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EVB90Controllinesstowed

I then had to add some extra line so that I could clip the spring snap hooks attached to the top control line blocks to the eye straps when all three shrouds are not being used (right). The front shroud is clipped to an eye strap in front of the mast and the two side stay blocks get clipped to eye straps that attach the turning block going to the PXR cleats. This is the way it will be trailered also and it is all nice and neat. I was then able to do a 'dry run' in the basement to make sure everything worked correctly, without having the mast installed.

EVB91Shroudcleats

EVB92Shroudcleats

The shroud control lines are cleated where all the cleats were located previously: the front shroud's red line is cleated with a regular cam cleat on the left side while the two side shroud red lines pass through turning blocks before going to Spinlock PXR cleats on either side (left).

EVB93Mastfurlingdrum

EVB94Shroudsstowed

EVB95Shroudsstowed

When not in use, the lower end of the shrouds are attached to shock cords with black spring snap hooks as shown on the right. These provide tension to hold the shrouds tight to the mast, allowing normal roller furling of the sail. The shock cords go around an eye strap next to the furling drum and up to the eye strap you see here (above center). Having the shock cords dead-ended at the top eye strap and going down and around the bottom eye strap gives me enough length to stretch the shock cord to get the right tension. The three 3mm yellow lines (Vectran 12) above the mast (above right) are the shrouds. These small diameter lines should not have much negative effect on performance (due to drag) if they are not deployed when the full sail is unfurled.

When deploying the shrouds, I will unclip each of them from the shock cord black spring snap hooks, which will then be clipped to the upper eye strap, as shown in the two photos (below left).

EVB96Shrouddeployment

EVB97Shrouddeployment

EVB98Shrouddeployment

EVB99Shrouddeployment

After releasing each shroud from the shock cord, I will attach it to a red control line using the spring snap hook attached to each top block, as shown in the two photos (above right). I will then tighten the red lines using either the Spinlock PXR cleats (side shrouds) or the cam cleat (front shroud). The spring snap hooks have a 591 lb working load rating, so should work well.

EVB100Mastshroudattach

The shrouds are attached ⅔ up the mast to this eye strap.

I will be able to tension any shroud that is needed. If I am on a port tack and need to go straight downwind, I will be able to loosen the starboard shroud so that the boom can go out 90 degrees to the hull. All the tension will be on the port side shroud, keeping the mast straight instead of bending to leeward. I will also be able to tighten or loosen the front shroud, which will affect the rake of the mast. There remains 6ft of mast above the shroud attachment point, so the square top sail should still blow off and depower in gusts.

I installed a lot of carbon fiber around the side cleats and port side shroud upper support arm, so the hull is very stiff in those areas, as well as around the mast base, where an aluminum tube is installed in the hull. So hopefully the hull will not flex significantly when the shrouds are tensioned.

It only takes a minute or so to attach or detach the shrouds. Nothing has changed in launching or retrieving the boat, as all I do is step the mast, pull the lines tight and go. I sure hope it will work well and give me that last edge of performance. I am running out of ideas for the boat so hopefully I can just enjoy sailing it now!

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