Latest News: Forums Technical (show us yer) barber haulers

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  • #4496

    Howdy Folks
    I’ve spent several months wondering what on earth is a barber hauler?” (twinning line) … Well, finally the penny has dropped and I’m wondering about fitting them as I find our spinny sheets have a horrid tendency to snag round the boom end when gybing. However my boat is already a floating rigging festival (mainly inherited features) and with the spinny rigged the cockpit is a seething mass of technicolour spaghetti: so I’m keen to see how people do this before helping myself to yet more spaghetti, and/or find out ways of preventing the above mentioned problem apart from fitting barber haulers. I’d be pathetically grateful for any pictures – can’t find any anywhere – though I feel confident Ton will pop up a link to something I’ve missed!
    Boris W6330


    thanks Swiebertje/Ton for you swift reply. When I said I was confident you would ping me the links, I was actually hoping I HADN’T missed something … but there: my wife says I’m VERY bad at looking for things!
    anyone doing anything different to these?

    Dave Barker


    I don’t think a picture would help, as it would just confirm your impression of technicolour spaghetti being the result of rigging a Wayfarer for 3 sails! (The barberhauler adds to this impression by trailing right across the middle of the boat.) Although we have based our setup on Uncle Al’s “balls” articles, we have used stainless steel rings instead of blocks at either end of the BH as they are lighter and slightly more varnish-friendly. Any extra friction is negligible. They need to be of small enough diameter to hold the “windward sheet” or guy low enough to bring the cam cleat on the outer edge of the deck into play. (On Al’s system this cleat is raised on a wooden block.) Just ensure that the block/cleat/ring/deck-clip system all works correctly before drilling and varnishing everything.

    Given the very limited amount of racing we do these days compared with the amount of extended cruising, I’m not sure the extra sophistication of the balls system justifies the more cluttered boat, but we’ll give it a try for a while.

    Colin Parkstone

    The problem I found with the balls was when you try and put the pole out before you hoist the kite with the guy in it, the spi was pulled out and around the bow to the pole. This was not good to have a spi flapping about in the way before you use it.
    You have to let off the guy rope via the guy twin rope, this was then another job to do when you hoist the spi to pull on the guy.
    I found that having twin lines is good but no balls.
    You can put the pole out before you get to the mark with the guy in it and as you hoist the spi the crew has only to pull back the guy to bring the spi to the pole and so is under control, then you can pull on the sheet when your ready for the power.
    The spi can flap around when at the pole but if its away from it it will fill and pull you over.Get the guy under control then your be safe.
    I still use bags on my Mk4, the big hole in the front helps fill the boat with water in waves so its covered up.
    One day I will try the hole, I have used it before but Im to old to learn new ways i think!!!

    Dave Barker


    That sounds like really useful advice. We don’t tend to bother with the spinnaker unless it’s going to be up for at least an hour (perhaps I exaggerate a little), but still want the boat to be set up efficiently. We’ll have to try without the balls(!)


    I have removed my balls a few years ago (…) for exactly the same reasons, Colin. I still have the tapered sheets though. They seem to work better in light winds due to the lower weight, or is it just my imagination? I am not sure if I would buy them again once they wear out. They are three times more expensive then regular spinnaker sheets.


    thanks for all these thoughts folks.

    After mulling it over I opted for a simple approach to the main problem I had – namely: “boom-snagging-the-sheet-during-gybe misery”. clearly there are great sublties open to the seasoned barber-hauler hauler, but if all you want is to keep your sheet/s lower than the boom this will do it. It also provides partial releif from the irritating “yards-of-sheet-trailing-beside-the-boat- gloom”. (Not be confused with the far more serious sheet-fell-over-bow-to-get-to-know-centreboard-better Blues). So If you don’t fancy the “balls” here’s my interim “rings’n’strings” solution. I suspect this has some effects on the subtleties of spinnaker setting for similar reasons to the position of the genoa sheet, but for now I don’t mind.

    photo attached: and yes, I know the split rings I’m using now will need upgrading to proper stainless steel rings ASAP – ’twas just a prototype.


    tootle pip

    Boris – Delphy W6330

    Colin Parkstone

    Only problem with this idea Andrew is that you have now closed the leach of the spinnaker bye changing the angle of the sheets.
    You will choke the spi and not have a good exhaust out the back of the mainsail.
    The reason the sheet goes to the back of the boat is to open the leach of the spi and the twin lines help to keep the guy under control.


