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Best adjustable outhaul?

 
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rtz



Joined: 31 Oct 2010
Posts: 254
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:15 pm    Post subject: Best adjustable outhaul? Reply with quote

Seen a few kits on the market. Are they all the same or is one the best? Is one junk? Have you used them all?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19255

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Best" anything depends on the user's criteria. Each style of AO (and sail, board, car, hamburger, beer, etc.) has its own pros and cons. In this case, factors include (but are not limited to) simplicity of use, simplicity of installing, on-the-fly vs luff or even stop to change, price, single- vs dual-sided, durability, PURPOSE, sail size range, boom stiffness, amount of prize money at stake, surf vs racing, one's skill level (no point in complicating the learning process any further), and just how much frigging hassle one wants to put up with.

I've used a couple of simple single-sided varieties. They shared one overriding feature: just one more piece of crap to putz with. Sure, they work, but I'm in it for fun, not big bucks. If I need a bit more power because the wind backed off half a sail size, I'll just drop in and slack off my outhaul a smidge. Easier yet, I just rig big in the first place (just one more of its MANY benefits) so I don't NEED to slack off.

KISS!
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rtz



Joined: 31 Oct 2010
Posts: 254
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always under the impression they were almost mandatory on large sails to get the most out of them?
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 493

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a single sided adjustable outhaul on all of my sails. I just use two booms so I have an AO on each boom. 3.4 to 5.5. The AO works great, I encourage you to try it out.
Many people seem to think that they are a hassle to use, or that they only work on giant sails. Not true, once past the newness, rigging up is as easy as without.
Why drop in the water or go to shore when you can just reach back and tune up your sail?
Sailworks used to supply a single sided AO setup with every sail which is where I got introduced to the concept.

KMF
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 830

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sailworks single is easiest to use and rig. You don't need a double.
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bred2shred



Joined: 02 May 2000
Posts: 966
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're running large sails in light wind, I think you will find that a double sided outhaul is preferred. You will want to be able to loosen the outhaul to power up the sail to aid with getting on plane. Then once you're on plane and in the straps, you will want to tighten the outhaul to move the CE forward and stabilize the sail. With a single sided AO, you will only be able to do this on one tack, which means if you drop off plane on the non-AO side, you'll be screwed until you gybe again. For smaller sails and more consistent conditions, this isn't really an issue. But for larger sails in light wind, the apparent wind angle and speed changes so much between non-planing, transition to planing, and fully planing that you really need that adjustability on both sides.

Regarding which system works best, I found that putting together a custom system is what worked best for me. Using ball bearing blocks (Harken) will make a lot of difference in how well the system functions. I used Harken "Micro" blocks thru-bolted to the clew grommet on the sail. These blocks really reduce friction compared to the Chinook system or just running the lines directly thru the clew grommet. I also really prefer the clam cleats that clamp over the boom arm as compared the the Sailworks system that uses a cam buckle adjuster. With the cam buckle system, you have to "search" around for the cam to loosen the outhaul. With a fixed cleat, the adjustment is always in the same spot and all you have to do is grab the adjustment line and give a tug to easily tighten or loosen the outhaul - it's more consistent.

sm
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3467

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have double sided on my 6.6, 7.4, 8.4, 9.2 and 11.0. They get used a lot on the 8.4 and up, but not much on the 7.4 and down. I wouldn't bother unless you are going to use an 8.5 or larger sail. At times, it can make a small difference with the smaller sails, so if you like really fine tuning, then go for it.

I raced formula and on the fly adjustment was essential - flat sail on the upwind legs and bagged sail on the down wind legs. Free sailing - helpful but not essential.
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