16:1 Cascade vang. One end to swivel Harken
cleat. Other to a seldom adjusted trimmer.
Trim after raising sail. Not shown but
preferred by some top helms is the
lever vang. You decide.
How to use your vang
(kicker in U.K.)
A few years old boat may be modified to make
it faster, easier to sail and more fun.
These photos illustrate up-to-date
On the left, the purple line is 5mm Spectra.
The bowlines tied to adjust the travel
may be easily untied, the knot moved a
few mm and retied. Long nose pliers
help this job a lot.
The red line starts at a cleat hidden but
attached to the vang U-bolt through
in these views behind the
other lines, travels up to the double block
on the left side and enters from the
bottom, then returns to a block also
shackled to the U-Bolt, returns to the
double block, and then returns to a
Ronstan swivel block shackled to
the aft bolt through the track
behind the mast base.
The Cunningham and outhaul also
use a swivel cleat. The green control line
(outhaul here) is tied to double control
lines which lead to knots around each
trapeze bungy cord. On the far side
the blue control line is for the
Personal preference determines whether
to use three swivel cleats with divided
bridle as shown or the more conventional
three cleats on each side. Whichever
you choose, use cammed cleats, not
self cleating cleats for the vang. You
wish to be able to completely free
the vang when tacking or approaching
the top mark. Self cleating cleats may
These cords attached to web bails around the
boom permit the mainsheet to be shorter
and lighter. They swivel better.
Shown with 4:1 mainsheet.
Younger and/or stronger sailors eliminate
the turning block to the left and tie the
mainsheet end to the boom bail. This
allows faster pumping.
Note the metal part to which the ratchet
block is attached. This prevents the mainsheet
cleat from swiveling around toward the boom.
The offset is about 3 holes.
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.
This part is an old Fico (Australian) part.
Why the banana? Current and many times
earlier World Champion Andrea Bonezzi
sails with a banana at the mast. Maybe that makes him faster.
The shroud adjusters to buy today are
the fine Ronstan 2331 . They are better
and much less expensive than the Holt
Allen part HA4772
The really high tech lower shroud
adjusters are the StaMaster
SK332. They allow continuous
adjustment of lower shroud
All control lines lead to bowlines around the
shock cord (bungy) for the trapeze. The
trapeze shock cord leads from the deck eye
forward to a turning block near the
forestay. These lines are: Red for vang, blue
for Cunningham, green for outhaul, white for
centerboard uphaul, pink for centerboard
downhaul. Each control line has a knot to limit
how far it can flow through the cleat.
Trapeze handles are favoured by many but
not all helmsmen. A strong cord runs from
the trapeze ring up through the tube to
tie to the bottom of the cleat. The trapeze
control line runs up to a turning block
attached to the trapeze wire (Spectra in this
case) and back down to the cleat. The
advantage is that the cleat is always just
above the tube and may be easily grasped.
Pro-Grip around the plastic tube is sufficient
grip to hold well to sailing gloves.
Some like the trapeze shock cord to
attach lower on the tube.
The red tape on the ring prevents hooking
into the smaller upper ring.
The rope strop traveler shown here is very low
stretch Spectra core. The snap-shackle
on one side must be released from the
eyestrap in order to make the strop long
enough to allow the centreboard to rise
centreboard case. When the
boat is in the water and the board has
been lowered, snap the shackle to the
eyestrap to effectively shorten the strop.
If your centreboard keeps riding up, first
try to use "Japanese
glide tape" to shim
your centreboard case. If you still have a
problem, then add the shock cord shown
to provide an aft tug on the head of
the board. A clip is used to detach the
cord and the centreboard downhaul
when coming ashore
The only hiking straps used by most helmsmen
are shown here. They are bolted low on the
aft cockpit wall and extend forward and
out at an angle. Shock cords hold them
up off the floor and Pro-Grip on the floor
helps your foot stay attached to the
boat when you are on a trapeze reach.
If your rails are equipped with Pro-Grip as shown
in these photos, you should not need any foot
loops or foot blocks on your rail unless you
sail in enormous waves frequently.
The green shock cord shown has one tied
to the tower, runs to one eyestrap
behind the tower to the other eyestrap
back to a small turning block attached to
the tower and then is tied to a knot about
1/2 meter from the end of the mainsheet.
This prevents the end of the mainsheet
trailing behind the boat or diving down the centreboard slot.
Rudder another view. Note dual hold
down, metal spring and shock cord.
The shock cord is fastened to the
bottom transom pintle, it loops
up and ties over the tiller.
This is not a hot rudder but it was at hand and
did not strike the ground.
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.
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 2 inches.
The boom will be scary low. You have to
free the vang and mainsheet for each tack
in windy weather.
If you are slow upwind
more mast rake may help.
Pro-Grip on the cockpit floor and the rail and
aft deck make the boat much much easier
to sail. Some helmsmen (top sailors) also
apply it to the side of the cockpit aft of the
The two white cords angling away from the tower are the centreboard hold down shock cord. After the board is down, they are fed out through the eyestraps for the rope strop and then connect together behind the tower.
These fine RWO 4550 parts cost $59 but
they do work well. Some people precisely
cut the forestay length and eliminate
the cost and weight of this fitting.
The shock 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.
Fastest boat at Worlds 2005! Series of photos.
Cicada sail from Stuart Brown
Harpprecht mast, boom, hull and rigging
15 meter/8mm polyester towline required.
Pro-Grip on rail and cockpit floor.
Control lines lead to trapeze bungy cord.
Bamboo tiller extension.
Dagger rudder stock. Harpprecht built.
Slab sided Harpprecht carbon fibre boom.
TackTic compass mount.