Headsail Sheet Leads
order to sheet a headsail properly, you must be able to apply
tension to both the leech and foot of the sail. Achieving
the proper balance of tension between the leech and foot
is an important factor in your boat's performance.
a headsail will sheet to a point on the deck as diagramed at
In order to achieve
proper headsail trim, it is necessary to move the headsail lead
block through a range of different positions for different
points of sail, and different wind conditions. Because the
lead must be moved through a range of positions, you should
locate the base sheeting location as diagramed above, and
determine if the amount of genoa track range fore and aft of
that position is suitable for your needs.
The easiest way to determine
your base sheeting location is with our "String Method".
The advantage of this method is that it allows you to see precisely how
your new Fleet headsail will fit your boat prior to ordering.
Select the PC headsail with a luff length that is equal to or
less than your "I" dimension. If you have a long
enough measuring tape, you can also hoist the tape with your jib
halyard and take the measurement.
You should find your
"I" dimension in our rig dimension database.
Remember, you need
to select a luff length that is at least 1% shorter than maximum
to allow for stretch.
Make up a piece of line with loops (bowlines) in each end, the
length between which is equal to the luff length.
Tie a second piece of line to the loop at the top (head).
Measure down from the loop of the first line to the point on the
second line that equals the corresponding leech length, and make
Tie a third piece of line to the loop at the bottom (tack).
Measure up from the loop of the first line to the point on the
third line that equals the corresponding foot length, and make a
Tie the second and third lines together at the marks you made in
step 3 & 4 with a square knot.
Attach the bottom loop of the first line to your tack fitting.
Attach the top loop of the first line to your halyard and raise
the halyard until the first line (luff) is taught.
Lead the jib sheet through your lead block in the normal
fashion, and tie it to the square knot you tied in step 5.
Tighten the jib sheet in the normal fashion.
If you can tighten both lines 2 & 3 (the leech & foot)
equally, the sail will fit. If line 2 (the leech) is
tight, but line 3 (the foot) is slack, you need to move the lead
aft. If line 3 (the foot) is tight, but line 2 (the leech)
is slack, you need to move the lead forward.
While the "string
sail" is hoisted, you will be able to get a very good idea of how
your PC sail will look on your boat.
If you have a fractional rig
with jumpers, make sure that the second string (leech) is not touching the
struts or stays when you tighten the jib sheet.
If your genoa track position
does not enable you to tighten both lines 2 & 3 (the leech & foot)
when the jib sheet is tight, you will need to move your track, install
more track, or order a custom sail.