Outhaul Systems – Ordering Guide
The following is designed to help you choose the optimum outhaul system by looking at what is important, the types of system available, and then the blocks, rope, inhaul bungee and clew strap. If you have any questions or need further advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Unlike the kicker and downhaul, the forces on the outhaul system are lower, but to be effective the outhaul system needs careful attention. All of our systems have a 6:1 purchase which is what the vast majority of Laser sailors use. There are a number of variations on the 6:1 system relating to how the sail clew is attached to the system, and where the system blocks are located.
As the forces are lower, the block type and size on the outhaul isn’t as critical. What is really important to effective operation of an outhaul system is the clew strap and the elastic, as we want to be able to pull the outhaul on easily without it getting snagged up on the boom, and when we release it we want the sail to run out by itself, even in the lightest wind, without having to help it.
The first decision to make is about how the sail is attached to the clew
There are two main types of system, both of which enable the sail clew to be easily released from the outhaul system, but in different ways.
- Normal System – uses a clew block attached to a hook or shackle, so that you can easily detach the outhaul system from the clew of the sail without having to undo any knots. There are a number of hooks available and they are subtly different. We use the Harken hook supplied by Laser Performance in conjunction with a choice of block type. But the hook can get caught and release inadvertently. A good alternative to the hook is a captive click shackle.
- Quick Release System – uses of a block that is fixed to the sail clew. Our spliced clew block is a neat way of having a block secure on your clew, with the advantage of being able to move it from sail to sail. Blocks permanently attached to the sail clew are what a lot of the top sailors use due to the security it provides, but you need a way of easy way of undoing the outhaul primary to release the sail when you come ashore. One way of doing this is to have a ‘quick release’ system where the primary line has a large loop that fits snugly over the end of the boom. This neat solution is becoming more and more popular. For more information as to how this system is rigged have a look at the installation instructions..
We offer both of the above system types, which are listed separately under Outhaul System Normal and Outhaul System Quick Release pages. Note that our outhaul systems assume that you are using a clew block – if you don’t want to use a clew block, send us an e-mail after any order and we will lengthen the primary by 10cm to compensate.
Where do you want the blocks located?
There are three choices here:
1. Centre Top of Boom – The first (and most popular) is to have the centre block fixed to the cleat in the middle of the boom so that it sits on top of the boom, one block along the boom, and the third block at the gooseneck.
2. Centre Side of Boom – The second variation is very similar to the first, but the block at the cleat sits alongside the boom, rather than on top.
3. Front of Boom – The third variation has two blocks on a strop at the gooseneck, and the third block in the system located towards the front of the boom at the end of a longer primary line.
There is no measurable performance difference between the systems – it is mainly down to personal preference and how/where you like to mark your calibration markings on the boom. You can choose what is best for you via the Block Location drop-down menu.
If you want an outhaul system that is specifically built and optimised for the 4.7 rig, add the System Option ‘4.7 Rig Optimisation’ that is listed below the outhaul systems.
Unlike the downhaul, the outhaul can get away with smaller blocks and we recommend Harken T2 Soft-Attach 18mm (which is what you get with a new Laser) or the economic Allen 20mm Dynamic Tii or Ronstan 20mm Orbit blocks.
For the primary line a light but strong 3mm D12 Dyneema is perfect. For the secondary line (the one that you pull on) we use two main rope types. The popular FSE Robline Dinghy Control which has a Dyneema core, and Gottifredi Maffioli Compact Braid which is a more extreme uncovered 4mm D12 Dyneema rope that is used by some top sailors. We also now offer Technora covered ropes which are more durable.
Both of these rope types work perfectly with the Harken T2 Soft-Attach, Ronstan Orbit and Allen Dynamic Tii blocks. The method of splicing the ropes types on our ready to fit systems is different. The FSE Robline Dinghy Controls strength is in the Dyneema core so it’s the core that is lock spliced and the outer cover stitched. The Gottifredi Maffioli Compact Braid is a 12 strand rope so the entire rope is lock spliced. All our secondary line ends are epoxied/heatshrink sleeved to help keep them nice and tidy. We offer a wide range of primary/secondary colour combinations.
The secondary control line length can be selected for either a simple loop handle or a braided handle.
Outhaul Elastic/Inhaul Bungee
You need a shock cord to help release the outhaul in light winds. This wants to pull the clew of the sail back along the boom in the most effective manner. There are two types of outhaul elastic/inhaul bungee systems.
- The first is a simple bungee that just pulls the sail clew back in towards the boom centre cleat.
- The second, and far better type, is a ‘double puller’ elastic. One part of the elastic pulls the clew back in, and the second part pulls the control line back through the blocks, fairlead and cleat. The double puller is attached at the boom cleat at one end, and just behind the floating outhaul block at the other. To do this in an easy to rig way we use a bungee with loops at each end, and a toggle to loop the free end of the bungee over.
You will find both of the above listed underneath the outhaul systems under Systems Options
Finally, it is also important to use a good quality clew strap to reduce friction in the system to a minimum, and McLube the end of the boom to ensure that it is nice and slippy.
What we offer:
Complete ready to fit systems, spliced assemblies, rope and blocks, free advice!