Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

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JimboT
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Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

Hi All,

As part of our renos, I am wanting to address the long term painful issue of rope storage in the cockpit and was wondering if anyone has a simple and tidy solution.

There are 2 aspects to my query:
1. how can i arrange the cleats so that the lines to not drape over the GPS?
2. Is there a better solution to sheet bags?

As you can see from the images, I had 4 lines running to the cockpit on each side, but have since added another 2 on the port side (bit excessive I know, but it is so handy having some extra lines for various sail configurations). The GPS is directly below the port side cleats so when the lines are cleated off, they inevitably drape over the screen.
rooftop.JPG
As you can see, the original cleats were installed immediately adjacent to the bulkhead. I have also added a couple of cleats further forward. Is there any disadvantage to moving all of them further forward so that the lines can be diverted away from the GPS? Alternatively, is there another way to neatly divert the lines?

In the second image you can see the steel sheet "bags" on starboard that I inherited with the boat. We eventually got sick of bumping and scraping ourselves on the hard bags and replaced with proprietary fabric bags fixed to the bulkhead. The fabric and elastic in these disintegrated fairly quickly and they never really coped with the 4 lines and were usually fairly spaghetti like, and even worse with 6 lines.
bulkhead.JPG
As a starting point, here are some of the ideas that I have had but failed to work out how they can work in the confines of a small trailer sailer with limited bulkead space and limited space generally:
Alternatives to sheet bags
Alternative locations for sheet bags
Should I just move the GPS and if so to where?
Can I make a sheet bag with a seperate area for less used lines to stop them tangling the other lines.

In preparation for fixing this and the delamination in another thread, I have epoxied up all the old cleat, winch and jammer fixing holes. This means I have a clean slate to be able to rearrange as i like. Moving the GPS would be much more work, so I don't really want to do that unless there is an overwhelming advantage.

Even though my situation is specific, and the same combination would probably never occur on anyone elses boat, I would love to see how others have solved their situation in the hope that I can take a bit of this and a bit of that and come up with a good final solution. Any ideas would be very welcome.

Cheers,
JimboT
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

Just realised that I chopped off the steel sheet bag in the image when I resized it. It is not all that important but if anyone is interested, let me know and I will upload a pic of it as well.
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by bachus »

I have similar issue. Not solved I might add. GPS in approx the same position. 4 lines (main and jib halyard, Cunningham and mainsail downhaul) across the deck. I also have a sheet bag below and to port of the GPS. The sheet bag also holds the jib downhaul and the port spinnaker tweaker coming from the port deck area - it gets a bit tight in the bag. When lines are stowed "neatly" they are out of the way of the GPS. But I tend to throw all the working lines into the cabin when sailing. Both options avoid the GPS . . . mostly.
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by Tezza »

Similar to bachus. Only use sheet bags for storage at end of day or for lines not being used. Working lines into cabin or cockpit floor. Not because they cover anything but because if I need to use in a hurry don't want them tangled in bag.
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

Thanks Guys. Sounds like I am not on my own.

Most of our main "working" lines come out through the aftmost cleats so would have trouble getting back into the cabin without also clashing with the GPS. But as I say, I have a clean slate so can make some subtle adjustments that might make this work. I do sometimes drop a line into the cabin, but not regularly as the First Mate (Provisions Officer) does not like tripping over the lines on the floor of the cabin when she is organising drinks, snacks, lunch, etc, for the helmsman, so would probably need some way to control them in the cabin as well. I will definitely put the idea into the "possible" stack subect to future development.
The cockpit floor has not been a good option so far as my feet have a very bad habit of catching on every stray line, so that's in the "unlikely" stack :).
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by bachus »

JimboT wrote:
Mar 15th, '21, 16:55
Thanks Guys. Sounds like I am not on my own.

Most of our main "working" lines come out through the aftmost cleats so would have trouble getting back into the cabin without also clashing with the GPS. But as I say, I have a clean slate so can make some subtle adjustments that might make this work. I do sometimes drop a line into the cabin, but not regularly as the First Mate (Provisions Officer) does not like tripping over the lines on the floor of the cabin when she is organising drinks, snacks, lunch, etc, for the helmsman, so would probably need some way to control them in the cabin as well. I will definitely put the idea into the "possible" stack subect to future development.
The cockpit floor has not been a good option so far as my feet have a very bad habit of catching on every stray line, so that's in the "unlikely" stack :).
What no lines around the feet . .sticking to Velcro sandal fasteners . . . getting caught under shoe tongues . . . Getting tangled and creating every knot under the sun completely hands off (miracles do happen see) . .. all would be missed . . . :shock:
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by Furstin »

If the jammers hold the lines, is there any need to go through the jaws aft? Cant they all sit to the left of the winch and go to a bag?
Ive seen some boats with halyard hangers like below but think bags are easier, plus it hides lines from UV.


