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Downhaul issues

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Created by skebstebamal Two weeks ago, 8 Jun 2019
skebstebamal
QLD, 562 posts
8 Jun 2019 12:28PM
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hi there, chasing some help.

Just back to sailing. got a cheap complete rig, but have upgraded sails.

Issue is I cannot get downhaul on my sails. i have common issue on my sails. So its either the older c30 NP SDM mcs 25 mast is too old and has stiffened (if thats possible) or my very old and worn mast extension is not rolling under load?

I am a large person so the applied force is not the issue. i can literally hear the rope creaking..

Would the extension make much difference? rollers roll when not under load, but im probably pulling 70kg load atleast when trying to get downhaul to spec.

thanks in advance.

Sparky
WA, 915 posts
8 Jun 2019 10:34AM
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Hi, a newer extension with larger diameter pulley wheels and less corrosion will help. Also new formula-line rope will be less fluffy and will run through the pulley better. The mast shouldn't stiffen with age. It may not be the right mast in the first place though, so check that.

skebstebamal
QLD, 562 posts
8 Jun 2019 1:01PM
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Select to expand quote
Sparky said..
Hi, a newer extension with larger diameter pulley wheels and less corrosion will help. Also new formula-line rope will be less fluffy and will run through the pulley better. The mast shouldn't stiffen with age. It may not be the right mast in the first place though, so check that.


Thanks Sparky. Yeah i think i'll try new extension before going to the expense of a new mast. its the right stiffness mast so whilst it will be a little different with less carbon, i cant see that it wouldnt sit at all on it... as it seems atm.

Manuel7
268 posts
8 Jun 2019 12:27PM
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Lubricate pulleys, use white line (correctly threaded?).

decrepit
WA, 9180 posts
8 Jun 2019 12:54PM
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So what do you mean by "spec". The luff length or where the looseness of the leach comes to.
On some sails the numbers on the sail can be out. It's better to go by how the sail rigs.

If it's how loose the leach is, then that's mast bend not stiffness, if you can't get enough twist up top then the mast top is too stiff for that sail, you'll need a flexier top mast.

Imax1
VIC, 1943 posts
8 Jun 2019 6:30PM
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To add to what decrepit said , don't believe numbers , ( I've had a sail 17 cm out , NP ) , and what year and brand and model is the sail ?

Tardy
2980 posts
8 Jun 2019 4:34PM
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how many wheels on your extension ?
3 ? and is there 3 on your sail .

i use to have big sails and I had to go to 4 wheels to get the 4 cam 9,6 warp down .

a downhaul winch is a great investment ,

tardy .

515
196 posts
8 Jun 2019 5:16PM
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Good points especially with new rope. I tue the downhaul rope to the harness hook and hands grab the ends of the bar , put your heal on base and use rowing action to grunt downhaul tension.

Shifu
QLD, 1175 posts
8 Jun 2019 7:24PM
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Pour some water on the line and pulleys. Cuts the friction.

Mark _australia
WA, 19208 posts
8 Jun 2019 5:50PM
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+1 for all above but note Manuel's - correctly threaded. No lines crossing?

I will add- soak your pulleys in vinegar (ie: submerge) for a couple hours, flush. Spray with dry-lube, CRC, WD40 etc.
Use new formuline.

Then if you have an issue maybe new extension.

BSN101
WA, 1599 posts
8 Jun 2019 9:11PM
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What's the sail?
Can you take a picture of what's happening as we can see your problem.

boardsurfr
WA, 794 posts
8 Jun 2019 9:29PM
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What sails and sail sizes are you rigging? Larger sails can need a ton of downhaul. I have a NP V8 8.5 that I have never been able to downhaul properly by hand (I'm 90 kg and can apply some force). Rope threading was an issue, I did that wrong for a long time. Check this video:

But the thing that really helped was switching to the white formuline line and using a downhaul winch. Now, I use the downhaul winch even for sails that I can downhaul by hand because it makes fine adjustments a lot easier.

peterowensbabs
NSW, 138 posts
9 Jun 2019 12:18AM
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What sail and what mast? It is so important to match gear nowadays. Mast curve as well as mast stiffness is essential. NP really only set correctly on NP masts. North even more so. Also as said before you need to winch, the tension required is greater than you can get by hand.

Harrow
NSW, 2624 posts
9 Jun 2019 8:05AM
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Have you had another sailor check what you are doing? When I returned after a decade hiatus, I also thought there was something wrong with my equipment. I simply couldn't believe how much downhaul tension is required with modern gear. I have a 6:1 ratio with my extension pulleys and then also use a winch.

flowmaster
291 posts
9 Jun 2019 10:31PM
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wrench it and go surfing


Basher
61 posts
10 Jun 2019 12:29AM
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Apart from getting your mast extension to work better - as many have helpfully described - you can also get the downhaul on more easily simply by putting the boom on the mast early in the rigging process. Get as much tension you can on the downhaul without breaking your back, and then fit the boom.
And then you use outhaul to flatten the sail and to bend the mast more easily than downhaul will. Set the boom length longer than the recommended setting, if that helps.
With the help of the outhaul, you should be able to get full downhaul tension on more easily, without the need for a winch.
Once the downhaul is set correctly, you can then re-set the boom height to your preferred height, re-adjust boom length, and then set the outhaul to the correct tension for sailing.

