Newbie Rigging Questions

posting disabled

Moderator: forumadmin

Postby Guest » Sun May 20, 2001 8:14 pm

Finally launched Friday, worked to set the boat up all weekend but didn't quite get there so I didn't get to take it out - rats! Ran into a couple of things I couldn't resolve to my own satisfaction, wondered how to fix these things the right way. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
1) Mast partners alignment. Did everything per the owners manual (same as the various tuning guides). Measured using halyard to both sides throughout the process, seems dead on. Mast straight, tensions per the book. But the mast is almost rubbing the hole on stbd with a big gap on port side. Measured again and again with halyard and tape, seems to be perfectly square. Obviously I can't put the wedges in like this. I could redo it and center the mast in the partners and still achieve tension and keep the mast straight, but then I assume I won't be dead perpindicular WRT the boat itself.
2) Sprit control lines. Boat came from dealer with one of the vang shackles in the hole at the end of the sprit (?). Shock cord comes from forward bulkhead to aft bulkhead through a block and then tied to shackle. Sprit line led through cabin to block on forward bulkhead then straight back and tied to same shackle. There's another block on forward bulkhead doing nothing. Owners manual says run sprit line per above and then run tail through hole in aft end of sprit line and tie in a stopper. NO WAY that line is going through that little hole and I'm afraid of drilling it out and weakening the end of the pole. Didn't see anything in manual about shock cord. Are there any explanations or diagrams anywhere? And to top it all off, if you pull sprit out or back tied into the hole on aft end of sprit as provided, pole twists about 90 degrees to stbd. I'm guessing it's not drilled where it belongs, but I don't know for sure.
3) Did not realize that mast gate was so high. I take it I don't have the option of leaving the main flaked on the boom with the slides all in IF I want to use the mainsail cover. I have to dump all the slides and roll or flake on the boom if I want to use the mainsail cover and then refeed all the slides each time I go out (first mate won't like that).
4) I take it from pictures at this website that most everyone puts the supplied vang pennant on the mainsheet bail instead of at the base of the vang. I have the rope vang (not rigid), but I can't see that I have to use the pennant for the vang anyway. Anyone know?
I can sort all this out, would rather do it right though. Can't wait to get out and blast around!!!

Postby Guest » Sun May 20, 2001 9:48 pm


I can't help with your question about the mast partners and wedges. I put all but the small wedge in before tuning the rig. Then snug the small wedge in when everything was to book. Seems to work fine.

With regard to the sprit line, I don't think the set up will work with only one hole in the aft end of the sprit pole. On my boat, the one hole was oriented outboard when the sprit pole was in the correct position (block for the tack line facing upward). If you attach the launching line to this hole, it has the effect of turning the pole over (out of position) when you heave on it. The sprit line must therefore be on the inboard side of the pole. Yet, there is no such hole (or at least there wasn't one on my boat). Moreover, the shock cord is set up to be on the outboard side of the pole. My conclusion is that you just have to have two holes to make everything work correctly. Others agree? I set up the shock cord from the preset hole in the forward bulkhead, aft to the block behind the sprit pole, and then to the outboard hole in the pole. This seems to work nicely. By the way, I heard J Boats was going to eliminate the shock cord altogether (thus only the one hole in the pole), but I guess not.

What kind of main sail cover did you order? If you got the cigar type, rolling or flaking the main every time is the only option. I got one of the covers that permits one to leave the slugs in place, but this is harder on the main sail, so I typically roll it anyway. The J World people, who want to get as much life out of their sails as they can, roll the main every time.

Hope this helps.

Postby Guest » Mon May 21, 2001 10:51 am

I will take a shot at a couple of your questions and ignore the ones I cannot answer:
3. Unless your gate is higher than mine (1994 boat), the type of sailcover which wraps around the mast should cover a flaked main.
4. I have a spectra strop (pennant) between my main sheet and boom bail and none on the vang.

Good luck!

