HAPCO Split Tail Main Sheet for an Albacore

HAPCO Split Tail Main Sheet for an Albacore

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HAPCO uses polypropylene covered line with a blended spectra and polypropylene core for the hauling part and a tail of 1/8 inch spectra. While the polypro does not hold us as well in sunlight and wear, the line is very light and does not soak up much water weight while sailing. The spectra does not soak up water either, so the entire assembly does not drag in the water while sailing off wind in light air.

Tools and Ingredients

1. 27 feet of 3/8 inch diameter New England Ropes Sta Set X-Lite
2. 190 inches of 1/8 inch diameter Spectron 12
3. Spool of #4 Marlow waxed nylon whipping twine
4. Masking tape
5. Sewing needle
6. Sharp knife
7. Two Harken HK281 stainless steel straps with #8 fasteners, locking nuts, and flat washers
8. Two Ronstan RF1981S shackles
9. Drill with 11/64ths inch bit
10. Screwdriver and pliers
11. Lighter


1. Choose one end of the main sheet and cross stitch the 3/8 inch line ten times about 2 feet from the end.

2. Wrap masking tape around the chosen end and cut it off cleanly.

3. Push the core out from the main sheet around 10 inches.

4. Cut off around seven inches of the core.

5. Fold the spectra 12 in half and sew the middle to the end of the core.

6. Milk the cover over the core and draw the bight of spectra inside.

7. Cross stitch the cover to the bight of spectra such that the stitching goes through both sides of the bight as shown in the sketch.

8. Apply a seizing one inch from the end of the cover. Sew the seizing to the cover.

9. Carefully peel back the masking tape and apply a second seizing to the very end of the cover about ΒΌ inch back from where the spectra emerges. Sew this seizing to the cover and through the spectra.

10. Cross stitch the spectra around 45 inches. Use 1/8 inch stitches with #4 Marlow waxed whipping twine.

11. Wrap tape on both ends of the spectra tails, forming a point on each end. Poke a hole in the first spectra tail and pass the second through. Poke a hole in the second tail and pass the first through. Repeat this once. When correctly done, it should not be possible to pull the tails apart.

12. Splice a small eye into the ends of each spectra tail arranged at a finished length of 34 to 35 inches. Note: the spectra gets shorter when spliced. Pull the eye very tight around the Ronstan shackle.

13. Install the Harken eye straps 13 inches forward of the transom with fasteners arranged athwart ships.

14. Shackle the main sheet tails to the eye straps and run the main sheet through the blocks on the boom. Adjust the location of the blocks on the boom so the main sheet is perpendicular to the boom when the boat is rigged and the boom center lined.

15. Burn and seize the opposite end of the main sheet.

16. The mainsheet will be slippery when new – either run it through the washing machine on delicate with a little soap or just use it for a while. Soaking the main sheet in a bucket of water overnight will help.

The above described main sheet is designed to have spectra running up through rear block on the boom but to not quite get to the forward block on the boom. This way, the transition from spectra to X Lite is not normally running over the block while sailing upwind, so the main sheet runs smoothly and without any bumps.

Barney Harris
USA 6701

Albacore Sailing Dinghy. Racing, cruising, or learning to sail it's the boat for you!