Latest News: Forums Technical Strange "in boom" outhaul system. Any thoughts?

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    I’ve just been in the dinghy park helping a new member set up his boat. He has purchased an old mark 1 with gold spars. (See picture with boom held upside down)
    [attachment=0:3q1e2gyg]photo (15).JPG[/attachment:3q1e2gyg]
    He has a multi/purchase outhaul system in the boom. My own is in a more modern boom and is more or less as shown in the wayfarer book. This one has a wire tail coming out of the clew sheave, and a rope pull via a tube cleat and a sheave under the boom at the tack end. There is clearly at least one, possibly two small blocks in the boom but it’s impossible to see how it’s rigged and the boom ends are riveted into the boom. The unusual bit, to me anyway, is a loop of rope with two knots in it that passes out and back into holes in the boom. See picture. The knots can clearly only be tied when the rope is being set up so they must be intended stoppers. The rope is old and stiff and the wear is jamming it in the holes which prevents me working out what’s going on or moving any of the blocks, but measurement tells me that the system has a likely 4:1 pull.

    He is a novice sailor intending to potter locally in the solent and the rest of the boat is very simple spec so I was going to advise him to replace with a straight rope 2:1 system with the only purchase through the clew.

    Anyone know this outhaul system please, if it is such?

    Thanks in anticipation


    Hi David
    I still use an old Gold Proctor boom and that doesn’t have any internal outhaul arrangement.

    I have rigged a simple purchase externally, looks to me like this is a DIY alteration.


    Thanks Peter, I’m sure you’re right. I’m curious though and don’t want to cut the rope out if it’s for some other purpose. A simple rope system would be much better for the intended use.


    Though I have no idea what the knotted rope is about I do have a comment on the outhaul purchase.

    It takes about an inch of tack movement to go from a full sail to a flat foot. The purchase is not about multiplying your force but to allow fine tuning of the foot and leech. Using two blocks in cascade inside the boom and another purchase at the tack (from the boom end, through the sail and back to the boom end) gives you a 8 to 1 purchase. More important is that it gives you 8 inches of rope to play with instead of one inch. Obviously this allows much finer tuning of the leech and the foot. Don’t dismiss the arrangement yet but try it for a while. I’ll guarantee you will soon start to love it.


    Thanks sweiberte, agreed. I set up the 8-1 you describe in my boat for the use you suggest. The person i’m helping has the gold boom and the old worn ropes are jammed in these holes though the 4-1 still works, albeit very stiff. I think i’ll drill out the end plug check it out and expect to find the bits to convert to something decent with a bit of decent rope. As i’m thinking about this I think i’ve come up with the answer to the mystery rope. A 4-1 could be a cascade with two fixed anchor points (or one used twice) for the purchases. I think the knots must be those points. Cant understand why the rope is continuous between them though.

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