Postby Guest » Mon May 21, 2001 2:19 pm

Just got mine (#364) out for the first time yesterday. She sailed beautifully in 15 + knots. Made over 5 knots close reaching, and 6.5 downwind. Can't wait to fly the chute!

I have several of the same questions. My sprit has two holes, one for the shock cord and one for the line, but they are directly across from each other so the pole twists toward whichever is pulling harder. Not sure if it should, or which line goes on which side. I have the shock cord going from the sprit, back thru the aft block, ahead thru the forward block, then tied to the aft block. Puts great pressure to pull the pole back into the boat, but it's too tight to pull the pole all the way out.

I also wasn't sure what to do with the short wire strop, which was labeled a mainsheet pennant. I used it on the vang instead, because that's what the instructions seemed to call for.

I would love some guidance from JBoats on those two questions.

My other question is this, what are owners doing with the reef lines, since the mains no longer carry reef points. Do most add reef points? I am considering removing the line and replacing the messenger. Any reason I shouldn't?

Also, I was surprised that the jib has no UV cover. Do most owners take down their jibs when not in use? Dealer is suggesting a zippered sock. Both seem a bit of trouble compared to having a UV cover on the jib. I keep her on a mooring, so easy storage of the jib and main are important. Not enough room on the boat to fold those and store them below. Any suggestions on best type of cover for the sails if I want to leave them on the rig would be greatly appreciated.

Like Craig, I'd like to get it right.

Postby Guest » Tue May 22, 2001 10:45 am


As a member of last year's "newbie" group I asked a lot of the same questions in the "old" forum. Seemed to be a lot of variation on answers as well but I thought some common principles emerged.

Wire main strop: It WAS designed to go from the bail on the boom to the top block of the mainsheet system but J Boats said forget it as did about half of the owners who responded. On the other hand about half of the rest use the strop, or have replaced it with a rope strop as I did. I don't think it matters much.

Reef lines: If your main has no reef points I see no reason not to replace the reef line in the boom with a messenger line. I have reef points on my PHRF main, which I have used, since the J/80 with an overlapping Genoa can easily overpower in a sudden breeze. So I regularly take my reefing line out and put it back in with a messenger as the case demands and without a problem.

UV covers: When I asked my sailmaker about this he reacted as if I was a Philistine to even consider the added weight aloft(Jay, you out there reading this?) Truth is, it's really no big hassle to take the jib down and roll it. For one design regattas, where the class rules say the jib must remain on the furler for the duration of the event, most of us have a Sunbrella zippered cover that is hoisted on the spinn halyard for UV protection.(referred to as the "jib condom" by most owners) Your sailmaker or a local shop should be able to make one up.

Sprit control: this was where I got the most variation in responses from "older" owners. As I wrote to Craig in a private posting there were some common opinions:
a) everybody seemed to agree that the block mounted on the bulkhead directly behind the sprit needs to be moved an inch or two midships so that the sprit doesn't bash it every time it comes in (assuming that they are still mounting the block there)
b) everybody seemed to agree that the tack line bail at the business end of the sprit should stay upright at 12o'clock when extended or retracted and that the pole should not twist going in or out.
c) everybody seemed to agree that the placement of the factory holes in the sprit made no sense.

However, how this was accomplished seemed to vary by as many owners as responded. From your posting it seems that you have the shock cord set up correctly. If you move the block I mentioned however, the only way I could figure out how to extend the pole without twisting it was to dead end the sprit control line at the same point on the sprit as the shock cord. This worked out to be at approximatly 9 o'clock on the base of the sprit. Since my boat did not even have a hole at this point I had to drill holes and bolt on a small strap eye big enough to pass both lines through and secure with stopper knots. Works fine but as I say, there seem to be as many different soloutions to this as there are boats out there

