Broken Handles

Being new to the sail winch system, I have raised the main sail a few times while sitting in my front yard just to get the idea. This weekend was the first time out and while raising the main sail, I snapped 3 handles off. They may have been already weakened but the sail seemed to go up hard. There was a good breeze, but not too hard. I ended up loosening the tie down at the rear of the boom to get the sail up, then re-attached the sail on the back of the boom. I never had trouble with my Johnson scow but it had a rope to raise the sail. I am guessing I was doing something wrong. I have one handle left, obviously I will get a few more. I am open to any and all suggestions. P.S. Had a great time once the sails were up. Took along a few passengers that had never been sailing before and they all loved it. Need a few minor details fixed up, like the rudder needs to pivot up and down better, etc. but overall, an enjoyable experience. #1385

Comments

I just bought my, new to me, Scot a few weeks ago too.

I just bought my, new to me, Scot a few weeks ago too. Did you make sure the halyard wasn't tied around anything and that the sail lip was feeding into the track cleanly? My first time raising my sails I broke a handle too. I thought I had read that raising the sail would lift the boom out of the boom crutch but in trying to do that I broke a handle. Now I pretty much raise it till the tension jumps up and leave it there. I single step the mast and was a little concerned about tensioning the mast forward enough with the jib halyard (attached to a line through the bow eye) to attach the forestay with the stock aluminum handle. If it ever broke while cranking the jib halyard the mast would probably spring back and come down *hard*. I went to Sears and bought a 9" slide bar (#00944152000 ) and a 1/2 to 3/8" socket adapter. I tried it for the first time yesterday and it was very nice for dealing with the mast. I left the socket in the middle of the bar so I got a good feel for the tension. It works for raising/lowering the sails too but you obviously need to be more careful with it as it won't act as a 'fuse' like the aluminum handles will. Even if you keep using the aluminum handles this is nice backup in case of breakage. I think the handle and the adapter were around $16. Shawn

You may have already read somewhere that these handles are desig

You may have already read somewhere that these handles are designed to break before the halyard would break from over tensioning. If they broke when the sail was fully hoisted you may have been overtensioning. If it broke before that point (and you were head to wind) you are getting to much friction in the sail track or your halyard may be fouled. I would clean the track in the mast and spray some lubricant there and on the bolt rope of the main sail. Assuming this works you should leave about 2 inches of halyard showing above the head of the sail. In other words dont hoist it till it stops. I marked the halyard where it appears in the mast slot cut out so I can tell when I have the proper hoist and I dont hoist too far by accident. Then use the cunningham to get the proper luff tension for the wind conditions.

The Flying Scot site has rigging instructions which will answer

The Flying Scot site has rigging instructions which will answer a lot of the questions here (inlcuding raising the mast and how to attach the forestay). In particular, for raising the mainsail see http://www.flyingscot.com/rig9.html about 40% of the way down the page. You definitely should leave 2+ inches at the top of the mast for the mainsail, as pulling it all the way up may snap the halyard or break a handle.

The sail was about 3/4 the way up and just got a little hard to

The sail was about 3/4 the way up and just got a little hard to raise. It seemed that the sail doesn't go high enough to take all the slack out of the sail at the bottom of the mast and front of the boom. The first handle broke when the sail was caught under the side cable (that would be my fault) Since I just have taken ownership, I have no idea if the handles have been 'stressed' previously or how old they are. I assume they get brittle with use and age. Cleaning the track sounds like a good idea. I also 'magicly' had the top sail batten dissappear. I am guessing it wasn't put all the way down into the pocket of the sail, or there is damage that made it slide out. I have repaired a number of spots on the sail. I am still a little unclear on the Boom Vang, I think I have one but not too sure where it fits or how it is used, or is it mostly for racing. I am learning and this forum is a great help. Thanks to all. P.S. The instructions on the Flying Scot website were a great help, I couldn't have figured it out otherwise.

quote:[i]Originally posted by Corsa[/i] Since I just have taken

quote:
[i]Originally posted by Corsa[/i] Since I just have taken ownership, I have no idea if the handles have been 'stressed' previously or how old they are. I assume they get brittle with use and age.
I doubt the aluminum winch cranks get weak over age or usage.
quote:
I also 'magicly' had the top sail batten dissappear. I am guessing it wasn't put all the way down into the pocket of the sail, or there is damage that made it slide out. I have repaired a number of spots on the sail.
Most likely the batten pocket is damaged. We had that happen to our main sail. It's easely fixable with dacron tape or sail yarn and needle.
quote:
I am still a little unclear on the Boom Vang, I think I have one but not too sure where it fits or how it is used, or is it mostly for racing.
The boom vang is used when sailing upwind. I let someone else explain the proper boom vang adjustments since I myself still have to learn about it. Image hosted by Photobucket.com The black line between the tabernacle and boom is the boom vang. As you can see it pulls the boom down. To make life easier it has a purchases and a cleat on the center board trunk (which you can't see on this picture).

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

The vang can be used both upwind and down.

The vang can be used both upwind and down. Upwind, it's used primarily in heavier air. The Scot likes to have a lot of vang used in these conditions for two reasons: 1) it flattens the main, 2) it allows the mainsheet to be eased and de-power the main in puffs without allowing the boom to rise (and power it back up). Essentially in this situation the vang acts like the sheet and the sheet acts like a traveller. Downwind it's used to hold the boom down (helping main trim) but in heavier air you have to be ready to release (de-power) it if you start to broach. These are just some basics to get you started. [8] FS4830

Ah, The picture helps.

Ah, The picture helps. That is the rope/pulley I have and wasn't sure about. I have a track on the boom at about that location. Just wasn't too sure what it was for.