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Flying the Trapeze


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Yes, I admit, still a newbie, but did we have fun yesterday! 15-25kts, and #522 Claws showed us what she is really made of! What a day.

Sailing a 19' trailor sailor, 4 birth, 2 tonne, in 15kts and getting at best 6kts of boat speed is a nice relaxing twilight activity, with a glass of red in one hand and the tiller in the other. Prawns on the table.

A 5.8 in the same conditions? Adrenalin rush is all I can say!! Keep the Red for afters!

While we were not racing, the aim was to get the hull and dagger board out of the water for as long as possible, without getting wet! We learnt alot about boat control, sail and tiller control, and weight distribution. We managed to stay upright the entire afternoon, be it was only just at times!!

We only have one harness at present, so it was the crew that was having most fun, even when he lost his footing and nearly collided with the rudder!! (The birthday wishlist is getting longer!)

One question though. The trap wire is secured each side by a bungy going under the tramp and also through the front beam. We are assuming that the trap wire is left secured to the bungy at all times, and just clipped onto the harness when used. Crew is asking the question, "How often does the bungy cord snap while out on the trapeze?" Whilst not affecting the trapeze wire operation at all, the sudden weight shift as the crew doubles over, could have a control affect. (Not to mention the continuation of the crew dynasty!)

Any suggestions on how often these should be replaced to prevent the crew from moving from the bass section of the choir to suprano?

Keep those hulls flying!


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hi 'claws',

great news that you are enjoying you new boat, as I often say, " time spent not sailing is time wasted".

re- your shockcord (bungee) for the traps, you are correct about keeping them attached, just make sure that they are long enough to allow movement around the tramp, (For and Aft) when you are on the wire.

just check the for fraying before you go out sailing, and try and keep some spare lengths in your sail box on the trailer.

a lot of guys keep two pieces attached on the boat, and only use the one ,and have a spare ready to hand if you break one.

good sailing, fair winds.

pete smile.gif

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Hi Claws,

When I owned #522 I had a second 5/16" hole drilled in the black beam cover for dual shockcords for the crew with mini sister clips for quick changing just in case one broke. Those holes should still be there. I also had a spare for the skipper with the shockcord coming thru a groment at the edge of the tramp just behind the centreboard case. The skippers main shockcord comes thru a groment in the tramp than thru a deadeye behind the sidestay on the outter edge of the deck.

#522 was my first 5.8 and I had heaps of fun sailing it but it likes larger bodies of salt water to sail on. Good luck with her.

Claws @ Tanilba Bay 16 years ago.


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Hi Graceland,

Thanks for the information! (I am waiting for the crew to rise so that we can get on the water for our own Ausie Day regatta!)

Just checked her out. Somebody has obviously replaced the caps, as there is now only one hole with the shock cord in it. Though I can see where you had the second skippers cord.

Thanks to for the photo. And yes, I can see that she would go well on some decent water. You southerners and your regattas/racing are making us envious!! Anyway, we are having fun at the moment on our little patch of water, and it is a good learning environment. We have her on a very good trailer, so we WILL, in time to come, be down for a holiday, and she will come too!! (Oh yes, and better bring the missus as well!!)

Have a great day.


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Hi Claws,

I know that feeling of getting out on the wire for the first time. What an adrenalin rush. I've got a 5.2 and have been coming to grips with it over the last few months.

Best fun I've had was two weeks ago when I tried sailing solo while out on the wire in 15/20 knots. It was the fastest sailing I'd ever done, and was the biggest adrenalin rush I think I've ever had. It scared the crap out of me at times, it was incredibly busy hanging onto all the ropes and the tiller and keeping it under control. But after about 5 minutes I settled into a groove and really started to have a lot of fun. What surprised me most was how much more buoyant the 5.2 with just one person onbaord. Because of the wind I had about a metre of swell and chop to sail on, and it just rode over it all so easily.

Eventually I lost it when I couldn't release the sheet and couldn't point up into the wind quickly enough, and I decided to dive off the back of the boat when I thought I was at the point of no return, in doing so I broke the rubber beam in half where the tiller attaches.

The 5.2 never went over, so I climbed back on baord and sailed to the nearest beach and made a few temporary repairs before heading for home.

I've since made two new rubber beams just in case, and I've attached a 10" length of the next size alluminuim tubing over teh rudder beam and secured it at one end with a cable tie. That way if the same thing happens again, all I have to do is slide the extra tubing over the break and tape it in place to get me home.

But yeah ... I know that feeling of being out on teh wire the first time and flying a hull, its a heck of an adrenalin rush!



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Becoming cloudy with some rain developing and an afternoon thunderstorm.

Moderate SE to E winds, fresh at times.

MAX 32

UV INDEX - 15 [Extreme]

Outlook for Saturday ... Rain at times. Windy.

A tropical depression is heading in our general direction!! Time for some serious trapese flying!!

Just taking some precautions. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what guage cable I should replace my trap wires with while sailing in 120kt cyclonic winds? I am going to replace the stays with 20mm bridge reinforcing cable, so at this stage I am thinking maybe 10mm cable should work on trap??:)

Seriously, just my luck, finally convince the wife to go for a GENTLE sail with her work collegues tomorrow, and the conditions will be one of "depowering the boat with 2-3 people out on the trapese"!! Oh well, you get that. We will see what the actual conditions bring us and take it as it comes. I am still fairly cautious, and I will have the light crew as well as the wife and her mates, so if the winds are averaging over 20kts, we may not go out.

Yes Barry, it cirtainly is an adrelian rush, and dont you just hate it when you bail out, and then boat doesn't go over anyway!! You feel like pulling it over anyway, just to justifiy your decision!!

Happy sailing for weekend guys.


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Hi Claws

Only been sailing 5.8 for about 18 months still finding that rush everytime she starts to fly my brother and I were out in what seemed like 20 to 25 absolutely screeming along on a reach before we came off a wave and buried a nose and that was the end the superman feeling was great. When we stopped laughing we got her up and kept going, but don't recommed as we're still waiting for the boat to be fixed hopefully this weekend

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