Kicking Strap

Question: ...the existing kicker is with the prodder arrangement - is it worth changing this for the one on the web site or leave well alone?

Is it worth putting on the kicker tang fitted on the base of the mast?

Thanks in advance Mike Ewart 545
Answer: You'll get lots of views of course - here are a few of my own. If the boat has a strut type kicker remove it and replace with the conventional type. We don't need the excessive power of the strut with the modern rig - its heavy and unneeded and gets in the way !

Kicker tang at mast base - if the conventional one is still there it WILL BREAK at some point. The upgrade is much stronger and bolts/rivets to the mast foot itself - you then hang the kicker bits off it. This is a cheap upgrade, the bit you need is about £ 8 and you can do it in about 30 minutes - again we've got some in stock. Conversion is described on the association website.

Strutless Kicker

Question: Regarding the 'new' (strutless) kicker arrangement: What size vectran are people using?
Has anyone used a loop of rope through a P clip (e.g. R2849) on the top of the boom, in place of the original webbing strap?
Or know of any possible problem with doing it this way? (e.g. load not spread over the surface of the carbon boom).
What are the views on strut vs. strutless? It seems to me that the angle of the strutless configuration is pretty shallow, and so the forward 'drive' into the mast would be greater for a given leech tension. Is there much difference in effect or effectiveness?
How far 'off' do people's kickers go in use (I presume running by the lee is when it would be slackest)?
It would be appreciated if some kind soul(s) give an approx measurement for that [in terms of distance from mast foot to underside of boom (lower edge)] the next time its convenient.
If your boat is 612 it was mine once and was the very first 10.0m equipped Blaze bar none !! We did all the testing and development on it.

  • VECTRAN - most is easily strong enough - anything from 3mm upwards will do.
  • P Clip - Should work - but why not get better webbing straps, spread the load anyway, and use the same original holes.
  • We do not need as much grunt in the kicker department with the 'new sail' as we run with lower loadings than we did previously. The old 10.4 sail needed brutal kicker to partly 'tame' it and it was still a 'beast' in F4 and more. A strut also gets in the way in light winds and is simply unneeded weight and complexity. The drive into the mast must be identical anyway as its not 'independent'
  • RUNNING - you still need some kicker otherwise much of the drive is lost
  • DISTANCE to underside of boom - basic height of the boom is available on the website - from memory (but please check!) it's 420 mm.

Cheers - Mike Lyons
Question: What is the advantage of the kicker conversion as recommended on the web site as they both appear to be 4:1 ? Answer: By my estimation its 16:1 - double cascade and then 4:1 at the bottom gives 16:1. Its a good compromise of useful 'range',power and low friction - you can also re-use most elements from a Mk1 setup if you want.

Mike Lyons