There’s many times I go out sailing single-handed and because of that I continually seek to improve the safety of how I do things. My latest project was to install a downhaul line for the headseail. I give credit to The $tingy Sailor for helping me get inspired to start on this.
I found an unused line in the locker that was the right length [approximately 2 times the boat length] and thankfully the fairleads were already installed, so it made for a fairly easy installation.
I ran the line from the cockpit through several fairleads to the bow and then a turn block and terminated by tying it into the headsail halyard.
This will help me get the headsail down so as to minimize or even eliminate a trip to the bow while underway. Previously, there have been times when it’s time to drop the headsail, I’d release the halyard and the sail would drop with it’s own weight at least partway. But the problem is that it won’t come fully to the deck on it’s own. With the installation of this downhaul, I’ll be able to actually pull the entire sail down to the deck from the comfort and safety of the cockpit.
Here’s a video detailing the installation and then a clip of the hoisting and then hauling it down. What are your thoughts?