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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by Davidjohn »

Something similar to these mounted at the trailing edge of the cabin top so the lines fall to the cockpit sides clear of the GPS?
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by davem »

I have seen lots of boats mount their gps/instuments on a hinged arm. The arm is mounted on the back of the bulkhead out of the weather & swings around in to the companionway so it is visible when in use.
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by Castle 610 »

davem wrote:
Mar 16th, '21, 11:09
I have seen lots of boats mount their gps/instuments on a hinged arm. The arm is mounted on the back of the bulkhead out of the weather & swings around in to the companionway so it is visible when in use.
My preference. Also saves cutting holes in the boat. Mine pivots off the pop top support.
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

Hi All,

Thanks for the great responses.
Furstin wrote:
Mar 16th, '21, 09:49
If the jammers hold the lines, is there any need to go through the jaws aft? Cant they all sit to the left of the winch and go to a bag?
Ive seen some boats with halyard hangers like below but think bags are easier, plus it hides lines from UV.
The jammers usually hold, but the jib uphaul in particular can slip which is not good, so it gets "belts and braces". The best cleat for high loads is, of course, directly above the GPS. I think we have just gotten into a habit of double cleating everything that comes through the jammer just to be sure, but I will have a think about which lines actually need double cleating as this would clean up a lot of the mess. Definitely add this to my "likely" pile.

I do have some halyard hangers spare but previously there was no room beside the sheet bag because the GPS was in the road. Maybe with some shuffling, I might be able to sneak these in to deal with the less used lines so this one's in the "maybe" pile. This could be a good option instead of the sheet bag for the starboard lines which are generally the less used ones (mainly spinnaker and reefing) (it is a Boomerang so reefing is reserved for over about 25 knots so these don't get a lot of use :))
Davidjohn wrote:
Mar 16th, '21, 10:59
Something similar to these mounted at the trailing edge of the cabin top so the lines fall to the cockpit sides clear of the GPS?
A diverter like this is exactly what I was considering, but had absolutely no idea about the right sort of fitting that would do the job. This is simple and elegant, not to mention being not too pointy or scratchy when clambering over the roof. Definitly in the "very likely" pile.
davem wrote:
Mar 16th, '21, 11:09
I have seen lots of boats mount their gps/instuments on a hinged arm. The arm is mounted on the back of the bulkhead out of the weather & swings around in to the companionway so it is visible when in use.
I had heard roumers of something like this, but was never quite sure if it would suit.
Castle 610 wrote:
Mar 16th, '21, 11:24
My preference. Also saves cutting holes in the boat. Mine pivots off the pop top support.
Too late :). Hole already in boat. This means that this one started in the unlikely pile, but the more I think about the advantages, the higher up the list it is getting! I am in the middle of reglassing various other things so what's one more hole to fill :).
I assume you have made your own swing arm or is there something that I could buy? If it is home made, do you have a picture or any details of the materials, hinge mechanism, etc? Specifically, what sort of hinge will allow it to swing, but then stay in place when the boat is pitching about.
The only negative I can really think of is that when it is raining, visibility low and waves washing over the roof, the hatch and washboard would be closed and the GPS concealed just when you need it most. You can see in my picture that I have a window in my washboard that could possibly stay open in these scenarios, but it could ge tricky in extreme conditions. Does anyone else have a swivel mount like this, and if so, I would be very very interested in seeing how they are set up and also would love to hear about some of their experiences in tricky conditions, etc?

