Bridle (?) Length

Thread starter #1
I have what I think might be a considerably older sunfish. It has a rudder system that someone said was only used until 1972. Who knows.
But the main question is like to ask is that, at some point, whether originally or as a mod, someone put a cable bridle on where the mainsheet ties off in the back. The bridle had a swage that creates a loop in the middle, which doesn't seem to be what everyone is using. Most of the sunfish I've seen in videos have a simple length of line that the mainsheet ties to and travels freely across (from port to starboard and back).

I'd like to replace the cable with a simple piece of line. How long should it be?

Part of the reason I'm asking is because I only realized after someone else pointed out that the tiller is supposed to go underneath that bridle and the one that's on there seems a bit short, and seems to restrict the movement of the tiller, at least at the extremes. I was used to sailing a Hobie 16 before this and we had to pass the tiller around the back of the main sheet and blocks while tacking.
Thread starter #2
After a bit more research I see the bridle is probably original. It's a '69 or '70. I guess I'll leave it where it is. Any advantage to having one that allows the terminal end of the main sheet to travel a bit?


Upside down?
Staff member
Yes, the three-loop bridle was standard for a long time. The racing crowd wanted a bridle that would allow the boom to get closer to the ends of the bridle and the class did approve eventually.
Not a big deal IMHO.


Well-Known Member
The big advantage of having a two loop traveler bridle is that as the mainsheet travels side to side and gets loaded up, the two eye straps screwed into the deck share the load. With the original three loop only one eye strap at a time depending on which tack you are on, carries all the load. I would keep the three loop if it is in good shape, but when replacing I would opt for the two loop version.
Thread starter #6
That's a very good point. Given how old the boat is I'm tempted to change it out even though the original is in very good shape.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
About 31 inches of line is enough. Or you can order a new 2 loop bridle. We like to put a little block on the bridle, clipped to a snap shackle that toes on to the sheet with a bowline. Makes rigging and down rigging a snap.... :)

Zip bridle.jpg
Thread starter #8
Okay that's what I would up going with, minus the snap shackle. I haven't taken the old bridle off yet but I will any day now.