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Exploring Cam Cleats Part 3: Practical Applications of Cam Cleats

by Allen 12 Oct 2023 08:30 BST
Practical Applications of Cam Cleats © Allen
Exploring Cam Cleats - Part 3: Practical Applications of Cam Cleats
mainsheet jammer in use on musto skiff

In Parts 1 and 2, we unearthed the different types of cam cleats and their essential accessories, unveiling the tools that elevate sailing efficiency and safety. Now, in Part 3, we're venturing into the various applications which utilise cam cleats and their many accessories.


Different types of cam cleats and their accompanying accessories are designed to cater to specific uses and sailing scenarios. Let's explore a few different systems and how the cam cleat and accessories play vital roles towards enhancing sail control.

Mainsheet Control

Cam cleats play a crucial role in managing the mainsheet, the primary control line that governs the angle and trim of the mainsail. The main sheet controls the power generated by the mainsail, affecting the boat's speed, balance, and overall manoeuvrability. Cam cleats are essential in efficiently adjusting and maintaining tension in the mainsheet, contributing to precise sail control. The most typical system for mainsheet control is to use a large swivel base, also known as a mainsheet jammer.

A mainsheet jammer allows the sailor to have precise control, as the lead into the cleat is usually a ratchet block. (Ratchet blocks add friction into the system to reduce the load on the line.) The jammer can swivel to pre-set angles, allowing sailors to control the mainsheet tension from most locations on the boat.

Self Aligning Jammer
Self Aligning Jammer
Dual Arm Jammer
Dual Arm Jammer
Keep following us as next week we explore how best to maintain cam cleats in Part 4: Maintenance and Care of Cam Cleats
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