sailswede

Jib/genoa sheet problems

Recommended Posts

I teach kids how to sail small keelboats (18ft~), and now we need to make some upgrades to our fleet. Specifically, running rigging. 

Our jib/genoa sheets aren't designed the way I would like. Until now, we've doubled up the lines and tied them together with an overhand bow, creating a loop with a snap shackle in the middle. They keep snagging on the standing rigging. Here's my plan, so far.

  • No hard/metal shackles (don't want any trips to the dentist)
  • Shackle must be permanent, or at least very hard to lose
  • Shackle must be easy to use, and no knots the kids can screw up
  • Preferably single, continuous lines, instead of two separate sheets. Less snagging. Also, kids lose stuff, and I'd prefer them to stick together 

This leaves me with a soft shackle in the middle of a long sheet. What splice should be used? And how do I make the soft shackle stay there, and not fall off? Or is there some other way of doing this that haven't thought of?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small boats use short sheets, why mot just cow hitch a single sheet in the middle?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto above. I use a cow hitch (aka girth hitch) in the middle of a long single sheet on my 250 sf fully battened jib. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I agree that a cow hitch might be pretty good, couldn't it slip? At least theoretically, if it's asymmetrically loaded. 

Also, we have both jibs and genoas for the boats - do you untie the cow hitch every time sails are switched? Or are different sheets for the genoa and jib the way to go, and just keep them tied to the sails? 

Anyone know how the below splice is actually done? For speed and ease of use, it might be used with an integrated soft shackle.

 

Bridle_Jib_Sheets_1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you can find a youtube video for just about every splice known to man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Splicing would be more elegant but you could tie and alpine butterfly in one line and soft shackle to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What boat are you using ? On my 20' keelboat, the jib sheets lead inside the lower shrouds and the genoa sheets outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you like a "real" continuous sheet, all you need to do is have 1 sheet that is appropriately long enough, and splice in loops at each end. Run those through the blocks and cleats and the ends go to your soft-shackle at the clew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

check the Harken diagram at the bottom of the page. the little middle bungee/block is optional - and is used as take-up for the line for a kite when the kite is down.

 

https://www.harken.com/content.aspx?id=3913

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cow hitch is cheap easy and I’ve never seen one slip... not on a small boat like the one you mention.. 

a buntline hitch can also be used to tie each end to the clew. 

You can do a myriad of different things but the most simple and effective would be the cow hitch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a piece of rope long enough for both sheets seize an eye in the middle of the sheet. 

With an 18” length of the same material bend the line over in a u and seize it three to four times over its length. 

Slide the now 9” piece on the sheet to the seizing and put a second seizing in the sheet to secure the 9”er on the sheet. 

Slide the eye through the clew of the jib/genoa and then put the tail of the 9” through the eye. 

Easy to remove yet it won’t flog out (so I’ve been told). No knots no shackles

It’s from some old mag that a customer brought in. I’ll post a pic tomorrow if interested 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on cow hitch, used it for years on our 18' dinghy. Never slipped. Easy enough to untie (maybe with a marlinspike.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
  • Shackle must be easy to use, and no knots the kids can screw up

God forbid they spend an afternoon learning a bowline.   Don't forget to remove the analog clocks from the club.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/5/2018 at 7:23 AM, sailswede said:

Also, we have both jibs and genoas for the boats - do you untie the cow hitch every time sails are switched? Or are different sheets for the genoa and jib the way to go, and just keep them tied to the sails? 

Sheets are pretty inexpensive on small boats (under $50 for 3/8” staset or similar), so I would just leave a set attached to each sail.  I used the same approach on my first boat (a 25 footer) with hank on sails and a cruising kite, all 3 hubs had sheets permanently attached.  The cow hitch is more compact than two bow lines and slides pretty easily around shrouds.

I wouldn’t do it on my current 37 footer because a pair of sheets costs over $200 and we need to easily undo one side when doing peels or fixing the sheet routing after a kite hoist and douse. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think cow hitching a dedicated sheet to each sail seems pretty simple...  and you won't ever see it slip meaningfully on a boat like that. I've read of people being a foot+ off after an ocean crossing where you're on one tack for ages, but here?  

If you want to use just one sheet, make a longer soft shackle per Alan's instructions on L-36, then tie it good and tight with a constrictor knot where you want it.  Besides being a very secure knot to begin with, both ends are equally loaded in that application so it will only get tighter, and it is very smooth and low profile compared to even a cow hitch...  Seems like a no brainer.  Make the soft shackle open a little bigger than you need so little hands don't struggle.

Luke

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never seen a cow hitch slip. If you want more peace of mind, or a (IMO) prettier hitch, use a Clove hitch. Definitely won't slip, climbers use them frequently.

 

HW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Butterfly hitch.

One sheet, continuous.  Start watching this video at 1:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE01A1se8Zc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now