I have the 'old' style mast, with the pully at the top. One disadvantage is that it puts the halyard on the same side as the pully, and the upper gaff, unlike the current mast cap that feeds it down the opposide of the mast. I also had one, and only one, interesting event happen with the pully. While out in a strong wind the eyebolt opened up, sending pully and sail sailing. My first reaction was that the boat was coming apart. I was able to get the mast down and turn the eyebolt and slip the pully back on and limp to shore. I bent the eyebolt back in shape and never had that happen again, but I do check the eyebolt before I launch now.
A fairlead is for that exact purpose, it leads the halyard in a set direction, it is not meant to be used as a mast turning block, nor is it meant to handle big loads. I read somewhere that the Sunfish is one of the top 25 designs of all time (not just among boats) so I figure somebody had it right when they built and rigged it as they did. No winches, rope to wire halyards, masthead blocks, blocks for the outhaul and cunningham, batteries or running lights. The better mouse trap currently exists. Well maybe not, a plethora of inspection ports wouldn't hurt.
Maybe. I had a WC (Wilcox-Crittenden) s/s pulley come apart while sailing. (At the swivel). I'd kept a cable-tie in my PFD's pocket, and did a repair that got me home.
I had a spare s/s WC pulley back at home, but I'm not trusting that one any more than the first.
The lead through the mast-top works best when it's aligned with the existing fairlead. If your mast is particularly free to rotate, that can be a nuisance; otherwise, just use two hands. The cam-cleat is a good idea to take up any slack that develops over a long day.
Because of the prevailing breeze here, I have to raise the main from the port side—which is not as easy. I guess I could change that, too!
That cam cleat and turning block arrangement looks good, but I would never trust the cleat to keep hold of the halyard, it doesn't take much to pop a halyard out of a cam cleat. On larger boats halyards are cleated off on a horn cleat or better still a lever and cam style rope clutche. These provide accident proof releases. Cam cleats are better suited to holding lines that are constantly being adjusted, easy to grip easy to release.
My sunfish has a block at the top of the mast, it was on there when i got it. It's definitely smoother but if it didn't already have the pulley i wouldn't have gotten it, i don't think it makes a big difference. But after seeing the cleat you have for the halyard, i'm thinking about putting one of those on my boat, it looks really helpful!
My sunfish has a block at the top of the mast, it was on there when i got it. It's definitely smoother but if it didn't already have the pulley i wouldn't have gotten it, i don't think it makes a big difference.
one can easily install a horn cleat in order to prevent that from happening, and not way out front where you can't reach it, but back by the tub, where one can easily untie the knot and lower the sail without having to climb onto the deck and trying to wrangle the halyard, while trying not to tip the boat over, while holding the tiller, and trying to dock.
That's a nice design. I'd be tempted to run it through the splashboard to the cockpit.
Once you've sailed into a calm area, you might try using the length of vertical halyard (parallel to the mast) as you might the bow-string in archery. (Tug on the halyard while taking up the slack at the cleat—or in your case, the cam cleat).
A gooseneck that has "worn flat" on the inner surface (as mine has done) has a tendency to hang up while raising the sail. I'm looking for a fix other than the plastic cable ties that sorta help.
P. S.: I've found that a suggestion found at this site (to carry the paddle under the tensioned halyard) works great to interrupt (and slow) those occasional wakes that crash over the deck.
this is all pretty superfluous. I was in pretty high winds (15mph gusting at 20) and I had to stop to do an emergency fix on my tiller/rudder (a bolt came off, should prolly check that before launching). I let the sail down so I could fix it without capsizing, then raised it again with the standard set up on the lake. lol, if you just wanna sit in the cockpit get a speed boat .
Just now seeing this old thread. I've used the pulley system and cap/eyelet system with halyard (for raising the sail). The pulley system is really, really much easier with the type of rope I'm using for the halyard. I'm wondeing now why some people report problems (although minor) raising sail with cap/eyelet and some don't. Leads me to think, maybe, it's the type of rope being used. I've actually been thinking of spraying top cap/eyelet with Pam (yes, cooking grease) before I hoist !! Probably would make it easier but wondeing over long term if it will somehow degrade plastic cap or the rope (or maybe make the mast cap last longer??). Or maybe I should get a different type of rope for the halyard. Right now I'm using non-nylon, very simple, low-tech type of rope.