Re: Potter 15 rigging
Wed, 25 Aug 1999 23:51:59 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Pat Brennan, P-15 #621 wrote:

>Boom rest - Do you recommend a topping lift or a crutch to support the
>>boom when docked or at anchor?

I like a lazy jack. Whatever you choose, you will use it not only when
docked or anchored, but any time you lower your main for any reason, such
as to reef or to motor with your sails down, so it should be easy to use
when you are bouncing around in windy, choppy conditions, as well as quiet

My gunter rig came with an x-shaped crutch that was supposed to support the
boom and gunter yard when the sail was lowered, but it was always flipping
into the water, so I designed a simple lazy jack that consists of a single
loop of light line from the mast, down under a hook on the bottom of the
boom, back up the other side to a block on the mast, down the mast to a
fairlead, and back to a cleat near the cockpit. It has the additional
advantage of partly gathering in the sail as it is lowered. It works fine
on my gunter rig and my lateen rig, where I have two spars to catch, not
just one boom, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work on your boat as
well. (Is anyone out there using a lazy jack on their P15?)
>Reefing - I would like to add jiffy reefing, and my sail has grommets for
>reef points. Any suggestions for how the reefing should be rigged? I see
>that Harken sells a one line reefing kit for small boats that includes a
>cheek block on a track for the clew end of the boom. It doesn't seem like
>that block would need adjusting, so why the track?

I guess the track would allow using the same cheek block for two reefing
levels if you restrung the line each time. On a P15 it is easier to just
use a separate cheek block and reefing line for each reef level. On the
opposite side from each cheek block you need an eyestrap or something
similar to tie the reefing line to. The line runs from there up to the reef
cringle, back down to the cheek block, and forward along the boom to a
cleat of your choice.

When reefed the line should lead aft and down from the reef grommet to the
boom at about a 45 degree angle so you position the cheek blocks and
eyestraps accordingly. Remember that the reef grommet becomes the clew when
you reef, and you're trying to depower, so you want to flatten the main as
well as reduce sail area. Since your second reef grommet is further
forward, the cheek block and eyestrap will be further forward along the
boom, but still needs to be positioned to pull aft and down at 45 degrees..

The simplest setup for reefing at the luff is a hook mounted on the
gooseneck. You lower the sail, pull the chosen reef grommet onto the hook,
pull the jiffy reefing line for the corresponding grommet at the leach,
cleat it, and you're ready to haul the sail back up and sail away. Or if
you also have the midsail ties, you can tie them under the foot of the sail
(not the boom) using reef knots. That last step can be omitted if
conditions are hectic. It just makes a neater bundle. You can get stainless
reefing hooks at West Marine or other marine stores. I use a hardware store
rope hook. The holes just happened to match the spacing of the screws on my
gooseneck, making a very simple installation.

The single line reefing system has received mixed reviews here. Friction
can be a problem, but the system seems to work okay for some people.

Your chances are pretty good to find someone in your West Marine store who
can help you select the hardware for your boom vang and jiffy reefing.
Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA