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Mainsheet block on deck

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LarsenCanvas

Guest
I'm considering removing my mainsheet blocks. They seem to be useless except in light air sailing. Plus the get in the way when I sit on the rail. I've also heard they rip hiking pants. What have most people done. Removed them? Or left them on? If I remove them any idea how to keep the soft epoxy from running through the holes and adding more weight to the boat?
 

chrisfsi

New Member
I'd say leave 'em on... I use mine a lot for holding the sheet if I'm having to do any slightly more complex adjustments where I need an extra hand; having a rest - in more stable winds!; - and tacking (although that's personal preference).

Also, when/if you sell the boat someone's more likely to want them on than off.

I agree they can be a nuisance sometimes, and uncomfortable, but for me the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

I would use a marine gelcoat filler, which is less runny than epoxy, but then I'm only a hamfisted DIY bodger - I am sure someone like gouvernail would give you a much more professional way to fill the holes!
 

Merrily

Administrator
LarsenCanvas said:
I'm considering removing my mainsheet blocks. They seem to be useless except in light air sailing. Plus the get in the way when I sit on the rail. I've also heard they rip hiking pants. What have most people done. Removed them? Or left them on? If I remove them any idea how to keep the soft epoxy from running through the holes and adding more weight to the boat?
Do you mean cleats? I've never put any on my boat. Bought some, but an experienced sailor at my club talked me out of putting them on.

Merrily
 

ozboy

New Member
i have never seen a good guy sail on a boat without them. You dont really sit much further forward than the cleats anyway. i would just leave them..if you take them off its only a potential place for leakes.
 

all_ratone

New Member
The cleats are very important! it's much more simpler to make adjustments on the vang, outhaul or the cunningham if you have a free hand.
Also when the wind is really blowing you can cleat the sheet if you're getting tired, although you have to be carefull not to capsize when it's gusty.
I have tried the "cleating tack" but didn't do very well... I always ended up sitting over the cleat when I wanted to cleat the sheet.. I'll have to try a few more times, because it seems simpler if done right.
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Maybe your cleats are too big?? The small RWO cleats do fine and they don't stick iup nearly as far and hurt much less when sat upon.If you decide to remove the cleats?? Just push some Fast Cure 3M 5200 into the holes and the holes won't leak for a few years.Suggestion: Buy a small tube of 3M 5200 Fast Cure and take the necessary hour to remove and re-bed every fitting on the boat. Your fittings will not leak. You will find out which holes are stripped and need to be relocated BEFORE you have the fitting pull loose or break while sailing.This ocasional maintenance is especially important on the traveler pad eyes. The inner screws work loose and the fittings break unless you tighten the screws or move the fittings to new freshly drilled holes.
 

all_ratone

New Member
gouvernail: Can you move fittings like the traveller pad eyes from place? don't they need to be exactly at that spot?
 

archcat

New Member
I have sailed with cleats for a while, then last summer I bought a new Laser...sorry the fiancée bought it for me. It didn't have the cleats, and I really don't miss them at all. If it's light wind and I want my hands free...I sit on the main. But not in a race.

Cheers
Mark
 

WestCoast

New Member
asking myself same question.

I am going to install the Harken micro ones on the new boat.


I have used them just a few times on the current laser, but it is very helpful if you want to get a drink of water, and you want to keep moving (getting out to the race course, etc).

The micro ones will barely accept the 7mm Rooster mainsheet, so they are as small as I can get.
 
My two cents regarding main sheet cam cleats,
Got'em, use them, they're staying on the boat... One thing I've learned is to mount the cleats just a bit further forward about two inches or so, the back edge of the cleat will be even with or slightly ahead of the the front edge of the cockpit wall. Here is a link to the RF5000 cam cleat and right below it is a diagram showing the location of the wooden backing plate built into the deck. With a 1.25" cam cleat width you can mount the cleats as far as 2" or 52 mm in front of the edge of the cockpit. The forward mounting and small size of the cleats avoids 90%of the pain in the @$$ from sitting on them.
Fishingmickey
150087/181157

P.S. They fit the Rooster 7mm just fine.
 

Skipper Johnson

New Member
I have them and they are not in the way at all. They must be forward of the CB. I use them when I tack which seems to work well. I also use them reaching and beating.

(a) Reaching - Let's say the next bouy is set on a beam reach. I cleat at the optimum position for a beam reach. Now, rather than adjusting the sail to trim, I alter direction. So that I am always sailing on the fastest point. Basically, you are making use of lifts and headers. So long as the balance out (assess as you get closer to the bouy) you will remain on Rhumb line will optimising speed. The altenative is to steer staight and lose speed as you trim in or out away from the optimum point of sailing

Any opinions?

(b) Beating. I'm assuming here the wind is not such that you need to ease to balance the boat. In that case, why not cleat at say two-blocked? Again, if you are on a lift you should being pointing higher and vice-versa on a header (unless you tack at this point).
 

sailchris

Member
How the heck are you guys using the cleats for tacking? Are you using them to avoid the normal practice of switching hands behind your back?
 

jimmy

New Member
Skipper Johnson said:
I have them and they are not in the way at all. They must be forward of the CB. I use them when I tack which seems to work well. I also use them reaching and beating.

(a) Reaching - Let's say the next bouy is set on a beam reach. I cleat at the optimum position for a beam reach. Now, rather than adjusting the sail to trim, I alter direction. So that I am always sailing on the fastest point. Basically, you are making use of lifts and headers. So long as the balance out (assess as you get closer to the bouy) you will remain on Rhumb line will optimising speed. The altenative is to steer staight and lose speed as you trim in or out away from the optimum point of sailing

Any opinions?

