When we bought Summer Dance, she still had the factory running rigging installed. That is, the external wire/rope halyards were only long enough to secure to the cleats at the bottom of the mast. We sailed that first season with me going forward to raise and lower the sails while the tiller was held dubiously by a shock cord or by the first mate, Mrs. $tingy.
It worked okay, but there were several times in heavy winds when going forward was less than ideal, either because the first mate struggled to maintain course or we were well heeled over making it less safe for me. To relieve the first mate and to add more control lines, such as a headsail downhaul, single-line reefing, and boom downhaul without requiring more trips forward, meant that I needed to lead the lines aft to the cockpit. It was also necessary if I ever wanted to race even just for the fun of it.
Led where, exactly?
As I see it, the biggest issue with leading the lines aft on a C-22 is the question of where to run the lines aft over the cabin roof. There’s very little room on the first generation design with a pop top. The handrail takes up much of the width of the available space and leaves only about enough room for two lines, one on either side of the handrails.
The problem is worsened by the curvature of the roof and the handrail that makes guiding the lines through fairleads almost a necessity. Some owners run the lines on top of the pop top where there’s more space, but that’s not a good solution to me.
For starters, it makes raising the pop top even more difficult due to its interference with the lines. Second, the pop top isn’t a very strong structure on which to mount the deck organizers and cleats. It’s held in place with the two loose-fitting, hand-tightened hatch dog bolts. I decided to keep the lines on the cabin roof but to remove the handrails to make more room for them.
The first piece of hardware that you need to lead your halyards and other lines aft is a halyard plate under the mast step. A popular online Catalina parts retailer sells a mast step halyard plate that is the best choice for C-22s although Garhauer Marine sells universal models.
A halyard plate has holes in its edges where you can attach blocks to turn the lines outboard from the mast toward deck organizers. It’s easy to install and requires no hole drilling. Just unstep your mast, remove the mast step, and place the halyard plate under the mast step before you replace it. Be sure to seal around the roof penetrations here and under all hardware that you install with butyl tape or another premium sealant.
Triple threat deck organizers
Deck organizers are sets of sheaves mounted on the forward corners of the cabin roof that turn the lines coming from the halyard plate aft toward cleats or clutches at the cabin bulkhead. These are the next pieces of new hardware that you might need. You should have at least one sheave for every line that you are leading aft. I installed Harken H271 triple sheave deck organizers rather than the dual sheave ones from that popular online Catalina parts reatailer and that are typical on C-22s.
I’ve read of C-22 owners who were limited by their dual deck organizers and stacked a second set of dual organizers on top of the original ones or replaced them with triples. I wanted a more elegant solution and one that would leave my control line options open for whatever I decided to add in the future, for example, a cruising spinnaker. I eventually did wind up using all six sheaves.
Installing deck organizers can be a little tricky. Their placement and the fasteners that you use are important. The organizers need to be angled so that the lines exiting the organizers are the right distance apart to fit in the space you have to run them to the bulkhead cleats or clutches. Angle them too much and the lines can chafe against themselves or on the edges of the organizers. Don’t angle them enough, and the lines can rub against the pop top or the roof gutter.
The organizers should also be as far aft on the deck from the halyard plate as possible to increase the angle of the lines going through the organizers. That will lower the friction added by the deck organizers. I used double-sided carpet tape to stick them to the deck and experimented with different placements to find the best location before mounting them permanently.
Use 3-1/2″ through-bolts, fender washers, and lock nuts (or lock washers and acorn nuts), not wood screws to mount the deck organizers and cleats or clutches. They will receive significant force from the lines running through them and the hollow core roof is not strong enough to hold the forces otherwise. For a tip on drilling accurate holes through the roof so that there is equal space on the underside for the fender washers, see Accurate hole drilling.
Double barrel line guns
The last issue to resolve for this project is which cam cleats or clutches to install on the cabin roof. Most C-22’s that I’ve seen have some combination of cam cleats, clam cleats, or clutches installed on the roof or over the edge of the roof on the top of the bulkhead.
Some C-22 owners have solved this problem by trimming off the last loop of the handrails. Without shortening the handrails, there isn’t enough room on the roof at the bulkhead to mount cam cleats or clutches and barely enough room for clam cleats, which are harder to adjust. I didn’t like any of those options. I chose to leave the handrails off entirely. With the lines led aft, I seldom need to go forward or need handrails. If I change my mind later, I’ll consider putting them on top of the hatch rails or making new ones that combine hand loops and hatch slides in one piece of material, either teak or Starboard.
To end up with up to three lines on each side of the roof, I had to get more creative. My solution was to install one dual cam cleat on each side of the roof. Each takes less width than two single cam cleats. I did need to grind a little relief in the pop top edge for the cams but it’s not noticeable. I use the cam cleats for the lines with the highest tension on them. On the port side, I also mounted a clam cleat on the nearby stanchion for the headsail downhaul that needs almost no tension. Other options are a regular clam cleat on the roof slightly forward of the dual cam cleat or a lateral clam cleat mounted vertically on the upper corner of the cabin wall.
The last part of the puzzle is all new lines. I’ve compared prices from several eBay sellers with the 20% discount that West Marine sometimes offers. The best bargain, however, is when West Marine features bulk rope in their holiday and random Fantastic Friday sales at 40% off. That beats all other online prices.
Following is a table of the line sizes that are plenty long enough to lead aft where applicable and for splicing eyes if you choose to do so.
|Foresail sheet (single, long enough to cross-sheet)||1/4″-3/8″||70′|
|Spinnaker sheet (single)||1/4″||90′|
|Boom downhaul (2:1)||5/16||12′|
|Boom topping lift||1/4″||10′|
|Jiffy reefing (single line, incl. bunt lines)||1/4″||45′|
If you were paying close attention above, you did a double-take with the 8mm halyards. I prefer the larger diameter for a better grip, which lets me get the halyards tighter without cabin top winches. For external halyards, 8mm is larger than the standard equipment 1/4″ masthead sheaves. They will fit in internal halyard sheaves, by the way. If you don’t have internal halyards, you can install Oversize masthead sheaves.
To finish this project, I taught myself how to splice eyes in double braid line. I added eyes everywhere you would normally tie a bowline knot except at the traveler dead ends. Knots let the car travel farther there. I whiplocked all the other ends.
To help organize the lines at the bulkhead, I mounted a pair of line hangers that I made myself from Honduran mahogany and modeled after the stainless steel hangers made by KVT innovations. In small pieces like these, the wood looks indistinguishable from teak. Although each one can hold several lines, I added another set soon afterward to make them more convenient to use.
Taking the easy route and buying kits is convenient but expensive. Besides, the kits don’t incorporate all of the features that I wanted. The $tingy Sailor seldom takes the easy route. No, I compiled all the parts a la carte.
The Harken triple deck organizers came from eBay. The double cam cleats were hard to find but I managed to hunt down a pair of used Easy Marine cleats on eBay’s UK site. The turning block plate did come from that popular online Catalina parts retailer. I purchased the turning blocks from the Brazilian company Nautos on eBay. They make very good quality gear at very competitive prices. Their US distributor in Florida ships quickly and economically.
The new rigging works great and really adds to our sailing enjoyment. I can do almost everything from the cockpit now and there’s no excuse for not trimming the sails properly. It looks sharp and is organized. I neglected to take photos of the original lines when we purchased the boat for comparison. Suffice it to say that I don’t miss the algae farm. It was past time to replace them.
The Bottom Line
$tingy Sailor cost: $453.76
If you could re-rig your boat, what would you do differently?