Hope this helps


Postby Guest » Wed May 23, 2001 9:34 am

Dear Mike,
looks like you are off to a good start with sound advise.
If you like the feel of the boat with 6.5knots reaching, wait till it goes past 10 or even 12 knots......
You got yourself a wonderful boat, have fun and enjoy those reaches.......
You probably know it anyway, just sail it like a dinghy....flat is fast....and keep working the angles and the pressure on the sheets. This boats downwind sail in s-. If you go like a drunken sailor, head up when the pressure is light on the spin sheets and bear awyay when to heel increases and the pressure got the hang of it.
Fast, fast, fast....don't worry about where the make is just hot the boat up all the time....
Sorry crew, downwind is not for coffee and cake anymore, that where we get real excited by working the boat all the time.
Just pure fun, like a high performace dighy with a keel put on. Not so long ago people did not think it is possible to plane like a dinghy with 26 ft keel boat. Well the A-kite changed all that.
When flying the kite you want it constantly curling. DO NOT SET IT LIKE A CONVETIAL SPIN. Nothing kills speed more than a oversheeted kite.
Have it very loose, curling all the time , just on the verge of collapsing...
If you see you kite is not curing, do not let the trimmer get away with it. A a-kite set so it does not curl is like a elecical appliance without fuse.
You just completely kill the performance. And yes, it sounds funny, but the boat downwind is controlled by the spin trimmer. He should constantly talk about his pressure in the sheets.
Pressure gaining......helmsman bear away, mainsheet trimmer eases sheet.....pressure loosing.......helmsman head up, mainsheet trimmer trims main....
This should be a constant monolog like if the voice of the trimmer would be a pressure gage..Get him to start once the kite is up and DO NOT ALLOW HIM TO STOP TALKING TILL you are at the bottom mark...If he stops giving feedback for more than say 10 sec .....ask for the pressure....
gaining loosing.... it may feel funny for the first 2 or three times, but it will make the difference whether you see 6.5knots on you speddo or something well above 12knots....
A skill worth learing....In light winds take the ratchet action off so the trimmer has more feel.



Just remember on a up speed by going high, and the bear way...

Important: The spin Trimmer is in charge of the boat. Make sure he talks LOUD AND CLEAR, he really steer the boat by giving the helmsman instructions whether to head up a bit or bear away. Make sure the spin trimmer is aware that
HE IS IN CHARGE DOWNWIND, AND HIS CONSTANT FEEDBACK IS VITAL FOR EVERYBODY. The feel of his pressure in his sheet is as important than the tell tales on you upwind leg. VITAL VERY ACCURATE ESSENTIAL INFORMATION TO GO FAST...
The maintrimmer is under the command of the spin trimmer too....

Well that's if you want to go fast and win races..

Think skiff dinghies, read books about dinghies,
ask people for advise who use dingies.

If you have sailed a heavy displacement boat you need to change a lot of you skills.
My experience with "experienced bow person" is they do everthing the way the learned it on a conventional keel boat. Let me tell you the need to change a lot. I think if you have the choice you are better of with a green person and you teach him the a-kite way.

I hope you lucky enough to get some good breezes.
The J/80 really wants about 15+ knots to get alive....


Bob von Felten
Cafe Latte Down Under
Last years learner..

Postby Guest » Wed May 23, 2001 12:03 pm


We primarily use our J80 as a daysailer. I have UV
fabric on both my blade and 135. Extra weight aloft? Nah. If you sail your boat as much as I do tthen keeping the sails on is a great convenience. Unfurl it, furl it, and forget about it.

Postby Guest » Wed May 23, 2001 6:05 pm


Extra weight for UV cover?? Well it really depends how you intend to use the J/80. I believe if you do any sort of racing (I do club racing) You want to keep the weight down as much as the rules allow. This is a light displacement fun machine, where the designes went to great lenght to keep the weight out of the undesire areas and aloft is a really important.
I am the only J/80 here in Australia and do not worry about OD, I just want to get the best out of my boat in our heavy weight.
I am using a condom on my furler, and think hard about removing the furler because of the weight, I also replace my rudder with a carbon fibre one at half the weight, I look at replacing the mast with a carbon fire one and last and not least I may add some extra weight to the bulb. Because I do not sail OD I just ordered a main made out of cuben fibe, because it is so extremely light.
Extreme? Yes ,may be. The message really is:
Everybody I know in the beginning goes for easy of handling, after a few years of racing, weight reduction (except for Bulb) is the name of the game.
So my advise: Decide whether you want to stay with OD (In US most likely a good idea for resale value) and then do everthing you can to reduce weight or keep it as centre and low as possible
My motor is in the garage (for weight reasons)
(within the limits of OD rule)

At the very least if you do not want to reduce weight just leave the boat as it is.

