in relation to the boat there is no give. A toggle lets the turnbuckle properly align at all times with the wire. Now you understand the various Rigging Fittings what can we do to maintain then and how long should they last. To be continued.
Marine eye, marine fork
Swageless or Mechanical fittings
Tangs stainless mast
Turnbuckle open or closed, toggled, fixed, fixed eye jaw, fixed jaw,
The beauty of the Swageless fitting is it does not require specialized tools. All you need is a method of cutting the wire to length and then 2 wrenches. This makes them perfect for the DIY boater. This can save costs and in some cases you can make a shroud in an emergency when no swage machine is available.
How do Swageless fittings work?
Standing rigging is normally made from 1* 19 wire which has an outer layer and inner layers of wire (19 wires in total). Swageless rigging terminals do not rely on crushing the wire into a hollow fitting like a swage fitting they have a mechanical grip.
Swageless fittings work by trapping the wires between the body of the fitting and the cone which is position in between the wires outer and inner layers. When the body is screwed into the eye the individual wires are locked in tight and when shroud tension is applied the cone is pulled tighter into the body therefore increasing the grip.
First find the end of the wire and then slide the body of the fitting over it.
Prize open the outer layers of wire
The Cone should sit 1 1/2 times the diameter of wire from the end of wire
Insert cone over inner layers
Once cone is in place carefully twist wires back together. They should look like ‘a” in the drawing.
Position eye over end of wire and push terminal body to meet eye
Make sure you have the correct lay of wire to match the terminal
Screw down eye and tighten using 2 wrenches. Locktite is used to stop the eye unscrewing.
Swageless terminals v Swaged terminals
Advantages swageless fittings
All you need; Wrenches 2, and a hacksaw
DIY saving cost of rigger
Disadvantages Swageless fittings
High cost per fitting
Heavier and bulkier
Comparison of cost of fittings
Wire diameter- Pin diameter
5/16″ – 1/2″
Norseman Swageless Eyes
5/16″ – 1/2″
Sta lok Swageless Eyes
5/16″ – 1/2″
Hayn Swageless Eyes
5/16″ – 1/2″
From this you can see the cost of a swageless fitting is quite a bit more and in the case of the Hi-Mod terminals over twice the cost. However if you are willing to make a shroud yourself you will save the riggers cost. One Company I found posted the charge for a swage for wire sizes 5/16″ to 1/2 ” to be $24. Therefore the true cost of a marine eye is $34 + $24 = $58 about the same as the Noresman fitting.
So quite possibly the Swageless shroud will cost less than a Shroud made with Swaged fittings from your rigger.
Sta-Lok the reusable alternative to swage. Easy to install. Only basic hand tools required. Guaranteed stronger than wire rope. For right hand and left hand lay wire rope. Packed for 1×19 wire as standard. Different wedges are available to terminate 7 strand and compacted wire ropes.
Norseman terminals provide a completely secure end fitting. The standard terminal can be used on 1×19 strand, 1×19 Dyform and 7-strand rope, using the appropriate cones. They are approved by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.
Produced by Petersen Stainless Rigging and distributed by Hayn Marine in the USA. Hi-MOD terminals have a unique crown ring that assures the wires stay evenly spaced around the fitting, eliminating the need to bend the wires, assures the cone is in the proper place, and keeps the strands from dropping into the cone slot.
Main types of sailboat rigging terminals
As with swage terminals, swageless terminals are available with a variety of different attachment methods; eyes forks, toggles and threaded studs (for insertion in a turnbuckle barrel).
Both Rigs have all fittings, spreaders, Goosenecks, sheaves, and assorted hardware.
Main: 81′ 4″ overall length 13 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ 34.8 cm x 21 cm
Mizzen: 51′ 9″ overall length 9 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ 23.5 cm x 14 cm
The booms have paint on them, they are white.
Dimensions are: Main: 20′ 10″ length 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ 21 cm x 13.5 cm
Mizzen: 13′ 10 1/2″ 6 7/8″ x 4″ 17 cm x 10 cm
Annapolis Rigging posted the above ad and a buyer came from Denmark.
