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 Where is my outhaul!?
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hlprmnky
Deckhand

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6 Posts

Initially Posted - 07/10/2021 :  20:52:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone, long time reader, first time poster.

I am the very happy new owner of the Carol Lee, a 1985 C25 SR/FK, sail number 5040. I am trying my best to get through the bare minimum project list to get her out on the water this season. She’s my first sailboat, and while I did take the ASA 101/103 certifications last summer, I’m pretty darn green. Please do not assume that I know something already, or that you shouldn’t point something out. I likely don’t, and I will certainly appreciate the help even if I do.

Today’s question is: where the heck is my outhaul!? I raised the mainsail at the slip yesterday, and it certainly seems that I have a loose-footed main; there’s a tiny, tiny thread (about the thickness of strong twine) sewn into the foot, but that’s not thick enough to keep the sail in the track on the boom. There is a grommet on a track slide, to which the clew cringle and a line are attached, however there is nothing else on the boom that could really be used to either provide any leverage to the slide in a boom-end-ward direction, nor any place to secure it except a small cleat that is currently in use by the topping lift.
Critically, there is no hardware on the boom I can see that allows the outhaul to, well, haul the foot of the sail out. I’ve attached some photos of the boom end and the foot of the sail in case anyone finds them helpful.
I would ask the PO, but they bought this boat three years ago, took her out on Lake Michigan, saw the 3-foot swells, and immediately turned around and put her on the hard for a couple of years, finally putting her up for sale this summer.
It’s been an educational and sweaty few days getting to know the boat, and so far this is the only thing I’ve run across that I both think I need to understand/address, and cannot figure out by simply reading the amazing store of knowledge on this forum.
Thanks very much for any advice or help you’re able to provide.




1985 C25 SR/FK/Trad. “Carol Lee” - #5040
Sailing Lake Michigan out of South Haven, MI

Edited by - hlprmnky on 07/12/2021 08:35:26

hlprmnky
Deckhand

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6 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2021 :  20:55:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Also if anyone knows how to make image uploads not be so ridiculously large, I’d appreciate a pointer. I resized all of these to 1024x768 before uploading to my server and they’re still big enough to climb inside! Apologies, I’ll fix it as soon as I figure out (or am told) how.

1985 C25 SR/FK/Trad. “Carol Lee” - #5040
Sailing Lake Michigan out of South Haven, MI
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Leon Sisson
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Response Posted - 07/10/2021 :  21:53:48  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Re:  "Also if anyone knows how to make image uploads not be so ridiculously large, I’d appreciate a pointer."

Don't feel too bad about your huge images, that happens a lot.  However, good on you for wanting to fix it.  Here's a recent thread in which correcting that was discussed: 
"Fiberglass Repair:  Mast Base/Tabernacle"

Re: "...by simply reading the amazing store of knowledge on this forum."

Studying all the info here should keep you occupied for at least a little while.

Regarding outhauls, and really almost anything on these old boats, many (most?) have drifted away from original equipment specs down through the years and owners.  Trying to figure out original configuration is a good starting point, but I don't suggest getting obsessed with ending up there.  For example, on my Catalina 25 I fabricated an 8:1 internal outhaul with a wire-to-rope bullet block cascade ending at a pivoting cam cleat hanging from the boom about 4' from the gooseneck.  Others might be satisfied with a 2:1 outhaul to a simple cleat near the clew end of the boom.  Figure out what works best for your situation.

— Leon Sisson
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 07/11/2021 :  06:10:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a link to diagrams provided by Harken for different internal and external outhauls. https://www.harken.com/en/support/selection-tools/system-diagrams/outhaul-systems/

Here's a photo of a simple 2:1 outhaul. I used this system on my C25. It uses a single block with a becket. It's functional. Some might say it's "drawback" is that you can't tension it if the sail is under heavy load. When I wanted to tension it in a strong wind, I simply eased the traveler to leeward, gave the outhaul a yank, and reset the traveler. During the brief seconds that it takes you to make the adjustment, the jib is still driving the boat and if there's any loss of speed, it's insignificant.

