Pat Connolly, of Chatham, Massachusetts, asks:
"My 23-foot sloop has weather helm. I replaced the hanked-on jib with a furling headsail, but after the furler was installed I had to tighten the backstay to get the sag out of the furling system even though the new forestay was cut to the same length as the old one. The owner’s manual says there should be a mast rake of about
I usually sail with one other person, and I’m wondering how to choose between a continuous-line furler and a spinnaker sleeve for my asymmetric spinnaker. Which is easier to deploy, and is one better than the other for singlehanding?
-- Mark Trainor , Norwalk, Connecticut
Win Fowler replies : Both a furler and a sleeve are effective ways to set and douse an
"The mainsheet traveler on my boat is mounted on a bridgedeck at the forward end of the cockpit with the mainsheet itself running through a six-part tackle from the traveler up to the end of the boom. The mainsail is about 350 square feet. I’d like to run the mainsheet back to a winch near the helm. How should I proceed?"
-- Robert Elder , New York, New York
"I’m building a 42-foot cutter that I hope to launch this year, and my present sailplan is a fractional rig with running backstays. I plan to use a carbon-fiber mast, but I want to do away with the runners. Can a rigger redesign the standing rigging—particularly the chainplate locations—or will I have to redo the whole sailplan? And if that’s what’s required, where should I go to get a new
"My Grampian sloop is fairly heavy, but it performs well in a breeze. However, my arm gets tired holding the tiller to keep the boat sailing in a straight line. Would moving the foot of the mast forward or aft help correct this problem?"
-- Harry Newiger, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Win Fowler replies: Several things could be causing this problem—it’s
"Many experts recommend that cruisers carry extra shrouds and stays. To save space, I’m thinking about carrying Spectra line as a backup. Does the idea have any merit?"
-- Kim Barr , San Francisco, California
Win Fowler replies: In theory, Spectra or Dyneema line—both are high-modulus polyethylene—will work fine as standing rigging in terms of breaking