The last leg of the day is usually downwind for me and I was thinking wouldn't it be nice to have a "third hand" to hold the sail out so that my other two hands could engage in more worthwhile enterprises like holding the tiller and a cold beer.
I have seen other device designs posted and though very ingenious and kudos to the designers, I decided that they were either too complicated or required more modifications then I was willing to make. I do like the barber-hauler idea, but anything that pulls down on the clew of the sail takes the belly out of it which is not what I need at the end of the day when the wind is dying down and I am heading home.
On conventional monohulls, I usually had a whisker-pole which attaches at the clew and at the mast to maintain sail shape. Not convenient sitting in the back seat of the TI sailing alone.
Home Depot provided the materials for the answer... Meet the Third Hand.
I utilize the rod holders to hold the pole in position and the sheet lines fit in the U-shaped cup at the end.
The angle of the cup can be adjusted so that there is no pulling down on the sheets and as the next photo shows, you get a very nice sail shape.
Cheap and easy to build.
No modifications to the hull necessary.
Fits in the cockpit out of the way when not in use.
Can be deployed or stowed immediately.
No new lines running in the cockpit.
Limitations: It could be longer... but heck, that's always true isn't it? Seriously, if it were any longer-it would not fit in the cockpit, would drag in the water
and be a lot heavier. Everything is a compromise and this is no different.
-Two 2' sections of 1" PVC. Cut one section in half to make the 12" base pole that goes in the rod holder. HD sells 2' sections but you could cut a 3' piece too.
-One T connector
-Two 90 degree elbows
-One end cap for the base and two other end caps for the cup if you don't mind the extra weight.
-Material to make an enlargement in the middle of the base pole to provide friction so that the pole doesn't twist too easily or jump out of the holder. I am using rubber insulation tape. Material to build up tennis racket grips, etc. could also be used.
You could use bigger PVC pipe I guess, but I decided that the larger pipe would make it too heavy and more unwieldy while sailing.
Someone may have already thought of this... Sorry, not trying to steal your thunder. Works great for me and makes a big difference.
Questions and suggestions for improvement welcomed.