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Folding boom?

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fasteddy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 May 19 at 9:46am
Hi all..

Am very new to sailing, bought a fibre glass 12 foot dinghy with a single sail for myself and my son. We live in north Scotland so have many large and small lochs, plus the coastal waters around the highlands to play in..

We have had one very fun afternoon in Loch Shin which was also our first time sailing.. Loved it..

Pic shows the boom not set into the sail as it should be, will be correcting that by moving the clasp on the mast further up so the boom can slide into the sail.



Now we are looking at getting our boat a bit more ready for the summer.
First thing that we see as a bit of a problem is that the sail cannot be reefed. It slides directly onto the mast and then slides onto a boom (mast and boom are aluminium tube). We also have an electric transom motor to help maneuvering in and out of launch points, but we cant use this as we cant stop the sail from propelling us at any point.
As the sail cannot be reefed, I was wandering if a form of hinge could be fitted where the boom connects to the mast, and then a line running from the top of the mast could be used to pull up the boom, thereby putting the sail out of action until the boom is lowered again.

Apologies if this is all old hat for all you experienced folk out there, we are trying to read as much as possible and talk to other sailing folk, but I am finding very little info on modding a small craft and so have joined this forum in search of wiser minds..

I am an engineer so have no hesitation in having a go at anything..
Any ideas or suggestions?


Edited by fasteddy - 09 May 19 at 9:52am
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MerlinMags View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 10:00am
A rope running from the end of the boom to the top of the mast is called a "topping lift" and it does indeed put the sail (mostly) out of action, as you suggest. This is not suitable in strong winds though, as the sail will still cause a lot of drag, and erratic rolling of the boat.

You probably don't need to add a hinge to the mast-to-boom connection (called a 'gooseneck') as this surely already pivots up and down?

Don't worry too much about the sail not touching the boom. As long as the boom is long enough for the sail to be pulled tight, this is fine to see a gap in the middle. You want that rope very tight in strong winds to keep the sail flatter.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eisvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 10:27am
Can you not reef the sail by winding it around the mast?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 10:29am
Three ways to reef:
1. Buy a smaller sail to use instead
2. Roll sail around boom (need 2 eyelets put into the sail)
3. Tie ropes at intervals to bunch the sail up (needs 5 eyelets)

Fitting eyelets to a sail can be done in a DIY way, but I would be a bit wary. They have to be damn tough to cope with the pull from ropes and wind.

(Rolling around the mast works with SOME sails, IF you have a way to stop it unrolling!)

Edited by MerlinMags - 09 May 19 at 10:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 10:30am
Looks like if you leave the boom out of the sleave you could reef by wrapping the sail around the mast (depending on how far you can wrap until you get to the battens). This is what Toppers do.

It's also good because it's very easy to do on the water, let the outhaul loose, take the boom off the, twist the mast which wraps the sail, put the boom back on the gooseneck and off you go. 




Edited by mozzy - 09 May 19 at 10:31am
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fasteddy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fasteddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 10:30am
Ah.. wisdom and knowledge.. I am in the right place..

Thank you..! Am just about to pop out and move the gooseneck a bit further up the mast, the boom should then slide onto the sail as it was designed to..

As for a 'topping lift', sounds just the job for us, we also want to go out and do some fishing, cant see that as being possible if we cant pull in the sail.. I hear you regarding high winds, but I doubt we will want to go out in anything other than a gentle breeze until we get the hang of all of this..
As the sail slides onto the mast, think I am going to have to come up with something that fits over the top of the sail (split ring?) and take a line from there to the end of the boom..

Will take a couple of pics of our progress as we sort this one, maybe it will help another noob..

Thanks again..!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fasteddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 10:49am
Some great ideas..!
Will first have a look at rolling the sail around the mast as that should not involve any mods or new parts, although in the video above (thanks mozzy) the guy leaves a lot of sail out and this would not stop our boat from catching the wind.
I will have a play around in an hour or two and see what can be done with what we have..
Just had a quick check and you are right MerlinMags, the gooseneck does indeed hinge, although not sure how far until I get it all out this afternoon.
The idea of a topping lift is quite appealing at this point as it would pull the boom out of the way and give us more space to move around on our wobbly sea-legs.. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 11:35am
Oh, sorry, you are looking to get rid of the sail whilst anchored up? 

Quite a lot of people reef just to reduce sail area for sailing in more wind, which is what the topper video is talking about. 

You can of course keep on wrapping your sail until it is completely 'furled' around the mast. When sailing toppers we'd do this over lunch, or even over night ashore and when being towed on the water.  



 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fasteddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 12:51pm
Thanks mozzy.. exactly what we are after.. Unfortunately, our wonderfully unpredictable weather here in the highlands means it is raining and hailing at the moment. As soon as we get a dry spell we will get out and try that out..
Nice pic, thats a lot of wrapped sails..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 19 at 2:44pm
The sail has a sleeve for the boom right? Unusual, most sleeve luff sails are loose footed as you have your's rigged now. I'd leave it as is personally, having the boom in the sleeve will make reefing much more difficult, and impossible on the water. And I wouldn't move the gooseneck to avoid extra holes in the mast if possible. What I would add though is a clew strap, a loop of rope or webbing round the back end of the boom and through the sail to keep it close to the boom. That'll make the sail work a little better and, as a bonus, increase headroom by a couple of inches.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 09 May 19 at 2:47pm
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