Appendices -- Useful Supplemental Information


Leech (leach) reef pennants (pendants) are usually led forward along the boom and cleated up near the mast, to enable reefing without getting the boom end over the deck or cockpit. To avoid the long bight of pendant from drooping dangerously, it is usual to glue, screw, or rivet fairleads to the side or bottom of the boom.

Any protruberance on the boom is likely to eventually find a bit of scalp, and the fastenings in the boom are all potential places for corrosion in aluminum, or rot in wood. There’s a better way.

If the sailmaker and his client get together before the sail leaves the loft, here’s a simple way to avoid doing anything at all to the boom. Soft fairleads, made of folded sailcloth, can be sewn along the foot of the sail at suitable intervals to trap the reef lines. For two or more reefs, the pockets can be made generous -- or sewn on both port and starboard sides of the sail. The photo of a catboat boom shows only one pendant rove -- but there is plenty of room in the pockets for the deep reef pendant as well, if we want to reeve that too.

Soft fairleads are an easy retrofit, since only the edge of the sail needs to get under the arm of the sewing machine.

An interesting corollary idea was suggested by a reader of this article -- that perhaps lazy jack belays could be grommets in sailcloth flaps sewn to the foot of the sail. This might be useful, for keeping the boom free of fastenings, and for keeping the furled sail from getting pinched between the 'jacks and the boom. Such flaps would have to be sewn to the reinforced tabling on the foot. Not a good idea for a gaff sail, where the swinging of a heavy gaff in the 'jacks might exert too much lateral strain on the sewing.

Return to Listings