I am a new owner of a 1989 Prindle 18-2, in the rush of purchasing the vessel I did not take in account the main-sheet down-haul system that the mast come equipped with, furthermore the cat sports a 4-way deluxe jib system.
The Prindle came with its original manual and instruction (same as the down-loadable ones from this site) but they lack of all the necessary details in order to adjust properly the main-sheet and jib system. I have been out of the sailing scene for over 10 years and I forgot more than what I remember. Pleas fill me in with suggestions references and suitable sources where to find detailed diagrams, instructions, pics etc.
I live in the Dallas/Fort worth area and on-site technical help with knowledgeable skipper on the make and model of my cat will be a good starting point as well.
Thanks to all of you in advance.
I'm here to help! I'm new to this site, but have been sailing that same boat for the past 10 years. BTW - Nice choice of boat! Not for racing since there are so few P-18.2's out there, but those rotating centerboards can be veeerrrrry forgiving! I'll try to help and you can e-mail with any additional questions you have. First off, THERE ARE NO MORE DETAILED DIAGRAMS OR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO RIG THE BOAT THAN THE MANUAL THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. How to use the controls is another story.
Do you need help with the mainsheet block threading or the function of the mainSAIL downhaul? Two different things. I assume downhaul. It's the more underutilized and misunderstood, yet more important controls.
The downhaul system: The stock system SUCKS! It's not adjustable from the hulls or out on the wire. Basically you follow the directions in the manual. Run the line through the small block on the mast, through the block on the mainsail, back to the other side on the mast, up again through the mainsail and the clutch it off on the mast. How much pressure you put on it depends on the wind. For general light to moderate winds you want to just take out the wrinkles in the main. Don't pull down too much because you'll bend the mast, flatten the main and lose your pocket which produces power. In higher winds crank it down as hard as you can to flatten the main. The downhaul is your "throttle" more so than the mainsheet. The pocket in the sail is what produces power. Contrary to typical monohulls who let out mainsheet when the wind gets up, on a cat you do the opposite. You crank down on the downhaul AND mainsheet which flattens the sail to a board which totally depowers it. Let out on the traveler so that the car goes to the far end of the rear crossbar with a flat sail and you've got a very depowered sail rig for heavy winds. You can't reef our rig with how the main hooks to the mast.
But like I said, the stock 18.2 downhaul can only be adjusted from the mast and not very well at that while under sail. It's best to set it at the dock for the conditions of the day and leave it unlees you feel that the winds have picked up and you need to depower. You then sail close-hauled and have your crew go in to the mast best and crank down some on the downhaul. So your first a BEST upgrade to the boat is this...
It allows you to tune the downhaul from the hulls and while out on the wire.
4-Way Jib System:
IF you want to use it (sometimes it's more trouble than it's worth), follow the manual on how to connect everything. You can always ignore it and simply attach your jib blocks directly to the cars. But if you do want to use it, it can provide some more finite sail trim control.
The 4-way jib system is used to control the size of the slot - the distance between the main and the jib. The jib blocks are now attached to the steel line which runs across the tramp through the sleeve. This allows you from one hull or the other to control how far in or out to the beam the jib blocks will be. When you sail close hauled, you want the slot smaller. When you sail beam to broad, you want the slot bigger. Typically you can use it for racing to tweak out an extra tenth of a knot or so. For pleasure sailing - you may never touch it. Just leave the jib blocks as far out towards the hulls.
The barberhaulers on the ends of the front crossbar are useful in that they pull the foot of the jib sail as far out to the beam as possible for downwind sailing. This prevents the jib from suddenly getting backsailed on you. They're simple in that you just run the jibsheets through the block, leave it so that there's little to no pressure on the jibsheet under sail and ONLY IF you head directly downwind, pulling on the barberhauler to bring make the jib slot as big as it can possibly be.
Oh and two immediate things to buy if yo uhaven't already:
http://www.murrays.com/mm…_Code=C-RC&Store_Code=MS To stiffen up your helm control and make it easier on you.
http://www.murrays.com/mm…_Code=C-RC&Store_Code=MS To take any slop out of your rudders and castings!
