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Asking for mainsheet opinions

Chatham Sailor

New Member
I know this is a question that's come up periodically (i've read several archived posts) but thought it was worth asking more specifically:

I've been using an 8mm Robline dinghy XL for the last several years, and while I like the line itself, it has just started to seem too thick and heavy for most days. As an everyday sheet, is it worth trying a 6mm, or is that going to feel really thin? (Maybe 7 is the happy medium)?

I'm thinking I'll maybe get the Polilite just to do something different for comparison--unless there is there something totally different you'd recommend instead. (Just FYI I've used Bzzz before but it's not really my thing).

I've gone to numerous websites but it seems those are the three are regularly recommended. But all ears.

Many thanks for your advice!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Anything 6 or 7 mm that’s on the stiff side is fine. Polilite of course is a classic, but practically all rope manufacturers have something similar on the market.

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Chatham Sailor

New Member
while I'm asking, what is the reason for using a separate line tied around the mast (under the vang) for the lower block in a cunningham setup? Seems like knotting it directly around the vang attachment before going upwards (on the same line) makes it less likely to lose this block (and requires one less little fiddly line). I'm sure there is a good reason.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The main reason for attaching the block as in post #7 is to get it as low as possible. That's a good general rule of thumb when designing purchase systems, that is, to position everything as "late" as possible for maximum range of adjustment and a minimum amount of rope. In the Laser cunningham this a little pointless though, as with a 6:1 there is adequate space for the floating block no matter where you attach the turning block. I have mine at the designated pin on the vang cleating fitting and it works fine.

I think someone here said a little while ago that you get a better lead with that block lying against the mast like a cheek block. That's doubtful because as the mast rotates the orientation is suboptimal at some point anyway.

By the way, it's interesting that the West Coast video shows a 2 x 2 x 2 system. I don't think many have used that because there (just barely) isn't enough distance for the second floating block to move from totally loose to max tight. The 8:1 purchase is actually getting more popular, but rigged as a 2 x 4. (And the real fad seems to be to tie two single blocks together into a fiddle block for that system.)

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Chatham Sailor

New Member
Huh I didn’t even notice it was 8:1. I just only have two 16mm single blocks on hand (neither with a becket) so I was looking for a setup that easily accommodates that. Incidentally the Allen website seems to do it the same way as west coast with Allen’s XD “power pack” setup video (below).

I did notice that several UK/Euro websites feature custom spliced soft attach carbo fiddle setups that look pretty cool (and get spendy). Didn’t seem necessary (although they say 8:1 is now needed for MK2).

Allen:
 

Jason Rucker

Active Member
You’ll notice all kinds of variations on the set up. If you look up the class rules you can see the limitations. Just pick one that makes sense to you and then tweak it as you go. Here’s a simple set up from Collie sails.

 
Regarding Mainsheets: The 6mm rooster is really the gold standard at the moment. You should try it. Wash it (you can use a laundry bag) to get rid of the slippery coating. You can go with a 7mm sheet if you sail in big breeze often. Make sure you have a nice main block with plenty of grip and use gloves. Just flake it out long on your deck if you store your boat under cover. It will feel incredible downwind in light air compared to your 8mm.

Regarding Cunningham: If it's not a v. tight fit, the loop that goes around the lower mast could be taped and just left there semi-permanently for convenience. We had heard that there is less loading directly on the tang rivets (they were not designed for this) when the loop is around the mast... and as someone said, lower better.

If you're sailing the MKII in moderate-heavy wind, you're going to need a great system. It the upper wind ranges, you'll be maxing it out for optimal performance and the amount of tension on the system and sail will be extreme if you want it to be effective. 8-1 is nice for less extra line floating around (compared to the old 16-1)... you do need to wail on it though... some rec. racers aren't burly enough to get adequate tension on while sailing upwind, but if emphasized, they can get it on pre-start and before mark roundings using rowing leverage in the cockpit. For 90% of masters sailors we see for the first time, they do not carry sufficient downhaul on the MKII when they arrive.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Regarding Cunningham:
...
8-1 is nice for less extra line floating around (compared to the old 16-1)
Are you still talking about the cunningham? No one's (I think) ever had more than a 10:1 because anything above that needs a second cascade, for which there isn't quite enough room.

How far down do you think that the tack (cunningham) cringle on a Standard MkII should come (in a storm :D )? What would that make its total range of motion?

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10:1 is nice. Probably the minimum for people sailing in high wind unless they are very strong. I'm not 100% sure if there has been higher - the original system that came out when the control lines were upgraded back in the day might have been even more - do you remember??

Regarding the cringe - not sure. Next time rigged will measure! A bit more than this one attached if that helps? Basically just pull it as hard as you can get it. Caution: If you do that with an old sail, it could tear.
 

Attachments

LaLi

Well-Known Member
10:1 is nice. Probably the minimum for people sailing in high wind unless they are very strong. I'm not 100% sure if there has been higher - the original system that came out when the control lines were upgraded back in the day might have been even more - do you remember??
10:1 is the maximum practical purchase ratio. It - and definitely no higher - was offered in kits from 2001 on, but eventually 6:1 became standard. The 8:1 trend is a fairly new one.

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