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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

RS800 Boom Sheeting and Twin Tillers - The Vote

by Steve Cockerill, Rooster Sailing 6 Feb 2017 13:59 GMT 6 February 2017
Steve & Sarah Cockerill using RS800 Boom Sheeting © Steve Cockerill

Having only been helming and trapezing for a few months, I was interested to see that there is now a proposal to change the rules in the RS800 to allow sheeting off the boom, and for those that want, the crew can take the mainsheet too.

I have to admit that although I have been practising hard at the back of this new ship; I am not as sunny or confident as I would like to be and with a week to go to the deadline for the RS800 Class to vote on this new arrangement, I opted to give it a go.

Twin tiller extensions appeal to me as most of my awkwardness is when coming into the boat and trying to manage the sheet and pass the single extension round the back. In fact, with so many techniques learned over the years this new one was starting to get sorted, but why not give another one a go?

The Sea Sure Contact II twin tillers was my first choice as the join holds the extension in line and high, this allows the hand to slip down extension and over to the other extension with ease. I used another Rooster 25mm 2.1m extension as Sea Sure have 22mm and 25mm options so they fitted easily. Those clever people at Sea Sure even had neat clips to make it easy to remove the extensions from the tiller itself for transport.

I used a Harken Large Stainless Eye Strap and two stainless 4.8mm rivets as it had the same dimensions as the Selden one suggested in the set up guide. I did note that the drill bit should be a 3/16″ for a 3/16″ rivet. So 4.8mm not the 5mm drill bit suggested. I also had a length of Mylar that I cut up to make the mainsheet catcher.

My aft bridle was simply the one I took off the centre bridle and the two blocks that were on the boom were quickly moved to the new aft deck eye. Instructions the RS have created are very useful – they can be found here. I unscrewed the centre swivel cleat and filled the holes in with silicone.

I used a pair of P Clips to hold the aft bridle and some 'Jap Tape' to protect the boom where the ratchet block rubbed, rigged my aft elastic through the aft traveler block and we were ready to give it a go. My Polilite 9mm mainsheet was more than long enough, specially as I could now tie it to the jib sheet end. I might do a nice joint from one to the other to keep them less clingy.

The boat suddenly looked right. The cockpit floor was clean – Sarah instantly realised she could stand further aft when hoisting as there were no central travellers to get in the way. On that note I also finally gave Sarah a 5mm Spinfast Spini halyard. She was much quicker with no tangles all day.

The racing was interesting. It was so easy to tack and gybe compared to the old system, and by the end of the first race I started to hand over hand sheet to play the main. I also started to use the mainsheet to pull myself into the boat to help initiate the turn after unhooking. Wow a lifeline.

The new system gets my vote. Do I care that some crews will be great at playing the mainsheet – not really, I am happy with my technique. Perhaps they should have given lady helms the option to have men crews who can play the sheet? Whatever the vote this week – I am definitely going to stick to twin extensions and an aft bridle system. I am hoping I can also continue to take it from the boom.

Check out the video almost a lap..

Don't forget to vote!

Happy Sailing!


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