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  • #3523

    Am seeking some advice
    Have ancient grp example by Smallcraft, but we love it
    Am planning on replacing the bottle scres (at last) with adjustable plates. Perhaps one or more of you could advise which brand and type is perhaps the best all-rounder
    Heligan’s Bucket is cruised, never raced
    Their simplicity and reliability are appealing
    But how is the rigging then tensioned?

    Dave Barker

    Hi Jay,

    “Cockle” is a relatively ancient Smallcraft boat too. From memory ours are Holt adjusters – the ones with two rows of holes, offset (perhaps HA4272?). That way you have more capacity for fine adjustment than with one row.

    The shroud length, adjusted with the fitting mentioned, will govern how much the mast is raked back, then the forestay is secured with the slack taken out of it but no real tension.

    The rig is tensioned only when either the genoa or jib is hoisted and tension applied through the (wire) halyard and the in-built luff wire in the sail, using a Highfield lever (in our case) or “muscle box”. This causes the desirable slight pre-bend of the mast which should work well with the mainsail, depending upon its cut and condition!

    (As an extra refinement it is possible to have the forestay attached to a line leading back to the cockpit via a couple of small blocks on a 2:1 purchase. This enables you to take up the slack that appears in the forestay when the rig is tensioned and vice versa when it is untensioned. It also makes raising and lowering the mast a very quick and simple operation, which is great if you road trail your boat quite a bit.)

    Judging from your question you perhaps have a significantly different current setup?


    Hi Dave
    That’s great. I had been gravitating in that direction, then got concerned
    current set-up is ancient s/s rigging screws and I think they’re getting a bit tired!!!
    we’ll be cruising a sector of the Scottish Wset coast in a couple of weeks and heligan’s bucket is getting a fettle before we go!!!
    Thanks again
    Good sailing


    How to get tension?

    – If hoisting the jib / genoa on the land, then you can get your crew to pull forward on the forestay (maybe with a foot on the bow plate to help leverage) while you put on the highfield lever to hold the wire jib halyard as tight as possible.
    – If hoisting on the water, then grab the forestay and pull it back towards the mast with one hand, while pulling / pushing the mast forward with the other. The crew can then be putting the highfield lever on to hold the tension.

    (If, when you pull hard on the forestay while pushing the mast, the highfield lever can only just be put on: then you have about 350-400 lbs of tension on the shrouds).


    Hi JordanChris
    Heligan’s Bucket is a really basic Wayfarer and doesn’t sport such sophistications as highfields. Jings, I remember those things from my teens while crewing an elderly Hillyard sloop called Tarlair
    That said, I’m adept at nipping halliards tight and having a slack forestay
    One day we’ll get a bit more sophisticated

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