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Duotone XT extension, a mixed bag
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:02 pm    Post subject: Duotone XT extension, a mixed bag Reply with quote

I got one as a gift, and tried it out for the first time. My usual method is a Chinook rig winch, and I am so dependent on it that I would rather walk back 50 yards to my car to get it rather than adjust the downhaul on the beach without it.

So far, its a mixed bag. If you don't have Duotone sails, and you have the usual pulley system aligned as most sails, you can't take advantage of the loop and go system, and there is a long tunnel you have to thread the line through each time to get to the cleat, this takes time, line gets caught up inside. If you have pulleys in the other alignment, its easier to thread the line through a different hole. If you really want loop and go, you could convert all your sails to Ezzy D ring. I don't know if pulley sets are available that have enough clearance above pulleys for loop and go.

Downhauling is not as fast or effortless or precise as using Chinook rig winch. Takes more effort to pull the ratchet lever than to wind the winch. The rig winch works really well with Chinook extensions, everything is lined up and you wind crazy fast and pinch the line to cleat with one finger. I remember trying to use a winch with Streamlined extensions, and nothing lined up, taut line was nowhere near the cleat.

Wind picked up, and I needed more downhaul. This was very convenient, didn't even detach sail from board, just gave lever a few pulls, put the line back in the sail pouch, done.

Taking everything apart was a big hassle. For some reason, ratchet would not work to release downhaul. I fussed with cleat end for a long time, and that end is too tight to release by hand. Finally, it started working, maybe something that was jammed loosened up to release line. When you are done, you generally need to go through a few steps to release the line further from the ratchet mechanism to set the line in the right position to use it the next time. You do it at that time or before you rig the next time. Takes a half a minute.

The alloy version is very heavy compared to other alloy extensions. RDM only comes in 36cm length. I don't worry about using it at very short extension length, but some people don't like shoving an extension that long inside a mast. It can be set to be very low 2cm extension, Chinook US cup RDM only goes down to 10cm.

Overall, the single advantage over a rig winch is to easily adjust the downhaul without any tool on the beach and on the water. Every other aspect its not as good. It's also pricey and has complex mechanism that might need service/replacement down the line. Someone I know broke theirs using the "surf-bent" board protection device, but possibly the breakage prevented other damage to the mast track of the board, which would have been worse. They fixed the extension easily with an inexpensive part replacement kit from Duotone.
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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1643
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are a lot of brands that can use the loop and go system and some that can't. The pulley alignment of most brands is correct (except Severne), but some pulleys don't have the clearance to get the rope through and the Ezzys have bar supports b/w the pulleys. I use the Power.XT with my S2s and my Duotones.

I tie a loop in the cleat end of the rope and release the downhaul by pulling the loop straight up.

Been using the same once since 2017 and it's been reliable. Had to replace the line once. Possibly need to replace one spring soon (or change line again). I'm quite pleased with mine.

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capetonian



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 1146
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíve been using them for nearly 10 years, initially the v1 and then the updated version since 2017. I mostly use it with my slalom sails, or wave sails that require a lot of downhaul. If I can down haul a sail by hand I just use a regular extension. Very convenient for fine tuning downhaul especially on slalom sails. Iíve used it with HSM, Loft Sails, and Simmer Style. All accepted the loop and go. Also never had a problem with the ratchet not releasing. Maybe thereís something wrong with your ratchet? Have you tried contacting Duotone?
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have HSM and Goya and there is not enough clearance above the pulleys for the loop and go. The middle pulley on my HSMs have very big diameter edges, if it was the same as the other pulleys it would work. My brother claims to be able to downhaul within a few inches by hand, and then do the last bit with the ratchet, but I don't know how its possible with just 2 pulleys. Years of using a rig winch have made me weak.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20114

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhmark wrote:
My brother claims to be able to downhaul within a few inches by hand, and then do the last bit with the ratchet, but I don't know how its possible with just 2 pulleys. Years of using a rig winch have made me weak.

Use your legs, not your arms. Collectively they're accustomed to lifting twice your weight (stairs), and it's easier on your back anyway. There are many impressive versions available, and they beat the sox off the one-handed clamcleat we all used for decades.

I'd post pictures of some of them, but, very sadly, we can no longer copy and paste jpg images. Firefox was apparently the last browser to allow that, and its latest version has eliminated the View Image Info option.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4987
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A stick has the most power. 1" PCV is plenty strong to downhaul Loft Switchblades 5.8 and 6.6.
I'm 160 lbs and 72 years old, and only 1997 North Prismas needed more downhaul than I can do with a stick.
And don't drag your downhaul line thru the cleat!
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No sense of humor you guys. I don't want to use my legs, I don't want to sit down. I think the rig winch is great, the XT will work fine after I get my derigging steps right, without loop and go there is a delicate threading step, and to me rig winch is easier/more precise than XT, but it is an extra tool to buy/carry/lose.
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 591

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting DH

I am mostly interested in ease of on water adjustment. Sounds like it's good for that at least.
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a BigWinds video demo of the XT extension, they say that due to its size a mechanical UJ interferes with the lever function when the extension is attached to board, no problem with tendon.
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dcharlton



Joined: 24 Apr 2002
Posts: 407

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been using mine for about 2 years and it's been incredibly convenient for me. Adjusting on the water is a huge benefit. Also incredibly convenient to be able to set the downhaul without having to sit on the ground.

I need to rinse it out with fresh water every now and then but I've been really happy with the Duotone set up.

DC
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