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Installation of staysail (jib) sheet blocks and fairleads on a Freedom 21

The Freedom 21 doesn't have [jib] sheet blocks as part of factory equipment as the staysail or jib is optional. The setup for the sheets according to Gary Hoyt (from the owner's manual) is "The staysail sheets are designed to lead directly through the cleats on the cabin top and thence to the winches."

I have found that, although this works, a better solution is warranted.  First off, there is too much friction through the cleat legs. Secondly, it is difficult to trim and/or cleat. And lastly, you don't need to use the winches.

The solution that I have come up with is to mount a Harken swivel block and a Harken cam cleat on the cabin top. With this setup, you can trim the jib with your hands in any amount of wind.

Parts List (2 of each) with West Marine part numbers in brackets [ ]:

  • Harken #166 single bullet block with swivel [153734]
  • Harken #097 1" Stand-up Spring [114439]
  • Harken #073 1-11/16" eye strap [114231]
  • Harken #356 Cam-Matic cleat (#150) with fairlead [287740]
  1. Determine the location of the bullet block using the stand-up spring and the eye strap. This should go outboard of the cleat on the cabin top but inside of the traveler adjusting line. Check for interference of the jib sheet with the traveler and the traveler adjusting line before determining final location. You may also wish to angle the eye strap so that it points to the cam cleat (step #2 below).  Don't fasten just yet.
  2. The Cam-Matic cleat is mounted at the edge of the cabin top inboard (~1-2") of the cam cleat used for the traveler. The SS posts of the fairlead should be oriented so that they are on the cockpit side. 
  3. Once the locations have been determined, mount the hardware. All hardware must be through bolted! Use appropriate caulking to prevent water intrusion into the balsa core of the cabin top.

With this arrangement you can trim the jib from any location within the cockpit. Even from the opposite side as the SS posts of the Cam-Matic cleat will guide the line through the cleat. Use a fuzzy braid line for the jib sheet and it will provide a good grip on the hands. The Cam-Matic cam cleat with the fairlead will enable you to pop the sheet out of the cleat without losing control.

I have used this setup with the larger "class" jib (105 Sq. Feet, LP=10.6') for 7 seasons including solo racing. I can actually trim the jib whiles sitting on the windward cockpit coaming (rail).

Provided by:   John S. Gedaminski "Blue Merle" Hull# 259

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