H260 Mainsheet

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In many small boats such as the H23.5/26/260, the bottom of the mainsheet connects to the "U" bolt on the deck. It's a little easier to reach with a tiller equipped boat but very inconvenient if you are standing behind a wheel.

On a deep downwind reach anyone on the lea side forward in the cockpit can get strangled or whacked in the face with the mainsheet when you gybe. They are sitting there enjoying themselves on the high side and all of a sudden they have this rope in their face. Not a good experience for newbees or Admirals.

It only happens once before all learn to get out of the way. When I'm alone or have a full cockpit, I detach the mainsheet from the "U" bolt on the cockpit floor and reattach it to the rudder post. This is especially useful in gusty conditions where you don't have someone tending the main.

I have to duck under the mainsheet when TACing but all in the cockpit are safe from this not so pleasant experience.
If you look closely you can see I also have my hand on the extra long jib sheet set up to run through the Spinlock clutches.


I tried raising the block from the "U" bolt with a short piece of rope as others have done (see picture at top far right). That helps, but I found the best way to deal with this issue is to attach the bottom block of the mainsheet to the rudder post. This way it is right where you need it -- especially in gusty conditions. You have to duck when tacking but I just steer with one hand and ease the boom over with the other hand. If you look close at the picture in the center you can see how this works. Adding spinlocks to handle the jibsheets makes single handed sailing a breeze.

I don't see any difference in performance of the boat and it sure makes my life easier.