Spinnaker Pole Up/Downhauls…….!!

We ran a small item a few days ago about the ten boat FF Classic/Silver Fleet at Ullapool.  By the way, google says the population of Ullapool is 1,300 people, so 10 FF’s makes them one of the densest concentrations of 2 person keelboat racing than anywhere in the UK, including Shetlands!!  
Adrian Morgan there asked recently how best to rig up a spinnaker up/down haul system and asked the question of Graham Lamond – Graham’s answer is below. It would be great though if someone in the National Fleet could send us explanatory photos, or a hand drawn diagram in jpeg of pdf format…. Can anyone help??
Adrian – you should also check out this very good FF 2663  Resoration Project
 I use a standard double ended pole, rather than a single end and launch roller on the mast. The pole uphaul downhaul has a loop through which the pole passes and there is a standard ‘ramp’ with a notch in the middle of the pole to hold the uphaul/downhaul in place.
The uphaul is rope, which goes up through a sheave below the spreaders and exits from the base of the mast on one of the sheaves in the mast base plug. The tail then goes on to a block through which a rope passes, going via turning blocks to the side deck cleats fitted midships between the helm and crew, so we can both make the adjustment on pole height. The length of the uphaul rope is set so that when released from either side deck cleat, the pole lies level when stowed along the boom. When the crew puts the pole on the mast ring prior to launching the kite, the pole will sit below the horizontal with the uphaul in the uncleated position and just resting on the rope end ball stops. The purpose of this is that when approaching the windward mark ready to bear onto the reach, the pole can be set ready (as long as you know you won’t have to tack again). Once round the mark, the helm hoists the kite, while all the crew has to do is ease the jib and raise the pole as the kite comes out of the chute/bags, then trim the sail. When dropping the spinnaker, the reverse is true. Releasing the pole uphaul allows the pole to drop to sufficient height to let the spinnaker be ‘flown’ into the chute, thus minimising the chances of it going under the boat. The pole can be stowed as soon as the sail is far enough in the chute to be under control. So you can see it is worth spending some time to get the length of the pole uphaul correct.
The downhaul is also a rope which passes through a small block on the front of the mast just above deck level and then to a double block mounted on the keel in front of the mast. The rope then goes forward round a turning block and back to the second sheave of the double block before coming up to a turning block and cleat on the vertical aft face of the foredeck. The turning block forward is anchored to a strong elastic which itself goes to a turning block on the forward deck beam and then aft to a convenient anchor point under the side deck. This way, the down haul is given tension to hold the pole down and also to take up the tension when the pole is stowed, but the length of travel is limited by the rope being adjusted by the cleat on the fordeck. I usually set this length so that the pole cannot rise by more than about 10 degrees above the horizontal, but the cleat allows adjustments if necessary. In truth, I rarely touch it once set. This system was copied from a GP 14, except that the elastic take up on the downhaul went sideways instead of forwards because of the bulkhead and I think they had to double the purchase because of the lack of length.

John Hanson’s Weight Loss Program (FF)….

We may have written few days ago that John Hanson, Fleet Captain at Datchet, has had his boat in the shed for a couple of weeks generally drying/fettling, but specifically try to shed the 3kgs that he is above minimum weight.

The boat is an exceptionally tidy Mk IX with a glorious Championship record – once upon a time the Jerwood boat, I think. Anyway, things get heavier over time – and the boat does too !…  So shedding 3kgs is not that easy when you stop and think about it. The same applies to the boat!!

John has done some thoughtful refitting, gone carbon at the tiller and so on. The idea that got my attention was the tunnel cover in the floor. He had the same thing that many or most of us have – a wooden or GRP panel covering the trough, with a handle running along its length – like an inverted “T” in cross section.

Weighs a bit don’t you think?? Fixed to the boat so inside the minimum weight too. And on our Mk X, actually there is a right way round and a wrong way round. Plus we have probably all had our Bowman kick it out of position – easily done, in fact…

Well – John decided to get one moulded in  carbon. Smart move and a great contribution to the weight loss program.  Not only that though, why have the T-bar handle??  If there is no T-bar handle, the Bowman cannot kick it out of position, right? – plus it is easier to fabricate obviously. So how does John get it in and out easily?? He has a 1″ hole at each end to act as a finger pull – a hole weighs nothing obviously !  To see the crew area with a dead flat floor looks very useful to me – a good upgrade.

It would make quite a great aftermarket accessory from our favourite chandlers, don’t you think?  – or a good Vac Student task at Ovington maybe. I wonder how many shapes there are – just two for Ovington??  There would be several dozen owners out there who might want one.

I must try and get a photo of John’s work next time I see it.

Club Support Package – Datchet Ideas 7 and 8…!!

These are the third and final ideas we have at Datchet about the Practical Help our Association might give as part of a support package to Club Fleets.

Our third idea in this category regards Classic and Silver members. We have already suggested that consideration is given to a lower membership tariff (eg £20) for Classic/Silver members that live in fleets with FFI Status.

Our idea though comes from looking at eBay. Have you noticed that a lot of the sales of classic and silver boats happen on websites other than BIFFA – such as eBay??  We suggest that (i) the best place for owners to sell FFs is on the BIFFA site  (ii) they only sell elsewhere because with BIFFA they would have to join (£35). Why don’t we consider advertising Silver Boats for free so long as they are paid up members (reduced tarrif) of a fleet with FFI status?? (Actually – is this right?? Or can any owner already advertise on BIFFA for a fee??…)

Typical of bar talk, we were bound to think  of whether chandlers, branded clothing or repair shops offer fidelity discounts to BIFFA members of Fleets with FFI status… Why would they agree though? It might be hard to do it with Chandlers maybe, but what about branded clothing for example??

More on “Deliberately Fragmenting Our Fleet”….!!

You might have missed it in the comments section, but this came in from Paul yesterday…

I totally agree with the principal of not fragmenting the fleet. Single starts have to be the way to go, to maintain numbers, improve overall competitiveness and allow progression to top level racing.

In my experience if you put a good sailor in a well set up classic of almost any design they will still finish ahead of a poor sailor using modern equipment. Simply put the speed differential between sailors in most clubs is greater than the speed differential between different vintage boats.

Award separate prizes by all means but let us classic sailors have the opportunity of main fleet racing and the satisfaction of beating boats costing ten times what we paid for ours!  You never know we may then be tempted to buy a newer boat!