Thread starter #1
i have an outhaul/cunningham on my boom but i was wondering does anyone thinkt hat a outhaul on the upper spar work?
thanks allot
There's an article in the Windward Leg (Issue 1, 2004), the newsletter for the ISCA, which describes the use of an uphaul system to allow reefing a Sunfish sail. According to the article, "The rules state that two lines and two cleats may be used to control luff and foot tension...." It appears that you can use an uphaul line instead of a cunningham line, but you can't use both. By the way, the uphaul system was used to control luff tension before the cunninham grommett was added to the sail.
Neil, no cunningham grommet on any sail I've used. You just use the first one up from the bottom. You are correct on the "you can only use a total of two for the sail. Usually one for an outhaul and one for a cunningham. The old uphaul either required you to stand up in the boat to adjust it; or excessive line length that would strech and defeat the purpose.
When I was sailing Sunfish back in the ‘70’s a cunningham was not allowed by the rules. Now that I’m back sailing Sunfish, a cunningham is allowed and the bottom grommet on a racing sail is reinforced for that intended purpose. I guess that's why it’s called the cunningham grommet in the aforementioned article. I don't know how effective the uphaul system is for tightening the luff of the sail. With the newer slippery prestretched lines available today, it may be more effective than it used to be. The photos with the article show it with multiple purchases for tightening. There seems to be some enthusiasm for the system because it allows for easy reefing of the sail out on the race course.
Thread starter #6
the only reason i was asking about the outhaul is because my cunningham doesnt work very good at all and i was thinking they might work better together. also does anyone have any rigging tips on the cunningham?
I used IIRC Harken 236 roller clam cleats for both the cunningham and the outhaul. When rigged with a tied bowline in the sheet you can rig a triple purchase.
The line having the bowline tied on it goes around the roller, through the loop in the bowline and back to the cleat. Easily adjusted when sailing.
As for the Cunninghan, we set the outhaul for the loosest light air or big wave power setting and just pull the cunningham to tighten the luft when needed.

One note: remember after sailing in heavy air and having those adjustments pulled really tight to release then before putting the sail up. I ruined a year old Racing sail from storing it with the outhaul and cunningham yanked tight from a 20 knot sailing day.
The extra tension streched both the foot and luft out of shape and the sail was never the same again.
Thread starter #9
thanks for that info mike. i still have a normal cleat on my boom so im going to buy one of the harken roller ones so i can throw a purchase.
thanks again
Hey Joe,
I think the suggestion about the roller clam cleat is good. Personally, I achieve the same result using a clam cleat with a becket on the cunningham. I prefer this because the ropes are less likely to foul on eachother. You should also try inserting metal thimbles in the loop(s) you create for the purchase. This will cause the line to run better. Also, if I recall correctly, your boat has relatively thick lines for the outhaul and cunningham (might be 3/16"). I would try something thinner like 5/32" or 1/8". Finally, give your spars a good cleaning and then apply some kind of lubricant like McLube. This will allow the sail ties or clips to slide more freely. Derek
Definitely go with 1/8 line for both the cunningham and outhaul. I went with Spectra, expensive, but it doesn't strech and works well for the uphaul and those places you tie the grommets off with cord rather tahn using sail clips.
As for the thimbles, there is a class rule that anything that's not allowed in the rules is illegal.
For local racing I doubt anyone would object, but at the regional and national level it would be picked up my the offical inspectors.

I've also used the cleat with the becket. the roller version gives the least tension/pull and adjusts the easiest.
Thimbles are absolutely allowed at the regional, national and international level. See rule rule 3.5.6.

"3.5.6 A total of two lines and two cleats may be installed on the spars to facilitate adjustment of tension on foot and luff of the sail. Only one adjustable outhaul/inhaul is allowed for each spar. Lines may not be led internally in the spars. Any number of purchases may be used. These adjustable outhauls may be led through flexible fairleads, attached to the spars without hardware. It is permissible to use a thimble, or similar device without moving parts, tied into the purchase loops to prevent chafing of adjustable outhauls. This device shall not be attached to the boom."
Gotta read the rules again and see what else I've missed. The thimble would make the purchase much easier to pull than rope to rope contact.
Thread starter #14
ok thanks allot guys. derek when you say to use a thimble do you put that through the gromet? also how would you rig the purchase. i ran it through in my head and i just cant picture it. would you take it and put the thimble into the little loop you make?
The thimble goes in the little loop. The loop is back up a foot or so from the cleat. The line goes around the roller on the Harken cleat and then throught the loop and then back to be caught by the cleat.
Joe, as Mike said the thimble is inside of a loop that is near the cleat. I do not use the cunningham grommet in the sail as another moving/turning point. In my opinion this creates too much friction and I never found it to be beneficial. Instead I deadend the rope there. I then lead the rope through the tack of the sail. Finally it goes around and through the cleat to create the purchase.
Thread starter #17
ok thanks for that discription guys i now can picture that thimble in the system. im gonna install everything hopefully this week and start practicing with it for the NA's.