If you want to be able to tension it under load, you can add purchase to it by using a double block and a double block with a becket.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 07/11/2021 06:11:45
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Davy J
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Response Posted - 07/11/2021 :  06:28:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


After adding a new mainsail with a loose foot, I went with this system. I didn't purchase from Catalina Direct because I already had some of the components and only needed to purchase a few more items, but they have a complete kit:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-25/rigging/running-rigging/four-part-outhaul-assembly-c-25/



Davy J


2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/11/2021 :  06:53:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Simple first step, move the topping lift line to the shackle at the very end of your boom. That will free up the inside shackle to handle the outhaul. also, if the topping lift line is larger than 1/4" you might consider downsizing that line and using the larger line somewhere else. The outhaul doesn't need to be larger than 5/16". For immediate sailing, tie off the topping lift to the boom behind the cleat and use the cleat for the outhaul. Longer term, I like the second diagram in DavyJ's post, adding a cleat to the port side of the boom about 2-3 ft in from the boom end, where you and/or crew can reach it easily for adjustment. If I remember correctly, my set-up was similar to Steve's, I put a small block with becket on the boom end and a small single block on the clew of the sail, ran the line from the becket to the block on the sail, back through the block on the boom, then forward to the forward cleat on the boom. For extra purchase, put the block with becket on the clew and a double double block on the booms.

Also, regarding the pigtail (short wire attached to the backstay), attach a small snap shackle to it when you move the topping lift or just forget the pigtail and leave it secured to the backstay.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN

Edited by - dmpilc on 07/12/2021 07:02:09
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JohnP
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Response Posted - 07/12/2021 :  06:50:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since you appear to have a fixed footed mainsail with slugs that slide along the boom, you have no way to significantly adjust the curve of the foot of the main.

If you had a loose-footed main that is held only at the tack and at the clew, then releasing tension on the outhaul would move the clew forward and create a curve in the foot of the mainsail that to produce more power on a beam reach. The whole sail would then have a smooth curve from top to bottom. Conversely, tensioning the outhaul when close-hauled would decrease that curve and produce a smooth, flat sail for beating to windward.

So the simplest modification would be to tie off a small segment of the blue outhaul line to the end of the boom and leave the topping lift alone for now. You don't need to adjust the outhaul unless you buy a new mainsail with a loose-foot.

Your adjustable topping lift is nice when you want to quickly increase standing room in the cockpit by raising the boom up high when at the dock or at anchor.

JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/12/2021 :  07:03:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
JohnP, I think he wrote in the original post that he has a loose-footed main.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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hlprmnky
Deckhand

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Response Posted - 07/12/2021 :  07:32:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dmpilc

JohnP, I think he wrote in the original post that he has a loose-footed main.



edit - I fixed the image sizes, finally! Whew.

That’s correct, though going back over the photos, I notice that you can’t actually see that very well. The track slider you can see, to which the clew cringle is fixed, seems to be the only one on the foot of the sail.

I appreciate all the suggestions and helpful photos; when I am at the boat next I will definitely retire the pigtail, move the topping lift to the after slot on the boom end, and add a block with a becket where the topping lift is now. I think that between that addition and the cleat where the topping lift is being tied off today, that will sort the outhaul.

As a new sailor and new owner, who has (for the reasons outlined in the original post) essentially no access to this boat’s biography, I cannot overstate how valuable the time and help I have received here is to me. You will probably hear from me in the near future, especially as I turn my attention to solving my next riddle - there’s a line clutch for leading lines back to the cockpit labeled “mainsail” and “reef 1” but so far, I haven’t found hardware or indeed a line for reefing, once or several times. Tune in next week for another exciting episode of Project Boat: How Must This Have Worked, When It Worked?

1985 C25 SR/FK/Trad. “Carol Lee” - #5040
Sailing Lake Michigan out of South Haven, MI

Edited by - hlprmnky on 07/12/2021 08:41:01
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 07/12/2021 :  09:24:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For our members who are still using fixed footed mainsails, it might be useful to talk about how and why loose footed mainsails came about.

Adding fullness to any sail powers it up. Flattening it depowers it.

