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Re: Spinnaker blocks


Have no fear the toe rail won't pull out under the load of a spinnaker. I have seen an SJ23 pound (side to side at the bow) against a slightly smaller boat for 2 days in 2 foot waves. The toe rail of the SJ23 literally cut the other boat to shreds as it first sheared off the rub rail then opened up the deck. I realize that most of the cutting action (and hence the load on the toe rail) was downward on the deck, but the rail also pulled down against the other hull. The SJ23 rail never lifted off the deck. In the end when I separated the 2 boats, the SJ23 survived with only cosmetic damage. Absolutely NO damage to the toe rail or any of the glass supporting it. A quick sanding of the gel coat followed by a paint job restored the SJ23. I instantly acquired a whole new respect for the aluminum toe rail.

On another job, I replaced all the factory cup washers with over size aluminum washers to take the load of my new bow anchor roller. It should be noted that I found most of the screws loose during the replacement. Also, I capsized the hull twice (mast head almost to the water) after which the toe rail never leaked, creaked or showed other signs of weakness.

If you want real security then install the same aluminum washers I did as show in Tech Tip B26 With all these experiences I look at hulls quite differently now. I see the strength of a good toe rail versus the weakness of a rub rail. The SJ23 toe rail ain't coming apart. Hope this helps to ease your fears.


Bob Schimmel
(Always stay curious)


Theo Riethmuller wrote:


I live in Brisbane Australia and own a Fleetwing 25, which is a San Juan
23 with a tapered stern of 2 foot manufactured in New Zealand after the
SJ23 stopped production.  Exactly the same boat, but powered by an
outboard in a centre well in the cockpit!

My question is whether I can put spinnaker blocks attached through the
slots in toe rail aft of the jib sheet winches in the cockpit. Some
people have suggested to me that the loads put on the toe rail from the
spinnaker in full flight could rip the toe rail out!
Could this be true or is the toe rail able to stand the force.   If not,
what spinnaker sheet set-up do other people use.


Theo Riethmuller
Regional Infrastructure
The Coordinator-General

ph: 3405 6544
fax: 3229 7315

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