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How to Choose & Optimize Sailboat Clutches

Clutches are designed to hold highly loaded lines that can be hauled in and released with the aid of a winch.  Choosing the proper clutch for a given application on a sailboat is determined by two main criteria: Line Diameter Maximum Line Load Holding Rating Additionally, there are other factors which can affect a clutches’ performance and influence which you may choose.  In this article, we will walk you through how a clutch works, how to choose a clutch, and […]

How to Choose a Sailboat Winch Handle

Winches on sailboats are powerful and compact internally gear driven tools that allow you to haul in and hold lines under high loads manually, by a single person.  Winches will have their size stamped on the top of the drum, ex. 20, 35, 40, and so on.  This number indicates the power ratio. For example – a #35 winch will provide a 35:1 mechanical advantage.  Say you have a winch handle inserted into the top of the winch and you […]

How to Choose Furlers for Reaching Sails on Cruising Sailboats

Reaching Sail Furler Options for Cruising Sailboats Sails built for the sole purpose of reaching, or sailing off the wind, offer a range of powered up sailing for cruisers. Paired with a furler, these sails are easy to handle and maximize your boat speed (especially in light air). The two types of furlers for cruising reaching sails are: Bottom up furlers for straight luffed Cruising Code 0 sails Top down furlers for free flying a-symmetrical spinnakers SHOP ALL FURLERS Advantages […]

Basic Sailboat Cleats Explained | Expert Advice

Cleats are fittings to which a line is secured, either temporarily or permanently.  We are going to explain the seven main cleat types found on sailboats, and some of their uses: Horn Cleats Self-Jamming Horn Cleats Cam Cleats Double Cam Cam Cleats Clam Cleats V Cleats Lance Cleats SHOP ALL CLEATS Horn Cleats Primary Uses: Anchoring, mooring and docking a boat.  Also classically use on the mast to secure halyards. Sizes: Line diameters: 3/32” – 2”+ Horn cleats are most […]

How to Tie a Cleat Hitch, Three Ways

Tying a line to a cleat should be easy and secure, but walk down any dock and you will be amazed at the creative ways lines are ‘secured’ to cleats.  We will show you the correct and the incorrect ways to secure a line to a horn cleat using a cleat hitch.  You might be surprised what you learn, even if you’re ‘salty.’ Half Wrap Cleat Hitch This is most commonly seen as the standard cleat hitch in North America, […]

How to Install Stand Up Springs & Boots on a Block | Expert Advice

What are Stand Up Springs & Boots? Common sailboat block accessories, stand up springs and boots are meant to keep a block upright. Metal springs come tapered or straight in various sizes to fit a range of blocks. Stand up boots made of PVC are offered in large and small sizes and black or gray. After installation when the line running through the block is slack, the block will not collapse on its attachment point (deck of the boat, traveler car, etc…). Why […]

How to Choose and Use a Trigger Sailboat Shackle | Expert Advice

Trigger release shackles come in various sizes and configurations that are ideal for jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheets and guys, and tack lines; or jobs where you would want to release the shackle under load.  More efficient than the snap shackle, the trigger shackle has a streamlined design with no external parts to catch, so they run smoothly. The release mechanism, the trigger, is located inside the housing of the shackle making it very unlikely that it will catch […]

How to Choose and Use Sailboat Snap Shackles | Expert Advice

Snap shackles come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and are generally used for halyards, sheets, guys, and tack lines, along with a few specialty applications.  The beauty of a snap shackle is the easy open and release function. Let’s take a closer look. HOW DOES IT WORK A few basic components are found on every snap shackle. The hinged bail, the shackle body bail to which your line is attached, a spring loaded plunger pin with a pull […]