(b) Beating. I'm assuming here the wind is not such that you need to ease to balance the boat. In that case, why not cleat at say two-blocked? Again, if you are on a lift you should being pointing higher and vice-versa on a header (unless you tack at this point).
:( cleats are slow and steering as you suggest is slow. The rudder is a brake, you should steer with sail trim and your weight as much as possible. The only good excuse I have ever heard to have a mainsheet cleat on a Laser was so that you could pull the vang on easier at the leward mark. With the advent of the pro rig it is no longer difficult to adjust the vang. I disagree that the alternative is to steer straight. You should constantly be working the boat through the waves and slight wind shifts. Head up in the holes, down in the puffs all while working the boat through the waves and chop and adjusting the sail constantly to optimize boat speed.
 

Skipper Johnson

New Member
sailchris said:
How the heck are you guys using the cleats for tacking? Are you using them to avoid the normal practice of switching hands behind your back?
It's easy. I have marked on my mainsheet some tape which I know when I cleat, leaves the mainsheet about 6 " from block to block. As I cross the boat, the mainsheet is cleated at the position I want the sail immediately after coming about. I get to the other side, uncleat and sheet in. Forget all the old wives tales about not using the cleat it is more accurate, quicker and easier.
 

Skipper Johnson

New Member
jimmy said:
:( cleats are slow and steering as you suggest is slow. The rudder is a brake, you should steer with sail trim and your weight as much as possible. The only good excuse I have ever heard to have a mainsheet cleat on a Laser was so that you could pull the vang on easier at the leward mark. With the advent of the pro rig it is no longer difficult to adjust the vang. I disagree that the alternative is to steer straight. You should constantly be working the boat through the waves and slight wind shifts. Head up in the holes, down in the puffs all while working the boat through the waves and chop and adjusting the sail constantly to optimize boat speed.
Jimmy...jimmy. That's old thinking my friend. You dont have to use the rudder to steer as you suggest. You use your weight to steer all the time maintaining the optimum point of sailing and the cleat.
 

jimmy

New Member
Skipper Johnson said:
Jimmy...jimmy. That's old thinking my friend. You dont have to use the rudder to steer as you suggest. You use your weight to steer all the time maintaining the optimum point of sailing and the cleat.
I'm Old, so there you go:eek: As an old guy it sure would be nice to use a cleat, by then end of the weekend i'm tired. I don't disagree that using your weight to steer is best. With your mainsheet cleated do you trim the sail with your vang?

I guess I'm stuck in my ways, I don't understand how cleating your sail would be fast. Ive always been taught to constantly trim the entire boat to the conditions. Leaving the mainsheet out of that formula is hard for me to comprehend.:confused:
 

Merrily

Administrator
jimmy said:
I'm Old, so there you go:eek: As an old guy it sure would be nice to use a cleat, by then end of the weekend i'm tired. I don't disagree that using your weight to steer is best. With your mainsheet cleated do you trim the sail with your vang?

I guess I'm stuck in my ways, I don't understand how cleating your sail would be fast. Ive always been taught to constantly trim the entire boat to the conditions. Leaving the mainsheet out of that formula is hard for me to comprehend.:confused:
Don't feel bad, jimmy. I've never heard of sailing according to a cleated sail either. Skipper J has been known to pull our legs occasionally. Maybe this is one of those times. (Skipper J--put away the feral kangaroo prod!)
 

jimmy

New Member
Just curious, does anyone know if the Olympic sailers have cleats on their lasers? I looked at a few pictues online and did not see any. I'm trying to be open minded, but I'm very confused by this suggestion that I should cleat my sail during a race.

I hope he is pulling my leg, I can recover from that embarasment much easier that having to learn how to sail all over again.
 

Skipper Johnson

New Member
Jimmy, I do actually use the cleats but I would guess I'm doing it totally wrong. In fact the book I have by Ed Baird (I assume he knows what he is talking about) says not to cleat.

So, here is your choice. Choose Merrilly and Ed Baird's method or mine!

(Although, actually using the cleat to tack does seem to work).
 

sailchris

Member
Skipper Johnson said:
It's easy. I have marked on my mainsheet some tape which I know when I cleat, leaves the mainsheet about 6 " from block to block. As I cross the boat, the mainsheet is cleated at the position I want the sail immediately after coming about. I get to the other side, uncleat and sheet in. Forget all the old wives tales about not using the cleat it is more accurate, quicker and easier.
I don't get what the point of this is. I have two hands; one for the tiller extension and one for the mainsheet. When I tack I just switch hands behind my back and the mainsheet tension doesn't change.
 

jimmy

New Member
I typically adjust my sail mid tack depending on how the tack is going. If I timed everything correctly then I let the sail out very little if any. If I blow it I loosen it a touch to power the boat up out of the tack. If I really blow it I let it out a lot so I don't flip as I struggle to get on the high side. Cleating during a tack would most certainly result in me going swimming.

I respect Skippers method, but i'm not going to adopt it. It is interesting to hear his perspective. I may incorporate some of what he says into my tactics, but don't expect a mainsheet cleat on my boat anytime soon.
 

all_ratone

New Member
sailchris said:
I don't get what the point of this is. I have two hands; one for the tiller extension and one for the mainsheet. When I tack I just switch hands behind my back and the mainsheet tension doesn't change.
For some odd reason robert scheidt cleated his sheet after the tack to change hands...
if u cleat the sheat while you change hands you can put your weight much forward wich makes the boat accellerate faster and still be able to steer the boat well in those very important seconds after the tack.
And also you avoid getting the sheet tangled in your legs and arms while you switch...
I don't see the point in cleating the sheet before the tack as we want to ease out during the tack to sheet in while we pull the boat flat, so that the sail is always trimmed to the apparent wind.
If we can have cleats on the boat why not use them? it just makes everything simpler!

PS: Now I can do the cleating tack very well. Now my tacks are much better! =)
 
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