Firefly rigging diagram

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Brigg 5 years, 11 months ago.

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    Paul Stephenson

    Having been given the project to refurbish F 3360 wooden firefly, and being new to the class,I am hoping someone can help with a rigging diagram, particularly which lines to run to the 3 cleats situated on either side of after edge of the thwart. Centreboard raising/ lowering deals with one of the lines, are the other 2 down haul and kicking strap?
    Any help gratefully received.


    Andy Reilly

    Hi, I am happy to share some pictures of the layout I use but I am not sure if there is a ‘standard’ approach.

    The configuration I use is the kicker, cunningham and rig tension go to the three cleats on each side of the thwart. The centerboard control runs along the top of the centerboard capping.

    I guess that the Facebook group is easier to share pictures than this forum, so please keep an eye on that, and if other people have alternative approaches they can be thrown into the pot.


    Paul Stephenson

    Thanks for the advice Andy, I’ve now joined firefly sailing group so if you would like to post a photo of the internal rigging it would be much appreciated- particularly how the lines run from the base of the mast.
    Cheers paul


    Michael Brigg

    Hi Paul,

    I think it is likely that no two fireflies have identical layouts in their control lines. It depends on many variables, including the mark of hull, personal preferences and sailing style, and most importantly the depth of your pocket!

    Do not skimp however, as friction is the real enemy of control lines. Too much friction and they are useless and not worth installing. Best put in 1 line at a time as the money for bearing blocks comes available.

    The only really fixed things are the position of the Main sheet, (Centre main or Transom,) and to some extent, the Jib fairleads. I suppose the Main halyard is pretty much a given, and for simplicity many Jib halyards now are put on a highfield lever or rack at the base of the mast. This can also work well for the Jib halyard tension. The Main Clew outhaul in most is also led along (or inside) the boom onto a highfield mounted under the boom at the front end, between the gooseneck and the Kicker.

    This leaves you with a Kicker control, a Cunningham, and perhaps a Jib tension if you want to rig one. The is also the plate uphaul.

    You need to decide where you want to put the “Pulling point” first. So assuming both crew and helm need to be able to tweek when called for, this is likely to be somewhere accessible from both sides of the boat, or will need to be led back on both sides. Probably to the front or back of your centre thwart.

    The plate can be a puzzler. It needs to be instantly and easily pulled up if you run aground, and I find a pull point on the side Inwhale of a Mark 1 just in front of the shroud works well, as in this position the Crew wont be sitting on it. Mark 2 and beyond take it down to the point where your “Plate stiffener”/”forward thwart” joins the side bench or buoyancy tank. This will give you a good leverage to pull up in a hurry, and is also easily jammed/released. It also keeps it clear of other lines.

    The alternative tends to be along the top of the plate case. Personally I think this can be difficult to reach from outside the boat if you are hiking.

    So, you may have 2-3 lines to lead back to the thwart. How you do this is your own choice. The important thing is that the turning points wont pull out when you use them. That depends on the Leverage/gear ratio you are using and the strength of the anchorage of the fittings. Too much leverage and you will have yards of control line falling out through your self bailers every time you sail in a blow. Too little and your crew may not be able to get enough purchase (or you if you’re a girlie) or worse still, a decent yank will pull the turning blocks out (unless you have through bolted them.)

    In short, the choice, is yours.

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