Mainsheet mayhem?


Paul Brotherton comes up with a couple of simple solutions for an old problem in open-transom boats
Happily there are several solutions, here are a couple of the easy ones. 1. Take the vang or cunningham, and adjust the purchase so that it finishes with a single string that can be lead down the centreline of the hull. The end of this control line then runs to a single swivel cleat in the middle forward section of the deck, and is spliced directly to the end of the mainsheet. This has two positive effects: you can always access that control while fully hiking; and the end of the mainsheet is always pulled forward and inboard, therefore preventing it escaping. 2. The second idea is to fix the end of the mainsheet to elastic that has sufficient strength and length to pull enough slack out of the sheet to prevent it from slipping out the transom when sailing upwind. So in the middle of the deck, somewhere further forward than your feet go when tacking in the lightest breeze, attach a large pad-eye (fixed point). Take the end of the mainsheet and neatly stitch and splice a 3 mm diameter length of elastic to it. Run this elastic through the pad-eye and take it as far forward as possible before you tie it off. There may now be enough elastic length to drag the tail of the mainsheet through the pad-eye and keep it in the boat. But if the elastic isn’t long enough, then you simply place a single pulley at the front of the deck and turn the elastic so you can increase the run down to the back of the boat. The pad-eye needs to be big enough so that the mainsheet and elastic splice or stitching can go through unrestricted. And the mainsheet should be long enough so that you can bear away in a

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