DS II mainsheet rigging trouble.

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DS II mainsheet rigging trouble.

Postby EHarrison » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:40 am

Hello everyone, My sister and I just got a daysailer II (actually we got it in april but I have been on a long trip and got back two weeks ago, only to learn that my side stays had frayed). We're having trouble figuring out the rigging of the main sheet. I had my dad help me out (I'm 15). We got the mast stepped and everything but we were really having trouble figuring out the mainsheet. It looks to me like our boat can be rigged two different ways (although I'm pretty new to this). One is what I think is called boom vang, kind of diamond shape with multiple pulleys inside (in the way we had it rigged it moved the boom back and forth). Two problems with it, one the line was only so long that you couldn't spill the sail and had to literally stand up in the boat to get the rope un-cleated, so it was a pain to adjust the sail. So in case you can't tell...not a big fan of the boom vang. So that brings me to the mainsheet. It's just a long rope with a eye splice and U thing and a pin (clevis?) going through it. So going from the foot of the mast and down the boom...U-bolt at the foot of the mast (maybe this is for the halyards?), another u-bolt about 2/3 (going towards the mast) up the boom, Then about halfway a pulley/block attached to a kind of number 8 looking bolt right above the aft end of the CB. Right below the pulley on the aft end of the centerboard trunk is the cam-cleat and a separate pulley. Then at the stern of the boom is a pulley and below that is the traveler two ropes with a wire joining the two ends and a pulley on that wire. So I'm pretty confused and really am hoping that one of you guys will know how to rig it effectively. Any reply would be sincerely appreciated. Sorry I carried on so much. I already posted this in the DSII forum but would like to get as much notice as possible. Not trying to spam the website.
Thanks and God Bless,
Ethan Harrison
Thanks,
Ethan
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Postby hectoretc » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:26 pm

Hi Ethan,

Saw your posts earlier this year, and I'm glad you were able to get that boat. I got my boat late last summer but it needed about a winters worth of work to even make it somewhat water-worthy. This is my first year sailing so I'm learning something new every time.

Regarding the mainsheet. I too wasn't sure what all the pieces and parts were for, so I did some research over the winter and found this photo that helped me set up my mainsheet this spring. You can click on the picture to get a larger version that is easier to see.

1314

In this setup, there is a triangle fixed line across the transom that is a traveler. The actual mainsheet line begins tied off at the aft end of the boom. From there it goes down through the block oh the traveler, back up through the block on the boom end, and then forward to the block mid-way upt the boom, down through the swivel block on the aft end of the centerboard housing, and then through the cam-cleat.
I sailed with this setup once, and then had the opportunity to go on a friends boat who had this kind of setup.

1315

This sheet uses a pair of fiddle blocks (multiple blocks in a single housing... shaped like a fiddle I guess) that does not go back to the traveler. I greatly prefered this setup as cleaned up my transom area and simplified the setup. I'm sure there are benefits to each, but from my novice brain, the single center blocks setup is much easier to manage.

I don't have a boom vang, but my understanding is that it's an entirely separate series of blocks (very similar to the picture above) that is attached from the base of the mast, to a point a few feet back on the boom. The purpose there is to retain downward pressure on the boom even when you ease off on the mainsheet to allow the boom to move outward beyond the control area for the mainsheet.

There are probably a dozen nautical terms here I've either misused or forgot to use, but that's about what I know about this.

Good luck... Scott

One guy's opinion.
DS #6127 - Breakin' Wind - From the land of 10,000 lakes, which spend 80% of the year frozen it seems...
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Postby GreenLake » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:16 pm

Ethan, is there any way you could take some pictures and post them in your personal gallery? Instructions are in the website info section.

You could also look at the pictures in the Photos section as well as click on "rigging guide" in the Technical Info tab at the very top of the page. Many people have posted close-ups of various parts of their rigging, and perhaps one or the other looks similar to what you see on your boat.

I wrote the following in response to your post in the DSII section, before I saw that you had a duplicate post here in the Rigging section to which Scott has already provided some answers. Because I didn't see his reply, the following may unnecessarily repeat some stuff.

There are two basic styles of rigging a mainsheet on a DS. One is to have a set of pulleys (properly called "block and tackle") in the center of the boom leading down to a fixture at the rear end of the centerboard trunk.

The other style would have a simpler (single block) fitting in three, or possibly four locations. On the CB trunk, right above it in the middle of the boom, at the end of the boom and, optionally a fourth block right below the end of the boom - usually part of some traveler. (The traveler may have two blocks, one in each corner of the boat).

In both styles, the free end of the mainsheet emerges from the block at the CB trunk and it's from there that you pull or release it. There's usually also a cleat.

Now, in the second style, called "end boom sheeting", the mainsheet may end up being doubled. As it comes from the front of the boom, it goes around the block at the end, down to the block on the traveler and up again to a "becket" on the end-boom block.

What you call U thing with a pin, and what most people here call a "shackle" might be used to attach the sheet that becket.

