Goolwa Radio Yachting Group

  Home  Phantom Specs  Setting Sails  Sail Mods  Other Mods  Weather  Links  Images  Membership  Results  For Sale

Goolwa RC Yachting

Members Area

Goolwa Wharf Web Cam

Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club

SARYA logo
South Australian Radio Yachting Association

Link to ARYA web site
Australian Radio Yachting Association  ARYA link

International Radio Sailing Association Web site

Modifications to Main/Jib sheeting system on the Phantom Yacht

Rudders Chain Plates Mast fitting for shrouds forestay Mainsheet fairlead Water proofing the hatch Improving Ballast Replacing Shrouds 'B' rig sails Radio Setup Clew/Tack Adjustment Improved sheeting system Gooseneck repair


General Introduction

One of the many frustrating things about the phantom is the sheeting system used to control the main and jib sheets.  While the winch is OK - quite powerful and not too slow, the sheets are held in place on the drums by a close fitting plastic shroud.  When under tension from the wind, the system works fine but if the conditions are light then as the sails are let out the turns on the drums do not run out of the shroud and wind over themselves.  This often means that the next time the sails are pulled in the sheets pull in much further than they should often with the jib and main sheets no longer in sync - bad!.

The way to overcome this is to maintain a constant tension on the cords which wrap around the drum


Version 1 - Ben M  is a complete loop system involving both winch drums and a rubber band in the loop to maintain tension.

Version 2 Paul H is a simpler system using only one drum and a length of shock cord to maintain tension.

Version 3 Bob Edgecombe is a quite sophisticated but elegant solution to this problem


Version 1

One of the simplest ways of doing this is to make a continuous loop which winds up on one drum and winds out on the other.


Note that the cords wrapped around the drums are now in opposite directions exiting on the same side.  The line is joined by coiled spring or rubber bands slightly stretched to maintain tension in the loop.  I have used silicone rubber bands as used in cooking as these are UV resistant and don't perish.  The loop is set up so that when the sail control is fully in the spring is near one end.  The lower drum has about 5 turns while the top drum only 1 or 2 turns.  This means when the sail control is set to the fully out position, the spring moves to the other end of the top part of the loop with 5 or so turns on the top drum and 1 on the bottom.  This gives about the 30-35mm of movement needed.  The main and jib sheets are both attached to the end of the spring nearest the bottom drum - important!.  This means the bottom drum takes all the strain of pulling the sails in.  This is good as this drum is nearest to the bearing in the winch and reduces wear.  The top drum simply maintains tension in the loop.

The drums and bottom part of the loop are below decks while the spring and top part are above deck.  The turning mechanism at both ends of the loop are about 40-50 mm apart.

  While it's possible to buy small deck blocks for turning the loop I chose to use the easier and cheaper option of bending fine brass tubing into a 180 hook and belled the two open ends with a fine punch. The cord is fed through the brass and slides with surprisingly little friction using spectra or dyneema cord.


While I made a former to assist this bend by channelling a groove around a piece of plastic, bending it gently around a thumb can work OK.  Aim for about a 20mm diameter curve.  The brass tube is fed through a small hole drilled in the deck and the loop set up with tension.  This holds the brass in position which can then be glued in position.












Because both main and jib sheets attach to the cord and are pulled in the same direction, one of them will need to be redirected back to reach the boom sheeting position.  I had one brass turning loop near the transom and the other near the mast position giving me the 45mm I needed.  This means there is a direct pull set up for the jib but the main needs to go forwards around a turning point near the mast then back to the main sheeting point.


This does require a new sheeting point for the main and jib.  The jib is easy as the existing outlet could be used with a metal loop glued in it while the main sheeting point has previously been discussed in the 'Mainsheet Fairlead' page previously

The only other change was to slightly alter the direction the tension cord enters the top drum as it was angled up a little too much to ensure it didn't ride off.  See the image to show one way of doing this.


Does it work?  Definitely!  No more pulling the sheets in to find they go too tight, no more letting the sheets out and not having them move far.  The booms go exactly where they should according to the control on your radio in even the gentlest of breezes.



Version 2

Thanks to Paul H for this system.  It is simpler to construct as there is only one exiting point rather than two with the sheet wrapping around the bottom drum only running to the rear of the deck and exiting via a tube similar to the above method. The sheet now runs aft around a turning block then forward sufficiently to allow main and jib sheet attachment and ends with a length of hat elastic or similar carried all the way forward to maintain pressure on the sheet and keep it on the drum.

The jib sheets are led forward direct to a jib sheet fairlead set into the original jib sheeting exit point while the mainsheet is led forward to a turning point using one of the shroud attachments and back to the mainsheet fairlead.

Paul has used this system only the once so far with no issues (and won the day!).  It certainly seems to be the simplest way to solve the poor original sheeting system.


Version 3 thanks to Bob Egdecombe


This version like version 1 uses the two winch drums to wind a loop of cord in and out around  a turning block.  The interesting idea here is its all under deck.  An inspection hatch was cut out near the front of the yacht and a turning block secured there.  The open area is later covered with stickyback sail cloth.  A loop in the cord allows the two sheets to be attached and during sail pull in are dragged forward.  The mainsail cord goes directly to the existing mainsheet exit fitting (through a wire loop just to keep it in position) while the jib sheet loops back through a wire loop then back to the existing jib sheet fitting.  The need to loop the jib sheet around a wire loop is to ensure enough movement is obtained in the jib sheet (~ 30 cms or so).  Notice that this does not use the winch drum cover - never a good idea!!



page last edited on 02/04/2013