Stay Adjuster Position


New Member
I took my Capri 14.2 out for my first sail last weekend. When I hoisted the mainsail I noticed the boom did not rest at a 90 degree angle from the mast. The boom angled down some from the mast. Most pictures I see of Capri 14.2's, the boom looks like it rests at a 90 degree angle from the mast. The boom vang was not pulling the boom down so I was thinking maybe the stay adjusters might be setup with some rake to the mast and that made it look like it was not at a 90 degree angle because it was not parallel with the hull . So my question is, what position do you set the pins in your stay adjusters?
A general answer would be that the boom would set at a right angle to the mast, mast rake would make the boom not quite parallel to the boat in appearance. Newer models of the 14.2 use a Selden rig and the goose neck is in a fixed position (doesn't slide up or down). I think that most older models used a gooseneck attachment which allowed the fitting to ride up or down and be adjusted in a position to keep the mainsail luff tight after hoisting the main to the top of the mast. I have used boats with tightening fittings and boats which used a downhaul to tension the gooseneck, With the fixed position it is more critical to hoist the head of the sail up as far as possible. So, either way the first question would be how much tension was on the leading edge of the sail. The stay adjusters will keep tension on the forestay and control sideways leaning or flexing of the mast. Keeping the tension on the side shrouds taut minimizes the "flop" or looseness of the shrouds, having a little less tension allows the mast to move forward slightly on downwind runs. I prefer for the tension to be taut and the only time I see looseness in the shrouds is in the leeward shroud when tacking in moderate to higher winds. The newer 14.2 model 3s also have furling jibs with an integral forestay and there are no adjustable turnbuckles. So, I added a link at the top of the jib stay which increased the length of the forestay by something like 1 to 1.5 or 2 inches, increasing the mast rake. Since I don't race in class events the increased forestay length is not a problem. Having said all of that, I think that the shroud adjusters have the pin in about the 9th (out of 17) position, which probably won't help you much since the forestay length and shroud tension are the things being controlled. Hopefully you will get more input from Mod 2 and Mod 1 owners, and Mod 3 owners with adjustable goosenecks.
This is my 1984 14.2. The gooseneck is free to slide up and is held down by a downhaul which keeps the boom 90 degrees to the mast. You can also see the side stay which appears to be on the second hole from the bottom. You might also consider a boom kicker like this which holds the boom up when the sail is lowered. I have since sold this boat and now have a 2003 EXPO 14.2.
I have a similar question about where the boom goes and how to adjust/control it. When you raise the main do you leave the gooseneck on the stops or do you raise it up higher than that (to allow it to be pulled downward after raising the main)? Also the line that comes off the gooseneck, I've seen people including @megigharbor use it and refer to it as a downhaul, whereas the owners manual appears to show it used as a Cunningham. Did this change in different model years or is there an advantage to doing one over the other? If you use it as a downhaul do you not have a Cunningham?


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The boom downhaul and the cunningham are two different "devices". The stop in the megigharbor picture keeps the boom from falling/sliding down the mast when the sail has not been raised. When I sailed my Cape Dory I always loosened the boom downhaul, raised the sail to the top of the mast, and then adjusted the downhaul to tension the leading edge of the mainsail. The cunningham is a different line which is usually dead ended on the mast, passes up through a cringle in the mainsail and then leads down to a cleat on the mast, a cam cleat or other quick release cleat. This lets you adjust the "belly" of the main if necessary depending on wind strength and the tack which you are on. I hope that megigharbor or someone with a movable gooseneck can expand on this reply. Truth is, with my fixed position gooseneck on my Mod 3, and putting significant tension on the mainsail downhaul to tension the leading edge of the mainsail, I rarely have used the cunningham although it is in place and left with enough slack to have no tension on it. If racing I would be a little more concerned about adjusting the main. Same thing with the outhaul on the main. I tension it before raising the main and don't worry about adjusting it while sailing, which would affect the curvature of the loose footed main. Again, I am not racing, simply enjoying sailing a delightful little dinghy.
Good sailing!
Kerrcat14.2K is correct-a cunningham attaches to the sail, and the downhaul attaches to the boom. My boom was always tensioned against the lower stop, since the boom kicker would push the boom up and out of the mast otherwise. I'm new to sailing full scale boats, so I'm no expert but I set the mainsail luff tension with the halyard, and I don't think there was a cunningham on my boat.
I have mentioned this in other posts on this site, but the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center has a good website for sailing instructions. Their sailing manuals are posted in pdf, the basic course, print edition, uses a Catalina 14.2 as the basis for instruction including set up, sailing from their dock facility, etc. The basic course manual is worth printing and reading as well as a simple refresher guide.