What's new

Questions Regarding Installing New Sail

My new sail should be arriving in a few days, and I have a couple questions regarding the installation of the new sail to the spars/boom.

For frame of reference, I'll be using the sunfish manual found here, starting on page 5/9.


1. Should I set up for general use or racing? I don't plan on doing any racing, but which method is superior?
2. Should I buy new lines? The ones that came with the boat definitely have some age to them, and though they seem fine, would I be better off replacing it? If so, what kind of line do you recommend?
3. Should my mast have a cleat? I've been watching a lot of rigging videos and noticed in this one there was a cleat on the mast.

Anything else I should know, feel free to to share. I'll be putting in an order with intensitysails.com, so if you would like to point to anything there that I may need, feel free to do so!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
New line is always fun. We buy extra for a bow line. This chart recommends 30-35 feet of mainsheet, 25 has always been enough for us for the sheet, but then we buy 7-10 feet more for a bow line, every boat should have a bow line tied onn with a bowline.

Sunfish Line Size Specs.png

I would not do a mast cleat unless you get in to racing, there is no need for it. KISS Principle applies.

We put new line, bow handle and bailer on all our restorations. I would also buy 2 sheet hangers from Intensity, they help keep the sheet from drooping onto your neck during tacks.

Mainsheet Hanger.gif

Sheet hangers.png
 
Last edited:

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
1. Should I set up for general use or racing? I don't plan on doing any racing, but which method is superior?
The racing method is superior if you want to go upwind as fast and as close-hauled as possible. However, the sail is very low, so your vision is obscured and you can much more easily get bonked in the head - and having a crew on board is next to impossible. The rec. approach is superior if you plan on cruising around and taking someone else along in relative comfort. The good news is it takes about a minute with the sail lowered to switch between the two.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
So hold off on doing anything with that for now?
Just proceed with the "Geezer Rig" until getting antsy for competitive speed.

 

Woodwind

Active Member
I love the Robline 8 mm line for a main sheet. I have 29’ and sometimes I feel like it’s too short if I’m making a downwind run home and then leaving my boat on the beach to take a break before derigging With the booms swinging freely. I have had the stopperknot snatched through the mainsheet block. Now I double up on the stopper not with two turns instead of a figure 8, but be beware I’ve been warned that if the booms are allowed to swing beyond 90 degrees or further that it can actually screw the mast down into the step when you have a deck mounted cleat and bull’s-eye . This can possibly damage the mast step according to the gurus on the site.

The way the Robline handles and falls into the cockpit without tangling and getting twisted is quite superior to a lot of the other line types and it dries quickly. At first it can feel a little bit too slippery with gloves, but it does break in And gets less slippery. And it’s not too bad when you’re using your teeth to sheet in quickly in heavy wind. :D

I use the sheet hangers too, they and a dinghy sailing flotation device are a necessity in my book. I tried a few different PFD’s and I love the Rooster Diamond, it is very comfortable, has covered buckles so it is not getting hung up in the mainsheet when I tack. You can get all of these items from Intensity Sails reasonably priced.

beware the 5 mm halyard is skinny and hard on your hands. If you’re not racing you can size it up a little bit.

I also added the quick release boom set up using a very good quality bicycle seat post clamp. This has been a great thing as I can change the amount of weather helm depending on the wind conditions very easily.

Day before yesterday as I went out for a sail the wind began picking up. I ended up being out again with 18 with 20 something gusts. I stuck with it, I spent hours planing with glee and screaming woo hoo WOO HOOOOOO! With a final run down wind to my little beach on my lake.

Have FUN!!!
 
Last edited:

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I love the Robline 8 mm line for a main sheet. I have 29’ and sometimes I feel like it’s too short if I’m making a downwind run home and then leaving my boat on the beach to take a break before derigging With the booms swinging freely. I have had the stopperknot snatched through the mainsheet block. Now I double up on the stopper not with two turns instead of a figure 8, but be beware I’ve been warned that if the booms are allowed to swing beyond 90 degrees or further that it can actually screw the mast down into the step when you have a deck mounted cleat and bull’s-eye . This can possibly damage the mast step according to the gurus on the site.

