268. Top Tips Tuesday - Get a grip!

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As an ex-dinghy racer who is now cruising a Mystery 35, but still thinks he needs 'the need for speed,' I did indulge myself when fitting her out and upgraded with a few goodies that would, I think, help us go that little bit faster. For instance, instead of the weight and windage of a rigid Echomax radar reflector half way up the mast I went for the inflatable version of that manufacturer's range. It's hoisted on a flag halyard, should  conditions deteriorate, and as another bonus it does give a better reflective footprint than the EM180. We fitted a retractable Selden bowsprit and for accurate sail trim. I used cruising dyneemafor both my main and genoa halyards. The layout of the Mystery, ie a narrow sheeting angle, is such that the two cabin top Andersen winches in conjunction with a battery of clutches both port and starboard are used to hoist sails, put reefs in and adjust the fore and aft position of the genoa cars for my 110% jib when reefing that sail. However we have recently been having an issue with the main halyard slipping so this next trip out to the Ionian, being carried in my hand luggage, will be a Antal V-cam 814 series clutch and as I will be mounting it on the mast it is the horizontal model I will be going for.

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The Antal V-Cam 814 works in a different way to the majority of clutches on the market, the V-Grip is an Antal patented system for rope locking. It works with a pressure exerted on three sides of the line with a higher friction and, consequently with a lower pressure, in order not to damage ropes.  Click here to see how the V-Grip System works.

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1. Pressure on three sides. Unlike the usual flat cam, V-Grip is fitted with a V-shaped cam that improves the holding strength without damaging the line cover.

2. Load distribution. The curved base- V-Cam pair increases the bearing surface, preventing the load from being concentrated at a critical point.

3. Line retrieval with closed lever. Line retrieval can be achieved with the lever closed. The line stops automatically in the new position with no slippage.

4. Emergency opening. The line can be released under load without the use of a winch because the Antal mechanism guarantees easy opening even under heavy conditions.

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Antal also manufacture an excellent block that I use when barber hauling the headsail. As mentioned above it’s a 110% jib, fitted with vertical battens to help control the leech. The Dynablock offers a light and reliable solution  that offers an easy, fast and safe connection as can be seen below. Use it for a variety of uses including, of course, barber hauling your jib, cruising chute or code zero.

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1. A light and reliable solution that offers an easy, fast and safe connection 2. The resin sheave is on composite fibre bushing with two side ball bearings. 3. Spare snap-loops (DBS04 for size 44 and DBS05 for size 56) available.

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