When my wife Cheryl and I stepped up from a Catalina 34 to our current Catalina 380, L’Esprit, we encountered a small but potentially dangerous problem in handling the jib sheets. With some regularity, the lazy sheet would get stuck with great tension under the toggle of the lower forward shroud when tacking. It turns out that the toggle is 5/8” wider than the stem and tends to move outward leaving a gap large enough to catch the 1/2” jib sheet.
I tried a number of things to remedy the situation, like banging it back with a hammer (bad idea!), taping the toggle, and filling the gap with a short line. While these worked, they were only temporary. My rigger strongly advised against a more permanent solution like a different toggle or large washers on the inside.
For the solution, I got my inspiration one day while I was looking for an unrelated part in the plumbing aisle of Home Depot. My eye fell on a small piece of 2” PVC pipe coupling that I could adapt to tightly fit over the toggle, cutting a slit to slip it over the shroud, all for less than a dollar each.
Problem solved and no more heroic dashes forward to unlock a jib sheet under great tension. At our (future) age and agility, we want to choose when to leave the ever popular safety of the cockpit.
By Adriaan Veldhuisen, P/D/C