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Thread: how many fair leads do we really need?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    50

    how many fair leads do we really need?

    Commander No. 155 checking in! Our commander has two fairleads. the first to set appears to be original and is located on the top corner of the Cabin House. The total length of track is about 1.5 feet.

    There is a second track on the toe rail, about midway in the cockpit. Is this for a Genoa?

    Is this second track necessary? I would love to remove it and fill the holes. It appears to be good quality and has a small strip of teak under it. But when I crawled inside the cell locker of the bolts protruded in a rather rude way! I like the idea of the simplified but am I being foolish to remove these tracks?

    Will it become a useful at a later date? We sail in the bay area and we seem to have too much sail area already. Currently we are running 110 jib with roller furling. I can't imagine us see a sale big enough to use that rear fairlead?

    Any thoughts out there? Wouldn't Pearson have taken into account jib configurations and settled with the best solution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    453

    Wink

    My Ariel had a relocated jib track and a strangely augmented Genoa track, See the “before” picture on the left below and the “after” picture on the right. The original jib track leaked I guess, so a previous owner removed it and repaired the delamination. The new jib track was located further inboard close to the trunk cabin.

    A Genoa track was also installed. That Genoa track went from here to there and back again. It was the world’s longest Genoa track. See the photo on left. The oddest thing about it was that the Genoa track had bends between the forward section and middle section and again between the middle section and the aft section. The bends created corners that no jib block car known to human kind could negotiate. No cars came with the boat when I adopted it. I never did find a car that could make the corners. Perhaps the previous owner had articulating track cars. That track was actually a very ugly looking thing. I hope that I have improved both the appearance and functionality.

    The good thing about that old Genoa track was that all of the holes were drilled extra large from below and filled with epoxy, and then re-drilled. A thoughtful and careful previous owner obviously cared about the boat. I decided to remove the center (unusable) part of the track. I recycled that section of track by using it below deck backed by a teak 1” X 1” as a backing plate for the two eye bolts that run through my deck and a boarding step in two of the former track holes. I permanently filled the rest of the holes with epoxy. A boarding step seen in the photo on the right now covers all of the old holes.

    The eyebolts serve as the connection points for my drop-down emergency boarding ladders and as terminals for my forward and my aft lifeline system. Since they are through bolted to the wood backed steel track below the eyebolts are most secure. The forward life line runs to pin rails that are through bolted around the forward lower shroud and finally to the bow pulpit and down to thru-bolted pad eyes on the foredeck. Although the lifelines are Dacron and not wire, they are securely fastened to the boat. If I did not have to lower my mast twice on every sail as I pass below the bridge, the Dacron lifelines probably would be coated wire instead, but I like the Dacron personally.

    So if you do remove part of that Genoa track, don't fill the holes, use them. Jackline, lifeline, boarding ladder connection points all come to mind. And by the way, as can be seen in the photo on the right, the Genoa track makes a grand place to hang fenders, or attach a two point flexible boarding ladder.

    However I kept my Genoa track. If it ever blows kindly enough around here to use mine again, I may just get my Genoa out and move my blocks off the jib tracks and onto that ample Genoa track. Last time I did that, I had to pull the darn thing down, reef the main, and raise the class jib. I was single-handing at the time with no autopilot, and the sail change and reef took about forty five minutes. I just stuffed the Genoa below and folded it when I was back at the dock. I do like that class jib.
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    Last edited by Scott Galloway; 10-01-2004 at 09:56 PM.
    Scott

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,267
    The ss track by the cockpit was placed there by Pierson to handle the sheets for a high clew headsail (150%?). Not much use today. Ditto the fair leads on the cabin top. The were for the high clew working jib of the time. Search on jib track and you will find a lot of information. This photo shows the current thinking for Bay Area yachts with 110'% jibs and 120 - 155% Genoas:

    http://www.pearsonariel.org/discussi...76&postcount=3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore)
    Posts
    197
    I think I have the same track you do on my Commander Anthony. I can't imagine how you'd sail without it. When its blowing with the small headsail up I run the sheets from the cabin top out to the block on the long track then back to the winch. The sheet overides on the winch coming straight off the cabin top and my daughter's don't have the muscle to work the headsail and cleat off on the cabin top without the winch. It looks a little odd at first to see the sheet go through two blocks but it works well and lets you always cleat the headsail sheet on the side of the coaming where the person at the helm can reach it.

    It seems essential for the 150. It's so far back of the widest part of the boat it can keep that big sail closer in so it points up better than a lot other boats the same size. With the block forward the sail can really belly out when you need the curve in lighter winds (we have a lot of that on the Chesapeake). It might be different with roller furling. I still have manual furling. We change headsails a lot and strangely enough think its part of the fun. I did make some small backing blocks for the bolts but it seemed strong even before I did that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    453
    Do either of you folks have photos of 1.5 feet of track located on the top corner of the Cabin House on your boats? As you can see from Pathfinder and Augustine shown above some of us out here on the West Coast have jib tracks on our main decks. I am interested in seeing one of those cabin top jib tracks. Also Bill, the photo of Pathfinder that you posted has a small pad eye just forward of the front terminus of the cabin top hand rail. As yoic an see from the photos I posted, I have one of those too. Actually I have two of them: one port and one starboard. Like the downhaul padeye behind the mast, which I just removed, those pad eyes seem lightly backed to me, especially in light of the fact that the mounting bolts run through the cabin liner. I am not sure what the darn things are for. I hesitate to ask, because I am sure that the pad eyes have some elementary use that I somehow missed in Sailing 101. Thanks.
    Scott

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,267
    The pad eyes are for attaching a vang/preventer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    453
    Thanks Bill,

    An accidental jibe with a preventer on the main boom while sailing downwind would be a frisky load to place on one of those pad eyes. Do you use your cabin top pad eyes for that purpose? How have they performed?
    Scott

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,267
    Got backwinded in high winds once and broke the vang. Pad eye remained.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    57
    The padeyes on Commander #92 were for the jib sheet dead end. The sheet ran from there to a single block on the clew and back to the block on the 12" track on the cabintop. From there these 2:1 sheets came to a sheave with a cam cleat on the coaming top. A sheeting platform was configured on the coaming's top edge to mount the sheave / cam cleat.

    See my drawing at http://www.bway.net/~bogle/winch.html

    This was a Commander that was purchased from Pearson without the winch option. I have added winches, but not the turning cheek block aft shown in my plans. Someday I will.

    In the meantime I have removed the original 12" tracks and padeyes (which turned to aluminum dust), replacing them with 4 foot long tracks on the cabintop for the 110 working jib. She seems to point well with the track inboard on the cabintop edge.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore)
    Posts
    197
    I could be really confused here since this is my first boat and I seem to mislay names, dates and other things more often lately but.....

    I've been sailing my Commander using those short tracks on the cabin top for the working jib. I looked at the picture on the front of the Commander sales brochure and that's how that one is rigged. The jib sheet comes outside the front, lower shroud and inside the next two to get to the track and block. This may be a different use for the cabin top tracks than on an Ariel. These tracks are at least 3 feet closer to the bow on a Commander than on an Ariel due to the tradeoff between cabin space and cockpit coming out in the cockpits favor. The boat really points well as a result. It makes up for not having a traveler although I imagine that would still help some.

    The tracks next to the cockpit I use for the sheets on the monster Genoa (150 I think). The sheet goes out to the block on the outside of the shrouds then forward to the winch. I also have the fiberglass stands for the winches. I wish I had the massive block of wood with the cleat on top. Tying off sheets to the cleat on the outside of the coaming when the rail is down in a breeze can be a challenge.

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