Boom Preventer

Dear Sailwriter,
I thought you might be interested in some history of the JC Strap. I invented
it during the time I was sailing the Finn and displayed it at the USA Finn
trials for the Pan American Games, which were to be held at Winnipeg, Canada
Our trials were held on Lake Minnetonka, in Minneapolis and the exact date
escapes me,although I think it was 1971. When other sailors saw it, they
wanted it and went nuts trying to find shock cord to jury rig one for themselves. But it blew hard and was not needed. I still remember chuckling,
in my back yard in Milwaukee, when I saw how it automatically pulled out the
boom when the boom was moved off amidships. Bob Norton hung the name
on it and it stuck. The JC Strap has been in all the Olympic Games since
Montreal in 1976 and possibly, and I'm not sure, from Munich,in 1972. Some
consideration was given to it for Laser a while back but it was rejected.It is
dead simple and would fit nicely on Laser and would eliminate the slow death
we endure as we contort our bodies to hold the boom out in light wind.It is
my baby but I appreciate holding our one design discipline. John Christianson
Yes, the innovative, simple method of holding the boom out on the Finn was one of the first things that showed John Christenson to be an innovator in our sport. (I still miss the original Finn Class Newletter, irreverant as it was.) Briggs Cunningham and the Barber brothers may be more well known for the names attached to their now-common gadgets. What about the Shimon Van Colie (sp) roll? You know, riding the board under the boat when recovering from a flip to windward. But JC has continued to add to the sport. But then I am so old, closer to GGM than the beginning of Grand Master, that I have met these guys. Even sailed with Briggs to Catalina, 1969. Few classes that refuse all innovation stay popular. The Laser has made many little changes. Hey, we didn't tie the clew to the boom at all at first. If the JC strap is not allowed, no big deal. But it would have been nice.
Dave Ellis
I have read this thread with interest, but I don't have a clear picture of the JC Strap in my mind. I understand it is a bungee cord attached to the boom and led to the bow eye, with or without a turning block. So, how does it work when one gybes, where does it go when the boat is going upwind, what happens with it when one tacks? I assume there are simple answers to these questions, but I would appreciate a more thorough description.

Ross B

i doesent "go" anywhere, like your sail inhaul, and centerboard bungee, it would just stay tight
What about gybing? The bungee has to be on one side of the mast or the other, so how does the sail turn through a gybe with a bungee cord attached to it. It seems that the bungee would then go from the bow around the mast to the boom, trying to pull the boom back to the original gybe. How is it rigged to accommodate both gybes and the gybe itself?

Ross B

its runs along both sides of the boom

look at the earlier pictures of the finns with it

i will try to find more
Merrily, at the very beginning of Laser sailing the outhaul was the only attachment back there at the clew. Did not take long to add the clew tie-down line.

Ross B

does anyone have any argument against the JC Strap??

come on guys, lets hear everything you have to say about it!!

we need to get people talking about these changes!!
no the laser must stay how it has always been, thats what why the lasers are great, always the same :)
Sorry, but the Laser is not how it has always been. It is close, but has undergone changes in its 37 year life.

In keeping with the one-design philosophy, minor rigging changes that make the boat more enjoyable to sail (and arguably faster) do not make the Laser different.
It is an interesting idea both on the idea itself and the concept of a "one-design". I would be happy racing against a boat that had one of these straps and when I lost I would not be rushing out to buy one (at least not because of losing). I would not say the same about many of the other changes introduced (all the XD kicker/Cunningham/etc.).

Would I use one - don't know. One of the reasons I like the Laser is it is quick to rig. when I had one ages ago it was really quick. When I rigged my new one the other day (with the XD stuff) it took a lot longer. Maybe it will get quicker as I get more used to where everything goes and how far to de-rig it. anyway, more bits of rope/elastic to attach would slow things a bit more. However, just because I might now want to use it does not mean I should stop others if it gives no performance advantage.