On MC-Scows with board pull-down lines (boats from around #2477 to around #2680), you can add an extra board release line to give you more options for manipulating the boards.
A cam cleat near the forward end of the cockpit holds the board up by securing the board pull-up line (white line in the picture above). The pull-down line (blue line in the picture) releases the pull-up line from the cam cleat by pulling on a ring that encircles both lines. The pull-down line allows the sailor to ensure the board goes fully down for upwind sailing. This is an advantage over the older-style boats (before #2477), which had a release line, but no pull-down line. However, the current design has a few limitations:
- If you want to lower board slightly (for example, from full up to partially down for downwind sailing), you must use the pull-down line, possibly overshooting the desired position, and then re-adjust with the pull up line. In the older style boats, you could simply release the board and let it fall to the desired position, stopping it with the pull-up line. This required fewer actions by the skipper.
- In the earlier boats in the post-2477 series, the pull-down line was not separated enough from the cam cleat to always release the pull-up line. Melges tweaked the design and the fix seems reliable, but there may still be some boats that have not received the fix. Contact Melges for further information.
You can add a release line independent of the pull-down line to give your boat the advantages of both the new and old designs. The modification requires only two pieces of line and a few knots.
- Use a piece of 2.5 mm spectra or any narrow, flexible line.
- Tie one end of the new line to the ring that encircles the existing board lines near the front of the cockpit.
- Run the new line through the fairlead just aft of the ring.
- Tie the other end of the new line off at the eye strap that holds the block for the pull-down line. You don’t need much slack in the line.
- Repeat on the other side of the boat. That’s all there is to it!
Thanks to John Porter for this idea!