LeeD
476 posts
10 Jun 2019 5:45AM
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70 kg seems like minimal downhaul.
North Prisma and IQ's needed around 500 lbs downhaul tension.
Brace top of mast against something solid and while pulling hard with a 1" diameter tube, push hard with your foot against the bottom of your extension to bend the mast.
Most sails only needed 300 lbs. of downhaul tension.

sailquik
VIC, 4645 posts
10 Jun 2019 9:24AM
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what are 'lbs'

LeeD
476 posts
10 Jun 2019 7:48AM
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Our answer to your flapper.

Tardy
2980 posts
10 Jun 2019 8:48AM
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its a english currency ...

2.2 lb equals 1 kg

thats a ripper downhaul wrench flow master .

Pacey
WA, 112 posts
10 Jun 2019 9:48AM
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I had similar issues when I came back to windsurfing not long ago. I had trouble coming to grips with the amount of downhaul required, particularly at spots like Melville where the wind could be quite variable. I was constantly going out with not enough downhaul, but also sometimes too much when the wind was patchy, and having to come in to change it.

I ended up adding a 5:1 fine-tune on the dead end of the downhaul purchase, this gives me a 30:1 purchase and allows me to adjust downhaul on the water, very useful if the conditions change significantly.


The top blocks just have a double loop of spectra above the ferrule that the mast sits on, and this works pretty well. It allows some adjustment of the extension, but obviously if you drop the ferrule on the extension very far you lose travel on the fine-tune.


musorianin
QLD, 206 posts
10 Jun 2019 12:58PM
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Select to expand quote
flowmaster said..
wrench it and go surfing



Just want to add that this is a also good way to help keep your back healthy. My last injury was a lower back sprain from rigging, not sailing!

Paducah
365 posts
10 Jun 2019 11:54AM
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Taty Frans shows how to downhaul a sail around 0:15 in

LeeD
476 posts
10 Jun 2019 12:11PM
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Most freestylers don't fully downhaul their sails.

Paducah
365 posts
10 Jun 2019 12:19PM
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LeeD said..
Most freestylers don't fully downhaul their sails.


So, you're telling me you would be downhauling freestyle sails by the same method?

flowmaster
291 posts
10 Jun 2019 2:35PM
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flowmaster said..
wrench it and go surfing

Simpel to make, remove de swing handle , dril make threaded, imbus bolt with glue easey peasey.
I can now downhaul my Loft racing blades with ease en comfort , they need a ton off downhaul, so the way these freestylers downhaul would not get me anywhere. Nice tricks however.

Mark _australia
WA, 19208 posts
10 Jun 2019 6:39PM
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LeeD said..
70 kg seems like minimal downhaul.
North Prisma and IQ's needed around 500 lbs downhaul tension.
Brace top of mast against something solid and while pulling hard with a 1" diameter tube, push hard with your foot against the bottom of your extension to bend the mast.
Most sails only needed 300 lbs. of downhaul tension.



Divide 500lbs by 4 (its a 4:1 pulley system) and your testosterone statement fades away a bit doesn't it.
Yeah pretty close to the 70kg that he was talking to be applied to the rope after the cleat.

Bodybuilders leg press 600-700lb so no way did a windsurf sail ever have 500lb of actual force needed. With ONE leg. jeez.

But hey, nice try.

Mark _australia
WA, 19208 posts
10 Jun 2019 6:39PM
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Select to expand quote
LeeD said..
Most freestylers don't fully downhaul their sails.


No, most freestyle sails are tighter-leeched.

How is this helping the bloke with the jammed pulleys/....?

skebstebamal
QLD, 562 posts
10 Jun 2019 9:49PM
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Thanks for all of the info!!

i think i'm suffering from nearly all of the above ??. My rope is fury and frayed, the rollers are pretty corroded, and im sure im a gumby at looping the rope correctly.

I ordered a new extension.

The sail is a 2013 loftsails switchy 7.8m rigging on an sdm 460 C30. I havent got enough downhaul, besides the fact its about 5cm short, the leach is loose only miminally into the first two panels.

I think the extension had seen a better decade, so hopefully that sorts the issue.

I'll report back with a result.

thanks again

skebstebamal
QLD, 562 posts
10 Jun 2019 9:53PM
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boardsurfr said..
What sails and sail sizes are you rigging? Larger sails can need a ton of downhaul. I have a NP V8 8.5 that I have never been able to downhaul properly by hand (I'm 90 kg and can apply some force). Rope threading was an issue, I did that wrong for a long time. Check this video:
But the thing that really helped was switching to the white formuline line and using a downhaul winch. Now, I use the downhaul winch even for sails that I can downhaul by hand because it makes fine adjustments a lot easier.


ok. i was stuffing that up for sure!! thanks. thats a great little vid.

LeeD
476 posts
11 Jun 2019 12:20AM
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Appears to be lots of very sensitive blokes in OZ.
Nowhere did I ever said I could downhaul a Prisma/ IQ with my bare hands?
Did I say I was 26 and a pro freestyler? Or Did I say freestylers generally use less downhaul?
Sensitive little childs!



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"Downhaul issues" started by skebstebamal