Latest News: Forums Technical Sliding Gooseneck

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  • #4576

    Yes, I know this has appeared on a number of occasions, but usually in the context of tents.
    What I’d like to do is fit a sliding gooseneck when cruising (pottering day-sailing, not distance stuff) with a smaller main. Another few inches clearance under the boom would add to the general comfort of a somewhat nervous crew.
    Before there is a storm of protest from the more scientific sailors; I’m only proposing a three or four inch lift, so it shouldn’tchange the dynamics much, and, of course, it’ll be a small jib.
    I’ve no idea what section the mast is, but it’s a Proctor, of course, and the boat was built in ’84.
    Your thoughts and experience, please.

    Dave Barker

    As you say, this usually comes up in relation to tents, and this is the reason that we started using a sliding gooseneck on our previous boat. I had to enlarge the mast slot slightly to get it to fit (angle grinder, file, abrasive paper), and although Holt/Allen apparently make several different widths of sliding gooseneck, even the narrowest wouldn’t fit “out of the box”.

    Anyway, having made it fit the boat, we were sailing on the Broads a few years ago when it occurred to me that the reeds were blocking the wind low down, so it was really only the top half of the sails that were doing anything useful. Because it had been quite windy we already had a reef in the main, and rather than shake it out when the wind dropped, I decided to raise the boom, just as you’re describing. I wouldn’t call it a runaway success – although it was lovely (especially as a taller Wayfarerer) to have the extra height in the boat, the reefed sail isn’t as efficient as the unreefed one, even allowing for the reduced sail area, and of course the heeling moment is greater than it would be with the reefed sail in the usual position – but overall it was a fun experiment! (The kicker needs to be long enough, but there are ways to solve that if it isn’t already.)

    Why not give it a go?


    I’ve rigged 653 up with a smaller main and you can get the boom to go a few inches higher with a sliding gooseneck.

    You could even put another black band on the mast so you know the best height for the boom when you are putting your smaller main on.



    Thank you for those prompt and encouraging replies.
    Efficiency isn’t too much of a problem as the sail was cut for the job. Ihate the thought of butchering the mast, but if needs must…
    i wasn’t sure that I could find anything suitable to adapt. What fitting did you opt for?

    Although the Wayfarer’s a great boat, I’ve often wondered why the boom’s so low (compare GPs, Herons, Snipes), given the original design brief.


    I use a standard sliding gooseneck (proctor gibb written on it). There’s one on eBay going for 99p – search sliding gooseneck.

    Not sure if you would need to butcher the mast. I never did but not sure mine was standard.


    Colin Parkstone

    The Mast section is an “E”, made by Proctor Masts which is now Seldon Masts.

    If you have an older mast with a large open section for the gooseneck, your need an old style wide gooseneck with a clamp part which raps round the outside of the rear of the mast on the outside as well as in the luff groove.

    If your mast is more up to date, its a thinner gooseneck with the clamping part in the luff groove only as the outside part is the fixed part of the clamp. Hope that makes sense.??


    I had a sliding goosneck on my Enterprise and it was a complete pain in the bottom when I was sailing, always sliding up under halyard tension so I had to use a Cunningham all the time.

    For my Wayfarer tent I made a largish “L” out of two layers of 3 mm brass soft soldered together that sits in the luff groove above the goosneck where it widens on my fairly new Selden mast to allow you to get the luff rope into the groove. Because there may be some vertical movement and the boom makes rather a long lever which could damage the mast, I made a pin hinge so that the bit that goes in the boom can lift up though about 80 degrees.

    This sits about 200mm above my fixed Gooseneck and seems to provide the right height for the ridge of my Mk 2 Tent.

    The holes are where I used some thin brass tube to pin together the pieces of brass that make up the L while I soft soldered it all together they are handy to tie it to my tent when it is stowed. The hinge is a bolt that screws into a tapped hole in the moving part.

    The bit on the left sits in the luff groove and the bit that is tipped up goes in the boom. Hard to explain in words how it fits in the mast but it works a treat.


    When I purchased my World, it had a second permanent gooseneck attached above the main gooseneck for use with a cruising sail. This setup has not been a problem when using either of the sails.



    That’s very interesting. How is it done, and do you have pics?


    Sorry, but I do not have a picture. If I can get down to the boat this week, I will get one for you. However, it’s nothing complicated. Just see how your current gooseneck is riveted and the second one is fixed in exactly the same way the appropriate amount higher. As they are both in the luff feed section of the mast, they do not interfere with the raising of the sail. The higher pin swivels to one side when the lower gooseneck is used. When raising the sail using the higher pin, it is easier if you drop the boom off the gooseneck until the sail is fully up, as there is less space to feed the luff into the groove – I understand that this is the recommended way to raise the sail anyway.



    Managed to get the pictures:

    [attachment=1:2bin6ikc]2013-06-26 13.54.27.jpg[/attachment:2bin6ikc]
    Note that both goosenecks are below the luff feed area.

    [attachment=0:2bin6ikc]2013-06-26 14.55.01.jpg[/attachment:2bin6ikc]
    Shows how the top gooseneck swivels to one side when the lower gooseneck is used.



    đź’ˇ That’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments.
    Just so obvious! I suppose it will work with the older square spigot as well. I’ll have to check the distance from tack to luff rope on my full-size main, but that’s nothing a sailmaker couldn’t sort out. I’ll also, if I may, put the idea forward for use on our club (RVSC) training Wayfarers, for much the same reason as my original enquiry.

    Thank you for taking the trouble and getting those excellent photos.

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