Follow up to FAQ: using strops

We had a question from Okeebc on the first passage safety post last week, wanting to see a strop rigged as we use them on Totem. Here’s one example- our boom with two strops (yellow) at the outboard end.

The squall in the background of course is nice dramatic effect!

The forward strop is to attach to our mainsheet block, since the 3/8”, 1 year old stainless steel eye that had been attached the block failed while in route to the Marquesas. Fortunately, we rigged the strop before leaving Mexico, as a just-in-case precaution. It made quick work of getting the boom under control.

The second strop is in place as a spare. It can be used for mainsheet, reefing, boom topping lift, preventer, vang (we do also used a strop for the vang), etc. As mentioned last week’s post, we also use strops- or soft shackles, from  1/4” Spectra line- in many other applications. Which reminds me to share just how much Jamie loves Spectra. I mean… sometimes, I feel a little threatened. I tease him that he wants to legally change his middle name to Spectra, and he doesn’t object nearly enough.

The straps shown are made from 2” nylon tubular webbing. One length of webbing, rolled to the correct diameter so that it is 4 or 5 layers and then hand-sewn. Our good friends on Ceilydh loaned us their Sailrite machine. This was great for a bunch of pre-passage projects, but not the strops- they are too thick. Break out the sailmaker’s palm…

Jamie feels the need to point out the mainsheet twist (old double braid) in the picture. It drove him nuts! He’d work it out, but it would quickly re-emerge. A different line choice is in order for the next mainsheet.


3 Responses to Follow up to FAQ: using strops

  1. SV Estrellita 5.10b January 4, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    I may have to change my middle name to “velcro zip tie” then 😉

  2. Heidi February 27, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I just came across your blog and I am loving it. We are planning our own trip around the world with our two kids and I am so impressed that you and your family live on $20K a year. We just KNEW it could be done! Thanks for the inspiration.

    And, now enough gushing, time for my question: We have no plans to sail on our trip, as neither of us have much experience in this area (I have none). But, it is so appealing, that is our dream for the future. Any tips for learning how to sail? How old do you think kids should be before considering it as a mode of our travel?

    How did you eat on your trip across the south pacific? DId you catch fish along your way?

    Thanks for your inspiration and advice!


  3. Behan February 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Hey Heidi, glad you like the blog. I think my answer will get a little long so I’ll drop them in an email to your Yahoo account. 🙂

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