Tell us about "easing the bolt rope"

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
I stumbled across 'easing the bolt rope' a few weeks ago then implemented it to great effect on a reasonably good-looking dacron main. I'm pretty stoked.

Not many in my circle seem to know about the issue, can identify the issue in real life, and have implemented the technique. I could only find a handful of references in a pretty thorough search of Sailing Anarchy.

Would appreciate hearing your instructional experiences about 'easing the bolt rope'.
 
If you're not getting full hoist and the sail is looking fuller than a state school the luff rope may have shrunk. There may be other issues also. Another story......
Easy fix......well....usually..... The bolt rope is likely seized off at the head, tack and if it's a main, each reef.
Leave the head. Find where it's seized - look for machine or hand stitching - at each other point. Unpick it. Tie the head to something substantial. Grab the tack and give it a good hard pull. Bolt rope should slide up inside the luff tape. Reseize it.

If the bolt rope has been tightly 'piped' i.e. tightly stitched along the side of the rope with a half foot it's not that easy and you may have to charge mo.....oops I mean unpick the length of the luff to free the rope up
It's quite a common issue
 

167149

Super Anarchist
If you're not getting full hoist and the sail is looking fuller than a state school the luff rope may have shrunk. There may be other issues also. Another story......
Easy fix......well....usually..... The bolt rope is likely seized off at the head, tack and if it's a main, each reef.
Leave the head. Find where it's seized - look for machine or hand stitching - at each other point. Unpick it. Tie the head to something substantial. Grab the tack and give it a good hard pull. Bolt rope should slide up inside the luff tape. Reseize it.

If the bolt rope has been tightly 'piped' i.e. tightly stitched along the side of the rope with a half foot it's not that easy and you may have to charge mo.....oops I mean unpick the length of the luff to free the rope up
It's quite a common issue
done a bit of sailmakin have ya ???
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
The bolt rope is likely seized off at the head, tack and if it's a main, each reef.
Leave the head. Find where it's seized - look for machine or hand stitching - at each other point. Unpick it. Tie the head to something substantial. Grab the tack and give it a good hard pull. Bolt rope should slide up inside the luff tape. Reseize it.
How important is getting the right amount of bolt rope 'pre-load' before reseizing it?
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
72,304
14,625
Great Wet North
If you're not getting full hoist and the sail is looking fuller than a state school the luff rope may have shrunk. There may be other issues also. Another story......
Easy fix......well....usually..... The bolt rope is likely seized off at the head, tack and if it's a main, each reef.
Leave the head. Find where it's seized - look for machine or hand stitching - at each other point. Unpick it. Tie the head to something substantial. Grab the tack and give it a good hard pull. Bolt rope should slide up inside the luff tape. Reseize it.

If the bolt rope has been tightly 'piped' i.e. tightly stitched along the side of the rope with a half foot it's not that easy and you may have to charge mo.....oops I mean unpick the length of the luff to free the rope up
It's quite a common issue
Conversely, take it to a sailmaker.
 

Rushman

FIIGS
2,567
283
Melbourne, Aust
If you're not getting full hoist and the sail is looking fuller than a state school the luff rope may have shrunk. There may be other issues also. Another story......
Easy fix......well....usually..... The bolt rope is likely seized off at the head, tack and if it's a main, each reef.
Leave the head. Find where it's seized - look for machine or hand stitching - at each other point. Unpick it. Tie the head to something substantial. Grab the tack and give it a good hard pull. Bolt rope should slide up inside the luff tape. Reseize it.

If the bolt rope has been tightly 'piped' i.e. tightly stitched along the side of the rope with a half foot it's not that easy and you may have to charge mo.....oops I mean unpick the length of the luff to free the rope up
It's quite a common issue
This is a really good summary, Howard knows his stuff
 

Great Red Shark

Super Anarchist
8,532
744
Honolulu
From personal experience, I've had an otherwise fine, current sail become 'luff bound' - whereby you'd be hauled hard-ass tight on the halyard against the bolt rope and the luff fabric itself was just barely coming full hoist.

Took it to our guy, who said "Yeah, they do that sometimes." and had it back to me the next day for the usual slab of ale.

Works fine now, although several more years on, now approaching replacement time.
 

Ex Machina

Super Anarchist
1,389
658
New Zealand
If you're not getting full hoist and the sail is looking fuller than a state school the luff rope may have shrunk. There may be other issues also. Another story......
Easy fix......well....usually..... The bolt rope is likely seized off at the head, tack and if it's a main, each reef.
Leave the head. Find where it's seized - look for machine or hand stitching - at each other point. Unpick it. Tie the head to something substantial. Grab the tack and give it a good hard pull. Bolt rope should slide up inside the luff tape. Reseize it.

If the bolt rope has been tightly 'piped' i.e. tightly stitched along the side of the rope with a half foot it's not that easy and you may have to charge mo.....oops I mean unpick the length of the luff to free the rope up
It's quite a common issue
How the fuck would you know that ?
 
How important is getting the right amount of bolt rope 'pre-load' before reseizing it?
Depends on the rope. If it's good n solid - none. Even tension is fine. If it's a little stretchy maybe pull 2 or 3 ". It's only there to stop the sail tearing in half.
Make sure you only unpick the stitching around the bolt rope. Do not unpick the luff tape itself

If it's a large sail you have potential for a ball ache of epic proportion but if it's smaller, you have the time and space, you're reasonably handy and have a sailmaker's palm with needle n thread, fill yer boots.

If you get stuck, send photos
 
Why not just allow the bolt rope to run unseized at the tack with the pig tail hanging out?

Downhaul takes out the wrinkles if you need to do that.

The only issue is taking down the main if the pigtail finds its way into the mast track below the gooseneck.
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
Depends on the rope. If it's good n solid - none. Even tension is fine. If it's a little stretchy maybe pull 2 or 3 ". It's only there to stop the sail tearing in half.
Make sure you only unpick the stitching around the bolt rope. Do not unpick the luff tape itself

If it's a large sail you have potential for a ball ache of epic proportion but if it's smaller, you have the time and space, you're reasonably handy and have a sailmaker's palm with needle n thread, fill yer boots.

If you get stuck, send photos
Thank you very much Howard!
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
Why not just allow the bolt rope to run unseized at the tack with the pig tail hanging out?
That's how we are now with the main on which I eased the bolt rope about a week ago and why I asked about pre-load prior to re-stitching. It's a beauty, but I'm worried about over-stretching the cloth when tensioning the luff. Howard wrote of the bolt rope, "It's only there to stop the sail tearing in half." so I'm absolutely going to re-stitch.
 
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