Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fixing Genoa Sheet Binding Problem

Last Sunday was my first trip out in the boat for the 2009 season.  I was alone on this trip, and I didn't have a lot of time, so I only spent a couple of hours on the water.  The trip quickly reminded me of some of the other little issues that I wanted to fix this winter.  One of them was the way that the Genoa sheet gets cleated.  The standard installation of Genoa tracks and blocks on a Potter 15 uses the same cleat that is used for the smaller head sail.  This causes the jib sheet to have to traverse a sharp Z pattern through the blocks and cleats.  This sharp Z pattern causes a great deal of drag on the lines and it is hard to come about.  Wind alone is often not enough to get the Genoa to change sides.  I repeatedly had to pull rope through the windward side pulley because it was binding in the cleat.

I addressed the problem by mounting a second set of cleats aft of the Genoa tracks.  I looked at lots of options in the marine store and finally settled on a simple clam cleat.  It fits well in the confined space, was pretty cheap, and has a proven track record of working well.

The pictures posted here show the patterns the lines followed both before and after my modification.  This should make the lines release freely and simplify tacking when using the Genoa.

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