So how do you ship a big Mast & Mizzen to Denmark?
The rig will go on a ship leaving Baltimore going to Rotterdam. From there it will go by truck to Denmark and the new Owners home.
So how did the transaction work;
The mast sold for $9,000. The buyer sent Annapolis Rigging a 50% deposit to secure the sale and to have the shipping crate built. The remaining 50% transferred when the truck picked up the mast. The buyer arranged for the shipping and knew the trucks schedule and the ships schedule. The buyer paid for shipping directly.
This 78 foot by 2ft by 2ft crate contains a main mast, mizzen mast, booms, rod rigging and many parts. The box is mostly for protection and storage, while the masts themselves offer the structural rigidity.
The crate will have two well marked designated lifting points as this package is very heavy.
When the box was lifted it weighed 3,500 lbs, measured by two load cells.
What is most important when prepping for the winter can be summed up by conditions. If it is going to freeze, winterizing the engine and any systems that have water in them, is the absolute minimum you will need to do. Any trace of water can cause havoc whether in an engine, toilet, bilge, outboard, air conditioning or running water systems.
If you have the space it is recommended that you remove as much ancillary gear from the boat. This stops the gear from getting cold damp and helps air move around the boat. It also stops certain items getting stolen. Check your insurance policy.
If you are having the boat pulled for the winter, most of the winterizing can be done in the water. The engine may be needed to get to the lift so that can be done onshore and engine mechanics have the tools to winterize on land.
Below is a fairly comprehensive list of projects that will help you in the spring. These are fairly general projects. If you are unsure about a particular system you should consult an expert at your boatyard.
Laying Up for the Winter
Marine antifreeze comes in three different temperatures, -50, -60 and -100. At these temperatures the antifreeze will solidify. Glycol content increases from 30% for -50 to 60% for -100.
Propylene Glycol is more environmentally friendly. Do not use automotive type antifreeze, as they are toxic.
Captain Johns Boat Brite is for removing staining from fiberglass hulls caused by algae and brackish water. It works by spraying the Algae & Waterline Stain Remover onto the fiberglass surface, then just after a few seconds, simply wipe stain away then rinse with water.
The picture is of a boat which is dry sailed but had been sitting in the water for a weekend. You can clearly see the staining from the brackish water, with a cleaned area in contrast to the stained fiberglass. Watch the following video of this hull being cleaned.
Apparently Boat Brite is bio-degradeable, non-toxic and safe for the environment. This comment from Practical Sailor; “The most eco-friendly product tested was Captain John’s Boat Brite Algae and Waterline Stain Remover”
Boat Brite is expensive at $20 for 32oz, but works quickly and your conscience is clean.
Boat Brite waterline Stain Remover may streak antifouling paint but will not remove paint or compromise its performance.
Captain John’s Boat Brite Algae and Waterline Stain Remover does removed wax, so following with a quick cleaner-wax will help keep the stains from coming back quickly.
There are many reasons to put a roller furler systems on your boat. Convenience is the big one, to be able to set the sail and loose it quickly and without having to leave the cockpit is huge. Storage is another, you do not have to put the sail in a locker, saving space.
Whatever your reason for wanting a roller furler this article attempts to help your decision, by presenting each furler and their features.
We take a look at some of the most popular manufacturers of reefing systems and roller furling equipment, such as Harken, ProFurl, Schaefer, Reckmann etc.
We looked around and there is not much in the way of Roller Furler reviews, so we have attempt to give you an idea of how each one is different, what you should look for when choosing a furler and a price comparison.
Apart from issues in deciding which furler unit you need, we also discuss other aspects. Roller furlers are like any piece of mechanical equipment, they do come with issues that should be addressed. Then you know that its going to work, and not jam up when you least need it to. Also when using roller furling there are some considerations for your sail to get the best shape and life out of it.