The way the Robline handles and falls into the cockpit without tangling and getting twisted is quite superior to a lot of the other line types and it dries quickly. At first it can feel a little bit too slippery with gloves, but it does break in And gets less slippery. And it’s not too bad when you’re using your teeth to sheet in quickly in heavy wind. :D

I use the sheet hangers too, they and a dinghy sailing flotation device are a necessity in my book. I tried a few different PFD’s and I love the Rooster Diamond, it is very comfortable, has covered buckles so it is not getting hung up in the mainsheet when I tack. You can get all of these items from Intensity Sails reasonably priced.

beware the 5 mm halyard is skinny and hard on your hands. If you’re not racing you can size it up a little bit.

I also added the quick release boom set up using a very good quality bicycle seat post clamp. This has been a great thing as I can change the amount of weather helm depending on the wind conditions very easily.

Day before yesterday as I went out for a sail the wind began picking up. I ended up being out again with 18 with 20 something gusts. I stuck with it, I spent hours planing with glee and screaming woo hoo WOO HOOOOOO! With a final run down wind to my little beach on my lake.

Have FUN!!!
Assume if you are sheeting with your teeth you don’t have a universal joint on your hiking stick, or the stick is a bit short. Get a universal and a longer stick - your teeth will thank you!

Never heard of the sail going out to 90 degrees and hurting the mast step.
 

Woodwind

Active Member
Beyond 90 and further is the key....around 90 is OK.

Someone here on the forum mentioned it as something to think about when running in to the beach.
I have a narrow beach with not much room on either side.
The other thing suggested was to sheet in on a run to depower the sail just before reaching the beach.
Good idea, but still I want the booms to swing free after I am beached sometimes.

If you have the cleat on deck you can see exactly how allowing the booms to swing around past 90 towards the bow would cause a screw jack with the mast halyard and the mast and force the mast downward in the mast step.
Try it and you will see the halyard could just as easily be the string on a bass violin In this position.
12 bar blues anyone?????:rolleyes:

Yep have a Ronstan universal and a Nautos stick..... still use my teeth sometimes in a fast tack and heavy winds :D
just the way it is... an old habit I will learn to stop... although I am not fond of the golf club type grip on the Nautos stick.....it is hard material, harder on the hands. I will switch it out with another type hiking stick With a softer grip.


********* The Robline 8 mm mainsheet IS great stuff!!! ********

:cool::cool::cool::cool:
 
Last edited:

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I use a non stretch Dyneema halyard and still can’t set it that tight!! But I have a mast cleat anyway that solves that problem!
 
Just proceed with the "Geezer Rig" until getting antsy for competitive speed.

Sounds good to me!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I've heard of the sail going full forward and pulling out the deck cleat, and pulling open the eyebolt on the old blocks mounted at the top of the mast. Best to replace those old eyebolts, the nuts also vibrate loose during trailering and the block ends up on the side of the road with all those old style rudder pins and keel latch plates.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I've heard of the sail going full forward and pulling out the deck cleat, and pulling open the eyebolt on the old blocks mounted at the top of the mast. Best to replace those old eyebolts, the nuts also vibrate loose during trailering and the block ends up on the side of the road with all those old style rudder pins and keel latch plates.
About a mile from home, the wind picked up—a lot! :eek: I turned into a shallow area near a group of sheltering trees, hoping to wait it out.

Placing the daggerboard across the cockpit, I guess I napped about an hour, but the wind was still scary-forceful. Not having noticed, my boom had made a couple of circles over me.

I'd decided I could "sail" across that mile without the sail being raised, so I leaned over to lower it. The tension on the halyard was impressive, but nothing broke. (Probably my cheap line?) :rolleyes:

Anyway, using only the mast, I managed to "sail" a decent broad-reach back to home base.