The shape of a mainsail with a fixed foot is adjustable, but not as much as a loose footed mainsail. Before loose footed mainsails came on the market, serious racers and sailors used outhauls to either flatten or add fullness to their fixed footed mainsails, but many casual sailors simply adjusted a moderate tension on the clew of the mainsail and then tied it off, with no ability to adjust it. Increasing the outhaul tension on a mainsail with a fixed foot flattens and depowers it, enabling the boat to point higher and stand up in stronger winds. Easing it adds fullness to it, thus powering it up. However, the shape of a fixed footed mainsail is sewn into it, and that limits its range of adjustability to a certain extent.

To increase its range of adjustability, sailmakers added a panel at the bottom of the mainsail that created a deep pocket in the foot. It was called a shelf-footed mainsail. The range of adjustability of a shelf footed mainsail was as wide as that of a loose footed mainsail (which hadn't been invented, or at least popularized, yet). Shelf footed mainsails were popular among serious racers and cruisers, but most casual sailors didn't know they existed.

When loose footed mainsails appeared on the scene in the 1980s, they permitted an unlimited range of adjustment, and they were cheaper to build, since the sailmaker didn't need to attach a bolt rope or slides to the foot. Probably the greatest benefit of loose footed mainsails is that they forced sailors to rig an adjustable outhaul on their boats, and, once they were able to adjust their outhaul, they started to use it. By doing so, they learned how much it helped the boat if you flattened the sail going to windward and bellied it out downwind.

A simple adjustable outhaul is easy and inexpensive to rig, and, even with a fixed footed mainsail, will make a boat sail more efficiently to weather and faster downwind.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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glivs
Admiral

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USA
783 Posts

Response Posted - 07/12/2021 :  10:55:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a note on posting images. Although by far the most common way is to post a link to an external image server where you control the image size, etc., there is an alternative and somewhat automated approach that will resize your images to 700px x 467px upon uploading regardless of their original size. This approach is only available to Association members but may be something to explore:

On the left of the Association web page click the link entitled "Photo Gallery - New" and on the new page again on the left click "Member Login" and enter your UserID and Password as required. On the next page are various links to upload and manage images/albums. This is a valued 1st generation effort at image maintenance under the purview of the Association that was implemented several years past. The approach could likely benefit from an update to streamline it.

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #597

Edited by - glivs on 07/12/2021 10:56:59
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/12/2021 :  17:32:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! Learn something new every day. I didn’t realize that I could get more power out of my mainsail if I relaxed the foot outhaul. I’ll definitely give this a try next time I’m out…

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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4562 Posts

Response Posted - 07/14/2021 :  05:37:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris,
In your photos, there is an eye strap on the port side of your boom and a turning block on the other side. Those are for your reefing line. In a one line reefing set-up, the line (1/4" or probably 5/16") will start knotted to the eye strap, go straight up through the reef cringle at the leech of the sail, down through the turning block, then forward to another turning block on the same side at the front of the boom, then up through the reef cringle at the luff of the sail, then down to a cleat on the side of the mast just below the boom if not led aft to the cockpit. Since you stated that you have clutches to lead the halyard and reefing lines back to the cockpit (I see the double clutch on the starboard side), there should be two or more blocks at the base of the mast and a double turning block near the front of the starboard hand rail. Instead of cleating the reefing line (and halyard) on the mast, they would continue down to blocks at the base of the mast, then to a double turning block on the cabin top near the front of the hand rail, then back to the appropriate clutches.
Is there a metal plate under the mast with several holes on each side? If so, that is where swivel blocks at the base of your mast would attach. If not, are there turning blocks screwed into the deck at the base of the mast? If neither one, then the prior owner was in the process of leading lines aft and had not completed the project. Most of us, I think, would recommend buying the mast plate from Catalina Direct if you don't already have it.


DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/14/2021 :  06:00:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see one problem with using a one-line reefing system on your boat. The line would come down on the port side of your boom and the clutches are on the starboard side of your boat. You will probably need to use a two-line system, adding a cleat (like the one in Steve's photo) to the starboard side of the boom forward of the turning block for the aft line, and starting the forward line on the port side of the mast just below the boom, running up through the forward reef cringle and down to a turning block at the base of the mast, then to the turning block at the rail and on to the clutch.

