Running the mainsheet from the back?

Thread starter #1
Has anyone ever run the mainsheet from the back of the boat, so it isn't run across the cockpit and in the way of passengers. The problem i've been having is when im sailing it from the back of the cockpit, and im just taking someone for a ride, the mainsheet always gets in the way on a tack. In addition, removing that ratchet block and relocating the mainsheet could really help with the sunfish's passenger carry capability. any ideas/suggestions?
 
#5
I believe that might be just holding the sheet with your hand and not running it through the block. Remember the little hook in the cockpit?

Fred
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#6
Sunstorm87: Are you using sheet holders? Can be as simple as two pieces of line (or hook and loop) to hold the sheet up at 'strategic' locations.

BTW, when you are tacking, there shouldn't be too much sheet hanging down because you are going from a 'sheet in' position to a 'sheet in' position on the other side. Jibing is another story.

You can also pull on the sheet at the appropriate time when the boom crosses over. That's what Laser sailors (have to) do when jibing.
 
#7
I was plaqued by a drooping mainsheet (during) gybes, this would usually grab me by the neck. The solution I used was to put 5 loosely attached zap-straps on the boom, this prevents the mainsheet from sagging and does not affect it's operation.
 
Thread starter #10
Mainsheet hangers bring up another good point, but more of what i'm getting at, is the fact that, often in order to have more room, and not shoulder to shoulder, my passengers sit forward of the cockpit on a corner, near the mainsheet block. This allows them more freedom of movement and allows me to have more freedom of movement on windy days. So if I am sailing it from the back, the main is going across the cockpit, I have to let the main loose a bit, so they can get over it on a tack, and let them switch sides before I do so i can operate the mainsheet when the boom crosses over. I have to do this all pretty slowly because i'm trying not to surprise anyone with a boom to the face, which really kills my speed (and control-ability) and is downright dangerous on a really windy day, especially with a large gust factor in close proximity to obstructions or traffic. In addition, the part of the main going from the front traveler block on the boom to the mainsheet block really restricts movement forward of the cockpit. I am 150 and 5'10" and a lot of my friends are over six feet, or bigger and heavier than I am and don't know how to sail, so they're just extra weight. Lately, it's hard finding a day on the weekend in Northern Minnesota where it isn't ridiculously windy, so teaching can be a bit difficult. I was also looking to get a cam cleat, and when I saw the hobie bravo setup, it looked like exactly what i needed. Only thing I wonder about is whether that "raceIII" traveler block and eye strap has enough strength to support the rigging by itself.

BC
 

ivy

New Member
#11
I think the hard part of sheeting from the back is that you won't be able to sheet in tight in heavy wind. When your sheet in tight, the boom will bend, flattening and depowering the sail.
 
Thread starter #12
I think the hard part of sheeting from the back is that you won't be able to sheet in tight in heavy wind....

Why don't you think so? Are you thinking along the lines of mechanical advantage? Even if it is led from the back eye strap on the boom?
 

ivy

New Member
#15
Why don't you think so? Are you thinking along the lines of mechanical advantage? Even if it is led from the back eye strap on the boom?

I don't think the sheet will pull in the correct spot to get a healthy curve in the boom. Of course, with two people, it probably won't matter much.
 
Thread starter #16
I don't think the sheet will pull in the correct spot to get a healthy curve in the boom. Of course, with two people, it probably won't matter much.
Ivy...blame it on my somewhat intermediate level of sailing knowledge. Curious, is this assuming there is a boom vang around the gooseneck? Would that help with the sail/boom shape in this situation?

BC
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
#17
So if I am sailing it from the back, the main is going across the cockpit…
This sounds like there’s something amiss in the setup. Look again at the Hobie. With “end boom sheeting” the mainsheet doesn’t come forward except to the hand of the helmsman.


