Colin is the 2010 5.7 Champion
I am no expert on the subject but I thought I would put down a few notes on a couple of things on my boat for reference. Some of the hole sizes and fitting numbers I am not sure of but you can use different bits to get the same result. Your set up may end up different but if it works and beats other boats around a Course then your system is working fine!
The Self Tacking Jib
The self tacker I would only recommended if you are running a kite,
It works as well and in many cases (in my opinion) better than the overlapping jib.
It is quicker to tack because the crew does not have to do anything to it at all. No back winding, no jammed cleats no tangles in the jib sheet and little or no flogging, just through the tack and going again INSTANTLY, I get my crew to hang on to the down haul when trapping upwind, the crew just plays that
And down wind is the same, the crew only has to worry about the kite.
Top mark = jib off
Bottom mark= jib on
No need to touch it any other time!
Jeremy has been running the self tacker on AUS 120 longer than I have and these are his comments that I fully agree with.
'I have been using the self tacker for about 18 months now. I do not think it makes any difference upwind, in fact in a blow I think one may be quicker. If you are sailing with a spinnaker downwind it is irrelevant and you can forget it when gybing which is a real bonus and allows for much quicker sailing. Tacking is a lot quicker. All up the boat is, in my opinion, faster and a much easier boat to sail particularly with inexperienced crews.' - Jeremy Brookes
The following system I have on can easily be taken off and the old jib put back on. And there will only be the 2 swivel cleats and 4 saddles on the front beam to show for it.
I hope this helps and if anyone would like to know more or would like better pics please feel free to call or email me.
0419 977 621
To start with I got my harken traveller car on EBay for $35 (bargain, but this is where it all started)
And I went through Goodalls for the radial track and jib the rest of the fittings I made or already had in my spares and junk box.
Some of the F18 guys are using the old style I section traveller track and 4 wheel car set up.
This seems to be less susceptible to jamming from a grain of sand like the recirculating ball type (and a fair bit cheaper to!)
The track is rolled to a 1200mm radius this is the arc from the bridal
(Check measure from the bridal to the front beam then 100mm)
I made the struts from stuff I had in the shed, this looks good and works for me, but you could use bigger or smaller if you have it. I used 12mm S/S tube and drilled a hole to suite the pins I had (1/36 or 6mm I think) and cut a slot in one end with the grinder to fit over the saddles that I had and welded a 3/16 nut on the other.
The cut slot needs to fit over the saddle at a slight angle so do not make it too tight, and the hole for the pin or bolt needs to be reasonably close to the end (you do not want the end of the strut chewing a hole in your front beam)
By coincidence the struts ended up at 150mm for the outside and 100mm for the inners
(Refer to drwg)
There is more force on this track than I first expected so the aim of these struts is to get them supporting the track as evenly as possible, otherwise you could end up with a distorted track that wont allow for smooth tacking, so, when you have got the track and struts together you should be able to line up all 4 holes on the beam evenly.
After you are satisfied with that you can rivet the saddles onto the front beam. Pay attention to the angle on the beam, you need to have it high enough not to obstruct the pole and sheets going under the track and low enough for it not to fowl on the mast. Look at the picks.
(I had my boat fully rigged in the back yard when I did all of this.)
The saddles should end up at the same measurements both sides but double check as I had to 'manipulate' the struts onto the saddles once I made some slight adjustments to keep them symmetric both sides.
The drawings and measurements below will suit the harken track, check for others.
I have a 2-1 system at the track & jib with micro blocks and 4mm dynema going forward to the base of the bridal. Then another 2-1 system with 8mm rope out to the crew. I will replace the 8mm with 6mm rope though as the crew never really needs to use this.
I have used 2 x ronstan swivel cleats fitted to the front beam. You definitely need these 2 swivel cleats (I thought I would get away with one) but you need to adjust it from both sides.
I drilled and taped the holes for the swivel cleats and made up 2 curved bases for them to sit on.
Any swivel cleat will be OK for this. Again as long as it does the job.
Front bridal / pole support
I made this to stiffen the pole support but it turned out to be so much more.
1/ it positively supports the pole. No side bracing required with tight pole tip ropes.
2/ it stops forestay movement from the jib sheet tension.
3/ it supports the bottom section of jib
4/ it supports the downhaul system
Same as the struts. 12mm S/S tube with opposing slots both ends and an old stay adjuster welded down the bottom.
Now my pole sits really low to get the luff tight, so this strut on my boat is 450mm hole to hole.
Again the boat was rigged in the back yard for this.
The jib halyard has an S hook that clips into it and I have a shackle around the tube and on to the tack of the jib, then the downhaul for the jib hooks on and goes back to a cleat on the base of the pole.
A few people have asked about my kite sheeting angles as well
Greg says the sheeting angle should be aiming about 1/3rd up the kite luff.
On most boats there is an aluminium plate that runs on the inner edge of the hull where they used to run the jib track, I taped into this and put one saddle at the front of the centre case on the inner edge of the hull and one at the back of the centre case, I use a ratchet block on the tramp where the old jib used to connect and this seems to work just right for the crew. (I did not want more stuff on the front beam.) These sheeting points work well on my boat and allow the leach to breathe.
I used standard alloy beams bought from my local aluminium supplier, 3mm wall thickness front AND rear!
Using 3mm rear beam seems to have stiffened up the boat allot. The extra strength also allowed me to drill 1' holes underneath just big enough for a socket to fit up and I used bolts for the traveller instead of rivets.
You may notice that the traveller stops on the inner edge of the boat also...I still rarely have it out this far.
The block in the outer end of the beam is alloy. This was turned down at an engineering shop and I drilled and shaped the rest, I would not use the countersunk set screws again though, they look good but were a pain to get right, if I did it again I would just use normal S/S hex head bolts. The rounded ends were a bit of work to get right and you need to put the boat together fully to mark the right spots to cut. Lots of marking b4 cutting to get the right look. Measures 10 times mark then check then check then check then nervously cut.
You may also notice my forward decks are fully flush (no deflector) there is normally a 20mm recess x 50mm or so forward of the beam in the deck under the deflector, I glued some surfboard foam in then glassed, filled and faired to achieve the flush look, the beams sit down a bit further when the wedged are knocked out to straighten the hulls.