What's new

Mast Cleat and Fairlead Question

Pirate_Marc

New Member
Hey Folks!

Hopefully this is not a captain obvious question. I have a pre-1972Sunfish with a block instead of a fairlead on the deck. The boat is in amazing shape so I am focused on upgrades. Question 1: Should I install a mast cleat if I plan to use a two halyard Jens rig? In a few videos I have seen they did not use a mast cleat, but I understand the benefits of using one.

Question 2: Should I install a fairlead or just keep the block in place? Which may be determined by the fact I may want to use two halyards.

I will be recreational sailing but the lakes I sail on have wind shifts in the evening, so being able to adjust on the water is useful.
Thanks!
 

Sailflow

Active Member
I would leave your boat alone and go sailing. The regular set up has worked well. The mast cleat is nice and if you have a cap on the bottom of your mast I don't think you need a mast cleat but it an easy change. If you are using a standard sail, I would not worry about the double halyard unless you are racing in big air and need to keep the boat flat. Upgrade 1. new centerboard 2. race sail. 3. gooseneck adjuster. The board change, no side slipping after tacks better pointing. Race sail more power and change the bridle to a two loop but first just sail.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I really don't think you need to deal with a jens rig for recreational sailing. Or if you want one, only use the sail in Jens mode. Two of the top 10 at the recent North Americans only use a Jens, and it was a light air regatta and they ended up doing very well.

I think the fairlead is a bit more versatile, but I would just leave the block.

The mast cleat is helpful to keep the sail fully hoisted, and to reduce the upward pull on the deck block.
 

Pirate_Marc

New Member
I would leave your boat alone and go sailing. The regular set up has worked well. The mast cleat is nice and if you have a cap on the bottom of your mast I don't think you need a mast cleat but it an easy change. If you are using a standard sail, I would not worry about the double halyard unless you are racing in big air and need to keep the boat flat. Upgrade 1. new centerboard 2. race sail. 3. gooseneck adjuster. The board change, no side slipping after tacks better pointing. Race sail more power and change the bridle to a two loop but first just sail.
Thank you for the quick reply and this is great information about the upgrades! I may be leaving this boat in Maine so would reserve any racing upgrades for my next Sunfish. I plan on getting into racing next season after taking a few years out of racing due to some amazing kids. #3 I have from a boat I am retiring due to it being water logged and was a free hull that was always a bit of a dog on the water, and I think the bridle is already upgraded.
 

Pirate_Marc

New Member
I really don't think you need to deal with a jens rig for recreational sailing. Or if you want one, only use the sail in Jens mode. Two of the top 10 at the recent North Americans only use a Jens, and it was a light air regatta and they ended up doing very well.

I think the fairlead is a bit more versatile, but I would just leave the block.

The mast cleat is helpful to keep the sail fully hoisted, and to reduce the upward pull on the deck block.
I will definitely experiment with the sail in Jens mode and just mark the upper boom with a regular and jens position. Might as well install the cleat as I have it already on order from intensity sails, along with a new regular sail for the boat.
 

kebwi

Member
I've been upgrading an ancient Sunfish all summer. I replaced the single brass block under the mast with a double block and added a mast cleat. The double block makes it a cinch to pull the gooseneck down. I recommend both upgrades (double deck block and mast cleat).
 

sunfishracer

New Member
Hi Pirate Marc…. What everyone said above is good. One new thing is that an original deck block is more narrow than a new bullseye fair lead. What this mean is that if you are rigging with a halyard purchase you have to go through the block twice. If you add in a Vang you need to go through the fair lead again. Since the block is narrow, having a thinner halyard is recommended as going through the block multiple times may be difficult. Hope this helps :).-lee Montes
 

Pirate_Marc

New Member
I've been upgrading an ancient Sunfish all summer. I replaced the single brass block under the mast with a double block and added a mast cleat. The double block makes it a cinch to pull the gooseneck down. I recommend both upgrades (double deck block and mast cleat).
Thank you for the information....do you have a link to where you ordered the double block?
 

Pirate_Marc

New Member
As long as you don't race, your changes are good.
Thank you! At some point I would like a race ready boat as I have raced J/27's and Flying Scots in a past sailing life. I like the idea of having to learn all the different controls and seeing the affect on sailing. I am however locating one boat on a lake in Maine and then acquiring another.
 

kebwi

Member
Thank you for the information....do you have a link to where you ordered the double block?
I bought one at West Marine -- and then visited my parents a week later and found out that my dad had a whole box of leftover blocks and shackles and cleats from our sailing days when I was a kid. Doh! That was a waste of money.
 

Pirate_Marc

New Member
Hi Pirate Marc…. What everyone said above is good. One new thing is that an original deck block is more narrow than a new bullseye fair lead. What this mean is that if you are rigging with a halyard purchase you have to go through the block twice. If you add in a Vang you need to go through the fair lead again. Since the block is narrow, having a thinner halyard is recommended as going through the block multiple times may be difficult. Hope this helps :).-lee Montes
Thanks Lee! This also confirms for me that I may need to change out the old block if I want to do a double halyard setup. I may look to acquire a newer boat for racing and just use this for recreation on the lake.

Keep up the epic videos!
 

kebwi

Member
Thank you for the information....do you have a link to where you ordered the double block?
If you make sure to get a block with a removable shackle, you can connect it to the same brass eye on the deck that the original brass block was connected to. I didn't have to unscrew or rescrew the eye at the deck -- which of course would have risked weakening the screw holes or even dropping the backer block inside the hull.
 

Pirate_Marc

New Member
I bought one at West Marine -- and then visited my parents a week later and found out that my dad had a whole box of leftover blocks and shackles and cleats from our sailing days when I was a kid. Doh! That was a waste of money.
hahaahahahah I am half tempted to let some old sailing buddies know what I am doing. My guess is they have years of gear lying around.
 

kebwi

Member

The thread above shows photos of my halyard deck block replacement.
 
Top