Mainsail rigging

rick.jones's picture

These are photos of my mainsail rigging on my Mac 19. It includes the following features:

* A mast gate for inserting the sail slugs.
* Turning blocks with cam cleats at the mast base.
* A continuous loop halyard, enabling the sail to be hauled down.

I made the mast gate by first cutting and drilling the aluminium plate, then drilling and tapping the mast to match. After that I cut the piece out of the mast with a Dremel cutting disc (with a piece of cord tied through the hole so as not to loose it!). This piece was then screwed permanently to the plate.

I closed the existing opening in the mast channel by the simple application of a wooden mallet. It's surprisingly easy to hammer it back straight.

The Pivoting Exit Blocks I've used are made by Lewmar, and are only really suitable for rope up to 6mm. They will just take 8mm but it's a bit tight. On the 19, 6mm is adequate for the halyards. The only other blocks available in that style are made by Harken, and are much stronger, being all stainless, though expensive. They do two sizes, the larger one is good for 8mm - 10mm rope, so ideal for halyards on a 26.

I created the same arrangement on my previous 26X, and because it worked so well I repeated the exercise on the 19. It's a simple way of bringing main halyard control back to the cockpit, avoiding expensive deck organisers and clutches, for which there's precious little room on a Mac. On a 26M, it also doesn't interfere with mast rotation (I actually got the idea from a similar system Roly Simpson has on his 26M). The halyard/downhaul loop allows the mainsail to be raised and lowered positively from the cockpit, and avoids a huge pile of rope when the sail is raised.