Upgrades for Older Boats

16:1 Cascade vang. One end to swivel Ronstan
cleat. Other to a seldom adjusted trimmer.
Trim after raising sail. Wrap the tail around the
mast to keep it from snagging other lines.
cascade vang
How to use your vang
(kicker in U.K.)

An older boat may be modified to make
it easier to sail at the same time it will
sail faster.

These photos illustrate up-to-date
rigging techniques applied to older boats

There are also photos of the latest
World Champion's boat.

Jan van der Bank won with a glass
fiber boat built by Joachim Harpprecht.




boom bales
These cords permit mainsheet to be shorter
and lighter. And they swivel better.
Shown with 4:1 mainsheet.
Younger and/or stronger sailors eliminate
the turning block to the right and tie the
mainsheet end to the boom eyestrap. This
allows faster pumping.

boom vang

The shroud adjusters to buy today are
the fine Ronstan 2331 $10.95. they are better
and much less expensive than the Holt
Allen part HA4772 that are shown here
on the shrouds.
The really high tech lower shroud
adjusters are the StaMaster
SK432 $21.60 or SK332 which
is $18.70
This boat was partially stripped down and revarnished spring 2005, old screw holes
on the foredeck were plugged and the
fittings were moved aft to a point
just forward of the bulkhead. A new
swivel Ronstan cleat for the vang
was centered and a trim cleat for
the vang set to starboard near the mast.

All control lines lead to bowlines around the
shock cord (bungey) for the trapeze. The
trapeze bungey leads from the deck eye
forward to a turning block near the

You need the metal fitting to offset the turning
block to leeward from the swivel point.
The fitting was ground away on top so that the
turning block could be moved toward the
swivel by one hole. Now it can not fall
down flat in light air. You will probably have
to modify whatever part you buy. Try a RWO
R4410 $29.80 or look in your junk box. My part
is an old Fico (Australian) part.

mainsheet cleat

control lines
All control lines end in bowlines around the
trapeze bungey cord (shock cord) The
cleats on the foredeck started on the rail,
later they were close to the mast. Only
now are they in the correct place.

very tight bowline
The yellow control for the vang ends in an
extremely tight bowline around the trapeze
shock cord. You have to free the vang before
every tack in high winds or you can't get under
the boom. Free the vang and there is room
to get under. Capece?

The white shock cord parallel to the yellow rope strop is a mainsheet retrieve cord. The blue shock cord running to the head of the board helps keep the board vertical against the pressure of water to tilt it aft. Use friction to keep the board angle constant
after you have adjusted it. You should not need
cleats to fix the board down or up. Learn about
"Japanese Glide Tape" from your on-line
chandelery. APSLTD or

Rudder another view. Note dual hold
down, metal spring and bungy cord.
The bungy cord is fastened to the
bottom transom pintle, it loops
up and over the tiller and back down.
A hook engages an eye bolted to
the bottom transom pintle.

Rudder fittings
Sea Sure rudder fittings and transom fittings
are simply the best. Buy the gudgeons with
a plastic bushing. After you bolt the rudder
fittings on, glue Pro-Grip over the bolts
and nuts to protect any surface that you
lay the rudder down on.
Discussion of rudder trail, extensions, etc.

Mast Rake
Measure mast rake. Use a 25 foot or more tape
fastened to the halyard hoisted to normal
sailing position. Distance to the top of the
transom will be less than 21 feet 5 inches.
The boom will be scary low. You have to
free the vang and mainsheet for each tack
in windy weather.

Trapeze handles are useful for many
people. Søren Andreasen has developed
this design. It takes three photos to
show it.
It is easier to grab than trying
to grab the trapeze loop. The idea
is to unhook before you come into the boat
on a tack, grab the new handle and leap

out. Then hook up again. Your arms have
to be strong enough and if the mainsheet
hops out of the cleat, you are dead. When
it works, it is brilliant - you can tack ever
so fast.
The trap wires must be shortened to
accommodate the length of the tube.
Glue or screw on an adapter which fits the

plastic pipe to resist to force from the
trapeze ring at the bottom.
The shock cord runs to an eye
strap fastened high on the tube, below
the handle.
The plastic tube is 25.5 inches or 648 mm
long. This length accomodates a tall
sailor - 1.96 meter.

reinforced tube bottom

Top cleat
Spectra "trap wire" grey

Top of handle
The top of the handle is wrapped with…
(Black) Pro-Grip of course! (:-))

Clean cockpit. Formerly, there were shock
cords running fore and aft which cause
one's foot to slide. Now friction does most
of the work and one of the necessary shock
cords runs transverse to the hull.
toe straps

Angled toe straps are easier to use than the
an in line toe loop. Note bamboo tiller extension.
Note generous Pro-Grip on cockpit floor.

Friction, augmented by a small shock cord
keeps the centreboard down. Mainsheet
retriever line helps keep from dragging
fathoms of mainsheet.

There are no cleats on the centerboard.
Neither for uphaul or downhaul.
Not yet shown is a shock cord running from
the eyestrap for the mainsheet traveler
on one side, to a turning block on the
tower, to the head of the centerboard
back to a turning block on the other side
of the tower, and thence to the eyestrap
on the other side.

clean cockpit

Friction, augmented by a small shock cord
keeps the centreboard down. Mainsheet
retriever line helps keep from dragging
fathoms of mainsheet.

An important theme in this upgrade is to eliminate
lines and cords that run fore and aft. They
were replaced with lines running transverse
to the cockpit or up and down the mainsheet
Pro-Grip on boom protects deck. Johnny Walker
provides enhanced experience.(:-))
Blue strap inhaul eliminates wrinkles at tack of sail.
This is far better than a pin to the boom fitting.

Traveler strop
Strop clip tightens strop when centerboard
has been lowered. It is so tight that it will
damage the centerboard trailing edge when
the board is fully raised unless it is released.
How do I install an anchor plate or eyestrap?

RWO 455
These fine RWO 4550 parts cost $59 but
they do work well. All my boats have them.
The bungey cord for the trapeze turns
around near the forestay and towing eye.

How do I tune my mast?

Whatever mast that you have, you should
start with Graham Scott's mast tuning guide.

You will need to be able to adjust spreader rake.
You should roll your boat off your trailer onto
soft pads or grass, put up the mast, loosen
or remove the lower shrouds, roll the boat onto
its side, put a soft pad under the mast tip
and then follow his procedure.

There are good usable masts from the past
that are usable at least in North America.
Proctor Epsilon, Holmspar, Needlespar
Scalia, SuperSpar and Ballenger have all made
masts that can be tuned and sailed effectively.

Inspect for and replace all damaged wires
the vang attachment, all questionable wire
attachments and the gooseneck.

mast head float or training wheels
Sailing in 4-5 feet of water makes training
wheels at the top of the mast advisable.

Pro Grip on the bottom works better than
volley ball knee pads, gives better footing.
Still a work in progress. Keep posted.

Wavelength spreader adjustable rake.
Port side. Knurled screwhead permits
change of spreader rake.

Worlds Winner 1
Fastest boat at Worlds 2005! Series of photos.
Cicada sail from Stuart Brown
Harpprecht mast, boom, hull and rigging

Worlds Winner 2
15 meter/8mm polyester towline required.
Pro-Grip on rail and cockpit floor.

Worlds Winner 3
Control lines lead to trapeze bungy cord.

Worlds Winner 4
Bamboo tiller extension.

Worlds Winner 5
Dagger rudder stock. Harpprecht built.

Worlds Winner 6
Slab sided Harpprecht carbon fibre boom.
TackTic compass mount.


Updated Monday 12 March, 2007 by Gil Woolley
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