Mainsheet swivel/spinlock upgrade

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Postby Guest » Sun Mar 17, 2002 9:25 pm

I continue to have problems releasing the main in heavy air, tired of fighting with it while trying to drive. Spinlock looks like it would be easier and I know it's been a popular mod on the J/105. Any of you know the details for a swivel, spinlock (and wedge if needed) kit or parts that can replace the stock mainsheet system on a J/80? Or any other suggestions?

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 18, 2002 1:23 pm


After a year of having problems with my mainsheet I re-read Kerry Klinglers article on how he set up his new J80. What he did to improve the mainsheet release issue was to cut the spacer below the cam cleat in half. I made this mod and it has been a great improvement. Have not had it out in heavy air yet but do expect it to work. Its pretty cheap mod-10 minutes with a hack saw. You may want to try this before you go spend a lot of cash.

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 18, 2002 10:44 pm

In that it has something of an oval shape, is it to be cut along the short axis or the long one?

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:08 pm

The long axis. The idea is to make the cleat a little lower then it currently is so that it is an easier pull to uncleat.

After you look at it the next question might be what angle do I cut it? The top and bottom of the spacer are not parallel. I chose to cut mine parallel with the bottom of the spacer.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 19, 2002 2:56 pm

Is the Spinlock PowerCleat a class legal replacement? After having hand surgury because of an injury sustained trying to release my mainsheet on my J22, I replaced my Harken with one of these. I would highly recommend it if it is legal. Releases with a quick, easy tug upward. I think it is far safer than the old cam cleat. I plan on replacing the vang cleat with one this season.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 19, 2002 5:51 pm

I would think it is legal, as it does not change the way the boat is sailed but just makes it easier. I have one on my tack line and love it, though you need to make sure it is well latched to avoid accidental opening.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 19, 2002 10:33 pm

Probably not wise, but I assumed it's class legal because many of the J/105 owners have made this change (and their class association is usually pretty strict).

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 22, 2002 6:44 pm

I have used a Spinnlock PX Powercleat on my boat's mainsheet for the last two years and love it for all the reasons listed here. There are however a couple of comments I would make:
The Powercleat that is often recommended as a drop in replacement for the Harken camcleat is the PXB-0812, which comes from Spinnlock with a plastic composite base. This base uses the same holes as the Harken cam cleat to mount to the swivel base in the J/80 but the actual Powercleat itself mounts on a single bolt which is recessed into the plastic base. Consequently, all the shearing forces are transmitted to this one bolt and I had mine fail completly during a heavy air race after one and a half seasons. On inspection, the bolt head had pulled through the plastic base allowing the clutch to detach and fly free.
When I spoke to the Spinnlock rep at the Newport Boat show last Sept he told me that there had been several failures like mine and that Spinnlock had designed a new stainless steel base for the Powercleat to be used in higher load applications like the J/80 mainsheet. The parts you will need are:

PX0812/1 Single PX Powercleat
PX-AP0812 Large Cam Cleat Adaptor Plate

The adaptor plate is drilled to use the Harken camcleat holes and thru-bolt to the swivel base. The powercleat now bolts in two places to the stainless plate. On my boat, I reused the wedge that originally came with the Harken camcleat to create the angle I wanted and I didn't feel I needed to cut it at all.
Hope this helps somebody.

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:08 pm

I don't think the J105 rules are ISAF Closed Class Rules. The philosophy behind closed rules is "Unless it specifically allowed by the rules, it is not allowed"

I went out and looked at Ghost Dancing. Basically, everything I've done is not technically class legal.

I asked myself what argument I could present to a Jury or Technical Committee that the change was in accordance with the rules. Perhaps for some things (such as lifeline pads, line bags and the cockpit spinnaker bag) an argument could be made that they are commonly used items within the sailing community and thus not necessary.

I went looking for another class rules for a similiar boat that was both ISAF and closed. I hit upon the Melges 24 rules. Those rules clearly addressed all the add-ons that I have or am considering.

In the case of the spinlock, our rule D.4.1 says: Fittings shall be in accordance with the Builders Specification. The specification I found on the J-boats page says:

"Harken 5-part mainsheet of polyester with a #144 swivel base cleat with 295 cam riser under a hexarachet, leading to a 2622 carbofiddle . . . "

This is the spec sheet dated 5/15/2001. The Melges rules has a statement that manufacturer of blocks and fittings is optional. i.e. those rules clearly allow different manufacturers devices.

I'm not saying that you can't or shouldn't keep the mod. I am not removing things from my boat either. But we do need to aware of the rules, and absent a Technical Committee or international jury (A.9.1) have to make our own judgements that something is or isn't class legal, and be able to defend those positions once we have a mechanism to resolve them.

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