I have to do this all pretty slowly because i'm trying not to surprise anyone with a boom to the face…
As skipper, aren’t you calling out your intentions… “Ready About” or “Prepare to Jibe”, then waiting for the “crew” to reply with an affirmative “Ready” before execution…, following with a skipper confirmation of “Hard-a-Lee” or “Jibe Ho”?

http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/tacking.htm
http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/jibing.htm

The system applies to both working crew or passengers so everyone knows what to expect..., it was developed long long ago to prevent misunderstandings and possible injuries. Of course you have to take a few minutes with new sailors to explain the call and response system used on a sailboat and walk them through how and when everyone is going to move.


Only thing I wonder about is whether that "raceIII" traveler block and eye strap has enough strength to support the rigging by itself
If you don’t think the OEM boom block is up to the load, why not clip in or tie in a stronger block for your temporary rig? If you are using a traveler block on the bridle you can upgrade it as well, if not, you’ll be tying in the block w/becket and cam cleat combo direct to the bridle.
 
#18
I agree with Wavedancer, you need a bigger boat, a boat that really is designed for two people. Sailing with two adults on a Sunfish can't be much fun, especially when one of them hasn't sailed before. People new to sailing can't seem to find a safe place to sit on a larger keel boat never mind a boat with a "cockpit" the size of a salad bowl.
 
Thread starter #19
This sounds like there’s something amiss in the setup. Look again at the Hobie. With “end boom sheeting” the mainsheet doesn’t come forward except to the hand of the helmsman.

As skipper, aren’t you calling out your intentions… “Ready About” or “Prepare to Jibe”, then waiting for the “crew” to reply with an affirmative “Ready” before execution…, following with a skipper confirmation of “Hard-a-Lee” or “Jibe Ho”?

http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/tacking.htm
http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/jibing.htm

The system applies to both working crew or passengers so everyone knows what to expect..., it was developed long long ago to prevent misunderstandings and possible injuries. Of course you have to take a few minutes with new sailors to explain the call and response system used on a sailboat and walk them through how and when everyone is going to move.

-->Thanks for the info! We have a similiar setup when i'm flying airplanes, so the crew knows who has flight controls (called positive exchange of flight controls). Very effective, eliminates a lot of mishaps (aka crashes). Anyways, I do call out when i'm going to tack or jibe, still has to be done slower with newbees on board though. The dexterity level varies from person to person so, how well i can juggle my weight shifting, the mainsheet, and the rudder all while they are shifting their weight at a different rate than i am, im finding can be interesting. However, i'm going to start using this system..at the same time I think i just need to get a bigger boat...lol.:D<--



If you don’t think the OEM boom block is up to the load, why not clip in or tie in a stronger block for your temporary rig? If you are using a traveler block on the bridle you can upgrade it as well, if not, you’ll be tying in the block w/becket and cam cleat combo direct to the bridle.
Bought a harken swivel/cam/57mm ratcheting block with a becket, should work out just fine, i hope...we will see! Going to talk to laserperformance before actually sailing with the setup though.
 

ivy

New Member
#20
Ivy...blame it on my somewhat intermediate level of sailing knowledge. Curious, is this assuming there is a boom vang around the gooseneck? Would that help with the sail/boom shape in this situation?

BC
I would think that it would help. It definitely seems that you can dial in some curve to the boom with the vang. I won't profess to be an expert on Sunfish trim, but I've spent plenty of time racing keelboats.

What made me think to mention the draft issue was from an observation on the Lake Michigan beach with my Sunfish. My vintage 1969 Ratsey sail has a ton of draft in it. I started wondering how exactly how you control the draft on the sail. On a conventional boat, you'd use the outhaul and backstay.

Experimenting on the beach, it is easy to flatten the sail by sheeting in hard. The forward mainsheet block is located almost exactly in the middle of the boom, letting you flatten the sail.

While it will be useful racing, I don't think it's a big deal for two people sailing around for fun. I'd just be sure that the aft block on the boom is well attached, as there will be more load on it.
 
Top