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From: Ron Nicol
Date: 04 May 2005
Time: 04:54:04 -0400
If you are running the stock 2:1 Harken 3" jib blocks, the sheet should be about 50' long using 3/8" or 7/16" line. This allows enough line to run a continuous sheet and to tie the line off to the forestay when not in use for scrubbing down the decks,etc. You should use an independent tag line from the dinghy blocks to the clew of the jib about 18" long, as opposed to shackling or tying them together; this allows each block to move around the mast independently and makes tacking smoother. Also, do not mount winches cleats or sheet stoppers low on the mast, as they will snag the jib sheets on every tack, and this can be very annoying, especially in a blow. When going upwind with the jib the lead is generally set at the front of the track, and with the genoa it is set toward the back of the track. If you have the old track that runs athwart ship, you should upgrade to the longer fore/aft track. This gives a lot more adjustment for the different sails and points of sail. For reaching work you may want to use a barber-hauler to pull the sheets outboard and down, this changes the lead and keeps the top of the sail from twisting off and spilling the air, instead of directing it aft and onto the mainsail, creating more lift and therefore better boat speed. There are many other factors, starting with getting new sails, adding a reacher and/or spinnaker that will help your performance and round out your sail inventory and options for different points of sail.