Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Sheet Lead Right?"
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Thread: "Sheet Lead Right?"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Sheet Lead Right?

Terry Shoup

I just bought the boat, and I'm going to be driving everyone crazy with all my questions, but please bear with me.

I have a loose-footed staysail, and I'm running the sheets through a block that's on a track on the cabin top on either side , then back through some fairleads to either side of the companionway. On the port side is a sort of locking device with a handle that lies parallel to the cabin top and catches the sheet in its jaws; on the starboard side, someone prior to me has rigged some sort of a pivoting cam cleat that jams every time I tack.

I want to replace the device on the starboard side and am thinking of a non-pivoting cam cleat or else a clam cleat -- any pro or con arguments? Should I replace the one on the port side as well? It seems to do the job pretty well.

I'd love to get a look at a boat that someone has done a good job of setting up! I'm in the LA area, so if anyone would be interested in showing off a little, drop me a note! I'd be willing to pop for breakfast or lunch!

Terry Shoup
Inalla WSSK0197

Bud Taplin

Check Page C-9 of my Westsail Service Manual to see how a loose footed staysail should be controlled.

Mike McCoy

Actually, I haven't had very much success rigging a loose footed staysail per the service manual.

When I rigged my staysail per the instructions, even with the side track blocks in their most forward position (to exert more of a downward pull on the leech) the leech is still too loose resulting in the sail shape being 'blown'.

Not sure why this should be the case as the jib/yankee is rigged in essentially the same manner except for the continous line thru the clew block.

Any suggestions? How do others have their loosefooted staysail rigged?

Rich Morpurgo

ours is on tracks on the inside of the handrails. I think the best thing would be to temporarily use the handrails to find the right position.

Sails are cut differently.

How's it going down there mike?

How are the bugs there?


Rich Morpurgo

We are coming down next year I think. I am sick of paying florida prices for 4 poles to tie a boat to. Seems like a good spot to temporarily use as a home base.

Is there any kind of importation duty if you keep a boat there for a while?


Mike McCoy

I have tracks down the cabintop as well (although mine are outboard of the handrails). I've tried my staysail with & without the clew block and just can't get a decent sail shape. It must be due to the cut. It's just got too much 'belly' without the boom.

I'm lovin it down here. Some things more expensive, most cheaper IMHO. The cost of living is dirt cheap as long as you stay away from the gringo businesses (or those that predominantly do business with gringos). My monthly food bill is maybe $150-200 and I eat very well, eat at a restaurant maybe 3-4 times a week. Brunos bar has a 'Steak night' on Wed. You get a HUGE chunk 'o steak (tender, but cut unknown), corn on the cob, mashed potatoes/veggie, garlic bread & salad for under $6.75. More 'standard fare' dinner meals (ala meat loaf, pork chops, chix, etc.) run about 4-5 bucks. And we're talking a plate full of food. Not including drinks but they're similarly priced... beer/soda is about a buck, mixed drinks $1.25 (although I got charged $5 for a Tangurey/tonic once). The local orphanage is a farm and I support them by buying my meat from them. An 8-10 oz tenderloin is about $3, a couple 1.5" thick pork chops the same, a chix leg/thigh is $1.50. Staples (veggies, paper goods, etc.) are about 1/2 US prices. American cigs are $13/ctn and pot buds are $3-4 a baggie

Went shopping for 'Ropa Americana' (American clothes) and bought some Dickie canvas shorts for $3 and a really nice hawaiian silk shirt for $7. Clothes shopping is a roll of the dice/adventure though... you just gotta rummage thru the piles to find what you want. And the piles change almost daily.

OTOH, if you can't get it at the local ferreteria (hardware) store or from another boater, boat stuff can be pretty expensive. Maybe 1.5-2X the cost you're paying in the States. IF you can find it. And forget shipping stuff here. I was going to order a few things from Defender to see how long it took, shipping, etc.. Order ws for about $100 for 5lbs. Shipping for my order was $108 FedX economy and $120 for DHL! Scratch that. It's SOP for anyone coming down from the states to bring as much stuff with them as they can/will carry (btw, coming down here anytime soon?

However, I'm hearing/investigating a cheaper way of getting things here by having it first shipped to a container shipping agent in Miami and having it come over on a freighter.

Still, I've pretty much decided to keep the boat here permanently. Marina prices are comparable to the states (or maybe even cheaper) at $100-150/mo and .35/KW for power. And it's a hurricane safe 'home-base' close to Mexico, Belize, Honduras, etc. Continental flies out of Guat and it looks like a round trip ticket to the states is $350'ish.

I was expecting bugs galore (mosquitos, noseeums, etc.) but haven't been bothered one whit. I have yet to use my bug screens, bugspray, 'Skin So Soft', etc. But there are definately some wierd ones down here.

Mike McCoy

I hear ya... It cost me more just to pass thru FL for 3 weeks than it's cost me to live in Guatemala for 3 months. Seriously.

FYI, this is where I'm staying now for $150/mo (+ .35 per KWH for power):


I think I remember paying Guatemala immigration about $20 US for the 1st 3 mos. They musta been able to tell I was a new gringo in town because I just had somebody renew it for me for $20 but 1/3 went to him for doing it for me.

My 'Boat papers' (customs, health, port captain)were about $75 for 1st 3 mos. Then it's about $100 for a 9 mo extension (mine is expired and needs to be renewed). Again, you don't actually have to do it yourself. Lots of people around to do it for you (for a fee). Then the extensions are yearly for $150 per year. Pretty informal and no problem staying as long as you want (Guatemala likes gringo dollars).

Belize was the cheapest to check into (zip, but $3.50 US to check out) but the most expensive to stay (gas $9/gal, Diesel $4.50, expensive food, ice,water etc.)

Mexico (Isla Majures) was the next cheapest. It cost me $78 (incl agent fee) for Immigration, customs, agriculture, health, etc. and the same to check out. That isn't the case everywhere in Mexico. I hear NOT to check in/out of Mexico at Puerto Morelos or Xcalak and ESPECIALLY not Cozumel. Too much mordida required in those prots.

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This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by  Jack Webb (s/v Drifter, Westsail 32, Hull #438)