A while ago I got a question about what lines go where on the deck, and a “maybe you could write a blog post about the rigging?” Yes, I can!
All the lines that go through the Spinlock clutches end up on the primary winches.
The great thing about this is that almost everything that is needed to sail the boat can be easily reached from behind the wheel.
On the other hand, as the clutches are placed really close to the primary winches, this also means that:
- It’s not really possible to use the secondary winch for any of the primary lines; and
- When sheeting the jib (the line the furthest to the right), the angle from the clutch to the winch isn’t optimal, and there’s some added friction. The winch isn’t directly ahead of the clutches either, which accentuates this issue.
(Not complaining, though. Just explaining.)
The starboard lines from left to right:
- Mainsail outhaul, PET rope, 10 mm, unknown length.
- Main sheet, Liros Top Cruising 12 mm, 38 m.
- Reef 1, PET, 12 mm, 26 m.
- Main halyard, Liros Dynamic Plus (dyneema core), 10 mm, 39 m.
- Jib sheet, Liros Top Cruising, 12 mm, 27 m.
The port lines from left to right:
- Gennaker/code zero/spinnaker halyard, Liros Top Cruising, 10 mm, 41 m
- Jib halyard, Liros Dynamic Plus, 10 mm, 35 m
- Reef 2, PET, 12 mm, 36 m
- Main sheet, Liros Top Cruising, 12 mm, 38 m (same line as on the starboard side)
- Kicker/boom vang, PET, 10 mm, 11 m
The main is shaped (quite normally) using the main halyard (no Cunningham available!), a “German” mainsheet system, the outhaul, the kicker, and the backstay. And the two reef lines.
If there is a bit more weather going upwind, I have the main sheet on the windward winch (or whichever side I’m on myself) with the clutch open so that I can release it quickly if needed.
Reefing to the first reef is easy, since both the main halyard and the first reef line are on the starboard side. Going to the second reef is a bit more involved, since I then have to jump over to the port side to adjust the second reef line.
If I end up adjusting both the main and the jib frequently, I usually leave the jib sheet ready to be used on the starboard winch, and the main sheet on the port one.
The self-tacking jib is shaped using the jib halyard (port), the jib sheet (starboard), and the outboard leads.
Sheeting the jib is (in my humble opinion) the heaviest lifting among the sail controls. It could benefit from a bigger winch or— as some people have done— an extra block between the jib clew and the self-tacking track. Keeping it standard, though, I usually sail temporarily up into the wind, or use to autopilot’s auto-tacking function to relieve the pressure, before sheeting it all the way to eleven.
UPDATE: As Peter points out in the comments, it’s actually very “Hanse standard” to have the extra block there on a 388. To leave it out, was then apparently just how the commissioning yard chose to do it!
When not going close-hauled upwind, I turn the self-tacking jib into a non-self-tacking jib by adding an outboard lead. The outboard leads are sheeted with the secondary winches (excellent reason to have them!) and depending on the wind angle, they attach to the jib clew either inside our outside the guard rails. (With frequent course changes, this means frequent trips to the bow for me or some other non-sunbathing person!)
The code zero (or crossover, as Hanse calls it) is hoisted using the gennaker/CZ halyard, sheeted using the secondary winches and the gennaker sheets, and furled with the endless furling line on the starboard side.
I you don’t have the secondary winches, you could guide the crossover sheet to the primary winch, but then you wouldn’t have any winch to adjust the backstay, main halyard, outhaul or first reef. (Well, I haven’t used the crossover while reefed, so that might not be such a big loss).
UPDATE: In the comments below, Stuart asks how I lock the furling line to prevent accidental unfurling. The crossover system actually comes with a Seldén Fiddle Twin Cam that is intended for exactly this. In Greifswald, however, after the handover, we didn’t figure out how to get the endless line onto it, so we never started using it. Now I know how it’s done, but, frankly, we have never felt the need for it. When the crossover is furled and I need to lock it, I lock the whole loop onto the secondary winch.
Finally, I’ll address a commonly heard opinion about production boats, that they all come with seriously undersized deck hardware.
So what do we have on our boat, and what do the manufacturers recommend? I looked at the manufacturers’ charts and made a comparison table below.
My table isn’t very scientific, though. Real designers take into account the system as a whole. And in cooperation with the deck hardware manufacturers, they design the stuff to support the actual loads, as well as the requirements set out by the regulative frameworks.
Still, looking at the Lewmar (for winches) and Seldén (the rest of the deck gear) tables, you get a rough idea.
So here goes:
|Main Sheet Blocks||PBB80||PBB80 (up to 48′)||✅|
|Self-tacking system||System 30||System 30 (up to 45′)||✅|
|Jib halyard, mast base block||PBB60||PBB60 (up to 38′)||✅|
|Main halyard, mast base block||PBB60||PBB60 (up to 39′)||✅|
|Spinnaker halyard, mast base block||PBB60||PBB60 (up to 38′)||✅|
|Rod-kicker||20S||20S (up to 9 tons)||✅|
|Rod-kicker blocks||PBB60||PBB60 (up to 42′)||✅|
|Main sheet winch||40 ST||45 ST||⬇️|
|Jib sheet winch||40 ST||30 ST||✅|
|CZ sheet winch||40 ST||40 ST||✅|
|Jib halyard||40 ST||16 ST||✅|
|Main halyard||40 ST||45 ST||⬇️|
|CZ halyard||40 ST||16 ST||✅|
Almost all the components are specified as recommended, except for the mainsail winches, which could be one size bigger.
One caveat to this, however: Seldén’s charts are quite clear but Lewmar’s winch sizing guide is a bit more open to interpretation. Everything depends, it says, on the sheetings systems and whatnot, so for better recommendations you should contact them directly. (And I’m sure the clever people at Hanse did.)
My own reflection is that I’ve never had a problem with sheeting the main. The heaviest winching has been when sheeting the jib (under load) and when trying to get enough mainsail halyard tension.
Overall, though, I think it’s safe to say that a new Hanse 388 does not come with seriously undersized deck hardware. Not with oversized deck gear either, but rather with stuff selected and installed as recommended.
I wouldn’t mind having bigger winches, of course! 45 STs instead of the 40 STs. Big boats have big and cool winches, and the 40 STs do give the appearance of being a bit small (compared to the hardware on more classical yachts at least).
On the other hand, so far I’ve had exactly zero real problems with the standard winches. It’s more about technique and trying to do things in a smart way, I guess. A bit less about brute-forcing it.
P.S. Check out this beautiful Seldén catalogue. It’s filled with good information and from page 100 forward it has several pages about load calculations.