Adventure Sailing Canoe

"String 'er up "


The main halyard pulls the gaff up to the masthead pulley thus raising the sail. The gaff is held secure by wrapping the tight halyard around a cleat on the front crossmember ( outrigger side of the mast). It should be long enough to reach from the lowered position of the gaff up to the masthead pulley and back to the canoe floor plus about a metre which makes it about 8 metres long. 8mm poly rope should be adequate. It is permanently attached to the gaff by passing it through the saddle, around the gaff and then back through the saddle to be whipped to itself. The loose end should be secured to the boat to prevent it falling all the way through the pulley when lowering sail in a difficult situation. In storage the halyard is used to wrap around the rolled up sail and keep it neat.

The downhaul is simply a 2 metre length of 8mm rope that attaches to the boom where it meets the mast and pulls the sail taught along the mast edge. It is held by a saddle on the front crossmember (starboard side of the mast).

The main sheet has a simple single pulley block connected to a rope wound through the boom saddle and around the boom as was done with the main halyard. Another single block is attached to the rear crossmember in the middle of the boat. A rope fixed and whipped to the top of the lower block runs up through the boom block, back through the lower block and out to the crew members hand. A cleat on the lower block allows the crew member to relax his grip (but not let go) of the main sheet under stable sailing conditions. These two single pulley blocks are about the only components that need to be bought from a marine supply store. The sheet must be long enough to allow an easy grip when the sail is let out to 90 degrees of the boat. Thus about 5-6m will be adequate.

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