View Full Version : Reefing Tack Hooks

The Flash
01-03-2011, 11:36 AM
Hey Folks,
I've just installed a Tides Marine mast track - and due to it projecting an inch behind the mast - I have to remove the existing mainsail tack/reef horn fitting. The tack is simple enough to replace - I'll use a bolt and separate "eye" and then use a soft shackle.

However, thoughts on the reefing horn replacements? I can buy some standard "rams horn" style and bolt to the gooseneck - but was thinking of something a little sexier. Some sort of cunningham sort of arrangement? How to keep a forward vector to the attachment to avoid stress on the mainsail track? Anyone got some photos?

Here's my gooseneck - I could easily through-bolt the solid aluminum plate that the boom attaches to. And yes, there is some play in the 2 fittings on the mast - I'm going to have to insert some bronze bushings. Nothing like stainless wearing against aluminum.


01-03-2011, 12:33 PM
The horns/hooks aren't that great even though many of us have them. Replace the big vertical bolt with an eyebolt for the tack - maybe that's what you meant? Clean it all up and Tef-Gel it when you put it back together.

You're doing some shorthanding, right? One option is to set up the reefing lines to control them from the cockpit.

Either way, for the tack reef I wouldn't drill through the aluminum casting - get it farther forward and down so you're not always having to work underneath the folds in the reefed sail. To avoid more holes in the mast, could you put tangs under the lower bolt(s) of the existing shroud tangs? On the port side, shackle the end of the tack reef line to one tang and on starboard, shackle on a block (to take the reef line down or aft). This creates a 2:1 purchase through the sail's reef cringle.

If you decide to take the clew reef lines aft, don't have them pull straight down like they are now - you'll really load up the gooseneck. Take them through blocks on the mast first. For those it appears you'd need to drill some holes. Allow for the changing lead angles as the boom moves around.

Once you think you've got it but before you drill any holes, have Glenn, Ryan, Scott, etc. (i.e. a local rigger) take a look. These things are always more involved than they first appear to be.

Fun stuff though.

The Flash
01-03-2011, 01:29 PM
Thanks Bob -

Yes - for the main tack, use an eye(forged oval eye nut) and bolt combo - much more simple than the monster Kenyon gizmo I have now - that I can no longer use anyway. (From McMaster - the "eye nut" is 316 stainless)

I hadn't thought about using the shroud tang points - those angles might just work.

I'm good on the clew lines though - I put clutches on the boom to take the loads on the boom itself. There is load when reefing - but with the topping lift installed it's not too much.

I'm off for a bottom job soon - and am including at minimum the installation of the bushings on the rig in the service order - but I'd like to go to them with the ideas for the reefing tack(s).

I do enjoy playing with this stuff - the new main looks bulletproof... Also installed the autopilot remote control this last weekend, haven't sailed with it yet...

01-03-2011, 01:53 PM
Since the main is new and you may be changing the "tack setback" dimension, it would be good to have the sailmaker check the tack grommet location to avoid any weird twist or stress, and resulting wrinkles eminating from the tack. It could be an issue at the head too, unless using the aft hole in the headboard will solve it.

The Flash
01-03-2011, 02:19 PM
I'll keep an eye on that -thanks

01-03-2011, 03:20 PM
We bent and did not trust the reef hooks on Burnsy's DB1, so we lashed on a T5 Tylaska. Far more secure than a horn and easier to release. I highly recommend this.

01-03-2011, 05:32 PM
Great idea - I'll look at doing that. I have the rings in the sail but they don't always want to lay onto the hook correctly. What about a second reef (I use it sometimes) - have a second T5?

01-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Great idea - I'll look at doing that. I have the rings in the sail but they don't always want to lay onto the hook correctly. What about a second reef (I use it sometimes) - have a second T5?

Use the same T5. No need for a second. Just pop it loose and snap it onto the second ring.

Sanity Check
01-04-2011, 04:33 AM
My boat came with 3:1 purchase Cunningham tackle on one side of the mast with a "J"-shaped hook for the tack. This always pulled the sail differently depending on which tack I was sailing on.

I relocated this tackle by attaching it from spare holes in the mast step plate and added a short pendant coming from the other side of the mast step plate with a small thimble-less spliced eye that I reeve through the tack cringle and then hook the j hook through it so that it gives me a 6:1 purchase. The pull is downward and forward.

I always reeve the pendant through all the cringles in the sail so when I'm deeply reefed this keeps the bunting of the reefed sail luff under control at the gooseneck.