The "U bolt" at the foot of the mast is called a "bail" and it's where you would attach the boom vang to. If the boat is fitted for a vang, there's a corresponding bail on the boom, allowing the vang to be fixed at a 45° angle below the boom. (Some boats have a slot that fits a wire ball on the vang instead).


See whether anything I wrote makes sense and let us know what questions remain.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby ChrisB » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:09 pm

Ethan,

My DS II has the mainsheet in the middle of the boom like Scott's second picture. The mainsheet is used to pull the mainsail in or to let the mainsail out. Tim Webb also has a good picture of the mainsheet in his personal photo gallery. The pic is on page two of his gallery and is titled "Boom support idea - mainsheet".

The "technical info" section of this website has a rigging guide with pictures. The third and fourth photos show the boom vang. The vang is similar in configuration to the mainsheet but it is attached to the mast near the cuddy roof and to the boom about 2 feet behind the mast. Its function is to keep the boom horizontal as the mainsheet is eased and the sail is let out when sailing off the wind. Properly rigged, the vang should not interfere with easing the mainsail.

- Chris
Chris B.
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DS II mainsheet rigging trouble.

Postby EHarrison » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:27 am

Ok so I clearly made a mistake about the vang. The fiddle block setup looks great. Where would I get that equipment? I know D&R marine carries a lot of DS stuff, so maybe there? However I want to get the boat out this weekend. So I think I have figured it out. You guys say in one set up that the mainsheet is tied off at the end of the boom (Green Lake I looked at the bottom of the block at the end of the boom and it does not have a becket so that card seems to be off the table). The only way I can think of to attach the mainsheet is....There are two holes in a bracket on top of the boom at the back end, one is where you tie off the thing (insert sailing lingo here) that is attached to the mainsail to keep it from slipping down the boom. My guess is that the shackle is attached to one of those holes which is the same size as the pin. So I then would take the mainsheet put it down through the traveler, up to that block at the end of the boom, to the block in the middle of the boom and finally down to the block and through the cam-cleat. Would that work? Also should I have the vang on there?
Thank you to everyone for replying.
Thanks,
Ethan
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Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:02 am

Boom vang should look something like this:
539

Notice that it does not reach to the middle of the boom.

However, it's possible to sail without one (I've been meaning to install one, but there's always been something else going on, so I don't have one currently). A 4:1 is fine for downwind only, a special technique uses the vang also upwind, for that you need 12:1 or better. For now, skip the vang perhaps.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:17 am

First, check all the blocks (of those that have the same size) to make sure that none have a becket. You may be able to swap some.

On my DS the end of the boom has a hole in the center of the boom cap. In that is a bolt. The bolt has a stainless steel strap. The other side of the strap has the block, and the block has a becket.

For lack of a becket, if the end of the boom has two attachment points, then you can fix the block to one and the end of the sheet to another. That will work for a trial run - ultimately you'd like a very smooth running setup.

You can see that kind of dual attachment point setup on the picture that Scott posted, here the block is just a bit further forward so that the line going back up to the boom is nice and parallel.

The point of first going down to a block on the traveler and then up a again is to get a 2:1 mechanical advantage.

You can further improve your "holding power" by replacing one, or both of the blocks on the boom with so called "ratchet" blocks. They resist letting the sheet out (when under tension) and run freely when you want to pull in the sheet. Result, you can hold the sheet in your hand in heavy conditions more easily - which is when you need to let it out in a hurry sometimes to depower in a gust (or risk capsize).

But you knew that already?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby jpclowes » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:12 am

Ethan,
There is a DS fleet in Richmond. I think they are at Swift Creek Res. Here is a link to their website http://www.grsa.org/ If you go there, you will probably see a lot of different ways to rig your boat, and you can pick the way you like best. Also, most of the DSers across the country are friendly people who are more than willing to help out a new sailor. Check them out if you can.
J .P. Clowes
Eastern Great Lakes Regional V.P.
DSI 14083
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DS II mainsheet rigging trouble.

Postby EHarrison » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:14 am

JP that is great advice, will definitely have to check that out and see if I can find something close to my boat.

Green Lake, I checked all the blocks. None of them have a becket so I probably should get one of those. The two holes that I talked about are on top of the boom, meaning it would be a little uncomfortable because the mainsheet would be dragging against the boom cap in the back and/or the side of the boom. My boat has the exact same stainless-strap, The block is attached to the hole at the bottom of that strap just like yours. The thing is the block does not have a becket, and from what I can tell none of the blocks have one. So it looks like my options are reduced to jerry rigging, waiting for some fiddle blocks from D&R Marine, or lastly heading to a marine store (such as West Marine) and getting a becket. As to the ratchet blocks, I know that when a gust comes up you're sopposed to spill the sail to keep from capsizing, but I'm still learning and am doing stupid things, such as beaching on a lee shore, and by the time I got back, my boat had 2 ft. of water in it. Or pulling up the centerboard when I forgot to un-cleat the other CB rope that pulls it down (in other words I broke my CB cable). But part of what makes it easier is that I'm on a small river (the Mattaponi if you want to look it up).
However I'm a little nervous because I've read that when you capsize, if water gets into the cuddy it is going to sink. Is that true? I probably will post some pics tonight.
Thank you again for your time.
Thanks,
Ethan
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Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:45 am

You are correct about not wanting to tie anything to the top of the boom - those two holes serve different purposes. One is for the outhaul. That's a short thin line that goes from the cringle at the clew of the sail, through the hole at the end of the boom, then forward to some cleat (often a jam cleat) on the boom. The other hole can be used for a topping lift - a line that holds the boom up when the main is down.

