C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

C'est la Vie's updated mainsail rigging

Since departing Everglades City on April 24th we have used the reefing system on our main sail frequently.  With all the changes to C’est la Vie’s rigging last fall – altering the mast step, new head sail, new standing rigging, new boom, new mainsail track, etc. – I am pleased with the function and simplicity of our mainsail rigging.

The most complex aspect of our mainsail is the DutchmanFlaking System.  The Dutchman system was on  board when we purchased C'est la Vie.  I’m not going to launch into an assessment of this system in this post.  I do realize the benefits of a system for managing the cloth as it is lowered.  The Dutchman System works well on C’est la Vie.

The strong track system added to the luff of the main last fall is nothing short of amazing.  We can now raise the main without the winch when pointed windward.  The sail also will fall under it’s own weight when the halyard is released.  Prior to installing the strong track the main required hauling down even when pointing to wind.

Our new boom, fabricated by Paul Lockwood at Omar Sails,  has three control lines run internal from the aft end toward the mast. The least frequently used of these lines is the out haul.  It runs from the clew of the main to a block centered in the end of the boom.  It then runs inside the boom towards the mast and terminates on the bottom of the boom near close to the mast. 

Our main has two reef points.  The aft end of the reefing lines are terminated at the boom with a couple wraps around the boom and a bowline knot.  This simple approach works well and does not require holes drilled into and/or hardware attached to the boom. The reefing lines then run up to a cringle (metal eye in the leech of the sail) and down to blocks in the aft end of the boom. 

The two reefing lines (blue & white in the image above) exit the boom along the starboard side near the mast. The tack of the main is shortened via ram’s horns (hooks on the boom) that attach to rings on the luff of the mainsail. The starboard horn & ring are visible atop the boom just left of the black halyard in the image above. 

We use a boom vang to control the twist and lift on the mainsail when sailing off the wind.  We store our vang in a cockpit locker when not in use.  When the boom vang is desired we create an attachment point on the boom via a couple wraps of a loop of 9/16” tubular webbing.  The lower end of the vang is clipped to C’est la Vie’s slotted aluminum toe rail.  The line runs aft to a cleat just outboard of the cockpit. 

If anyone has questions, requires more detail, or would like a photo of some aspect of our mainsail rig please leave a comment or send me an email.  

1 comment:

  1. Your main sounds like it has a great set up.

    How easy it must be to raise and lower the main. On our boat its a bit more involved and more complicated and the equipment is original with the 1970's sailboat.

    We are going to get the lazy jack system I believe though. Our sails are old and soft.