Remember the designer build a wonderful boat, do not clutter it up with all the extra sails, tools, chemicals, 7 sets of heavy weather gear.

Light is beautiful and fast. Get a little trade men tool box galvanized on you trailer or pen and leave EVERTHING BUT THE MINIUM SAFTEY equipment in the pen.

You go sailing with a family car with a ferrari build in....Enjoy it and keep it nice and simple.

May be UV cover is not such a great deal. It is the concept you want to get right. Weight down not up, no matter what.......
The only place you want weight is in the bulb and on you rails.....particularly in heavy air..

Have fun and enjoy you family rocket ship...


Bob von Felten
Cafe Latte Down Under

Postby Guest » Wed May 23, 2001 7:03 pm

Dear Mike,
some more thoughts on "extra weight" on a J/80

I learned from my short J/80 use that weight distribution on this boat is quite important.Like a dinghy you really want to be very aware of you crew weight and fixed weight.

The best way to look at it is to divide the boat in 3 zones:
Zone 1: within of 4feet of the centre of gravity
Here you try to have all you heavy stuff, crew gear, anker, batterie, as much as possible really.
Cockpit lights, food box.....

Zone 2: 4- 10 feet away from you centre of gravity. Keep you weight there to an absoulte minmum because of leaverage effect. (10 pounds here are the same effect as say 60 pounds in Zone 1 relative to heeling and pitching)

Zone 3: over 10 feet away from the centre of gravity.
This is what I call NO GO AREA. No matter what you do NOT ADD WEIGHT HERE, full stop. Whatever weight you can take out because of leverage is worth 10 times the weight in zone 1.

Sorry Mike, UV covers go into the no-go area mostly and can only be installed with a presidental veto.....

By the way the centre of gravity is somewhere around the keel bolts in the bilge.

Moveable weight:

Never allow you crew to go past the side stays, except in the pen to take the cover off, and never have anybody sit aft of the traveller (except for powerreaching 12knots+) where nose diving start to be an issue.

If you do not believe me have 2 crew members whilst you sailing go up the front and touch the furler. It will kill you speed...Remember Dinghies, dinghies....have you ever seen a dinghy sailor standing on the foredeck...they just about would sink.

Have all you crew sitting on the wrong site. Have all you moving around the boat while you try to steer. Give the helm to the crew and let them experience a steady crew using crew weight properly and then sit on the wrong spot, move around every 2 seconds, go down to get some drives you mad....

So next time you go the the boat, have a look at you zone 3. Is somebody already using the bow to store gear, any other stuff in zone 3, get rid of it. Start on the right foot.
Do you really want to carry all this extra sails. Just take the one you need.

Rule 1:if it does not fit in Zone 1, it will stay home....

Rule 2: the less you keep in Zone 1 the faster you will be....

Rule 3: Try to keep all you crew weight with zone 1 or 2.

And yes, I know they do not like it in the beginning, get them to sit shoulder to shoulder male and female...they soon get used to the idea.

Maximising Crew weight: If you sail shorthanded or have the furtune to sail in good breezes, (15knots +) install lower live lines and train the crew to hike and use it ALL THE TIME...
If thats all they know they will not question it, its safe, class legal, and maximises the leverage effect a great deal.

Hope you enjoy this comments, by the way I also to twillight sailing, carry and ice box and have cockpit lights installed....but I do love the racing..


Bob von Felten

Return to Archived Maintenance Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest