Rigging hints and tips for the Club boats

Follow these hints and tips to make it easier to rig the boats, and quicker to put them away.

Please treat the Club boats as if they were your own - actually they are yours!!

Lots of different people use the Club's Vision, Laser 2000 and Fevas, and it not always obvious how best to rig them.  We want to encourage our new members who have recently graduated from the Start Sailing/Basic Skills courses to get more experience and progress - and that is what these boats are there for.

All sorts of bits wear out and need replacing.  Accidents do happen.  We all get it wrong some time, and that's why we have insurance.  Nevertheless, a little care and attention can avoid problems that can be expensive for the Club to fix.  It's also good to know that when you arrive to rig, that your're not going to waste time sorting out things that could have been avoided when the boat was last put away.

If you do find a problem, please fix it yourself if you are able to do so, and report it anyway to Dave Trott, the Bosun.


On the Fevas:

  • Hoist the mainsail as normal - remember it's the cleat at the top of the mast that secures the halyard - the clamcleat on the starboard side of the mast below the gooseneck is for the tackline/downhaul.  Ease the sail down far enough to do the next two stages.
  • The tack line goes from the gooseneck, through the reefing cringle (2nd one up the luff - aka eyelet to landlubbers), then through the clamcleat (aka jammer) on the side of the mast, so you can bring the reefing cringle down to the gooseneck before adjusting the tension on the luff of the sail by pulling on the main halyard.
  • The outhaul hook goes through the reefing cringle a little way up the leech of the sail.  This isnow the reefed clew of the sail.  Tighten the outhaul to get some shape in the bottom of the sail.
  • Roll up the spare sail tightly from the foot, and loosely tie the middle of the rolled up sail to the boom with a reef knot.
  • Pass the length of thin line at the gooseneck through the reefing cringle at the luff/gooseneck, around the rolled sail and tie tightly with a reef knot.
  • Pass the length of thin line that should be attached to the D-ring at the far end of the boom through the clew, around the boom, and then forward to the reefing clew and around the rolled sail, making off with a couple of tight half hitches or three.  This is key to keeping the reefed sail under control.  Please do not untie or remove this thin line from the end of the boom.
  • Take care not to trap mainsheet or outhaul in your reefing pennants.
  • Secure the slack main halyard with the black shockcord using a seaman-line knot and tidy away.

On the Vision:

  • It's easier to thread the clew reefing line before hoisting the Main.
  • Attach the outhaul as usual - don't tension it until the sail is hoisted.
  • Thread the clew reefing line from the end of the boom up one side of the sail and zig-zag down the other side - follow the arrows on the sail.  You may need to release the reefing line from the cleat under the front of the boom to pull sufficient through.
  • The knot in the end of the clew reefing line slides into the track in the top of the boom.
  • Hoist the main until the tack reefing cringle is above the gooseneck.  Feed the luff reefing line through the cringle and down the other side of the sail.  Put the end of the reefing line in the slot on the boom fitting - it's a tight fit.
  • Hoist the main all the way up.  Make sure the kicker is eased and the tack downhaul line uncleated while you hoist the main.
  • Put the tackline/downhaul through the tack cringle and tension it in the cleat on the mast below the gooseneck.  Now tension the outhaul.
  • To reef the sail before going out, or even later when you're on the water, ease the main halyard while at the same time pulling on the reefing line under the front of the boom.  Make sure the kicker is eased.
  • Tie the reefing penants around the rolled foot of the sail - not around the boom with - reef knots!
  • Having reefed ashore, if you're going to leave the boat then drop the main into the boat leaving the reefing lines and tack downhaul tensioned.
  • Please do not leave the Vision unattended with the main up.  It's a powerful sail and if it's windy enough to reef then gusts or shifts could blow the boat over and cause injury or damage.
  • When removing the reefing lines from the mainsail, ensure that the tack reefing line does not dissappear into the boom - there should always be a stopknot in the end of this line, and it should be tied off.

Rudders and centreboards/daggerboards

These are incredibly expensive to replace and are easily damaged.  Dragging the foils on concrete or tarmac destroys them. This does affect the performance and ease of sailing of the boat.

  • There should be no need to tighten or loosen the wing nuts on the Feva, Vision and Laser 2000 rudders.  If they are gently finger tight there will be enough friction to stop the rudder floating up or dropping down when on the trolley, and not too much friction to prevent pulling the rudder dow with the downhaul line.  Constant over-tightening and loosening will strip the thread of the nylon wing nuts.
  • Please fit the rudder at the water's edge and remove it before pulling the boat up the slipway on its trolley - this is to prevent the rudder dropping down and dragging on the concrete, which damages the foil.
  • It is easier to put the daggerboard into the slot while you are standing in the water next to the boat.  Push it down just far enough to clear the kicker. On the Fevas a sharp pull towards the stern should secure the daggerboard in a raised position.
  • When coming ashore, release the rudder downhaul and bring the rudder half-up while you are in deep water - not just as you are about to hit the concrete! There should be no need to slacken the nut!
  • Please make sure the centreboard/daggerboard is ready to raise while you are still in deep water - if you are sailing upwind to land then you will need it at least half way down until the last moment.



The Vision and Feva race sails are Mylar laminate - two layers of clear polyester film glued under heat and pressure to a reinforcing mesh of some exotic yarn.  If these sails are creased or folded then they get holes and cracks in them, which is not fast.  Leaving them hoisted and flogging will also damage them.  Unroll these sails and carefully flake down into the boat avoiding any folds or creases before hoisting,  After sailing, roll carefully avoiding creases.  Rolling the sail up on the gunwhale (side deck) is probably easiest, best with two people. The battens should be parallel with the roll.


On arrival - all boats:

  • Undo all the straps, undo the halyard holding up the cover and secure it to a shroud, then fold the bow flaps back behind the mast, and roll or fold the cover towards the transom.
  • Unlock the Feva padlocks - leave the padlocks open so that you can lock the boat up without the keys when you put the boat away.
  • Lift the cover off the transom and put it down.  Picking it up the same way round after sailing, putting it on the transom and rolling it forward saves time trying to work out which end is which.

Putting away - all boats:

  • Place cover on transom and unroll forwards.
  • On the Fevas, poke the plate up through dagger board case, put the plate with a slot over the bar, and put the padlock though hole in the bar.
  • On the Fevas, lie the boom with the gooseneck resting on the jib halyard cleat and the back of the boom on the inspection hatch so that the cover forms a tent to stop rain ponding up on the cover.  Tension mainsheet and kicker to keep it there.
  • Attach the halyard to the loop on the top of the cover and tension it to pull the cover up so that water will run off - on the Laser 2000 the halyard goes on the D-ring on the mast collar to pull the mast collar up the mast for the same reason.
  • Tie the mast collar as high up the mast as you can - tying it at deck level almost guarantees that rain will collect in the cover.
  • Now attach the straps - they are all long enough to pass under the ends of the boats to save grovelling in the dirt - you just have to lift the bow slightly for the front straps.
  • Tighten the straps - tight enough to get the cover taut so that rainwater runs off, but not hard enough to break the buckles!
  • Replace the steel cable - just one turn around the masts on all the Fevas and the Vision.  There is thin rope and cable to tie the Vision to the tree.

Halyards & spinnaker lines

  • While rigging and derigging, tie off the halyards to stop them blowing out of reach - this also prevents the end of the halyard shooting up the mast out of reach when you inadvertenly pull on the other end.
  • If the spinnaker or jib halyards go up the mast on the Fevas, please retreive them before leaving the boat - either by capsizing the boat in the shallows, or wheeling the boat up the the clubhouse balcony.
  • When hoisting the main sail, remove the halyard from the clamcleat on the Vision, otherwise friction will burn a groove in the aluminium teeth of the cleat, and the sail will fall down.
  • Friction from pulling halyards over any part of the hull or deck moulding will burn unsightly grooves in polyethelyne or fibreglass.  Stand further back and pull directly from the pulley on the mast.
  • Check that the halyards are not twisted before you leave the boat
  • When you've removed the spinnaker, tie the end of the spinnaker halyard around the mast just below the gooseneck using half hitches, and tie the spinnaker downhaul that runs through the chute to the tack line that emerges from the end of the pole using a double sheetbend.

Avoiding unnecessary damage

Rotomoulded polyethelyne boats are not indestructible - we have them because they are significantly cheaper than fibreglass and bounce better.  Dents and scratches on the Fevas and Vision would have necessitated a professional repair to a fibreglass boat.  Nevertheless, you can lengthen the active lives of all our boats by:

  • Avoiding collisons- keep a good lookout and sail by the rules
  • Float the boat off and on to the trolley - be gentle!
  • On shore, balance the boat on the trolley by ensuring the bow is right forward.
  • Do not lift the front of the trolley too high, to avoid dragging the transom on the ground.
  • Always hoiust the main at the last moment before going afloat, and as soon as you are ashore, to stop the boat being blown over by gusts.


Happy sailing!