And finally:
bachus wrote:
Mar 15th, '21, 18:42
What no lines around the feet . .sticking to Velcro sandal fasteners . . . getting caught under shoe tongues . . . Getting tangled and creating every knot under the sun completely hands off (miracles do happen see) . .. all would be missed . . .
Thanks Bachus. I had forgotten how much I love gybing with the spinnaker uphaul twisted around one leg while being clamped to the lee rail with the spinnaker sheet and then having to steer with the spare leg which has somehow managed to tie itself in an ingenious knot in the main sheet all while ducking under the out of control main boom, with the First Mate on the foredeck (somehow magically free of all entanglement) making strange wailing sounds interspersed with various questions about whether the spinnaker was really such a good idea. This one is definitely to the top of the list :)

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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by rseydler »

Go the bag. Handy for storing stuff as well as tail ends :)
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by Tezza »

Problem solved.
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

Tezza wrote:
Mar 17th, '21, 22:38
Problem solved.
Thanks Tezza. Love it. Simple and elegant. The only catch is that sadly there is only about 5 or 6 inches between the cabin roof and the lifelines on a B20, so there is no room to hang the bag off the side of the cockpit (possibly the only time I have been jealous of a larger boat). But...
This has sparked an idea and my current thinking is to make or modify a sheet bag so that it fits on the bulkhead beside the GPS, with the top of the bag cut so that it is in line with the rooftop. This should hopefully force the lines sideways (maybe adding a little hook or two as suggested by Davidjohn) and achieve the same thing for a bit of effort on a sewing machine.

PS Regarding the swing arm idea which was getting very close to the final solution, when I stared at the hole for a while, I realised I was suffering from fibreglass fatigue and just want to start painting and then go sailing, which is why we have the boat. This means the swing arm idea is on hold until at least when I have to replace the GPS.
Cheers,
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by Peridot »

Halyards,etc go to the left of the winch and stow in the bag. But the jib sheet hangs over the GPS. Overcome with the sun-shade, cut from a Peters one litre ice cream container.

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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

That is scarily similar to a previous setup we had, but the ice cream tub sunscreen is genious compared with my attempted sunscreen.
Our GPS was having overheating troubles so I had an elaborate folding cover that doubled as a sun shade during sailing and insulation when it was on the trailer. The problem was that it would collapse when a line dropped on it or we bumped it or for no real good reason.
Eventually the GPS almost melted and Simrad replaced the unit and the shade became redundant. I still remember the look on the guy in Whitworths face when I handed the unit to him an hour after it came out of the boat and it was still almost too hot to hold.
Touch wood, no problem with the replacement in 6 or so years, so have never bothered with the shading, but if it solves another issue, I might give it another go.
Thanks heaps.
Cheers,
JimboT
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Re: Cockpit lines and sheet bag alternatives

Post by JimboT »

Hi All,
OK. Renos are finished and looking good and working even better. As we are back on the water and have had a chance to test out our setup, I thought I would show the result of the fabulous group effort from all the respondents to my question in case it is of assistance or inspiration to others.

As you can see from the first image in my original post, Jaeger used to have timber strip handrails on the cabin roof. The rails were a pain as they were too small to grab and had softened so much that they wouldn't hold paint no matter how much prep I did. As part of the renos, I decided enough was enough and cut them off and replaced with grab rails. While this wasn't the intention, as you can see from the photo below, the grab rails have been a bonus for the final sheet storage solution.
IMG_3671.JPG
The bag tied to the rail is a LOT like Tezza's suggestion. I am once again well and truly over my bigger boat envy as the rails gave me the space I thought I didn't have. (I am working on a theory that space in a small boat is proportional to the amount of imagination and thought taken to solve problems)
Putting the bag forward of The cleats proved to be very effective in keeping the sheets away from the chartplotter and kept them neat and tidy and they seemed easier to access compared to when we had the bag on the bulkhead.
The other subtle detail I incorporated was to set the cleats an inch or two back from the edge of the bulkhead. I messed with the location a lot before drilling the holes to make sure that even with the lines looping gently around back the the bag, they stay clear of the chartplotter. So far, we haven't felt the need for any other means of diverting the lines, but the set back of the cleats from the edge will also give room for something like Davidjohn's suggetion if needed.
Like baccus and Tezza's suggestion we dropped the longer working lines into the cabin for ease of access/lack of tangle and this also worked a treat.
We also followed Furstin's suggestion to not double up on running all the lines though both jammer and cleat. This reduced the number of cleats and the congestion, and of course it worked fine.
So as you can see, the final result was a true group effort and I simply can't thank everyone enough for their help and ideas.
Cheers,
JimboT
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