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    Hi all,

    Just acquired Bartels roller reefing spar and genoa and waking up to the implications re the mast tackle. Not seeing a best way of rigging the boat, ideas range from:

    1) temporary use of the kicker between the mast foot and the thwart to steady the mast on the way up.
    2) rig the existing tackle along the foredeck with either a) small pulley to apply tension directly under reefing drum, or b) to a separate forestay parallel to the spar (even though not ‘structurally necessary)
    3) A short bowsprit to space the forestay to avoid tangles (splutters!!)
    4) retain a forestay and tackle but only use to tension rig whilst Bartels spar assembly is refixed and then release and stow
    5) in lieu of forestay, could fit blocks up the mast and tension the spar from the top end with rope falling to deck snug to but external to mast
    6) could use the jib halyard + block as the tensioner above the top swivel (but maybe better to keep this to hoist sail cover?)
    7) or some other permutation…..!

    Welcome any ideas. Not a regular ‘shooter of bridges’ but want a nice tidy, easy to use arrangement for when we do



    Have you read this essay?

    Perhaps I don’t understand your problem but the reefing system is hoisted and tensioned just like any Genoa. The beauty of the Bartels system is that it needs no rigging modifications, except perhaps the length of the Genoa halyard.

    With the boat on the trolley it leans just enough forward to have a steady mast without stay or shrouds. I often step the mast before fixing the shrouds and the stay. I find this an easy way to disentangle the lines after a road trip.

    Should you decide to use a safety wire you have to hoist the furling system before stepping the mast. In that case you can hold the reefing system like you are currently used to holding the stay. When single handed I use the drum control line through its fairlead (near the bow), cleated in one of the spi-guy cleats next to a shroud as a safety catch. When kept under constant tension it even keeps the drum floating in mid air, preventing scratches to the deck. But it is much easier with a crew that walks the drum forward while I raise the mast. I use this method even if I sail without a safety wire. Because I stow the reefing system with some bungees alongside the mast while traveling, it is less work to do it that way. Note that while traveling the sail and its cover and a small piece of foam prevent chaffing. Also my mast strut/lighting board has a separate cut-out for the furler.

    The sleeve is hoisted by the spinnaker halyard and if you don’t have one, you could add a small block to the mast where the stay used to be. Don’t use the Genoa halyard for hoisting a sleeve, it is far better used for tensioning the rig. A cover halyard could be tied to the (now disfunctional) boom eye.

    One of the design goals was to get rid of the halyard, that is to say, to have the sail furl around it. Any distance holder and bungee system will fail sometimes, and always when you least want it to fail. A furler will jam if it catches the halyard.

    PS here is a PDF version of the aforementioned essay.


    Thanks for quick reply.

    My mast looks like it may have had a spinnaker halyard (now removed) so will give its’ reinstatement some thought, and retain the jib halyard for the spar.

    My big worry was around raising and lowering the mast afloat while the reefed Genoa / spar and drum dangled from the jib halyard – a) how to avoid foredeck or spar damage, and b) how to keep the mast upright while laid across the foredeck trying to reattach the drum on the stem.

    I wasn’t sure the halyard would allow me to tension the rig enough either, my recent dinghy, an enterprise had a rigging screw and the shrouds ended up nicely taught as a result.




    For bridge shooting there is a drum extension that allows the spar to go horizontal over the deck. There is a picture of it in Dave Barkers essay. Without a safety wire the mast can be lowered just like you would do with a normal Genoa. That is to use the halyard to lower the mast. Since there is no stay to undo there is no deed to crawl the foredeck, which is a safety factor as well IMHO. I never use a safety wire inshore to allow mast lowering without having to undo the drum at the bow. Offshore there are no bridges to shoot. :mrgreen: Sailing without a safety wire does require you to inspect the Genoa Halyard more often and perhaps replace more often to avoid unexpected breakage.

    If you don’t use a spinnaker but do have a Spinny sheave in your mast you could use the Spiny halyard as a safety wire. It allows you to undo the safety from the confines of the cockpit.

    Over here most bridges are high enough for a Wayfarer to sail under, or they open. I hate bridge shooting for a small mistake can have severe consequences like breaking the tabernacle. Also the rig may block the helm. If I have to shoot a bridge I prefer to moore or run up a beach and carefully lay the mast in a strut, bind the rig together making sure the engine, helm and cockpit are free. Then I safely motor under the bridge only to re-assemble the boat safely ashore or moored again on the other side of the bridge. Most of the time we have to incorporate the other traffic in our decisions, often they are large commercial barges. So, to me bridge shooting is something I only do If a bridge isn’t operated anymore (evenings). I can do it while sailing if I have to, but I try to avoid it as much as possible. But if you are shooting bridges with no other traffic than an occasional day sailor, it is a different matter.

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