ADVICE: Sailing should not be a strain

Published on March 1st, 2015

DEAR CURMUDGEON: I race my 35-foot keelboat in PHRF, and as much as I love my crew, some of them just aren’t strong enough when it gets windy, particularly on the mainsheet. I don’t want to replace any of them, but yet they don’t seem to muscling up this winter. Any suggestions? – STRAINED IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR STRAINED – Sailing is definitely more fun when it is not a strain. I wonder, for the mainsheet, if the strain can be reduced by a better rigging solution.

A lot of boats in the 30 – 40′ range have a 6:1 mainsheet system which has often been upgraded from a 4:1. Sadly, even though system power has been increased, some of this gain is frequently lost because the system is incorrectly reeved. This means that the falls of rope in the system will rub against each other when the rope is pulled, markedly increasing friction.

Click here for a demonstration on how a 6:1 system should be reeved. – THE CURMUDGEON

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