We are huge proponents of the adjustable outhaul system. The ability to change the depth and tension of the sail (called variable geometry) is the key to unlocking the full wind range and performance potential of your sail. The significance of the adjustable outhaul is equateable to the transmission in a car or the gears on a bicycle. Quite simply, multiple power settings broaden the use and range of the sail.
Our double-sided outhaul system comes ready to use and installs without tools in minutes. It features two closed adjustment loops with mini blocks for 4:1 purchase, a longer adjustment straps and low-stretch single braid Spectra line. Our double outhaul system is superior to cleat based outhaul systems in several ways:
- It fits any boom and installs in seconds without the uses of any tools. Requires two pulleys at the clew end of the boom.
- It provides 4:1 purchase on each side of the boom without the cost and weight increase of using additional pulleys at the clew grommet.
- It's easier to make small adjustments with the ribbed webbing providing a tactile, perceptible feel of every 3 mm (1/8") of adjustment.
- It's not necessary to first pull on the webbing strap before releasing the outhaul - just press the silver CamLock tab to release the webbing in controllable increments.
- The Double Outhaul system is comprised of two closed loops of line with the adjustment strap and pulley integrated in the loop, and one 300 cm length of Spectra line. Separate the these three elements by untying each end of the outhaul line from the pulley blocks.
- Release the CamLock buckle and open the webbing strap to its maximum length. This is an important step to achieving correct adjustment.
- Make a fold in the line of the adjustment loop 30 cm (12") off the long end of the webbing strap (Fig. 1).
- Secure the adjustment loop to your boom with a double girth hitch - see the assembly diagram. Keep the pulley block away from the girth hitch. Wrap the folded line around your boom and draw the entire assemble through the loop at the end of the fold (Fig. 2). Repeat for a second wrap around the boom (Fig. 3).
- Adjust the line tensioning of the girth hitch so the end of the long webbing loop is as close as possible to the boom (Fig. 4).
- Position the girth hitch just behind your rear harness line with the webbing exiting the girth hitch on the lower outside quarter of the boom facing you, but slightly on the underside of the boom. This positioning keeps the adjustment loop out of your grip in an overhand position.
- Repeat the attachment for the other side of the boom.
- Attach the outhaul line to the pulley block on one side of the sail with a bowline knot.
- Lace the outhaul line through the end of the boom, the clew of the sail and back through the end of the boom.
- Set your boom length to the maximum desired length you will need.
- Leaving 20-25 cm (8-10") of slack, secure the end of the outhaul line to the adjustment pulley with a bowline.
- Tension the adjustment straps slightly on either side to tack up the slack.
- The ideal setting should be both adjustment straps centered in the middle of their adjustment range when the outhaul tension is at the mid-range setting. This then gives you the ability to pull or release the outhaul on either side of the sail.
The ideal adjustable outhaul setup should allow you to pull the outhaul to its maximum AND release it to its minimum on EITHER side of the sail. If you do not have the full range of desired adjustment on both sides of the sail, you must change the slack or tensioning of the outhaul line (step #11) and re-tie the outhaul line to the pulley.
To tension the outhaul while sailing, pull the strap forward (toward the mast). To release the outhaul while sailing, simply press the CamLock release tab with your thumb. For fine control of tension release, hold onto the pull-strap with your fingers while pressing the CamLock tab with your thumb.
Less outhaul tension will make the sail fuller and move the center of effort further aft. This makes the sail more powerful for light wind drive and acceleration. Less outhaul tension creates a fuller, looser sail that will allow you to sail a deeper and faster downwind angle. More outhaul tension will make the sail tighter and flatter, and move the center of effort forward. This streamlines the sail for over powered conditions and improves upwind performance by creating a lean tight sail profile. Even for just back-and-forth sailing, small adjustments to the outhaul setting can be the difference between staying planing in the lulls, or staying in control in the gusts. Experiment with the adjustment to find the optimum setting for your sailing conditions.