I’m a great fan of clam cleats – drop your sheets and presto, they’re secure. Then I found a few postings by Frogy130, who also competed for the first time in this year’s EC. He too wasn’t happy with the sheeting system, and also preferred the use of clam cleats.
So that’s what I did. First I cut the sheet in half (ouch) – it’s normally a loop from each “mast”. Then two new holes per cleat were drilled each side of the cockpit (double ouch), slightly for’ad. I then fitted an aluminum clam cleat (Cleat, 1/8-1/4IN MK2) for each, that’d I bought from Beaufort's West Marine while introducing the wee one to the wonderful world of marine gear for the very first time.
First off in the safety of the garage I found that the new system is quicker to rig. Just run each sheet through the clips that PAS supplies, then through the cleat, popping a figure-of-eight knot in the end of each sheet to ensure it doesn’t run out through the cleat while underway. And that’s it.
Monday and Tuesday I tested the new system out on Jordan Lake. Yesterday was perfect, as it was blowing about 15 knots and there was only me and four windsurfers taking advantage of the great breeze. (I hit 9.2mph – the windsurfers were a wee bit faster ;)
Verdict: one hell of a lot easier, and quicker and safer to adjust when under high winds, with one hand if necessary. If anyone wants further information, I’m happy to oblige.