Converting to Lines Led Aft: Part 7, Running the Lines

After all the associated hardware is installed, the last step is to actually run the lines back to the cockpit! This is the moment of truth, where all your planning comes into play and you get to see how it all pans out.  

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The lines should be led fair and straight from the mast to the clutch and onto the winch. Each turn and bend adds resistance, so minimizing the number of turns will reduce the effort needed to manage the sail. 

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The Antal rings in Dyneema loops allow the block to position itself and move as the sail moves around above it. If the boom swings over to the side, the lines that hold the rings will move as well without question nor effort. The force from these turning blocks is all directed towards the bottom of the bracket, that way all the force is rotational instead of lateral. The four stainless steel bolts are setup to handle this sort of load with ease. 

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Lastly, the system needs to work. The lines leaving the clutches need to reach the winch with as little angle as possible. The halyard is going to be under the most load, so it has priority in its placement. The tack and clew lines are set while the sail is slacked, so they can stand to be a little less perfect. I set the first reef to be in the least ideal position since that reef is only taken in when the weather is starting to turn. The second reef is set more ideal since it is taken in when the weather has gone from bad to worse. The halyard has the fairest lead of them all, reaching the winch from a beautiful angle. 

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Ignoring the structural and engineering side of it, the last task for this setup is to look sharp. If the lines are running all over the place, it will begin to look haphazard. By keeping everything straight and organized, it just looks good and is easy to understand.  

At a glance, you can see that the green lines work together, and the blue lines belong together as well. The halyard runs off on the side, so it obviously works alone.  This sort of simplicity will allow anyone new to step up to the clutch bank and tuck in a reef when the time is right.

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