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Old 18th February 2007, 10:13 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Default Downhaul

Hello everyone, I sail a F-158 and heard that I can extend my sail range if I downhaul more. I have a Neil pryde 9.0 V-8, and Loft 10.8
Is there a downaul tool for this? How much more range will I get from these sails if I downhaul more?


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Old 18th February 2007, 11:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default RE: Downhaul

Hi Craig,

While It's tough to say anything definitive about the downhaul tension you're using now without some photos showing your rigged sail, I can say without question that a downhaul tool will make the rigging process a breeze and give you the subtle control that is difficult to achieve by hand, or even with a hand held tool.

There are a number of downhaul tools out there, and their ease of use depends greatly on the type of mastbase extension you're using. I have two different types. The one I have been using for quite a few years now is called a "Rig It Right", and it works based on a lever concept. It works very well with the older Fiberspar and NP mastbases. Arguably more well known and popular is the winch type offered by Chinook. Chinook's has two variant designs, one with the standard two pin cup and the other with the Euro Pin attachment.

Downahul tools cost about $40-45 US, and in my opinion, it would be money well spent. Believe me, your back will thank you for it. For years I manually downhauled with no apparent difficulties, but I ultimately began having back and related nerve problems. With the exclusive use of a downhaul tool, all my physical problems vanished.

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Old 18th February 2007, 11:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Maine & North Carolina
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Default RE: Downhaul

You can buy downhaul cranks at most windsurfing stores. They run $40-50.

Before I had a downhaul crank, I found I wasn't getting the correct downhaul tension (per the manufacturer's specifications). Once I started using the tool, I was rigging to the specs and getting more range out of the sail.

I use a crank on my 9.8 V8 to save my back for sailing and to fine tune the sail.

Don't think about using a crank to increase the sail's range... rather think of it as using the crank to rig the sail correctly. $0.02

I weigh 65 kilos. I can take my 9.8 V8 out in 20mph gusts without getting backwinded. Before I was downhauling correctly, I found I would get backwinded much sooner (and it was a feeling that grew... I knew it was coming and could do nothing about it).
Starboard [Gemini, F-Type 148, iSonic 105], AHD [Convert 60, GT Special 73], Windsurfer
Neil Pryde [v8 9.8], Sailworks [Retro 8.0; Hucker 6.6, 5.6, 4.8]

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Old 19th February 2007, 04:11 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 160
Default RE: Downhaul

Agree 100% - the point of the downhaul tool is to get the setting that is right and to save your back. The North extension with the ratchet on the base is a nice 'built in ' tool so fine tune your sail is a no brainer. Pros and cons have been discussed on the *Board forum before. They may not like sand and do chew through rope - so just think of the rope as an 'expendable' (need 1.8m each time, say at most twice per season depending on your use of same. Have a look on the North website for information on extension lengths etc. Pretty pricey, but...
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