You want some cheap line? Go to Dollar Tree stores. The fine print on the package basically says, "Don't use this for anything". :confused:

Fullscreen capture 4292021 82004 PM.bmp.jpg
 

sunfishracer

New Member
About a mile from home, the wind picked up—a lot! :eek: I turned into a shallow area near a group of sheltering trees, hoping to wait it out.

Placing the daggerboard across the cockpit, I guess I napped about an hour, but the wind was still scary-forceful. Not having noticed, my boom had made a couple of circles over me.

I'd decided I could "sail" across that mile without the sail being raised, so I leaned over to lower it. The tension on the halyard was impressive, but nothing broke. (Probably my cheap line?) :rolleyes:

Anyway, using only the mast, I managed to "sail" a decent broad-reach back to home base.

You want some cheap line? Go to Dollar Tree stores. The fine print on the package basically says, "Don't use this for anything". :confused:

View attachment 45587
I would be very weary of cheap line, expecially for control lines, like a main sheet. I personally had the cover tear off while sailing... now when that happens the sail doesnt let out since the cover bunches up and cant run through the boom block... now if you want to ease out you can't, or you may limited in how much you can trim... this actually can become dangerous in a blow if you are prevented from trimming properly.... :) lee Montes
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
po-man, the old stuff is most always the good stuff. Look to see if it has UV faded, even then it can still be good line. See how it feels, is it soft and pliable = good line for small blocks. If it looks good and it feels good it probably is good. We have old Sunfish sheets and halyards from the 60s that are wonderful.

It's a cost vs time math problem, even china junk can last a season. We pay good $$ for line and have some that is over 4 decades old. Pay once if you plan to keep the boat for a while and are willing to assume the consequences. We put good line on our restorations (New England Ropes Sta-Set, Vintage or 3 Strand) something we are comfortable with someone else's kid taking out.

IMG_2581.jpg
 
Getting ready to install the new sail and I noticed that the intensity sail has two large grommets at the tack area of the sail. The only sail only had one in the very corner for the S-Hook. So now I’m wondering, do I need to do something special with the second large grommet?

Also, in perfect noob fashion I didn’t realized I would have to cut the outhaul lines on the ends of the boom and spar and now I don’t have any line for it. I was going to use some line at harbor freight, but I read that I shouldn’t use any cheap lines in the rigging? If that’s the case I’m going to have to stop before I even start leave this all out while I wait for the line to come in.
 

Attachments

I saw some colored and white line right size for that job at home depot by the foot. like 15 cent a foot.
I already have some of this stuff but the consensus here seems to lean towards not using the cheap line you find at big box stores. It fits through the eye so it seems like it should work, but I don’t want to set myself up for disaster here.
 

Attachments

po-man sailor

Active Member
I'm not an expert but I saw at least 2 different levels of line there. They definately have the cheap China stuff but I've also seen some good braid as well. No polypropylene junk.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I
So now I’m wondering, do I need to do something special with the second large grommet?

Also, in perfect noob fashion I didn’t realized I would have to cut the outhaul lines on the ends of the boom and spar and now I don’t have any line for it. I was going to use some line at harbor freight, but I read that I shouldn’t use any cheap lines in the rigging? If that’s the case I’m going to have to stop before I even start leave this all out while I wait for the line to come in.
Yes, but that's covered in another thread here. You're going to need more hardware, and don't need to proceed yet.
 
Alright, found out about the second grommet. Not racing, so I don't need to worry about it. Perfect.

I guess I'll just order some proper lines for the outhauls. I still don't have a trailer for the thing so I've got nothing but time at the moment.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
For the outhauls we use 1/8th inch diameter Dacron cord from New England Ropes. We buy it at West Marine, it comes in 50 foot packs.

FWIW there is suitable line at Lowes or Home Depot or Ace. You could use a zip tie for that matter. But it sounds like you have time.
 
Top