JL92S

Harken windward sheeting car

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Our Sunfast 3600 came as standard with a Harken windward sheeting mainsail car. Generally it works well but in sloppy conditions or just motoring around and the boom swings it keeps releasing itself and will quickly start to slide up and down the track uncontrollably, 2 days into a light offshore race it’s enough to drive me to insanity. So my question, can the trigger mechanism be disabled inside the car or do I need to replace the entire mechanisms and convert it to a regular harken car?

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On a few boats with the windward sheeting car we've added a cam cleat at each end of the traveler for use in exactly the situations you've described. If the cleat doesn't have any sort  of eyestrap, if the traveler line is continuous it can usually be pulled out from the windward side after a tack or jibe if needed. 

 

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If you want to just disable the windward sheeting aspect you can remove the cam cleats. There will still be a little slop on the car and the release mechanism. A standard Harken cam cleat can be put on the car or you could mount the cam near the end of the track on the deck or whatever is there 

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Easy mod to do, although not done it myself. If I remember rightly the plate that slides to leeward to release the cleat does so by pushing on the pins on the cleat that the springs hook round to close it. By taking the cleat off you should see this mechanism and with bit of work with a dremel, or even some disassembly you will be able to deactivate it.

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Don't dremel it. Please. Just have a set of regular cams (without the little pin that opens the cleat) to put on if its looking light and use the original windward sheeting ones otherwise. Or swap them over and see if you prefer it. But once you cut those pins you can't go back. We have a short line with a hook on attached to one end of the traveler. When at mooring, the hook goes around one of the throws of the mainsheet or the shackle that connects the block to the car and that engages the opposite side cam so you can tighten that to stop the fucker from moving around.

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On 6/26/2019 at 12:23 PM, ctutmark said:

On a few boats with the windward sheeting car we've added a cam cleat at each end of the traveler for use in exactly the situations you've described. If the cleat doesn't have any sort  of eyestrap, if the traveler line is continuous it can usually be pulled out from the windward side after a tack or jibe if needed. 

 

This is the best answer. Don't modify the car. On a smaller boat we would simply hold on to both sides of the sheet loop. Or put a foot against the car. In light conditions we weren't out on the rail anyway. The OP remarks about long distance races so instant releasing is not big issue. A pair of cam cleats anywhere convenient could be simple.

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Just take the leeward control line pull the slack out of the loop and tie the bight  into an overhand knot near the open cleat. 

 

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