Connecting to Upper Boom

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I apologize if I don't have all the terminology correct but I would like to know several opinions about alternate methods to connect the rope that holds the upper boom up to the top of the mast. The books say use a clove hitch but mine came loose yesterday and the sail, boom and all dropped into the water. The tail of the rope was left at the top of the mast so I had to stand on the boat and take the mast down to re-rig. I was thinking that i could attach some type of eye to the upper boom and clip that rope on instead of tying a clove hitch. It's probably not 'legal' and optimum but as I don't care about racing (this was just my second time out) I don't care about the official rules too much.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks for your help...
Check the rigging manual at Vanguard (, it is down loadable as a PFD document. It says place a few wraps of tape around the boom between sail rings 9 and 10 and tie the halyard with a clove hitch. The easiest way to keep the clove hitch from becomeing undone is to tie a couple of half hitches with the short end around the long end. It is cheaper, easier and will not damage the boom (a new boom lists for $95). Try the half hitches first. There is a lot of stress at that point and whatever fasteners used may pull out. I know you are not into racing, but racers do move the halyard position on the upper boom, depending on the wind, so an eye strap would not be all that practical.
I have used a rolling hitch for years to attach the halyard to the boom and never had a problem. See any knot book for how to tie it. Make sure that you wrap the turns toward the top of the boom and that you put a stopper knot (figure eight) at the end of the line at the hitch. You will be able to move the hitch up and down easily to adjust for wind conditions when there's no strain on the hitch, but it will stay put under strain.
Fred has a good idea. I had forgotten that I use that hitch, been using it almost automatically for so long (I just checked my boom and that is what I have tied on). A rolling hitch is basically a clove hitch with an extra wrap on the high side (towards the top of the boom in the Sunfish case) and the free end tucked under the second wrap and not the first. I picked up "The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework" by Geoffrey Budworth in the bargin bin at Boarders or Barnes and Noble for $6. Step by step pictures. Well worth it.
I will also post this in the Yahoo Sunfish Sailor Group Forum. In "The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework" by Geoffrey Budworth in the bargin bin at Boarders ($5.99) contains the knots others have mentioned. The Clove Hitch (pg 27), Snuggle Hitch, (pg 95), Ring Hitch (pg 105), Prusik Knot (pgs 122-3) along with another called a Boom Hitch (pg 96). Pictorial directions are given for each. The only way to find out which suggestion works for you is to try them. Good Luck.
Put duct tape on the boom. Then tie a Clove Hitch over a Snuggle Hitch underneath a Ring Hitch on top of a Prusik Knot and finish it off with a Boom Hitch. Put duct tape over the knots. Paint it all with superglue. Then discover that you tied it in the wrong place and you are doomed to sail the boat forever looking like some recreational sailor who has rigged the sail high enough so he can tack standing up.


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...and I though all along the hitch was suppoooooose to be tied between the 9th and 10th ring from the top.

Isn't that why the tiller extension is so popular now-a-days.... so you can tuck your feet under the hiking straps, stand up in the cockpit and sail the boat like a wind surfer?

Yeeeeee Haaaaaaaa!