For the topping lift, I like the lance cleat. It may also work for the aft reefing line:
https://westcoastsailing.net/lance-cleat-port-1/.
They come in port and starboard configurations. I bought both and use one for the topping lift on my C-22. Works with 1/4" line, so it may be too small for the reefing line.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN

Edited by - dmpilc on 07/14/2021 06:23:29
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hlprmnky
Deckhand

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Response Posted - 07/14/2021 :  18:29:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I concur about the reefing line hardware - I could see it was there, but hadn't yet sorted out how it related to the clearly marked starboard clutch. I think "it doesn't!" is a perfectly plausible answer. :)

I did get up to the boat today, and while it was not an entirely successful trip (new item: starboard Genoa winch is 100% seized, port one probably also needs a deep clean, re-grease/oil, hopefully not new pawls?) I did manage to construct v1.0 of an outhaul:


Onward and upward! I have just the best days when I get to go up and work on the boat; I can only imagine what it will be like when I also get to sail her!

1985 C25 SR/FK/Trad. “Carol Lee” - #5040
Sailing Lake Michigan out of South Haven, MI
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hlprmnky
Deckhand

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Response Posted - 08/24/2021 :  18:53:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Update: Initial voyage today was a total success! Couple hours of beam reach in ~8kts, beautiful sunny day that was only uncomfortably hot when at the dock, returned to the slip with the same number of boats and crew as I left. The same boat and the same crew, even!
I hope you all share a little in this victory because the generous help and encouragement you all have shared were instrumental. I will share some photos later, once I get a chance to resize and host them.

1985 C25 SR/FK/Trad. “Carol Lee” - #5040
Sailing Lake Michigan out of South Haven, MI
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8726 Posts

Response Posted - 08/26/2021 :  06:43:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Voyager

Wow! Learn something new every day. I didn’t realize that I could get more power out of my mainsail if I relaxed the foot outhaul.
Bruce, if you still have the bolt-rope-footed main that I had on that boat, you can't depower the sail that much. My plan was for a loose-footed main, but only when the (relatively new) sail that I got with the boat seemed bagged out. Did you replace it?

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 08/26/2021 06:46:56
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redeye
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Response Posted - 09/10/2021 :  18:33:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


line with red flecks is topping lift. on the top of the boom right to left is outhaul.

harken 245 fiddle micro block with becket and v-jam. line to a harken 225 micro block single with becket and then to a soft shackle to the sail.

I like steves setup better ( simpler ) and may change. I don't need that much power in my block and tackle but it works well. Often when I do feel I want to tighten it it is blowing... ( the 245 fiddle micro block and becket with v-jam does not need the becket but I had the tackle from a Snipe rig. and that is what is pictured )

Anyhoo.. whatever you use I recommend getting the cleats off any surface you put your hands on a lot, its just a matter of time before you slide your hand down and a finger underneath then try to lift up and crack a finger. rarely happens. lines also get hung on them.



Ray in Atlanta, Ga.
"Lee Key" '84 Catalina 25 SR/FK

Edited by - redeye on 09/10/2021 19:08:00
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Voyager
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Response Posted - 09/11/2021 :  05:28:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

quote:
Originally posted by Voyager

Wow! Learn something new every day. I didn’t realize that I could get more power out of my mainsail if I relaxed the foot outhaul.
Bruce, if you still have the bolt-rope-footed main that I had on that boat, you can't depower the sail that much. My plan was for a loose-footed main, but only when the (relatively new) sail that I got with the boat seemed bagged out. Did you replace it?



No Dave, I have not replaced my main or the genoa. They are both still working and I’ve kept them looking good.

What I notice about the main is I can get about 3” of difference when I haul out the foot versus when I slacken the haul out. That does indeed flatten the sail.

The time I need a flat sail most is when reefing. I can achieve a fair amount of flattening when I set the luff end first with a wrap around the mast and the boom, then pull on the aft reefing line to snug down the sail. At this point, the foot and bolt rope are out of the picture entirely.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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