You need an outhaul, but you can get along without a topping lift (after many years of thinking about it I haven't rigged one yet).

An outhaul is required, it's what stretches the foot of the main. A simple outhaul, the way I described, is hard to adjust while sailing, so usually people a small block or two, to make the section between clew cringle and boom cap into a block and tackle of some sort. Something like 4:1 mechanical advantage would eventually be what you are aiming for.

A block with a becket sized for your mainsheet would be around $25-30, a bit more if your mainsheet is heftier than 5/16". A ratchet block, to replace the forward block on your boom would set you back about $55.

Holding the main in your hand (as opposed to cleating it) is one of the better ways of making sure you can spill wind in time.

I've found the DS so far rather forgiving, occasional gusts out of nowhere and for which I was not prepared, have so far not lead to capsize but to a dramatic heel followed by immediate rounding up. Still, somewhat unnerving. Another way to limit capsizing risk is to know where your limits are - in terms of what wind strength (and what level of gustiness) you can handle and slowly expand from there as your experience grows.

The DS does have flotation chambers that should keep the boat itself afloat, but righting it by yourself may not be possible. Long discussions on this forum - go back to older posts and read.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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DS II mainsheet rigging trouble.

Postby EHarrison » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:37 pm

Ok so I'm going to order parts tonight, I'm looking at the center boom rig that Chris B and Scott suggested. Any suggestions on where to buy and what to buy. My first guess is to call up Rudy at D&R marine as he was very helpful before, however I've saw a post where a few disagreed with him and thought a ratchet with a fiddle block was the way to go. Trying to sort this through and wondering if any of you guys can point me in the right direction. It sounds like the best way to go, even though I also like the look of the traveler rig.
Thanks,
Ethan
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Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:46 pm

Ethan, there are other differences between end-boom sheeting and mid-boom sheeting than just the looks.

Mid boom sheeting always pulls to one point, that is toward the centerline of the boat at the height of the CB trunk. A traveler, depending on how it's dimensioned and used allows a more sideways pull going upwind and a more downward pull on a reach - which is what you want.

Mid boom sheeting requires more blocks to get equivalent mechanical advantage, because it gives up mechanical advantage by acting on the middle of the boom (mid point of the lever).

For the same reason, forces on the boom are higher, and the boom will bend. Not all booms will support that, although many DS booms seem to be fine, because center boom sheeting is used.

Some people use a boom vang going upwind to hold the boom down, leaving the mainsheet primarily the task of sideways pull. That requires a really hefty boom vang.

I kept the end-boom sheeting on my DS, so I'm not at all biased 8) 8)
I did add one of the traveler refinements discussed in Phill Root's Rigging guide (see "Technical Info" at the top of each forum page).

The only downside that I can report is that he mainsheet can get hung up on trolling motor, stern cleats, etc. found at the end of the boat - usually only an issue when gybing in light wind.

I definitely would take a hard look at the cost of each system, based on how the boat is set up now. You will need, whatever you save now, pretty soon on something else :D :D
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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DS II mainsheet rigging trouble.

Postby EHarrison » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:53 pm

Well, D&R marine has a generic daysailer block with becket for $19.55 which would immediately solve my problems since all I'm missing is a place to attach a shackle. So, maybe I'll go that way, the one thing I'm worried about is that I like to have a trolling motor on there and I'm worried it's going to get ruined when I go up on the side (I think it's called hiking?). Anyway, I just replaced the halyards and standing rigging so she should be ready to go once I get the mainsheet figured out.
Thanks,
Ethan
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Postby GreenLake » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:41 pm

Ethan, I often take my trolling motor off and put it in the cuddy when I'm sailing. Having weight at the extreme end of the boat is slow...

I don't have a DS2 and I know the way I mount my motor on the DS1 is different. I attach my trolling motor in the back, but when I don't remove the motor, it's tipped up out of the water while I'm sailing, and in that position, it does not get wet, even when the boat is heeling.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby K.C. Walker » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:03 pm

Ethan, any chance you could take photos of what you have and post it here. What I would suggest is a photo of your blocks and any tackle that you have. A photo of your center board trunk, a photo of your boom, and a photo of your transom should do it. With even somewhat clear photos I think we might be able to help you out more easily.
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
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