Leech line?

Moderator: GreenLake

Leech line?

Postby GreenLake » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:17 am

Have an 8yo jib that's beginning to show leech flutter. Found a blog recommending adding a leech line.

Waste of time/money? Or a reasonable way to extend the life of the sail?

https://stingysailor.com/2014/11/27/leech-line-solution-2/
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Re: Leech line?

Postby K.C. Walker » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:47 am

I don't think it should cost much and should be quick to do, assuming it can be installed in the present hem. Just a small amount of tension will make a difference and the sail will wear quickly if you don't stop the flutter. Unless you're serious about your racing, this would definitely extend the life of the sail.
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Re: Leech line?

Postby FloridaTom » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:47 pm

If the leech is badly stretched, just adding a leach line without changing anything else, can just give you a hooked leech when you tighten it.
Not saying this is universally true, but something to consider.

The Daysailer stock jib doesn't have battens, so how much inward curve does your jib leech have now?
It should have a minimum hollow of about 1" for every 6' of leech - For a jib, I might think to round it up to the next inch.
Not enough hollow can cause it to flutter.

Another helpful thing you can do, if the leech is just hemmed, is to change it to a taped leech,
with maybe a continuous 2" tape on one side, and a folded 1" tape over the actual edge - much more stable than a plain hem.
Change the 1" folded to 2", and you can even add a leech line in there, if you want ;~)

Both of these are pretty cheap fixes, probably not even requiring lifting the corner patches.

Tom
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Re: Leech line?

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:43 am

I've just succeeded in threading a thin line through the existing hem. I'll experiment with it tomorrow. The jib showed no noticeable flutter until very recently, so I'm thinking it's not into "badly stretched" territory yet.

I should be able to come to an idea of what the leech curve is as well when I observe it again tomorrow.
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Re: Leech line?

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:16 pm

My makshhift leech line was definitely effective in eliminating flutter. However, the leech is too hooked now. As I didn't have a good way to make it adjustable, I retied it afterwards, letting out 1/2". Will try again tomorrow.
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Re: Leech line?

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:13 pm

What I did is to fashion a makeshift fid by using a 10" length of hollow aluminum tube, just wide enough to fit 1.5mm line (Excel Racing from Marlow - 139lbs breaking strength). I threaded about 1" into the end and hammered it flat. That kept the line in place. I hammered flat the other end, cut it to a point and sanded it smooth. With that, I was able to thread the line through the existing hem. I had to undo one very short section which I hand-stitched back into place. I tied the line to the head of the sail and wrapped the end through the clew. Not adjustable, but I can unwrap and let out a bit more of the line.

I tried it in moderately heavy winds yesterday, and after letting out some 1/2" or so, will try it again today. Didn't get a chance to really check the curvature on the sail, just enough to see that the end did appear hooked, but there was no flutter.
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Re: Leech line?

Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:13 pm

Sail makers use little plastic V-cleats for adjustable tension. It might take you a couple of tries without being able to adjust out on the water.
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Re: Leech line?

Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:27 pm

If you left enough line at the clew end you could tie a loop a couple of inches up before getting to the clew so as to be able to make it a 2:1. That would make it easily adjustable and a couple of half hitches should secure it.
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Re: Leech line?

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:17 pm

Mine exits directly at the clew grommet. So I just tie a series of half hitches around the back end of the grommet; looks more like a serving than knots, if you know what I mean. The jib sheet's attached with a soft-shackle made from Amsteel; that's slippery enough that I don't expect the leech line to wear through during the remainder of its service life...
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Re: Leech line?

Postby GreenLake » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:30 am

Update: I've sailed with it quite a bit, and there's definitely no flutter any more; the sail may be a tad more hooked than it would be with a taped hem, as suggested, but, to my eyes it's not very pronounced and not to where I notice it or sense any obvious adverse effects. (The fact that the sails are no longer fresh is probably a bigger issue, so new sails are rapidly moving up on my wish list).
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