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Matilda 20 Mainsheet

The picture and description below show a revised Matilda 20 mainsheet arrangement I have recently installed on "Fair Dinkum". The objective was a simpler mainsheet arrangement
, freeing up cockpit space and improving access to the outboard.

  1. Measure distance between back posts and cut appropriate length of " OD stainless steel tubing (approx 18 inches long in my case).
  2. Attach a tee to each end of this new tubing. 
  3. Have all setscrews facing in the same direction - for added security, I removed the 2 setscrews that secured each tee to the new tubing, drilled them out and replaced them with stainless steel bolts.
  4. Unbolt the bases of the inner stern-rail posts.
  5. Loosen the setscrew on the tee connects on both posts - this will allow you to swing the posts away from the stern and slide bases off.
  6. Make backplates, using the bases as a template for hole positions. I used " thick oak blocks approx 3" x 4"
  7. Slide the new assembly up back post with the tee setscrews facing into the cockpit ( easier to adjust, if needed, when the boat is in the water)
  8. Reposition bases bedding onto marine sealant. Re-bolt with new bolts long enough to go through stern and your backing material. I also added  " washers. 
  9. Attach block and cleat unit at the centre of the new tubing using a rail mount bracket. Two of the four holes of my block base matched up perfectly, although I did change the two bolts provided with the bracket to stainless steel flatheads to allow block base to swivel. I then drilled two more corresponding holes directly through the tubing and used used flathead screws again to secure.
  10. Adjust and tighten upper post tees in a position that will allow the new assembly to slide up the posts freely.
  11. I marked the posts with tape at the lowest point the assembly can go with out interfering with the tiller.

I can't stress enough the need to add backing plates when doing this to help withstand the extra strain imposed. My rail used to have a slight wobble and the backing plates have certainly stiffened the whole rail system so that i'm going to add similar backing plates to the pulpit bases as well.

Please note that the 60 tees at the top of each post are for a separate project to make mount a solar panel holder that can be easily added or removed - a great design I got from the Trailer Sailor newsletter.

Shawn Blackwood
Matilda 20 "Fair Dinkum"

Last updated  26 February, 2007 - Matilda Owners Association.