    Good point Colin

    As you can tell I’m having a tricky time learning to sail with a spi without other Wayfarers in the club. There is one Lark racing regularly, but he doesn’t use a twinning line. Also no-one’s description of sailing with a spinnaker matches anyone elses!

    So I’m puzzled, because on one hand i can immediately see what you mean, but on the other hand these little lines have helped me, so far: all three sails seemed to be pulling well on the reach last time we sailed, but the wind was brisk, and we may have missed the problem you describe in our exertions!. The lines are rather longer than they look in the photo so the choking effect may be mild. The length is just enough to stop the spinnaker sheet pulling the boom inboard – which was one of the problems we had before – it seemed that spinnaker was happy but the main was killed by the spi sheet pulling in on the boom, sheeting in the main didn’t help, it clearly needed to be further out. This was particularly dire on a very broad reach. With these lines rigged that just doesn’t happen and everything can be sheeted to draw better.

    I was always thinking of this as temporary, so whilst we’ve got you on the topic Colin, is it necessary to have a line crossing the boat? I was rather put off by the thought of adding yet more rope to the crowded crewing area. Are there any dis/advantages in having two small control lines, one on each side, which you can use individually to damp down whichever side you need to control rather than a single line pulling in on one or other side? The mystery deepens when you consider my boat was raced successfully for years without twinning lines, so clearly there are things I’ve not spotted or understood!


    I am about to install the 2 camcleat option on my boat, largely because I am not ovelry keen on more string across the middle of the boat.

    But, one question that I am struggling with a little is why the CL217/218 camcleats have the hooks facing outwards. If the idea is to hold down a spinnaker sheet/guy, isn’t there a more secure hold from the hook facing inwards?


    Colin Parkstone

    Because the hardest pull on the cleat and its angle is when the spi pole and hence the guy is on the forestay.
    The guy pulls against the closed side of the cleat when reaching which is much more preferable.
    When running, if the guy comes out of the sheet and you have a second cleat in the boat your still under control.
    Plus you have to get it in the cleat somehow and so it has to have an opening!
    This is why twinning lines have been found to do a better job, they hold the sheets where ever the spi sheet angle goes and can pull the sheet to the reaching position from within the boat so you don’t have to reach out of the boat to or go to the other side.


    ‘Tis a wondrous thing to be able to leave a permanent record of one’s ignorance in public in this way!
    To update this so as not to lead others astray later:

    today Angus and I finally got to grips with the spi with the help of an RYA dvd (comes with their “Advanced Sailing” book – thoroughly recommended)
    Part way through the afternoon we abandoned the little lines and rings I’d put in. I finally twigged they are completely unecessary and ONLY cause the problem Colin mentioned, pulling the leeward clew too far down and choking the leech of the spi. In fact I think you’ve all been very polite about it!!

    Here is what I finally realised:

    that whilst gybing the helm should have positive control of both the uncleated guy and the sheet so it shouldn’t be anywhere near the end of the boom, which is being pulled over by the crew, not by the wind, whilst the boat is pulled along almost entirely by the spi

    that on any point of sail with the spi the boom ends up way further in that it would be without the spi. As far as I can tell this is due to 1) increased air bend around the sails (looks like it goes through at least 40 – 50 degrees) 2) forward shift in apparent wind. The reason the sheet was “pulling the boom in and killing the main” was that the boom was meant to be even further in to stop the sail simply flopping. Once you get it properly pulled in to engage the main, the spi sheet and boom are miles apart. Doh! Interestingly I’ve seen LOTS of photos of W’s and other boats sailing with spi’s where the main appears to not doing anything to help the boat move – I assume for this reason.

    So I would urge anyone reading this to ignore my strings and rings – please.

    ta ta for now.

    Boris – Delphy W6330.


    It is possible to edit (or delete) your old messages on this forum.


    Please don’t delete any of the thread Andrew, the thought process you went through will help others to understand not only what to do but also why the wrong way doesn’t work. I too did not understand the intricacies of Barber Hauler, but I now know that the Wayfarer community has tried the other ways and this is the correct solution….until someone else comes up with a bright idea.

    An excellent thread.

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