Foil Furlers or Rope Luff Furlers
Most traditional furlers use solid extrusions for the luff of the sail. The Foil sections can be aluminum, carbon or plastic. Simply pull the line on the furling drum and the foil turns. The sail attached to the foil is wrapped around the foil as it turns and is wrapped evenly from top to bottom.
Other versions of the furler are the Code Zero furler or Soft Luff Furler and the Top down furler. The advantage of the these rop luff systems is that they do not need Rigid Foils but a Anti-torsion rope so the whole furler can be lowered down to the deck while under way. Soft Luff furlers have two distinct types;
The Code Zero Furler is for a Code Zero or Gennaker, (cross between a Genoa and asymmetrical spinnaker). The Code Zero has a rope luff built into the sail, which is a torsion rope. This torsion (anti twist) rope transmits the furling of the lower drum to the top swivel. As the furling drum turns the top swivel turns almost at the same time. The Code Zero requires very high luff tension. You need to work with the sailmaker to get the torsion rope built into the luff. Link to Karver Code Zero Furler.
The Top Down furler is intended for Asymmetrical spinnakers. The reason for the name is the furling process. Because the sail is only attached to the top furler, (floats loosely on the bottom drum) it is only this part which gets wrapped when the furler line is pulled. As the furler turns, more and more of the sail gets wrapped around the rope luff and does so from the top down, hence the term, “Top Down furler”. This furler works well for spinnakers and sails that are set with a loose luff. The top down furler is an alternative to the Snuffer. No modification to the spinnaker is needed.
Solid Foil Furlers
For cruisers a Jib or Genoa works best with the solid luff extrusion furler, which we are discussing below.
Things to look for when choosing a Solid Foil Furler system
Find out what type what arrangement and how many bearings there are with a system. Torlon is preferred Schaefer, Hood, and Harken use Torlon bearings.
Furlex Rondal and Reckmann use stainless steel bearings. Profurl uses carbon steel bearings which are housed in a lip seal. The issue here is if the seal gets worn through or damaged corrosion will occur.
There are various shapes of extrusion round or airfoil. Round is better for furling as it rolls the sail evenly. Airfoil or oval shapes are best for racing.
Airfoils sections are usually lighter with thin wall. Round sections like Schaefer are very thick walled and heavy. You also have twin groove for racing.
Some are plastic lined, others use screws or rivets. Its important that the extrusions do not come apart, as furlers are subjected to years of rattling which can undo even well seated screws. Screwed systems need to use Locktite to stop them coming out.
Harken MkIV, Schaefer and Profurl use your existing headstay so you can use them with a turnbuckle or not. Harken MKIII uses a turnbuckle body built into the furler drum and so some modification is necessary. With Furlex you get a new headstay w choice of (turnbuckle) rigging screw or not.
Independent tack swivel
A fully rotating tack swivel allows the sail to Furl from the middle first, which results in taking shape out of the sail. Furled sails tend to be quite baggy and so flattening helps. See also the section on sail shapes below.
Furlex has what they call turn free. This means the tack swivel turns almost 1 turn and then stops. The reason for this is the Hood Patent on the fully swiveling tack.
larger drum diameters mean more leverage which reduces the load on the furling line. Harken MKIV has a better drum diameter to foil size than the MKIII which is one of its improvements.
Materials used include, injection molded plastic, cast aluminum, machined aluminum, investment cast Stainless Steel. Machined aluminum is best say for the halyard swivel.
Its very important to have toggles at top and bottom end of extrusion to allow for the sag of the headstay.
Bill Lockwood, of Lockwood Boatworks had a client who needed a J105 trailer, he could not find one and a new trailer was going to take 8 weeks, not good for his client.
They searched online for a used trailer and found one on UsedBoatEquipment. The deal saved his customer some money, addressed an immediate need for a trailer and also made money for the seller, who had not used it for 5 years.
Sellers success story
In september Annapolis Rigging sold a J105 mast. A little while later they sold a set of Kato davits. With the proceeds thay bought a swage machine.