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How should I set up the sheets and guys?

2010 June 1
Dear Boat Doctor,
I am setting up spinnaker sheets and guys on my Ericson 34 for the first time and I am trying to come up with the most versatile configuration. I am not sure if it makes a difference, but I have chosen to dip jibe. I think I have a choice to splice the sheet and guy to one shackle, or to use a separate shackle for each. What would you recommend for me?
Tom Guerts
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Dear Tom,
You have lots of options here, but some are better than others. I spoke with Peter Grimm of Super Sailmakers in Fort Lauderdale (www.sail-depot.com, 800-541-7601) and he had a pretty good plan.

Peter suggested splicing the sheet to a large bail snap shackle, and including a sheet donut so that the shackle does not get stuck in the pole jaw. He then suggests splicing the guy to a standard snap shackle and attaching it to the bail of the sheet shackle.

The theory here is that you can remove the lazy guy on light air days; getting that extra weight off the clew will be helpful. Secondly, the sheets and guys will be a little easier to deploy and stow. You have a higher "spaghetti factor" if they are spliced together.

Good luck with your new spinnaker and rigging.