View Full Version : Equipment damage from over - downhauling?

20th December 2006, 06:46 AM
Hello again,

Looking back over the last coup[le of years, I now know that I have probably not been downhauling my sails enough.

Roger your description of looking to see how far forward leech looseness extends in the upper sail panels drove this point home for me.

Using a downhaul crank has helped me get the proper amount of downhaul.

So, here's the question... if I should err and put on too much downhaul, I realize that the sail will likely underperfom (unless approaching overpowered conditions), but, is there rick of damage to the mast or sail from too much downhaul?

Thanks in advance,


20th December 2006, 06:56 AM
Hi Tony,
No, you risk breaking downhaul lines, mostly!
I've seen some mast tips go out through the top of the sail (long ago, it even happened to me) but those were rare cases and mostly old sails with lots of wear on the top webbing that goes over the mast.
SO, until you have the looseness in the leech extending all the way in to the mast, and the sail is as flat as a sheet of plywood, I don't think you have much to worry about.
There was a photo out once that showed how much you can really bend a mast, and the mast in the photo was almost a complete circle.
No worries, and the sail will be totally "gutless" before you do any damage.
Hope this helps,

20th December 2006, 09:45 PM
Thanks Roger,

I'll put that fear to rest.

I'm going to Cabarete Jan 2 - 9 and am looking forward to taking a couple of lessons (tweak the water start + carve jibe), and maybe trying a narrower board than my year 2000 GO for higher winds, as you alluded to in another thread.

Merry Christmas and seasons greetings to you + everyone here,


22nd December 2006, 10:41 AM
My two cents...

I have a 2005 9.8 v8. Great sail. My first couple of times using it, I didn't downhaul enough. As a result, I couldn't keep the sail from backwinding and sending me in the drink when the wind picked up. Once I got a crank and started to downhaul the sail to the numbers on the sail, I found the sails true range. What a difference. When I got the crank, I switched to a spectra line (white if that matters) versus the standard black with blue specs (or black with red specs -- those are the ones I use...sorry can't remember the material). These are slipperier in my hands, but they seem to resist breaking when I use the crank. I'm through two seasons with these lines and have yet to break one (90% in fresh water).