Skippers in single-handed boats have their hands full, controlling the tiller, mainsheet, and sail control lines. Great boat speed requires adjusting all the sail controls constantly. Have you ever been frustrated because the control lines for the vang, cunningham, or outhaul are cleated too tightly (or not cleated) on the other side of the boat? Here’s a mod to make these lines continuous, so that you can always ease or tighten the controls from either side. As a bonus, the mod makes the lines easier to grab. Better yet, you can install them yourself in 1 hour or less, with a simple splicing technique.
Continuous Control Lines – Use and Advantages
Most boats have control lines that end with a knot on each side of the boat. With large purchases in these controls, you often have to pull much line to get to the right setting. When you tack, you either need to ease the control or release it completely to give you enough line on the other side. If you forget, the distraction of having to reach over to the leeward side to ease can be costly.
With continuous controls, you simply ensure each control line is cleated on both sides of the boat. Then you can ease or tighten from either side. Simple and elegant!
As a bonus, the line is easier to grab, since it curves back around to the other side, making it stand up off the deck slightly.
The photos below show continuous control lines for the vang, cunningham, and outhaul installed in an MC-Scow.
Where to Get Continuous Control Lines
Because of the splicing required, you need to replace the standard control lines with line that carries the load in the cover, not in the core. You can order a pre-cut set of lines for the MC-Scow from SailZing. Visit our store or contact us at [email protected]
How to Install Continuous Control Lines
The videos below illustrate the process. One video shows the whole process, including splicing. The second video gives more detail on the splicing.
- Temporarily attach one end of the new line to one end of your old control line, using a needle and some whipping line and tape to form a joint that will pass through the sheaves and internal blocks in the control line system.
- Use the old line to pull the new line through the sheaves and internal blocks. Remove the old line.
- Check the length of the new line before splicing. The amount of line needed may differ between boats. You may want to shorten the pre-cut lines somewhat.
- Splice the two ends of the new line together, using the technique shown in the video below.