3:1 Halyard Tensioner

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3:1 Halyard Tensioner

Postby ChrisB » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:01 am

I posted a photo to my personal gallery of my 3:1 halyard tensioner setup. When viewing the photo, the top of the mast is to the right. This setup gives enough mechanical advantage to pull the jib tight enough to slack the forestay allowing for adjustment of halyard tension to match point of sail and wind speed.
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Postby jdubes » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:53 am

I like the compactness. Will you have another block on the cuddy top, so the halyard comes down to the cuddy and then back towards the stern?
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Postby ChrisB » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:59 am

No turning block. The horn cleat (under the cheek block in the photo) is the factory jib halyard cleat. I prefer to keep the halyards on the mast rather than leading them to the cuddy roof.
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Postby hectoretc » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:27 am

1118
For my reference, here is ChrisB's picture from above.

I'm reading a fair amount of content on this board about halyard tensioning, with ChrisB's 3:1 tensioner above, Jdoorly's battleaxe and other posts. I sort of got it in my mind from reading the basic "raise the sail" comments and instructions that the halyard was used to simply pull the head of the sail to the top of the mast, and the tack or cunningham? was used for tensoning the luff, using gravity as your friend. Is that thinking innaccurate? It this kind of thing more needed for racing types of sail control, or is it completely a personal preference thing?
I realize much of this may become obvious when I actually get onto the water, but since that's not going to happen until the ice comes and goes, for a few more months, all I can do is practice and prepare in my head.

Oh... and the actual reason I posted ChrisB's photo above was to ask about knots. I have my little "Nautical Knots" and "What knot to use" apps in my iPhone, but am completely inept at recognizing one in a picture. ChrisB or anyone, can you tell me what knot was used (as is in the picture) for attaching the halyard to the block as ChrisB has done? It appears very clean and well formed with little excess hanging out.
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:49 pm

Sure looks like a bowline knot to me. That's pretty much my "go-to" knot for lots of things on The Red Witch, since I'm woefully inept at splicing. I'm trying to learn though!
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:03 pm

I beg to differ. Not about the bowline being the standard standby, and a tremendously useful knot, but about the question of whether it was used here.

The main feature of a bowline is that if forms a fixed loop (and which can be taken apart easily even after load has been applied).

Because it's a fixed loop, it's not possible to cinch it tight. You could work it tight, but that's laborious. You can see that on the left of the block, where the tensioning line is tied to the block with a bowline. The fixed loop is clearly visible.

However, I don't think the halyard itself is tied to the (right) side of the block with a bowline. There's no loop visible, so I'd suspect some other knot was used, one that can be cinched tight in tying.

I've used a buntline hitch for the purpose.

There are a number of similar knots that all result in a tight knot without a loop. The one in the picture reminds me of #1232 in Ashley's book (don't know whether it has any well-known name).
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:17 pm

hectoretc wrote:I sort of got it in my mind from reading the basic "raise the sail" comments and instructions that the halyard was used to simply pull the head of the sail to the top of the mast, and the tack or cunningham? was used for tensioning the luff, using gravity as your friend. Is that thinking inaccurate? It this kind of thing more needed for racing types of sail control, or is it completely a personal preference thing?
I realize much of this may become obvious when I actually get onto the water, but since that's not going to happen until the ice comes and goes, for a few more months, all I can do is practice and prepare in my head.

Take the jib. Many jibs have a wire running in their luff. By tensioning the halyard, you tension that wire. That will have two effects. You'll control the "sag" of the luff, and you change the overall forward tension, so the mast rake changes. Being able to adjust these is for different wind strength is useful. (Jibs may have a Cunningham as well, which would tension the sail cloth, not the luff wire). Chris' setup is for a jib halyard tensioner.

On the main, the pull from the halyard will be countered by both the luff and the leech tension. The luff tension you can influence by the Cunningham, the leech tension will depend on sheeting, and perhaps a bit on the outhaul. But you are correct, there are a number of boats that are designed to have a halyard lock - a ball on the upper part of the halyard, right where it comes out of the sheaves, will be locked in a sort of hook. In those designs, the halyard tension is not adjustable.

(The main advantages of a halyard lock are to cut the length of the halyard that's subject to stretch under sailing loads, thus making the system low stretch. And, at the same time, the compressive load on the mast is only half.)
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:24 pm

Yes, sorry GL, I was talking about the knot on the left, that attaches the tensioner line to the bail of the block, which is the knot I thought hectoretc was asking about. Clearly a bowline ... ?

No, I don't recognize the knot on the right that attaches the halyard to the shackle of the block either ... ChrisB?
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:29 pm

The left one is fairly definitely a bowline, but with the end trimmed very carefully.
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:38 pm

Or, tied just so, and worked laboriously, so as to make it a pretty knot?

For a sliding knot, two and a half hitches seems to work just fine, both for securing the halyards to the mast for trailering, as well as the wifey's clothesline out back ... 8)
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Postby ChrisB » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:44 am

All are correct. The knot on the left is indeed a bowline. The knot on the right is an anchor bend. I was trying to reduce the "length" of the knot (from the becket on the block in the picture to the standing part of the halyard).

I borrowed the idea for the halyard tensioner from a Hobie 16 I had years ago which had the same type of system. I use it to tighten the jib halyard just enough to remove the "scoops" that develop on the jib luff between the hanks when going windward. The tensioner gives enough mechanical advantage to significantly alter the rake of the mast so there is a fine line between pulling the jib tight enough and raking the mast so far forward I induce lee helm.
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Postby K.C. Walker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:41 am

The way I use the 3:1 jib halyard is as described in Phill Root's rigging guide http://forum.daysailer.org/tech_rigguide.php . Phill, Dave Keran, and Mike Gillum used the 3:1 halyard as a jib Cunningham. They use fore stay tension separate from jib luff tension. There is no wire in the jib luff in this set up.

I have mine set up on the cuddy top using a clam cleat. I did not remove my horn cleats so I raise the jib and cleat it off for the looser off wind setting. I then can tweak the Cunningham easily for up wind. For down wind, I just pop it and it's back to where I want it. I like the controls to be very quick and accessible, otherwise I'm not likely to be use them. I often sail single-handed and like it when things get a bit exciting.
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Postby Salty Dog » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:46 pm

help me understand. I guess I'm the only one that don't get it.
If i hoist my sail, I have a lot of halyard in my hand about the length of the mast. how do I attatch a 3:1 tightener. to 20 ft of loose line.
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Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:59 pm

I use a two-part halyard. The one I just replaced was a wire halyard that had a loop at the end and then a rope halyard attached to that (the tail). It’s approximately 50-50. I drop the tensioner hook into the loop of the wire. I recently replaced the wire with Dyneema and set it up just the same way.
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Postby Salty Dog » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:03 pm

Oh ok I thought mabe you had a cleat on a car and track attatched to the mast or something. Has anyone ever did that a horn cleat on a short track?
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