5th August: Jib furling, Hounds, rigging, etc.

I’ve been trying to get rid of one or two small annoyances that have cropped up during recent outings with Seatern:

Jib Furling Line: The jib furler needed another turn or two on the reel to fully wrap up the jib but after I added them the reel was too full and tended to stick (photo of old line below). I’ve replaced the rope supplied with with some 4mm Kingfisher Evolution Breeze which was recommended by the Bursledon Dinghy Centre. It’s designed for dinghy control lines and hopefully will have less tendency to kink. Initial trials suggest it will be a significant improvement. The photo also shows my present forestay arrangement which attaches using a Wichard snap shackle and then is tensioned using the open body rigging screw. The small snap shackle and dyneema cord are a belt-and-braces precaution to prevent the rigging screw unscrewing while sailing.

Comment on ropes supplied: It occurs to me that I’ve already replaced many of the ropes and some of the rigging supplied by Swallow Boats: mainsheet (original too heavy for light weather), jibsheets (too thick for supplied clutches), spinnaker halyard and tack line (both about 1m too short to launch sail from cockpit), jib furling line (too thick for reel), lower dyneema shrouds (too long to attach using snap shackles), wire forestay (shortened to allow use of bottle screw). While some of these changes were to improve the (prototype) mast lowering system; others were to improve sail handling. Maybe I’m just fussy but I realise now that I should have discussed with Matt what sheets etc. were being provided.

Lower hounds with taped rigging screws

Hounds improvement: On one or two occasions the main halyard has caught around the hounds where the dyneema shrouds are attached using shackles. I’ve now changed to rigging links for the lower shrouds (mainly used during mast raising/lowering). However for the main shrouds Matt suggests 1000kg as the “absolute minimum breaking load” and suggests “might be better to have a bit more”. This guidance was used in selection the forestay attachment (see above). Appropriate rigging links are nearly as bulky as the shackles and look more likely to abrade the dyneema. I’ve therefore have used Wichard Allen key shackles which are slightly less bulky. Since they can’t be seized I’ve used thread lock (and forceful tightening!).

The lefthand photo was taken during replacement and shows the new Allen Key shackle on the port side. The righthand illustration contrasts the old and new hounds arrangement. Whether it makes any difference remains to be seen!

By the way: How to keep gulls off your boat – find a Wayfarer! Some guys have moored a Wayfarer in the river near my jetty and it seems a favourite with the black-headed gulls which frequent these parts!