Upgrading the Outhaul

My outhaul has been problematic forever.  It is hard to pull and hangs up on occasion.  Time to take it apart and replace the cordage or even increase the purchase too. Does anyone have advice and drawings of what is in the boom?

You may switch your outhaul purchase to 12:1 from the stock 6:1. Usually that’s done by adding one more floating  block to double the purchase of the 6:1 system rather that by trying to add another loop to the existing setup. Here’s a picture from the J/105 class site.

I strongly recommend using stripped dyneema (or Amsteel) or something like that for the whole setup – ditch the standard wire arrangement. It will run very smoothly and will require little maintenance.  Don’t be tempted to go too large on the line size except for the last line to the sail clew – I’d use 1/4″ for that – and make sure that all of the splices are locking brummels to avoid “surprises” on the racecourse since it’s really hard to inspect the system once installed. It’s really important not to have any twists in the system when you install it and finally, don’t forget the messenger line when you take the old one out – that will save you 30 minutes of screwing around looking for a 14ft stick to fish the end when you’re putting it back.

If you’re taking the boom off and having this done professionally, I suggest having them remove the vang tang and inspect it for cracks. The tang extends +/- 8 inches either side of the slot where it exits the boom. When booms fail, they usually go aft of the tang and snap it in half, which implies that the stiffener is needed for boom integrity. There’s no objective proof, but in my opinion the tang crack forms and travels over time to the point where the now-unsupported boom section fails in a gybe on some slightly more than usually windy day.

Fleet #1 AdminUpgrading the Outhaul