Feel free to e-mail me with any clarifications or other questions you might have.
Here's an old pic of my P-18.2, 'Special Treat'. This is with the stock downhaul system, the 4-way jib attached (the yellow is a paddle under the lines in the tramp sleeve), jib bullets blocks attached right to the foot of the jib and the jib sheets through the barberhauler blocks.
I have a prindle 19 and was a little confused on the downhaul setup. I'm not sure if its the same between the two boats or not but I have two little blocks on the mast, one block right where the boom attaches and then two on the sail. So from what you are saying I would go through the one on the mast up through the one on the sail then through the one near the boom then through the other little one on the mast then through the sail then put a knot in it?
The stock setup on the 19 is the exact same as on the 18.2 Yes - two blocks on the tack of the main, two blocks on each side of the mast and a clutch on the port side of the mast. You tie the line to the center ring in the main with a bowline and bring it down, through the wishbone and through the block on the mast on the starboard side. Back up through the starboard-side mainsail block, back down to the block on the port side of the mast. Up again (always through the wishbone) through the block on the main on the port side and down through the clutch. You haul DOWN through the clutch where it locks off. It's a 4:1 purchase
It works on the beach or when your crew can adjust it in calm water, but adjustments on the fly, from the hulls and ESPECIALLY out from the wire can be difficult, if not impossible. Your crew has to be at the mast base to adjust it. If you use the stock system you would set it as:
Pull in on the mainsheet until the boom is near horizontal - fairly tight.
Light wind (0-10): Downhaul just enough to get the diagonal wrinkles out of the sail. Look up when you do it. If you see the pocket (curve in the main) begin to decrease at all, that's too much. You won't be able to sail to wheather too well because a large pocket in very light air will stall.
Medium wind (10-20): Downhaul until the wrinkles are gone and you just begin to flatten the pocket. One more pull down and that's it.
Heavy wind (20+): Downhaul until you see the sail flatten and there's a much smaller pocket. A flat sail produces little power.
The mechanics behind this are simple: The luff of the mainsail (the part that attaches to the mast) is curved, not straight. If you were to lay your sail out flat on the ground, you'll see this. But your mast IS straight. So when you put a curved sail on a straight mast, that extra sail creates the pocket which, like an airplane wing, produces lift. That power NOT the wind pushing sideways against the sail is what causes you to fly a hull. When it's too much power, you need to decrease the lifting force. When you crank down on the downhaul and the mainsheet, what you're doing is BENDING THE MAST! So when the mast is bent (as it's meant to) it begins to match the shape of the mainsail as it were lying flat on the ground. And so, exactly that - the sail flattens out.
THAT'S where the downhaul and mainsheet come into play to control the speed/power/control of the boat. Any side-force wind on the sail (even at 20+ knots) isn't nearly enough to knock your Prindle over with the crew out on a hull and especially out on the wire. All that happens is the boat slows down and wants to move sideways. Your weight as ballast is too much.
There in lies the problem with the stock downhaul system - It can't be adjusted from the hulls. It's designed as a "fix-it-and-leave-it" system and that's not good when you want to adjust it while sailing when a strong puff comes or the winds change. In all honesty, the four main controls on the boat should be: skipper; mainsheet & tiller, and the crew; jibsheet & downhaul. The two of you work together. Big puff comes and you call out to the crew, "more downhaul!" They crank down, you crank down on the mainsheet and let out on the traveler. The main flattens and the angle of attack spills out and you won't get over-powered.
Something like this though is meant to do just that: http://www.murrays.com/mm…ode=C-MO-D&Store_Code=MS
I hope this helps.
Clutch is actually the old-school term. The stock mast should have a "clam cleat" on it like you see below. Just feed it through and it locks it in place. To release the line you have to lift it up and out.
I don't know what "big green wheel" you're refering to. Maybe if you post a picture of your rig, I could help explain it.