The setup for the main halyard has always bothered us. Under the front of the dodger, there is a double-sided jam/clam cleat that the halyard would often get stuck in. From there, it runs to the cabin-top winch, and then it can be tied off on a horn cleat. Having a clutch in front of the winch is a much nicer way to keep things organized, and is easier to handle. You’ll find that setup on all newer boats. We’d been talking about adding a clutch for a long time, and I’d even picked up a Lewmar double-clutch when I found one on sale. One issue we had was the lack of a good place to mount it. The area in front of the winch drops down a level, and so we needed some way to raise up the clutch, to keep the line on a nice path to the winch. Talking about it with our friend Calvin, we’d explored using a block of wood, or maybe something like Starboard. Then he saw a clutch on another boat raised on a block of aluminum, and we thought that would work well. So Calvin took the measurements, and decided to cast it, in his homemade forge!?!?
The installation went pretty smoothly once we found the right size bolts. We lined up and marked the holes, took a deep breath, and drilled through our cabin-top. We used butyl in between the cabin-top, block, and clutch to help make a solid connection between the surfaces, and used sealant in the holes and around the bolts.
It is not the most orthodox looking setup, but it works so much better. Raising the halyard is a lot easier now, especially since the sail cars have a nasty habit of getting stuck in the mast slot occasionally. I’d highly recommend this setup to anyone with a CS27, and if you don’t have a friend with a forge, I’m sure a block of teak or Starboard would do the trick.