I need some help with the rigger with the kicking strap in particular, taught myself to sail so obviously i missed some things on the way, such as the kicking strap haha, could someone tell me what i rig that too, i have the boom attachment but im unsure where exactly to attach that? I'm assuming somehow to the bolt at the bottom of the mast? thanks in advance
So a kicking strap is there to keep the boom horizontal when it’s not sheeted in. When you pull the main sheet in, that pulls the back of the boom in and down, so the boom stays horizontal and the sail is flattened.
When you let the main sheet out (to slow down, but more importantly, if you are hit by a gust to depower the sail) then there is no downward pull on the boom. If the kicking strap wasn’t there, the boom would lift up, and create a ‘belly’ in the sail, making a bulge. This actually results in the wind putting more pressure on the sail (it stops working like an aero foil and starts acting like a parachute) and that ends up capsizing your boat!!!
So the kicker is v important. And yes, you are right, it should connect part way along the boom, down to the bottom of the mast. It should have some adjustment so you can tighten it. It pulls down and forward, keeping the boom horizontal and stopping it coming out the swan neck, where it connects to the mast. All in all, a v important bit of rope!
You should expect to find either a shackle at the bottom of the mast, a bar if you have a tabernacle, or a metal loop. You connect the other end of the kicking strap (usually with a snap shackle or spring shackle) to this and then tighten it using the block and tackle built in to it.
I was half way through typing my message when Perry's arrived and somehow I lost what I was writing, but to help further here are the key images from the Rigging Page.
At the boom end use this fitting:
At the mast end, the official Reedcraft instructions, which you can download from the link in the Standing Rigging section of the page, are poor. That part of Step 8 would be better written as "Shackle the strop to the bolt in the mast step".
Many boats have a variety of tabernacles but they all should provide a point to which to attach the strop.
Thanks guys, I have been sailing without it so I must have been lucky with the wind. The boat sailed so well. It was only a friend who mentioned i should have a kicking strap that led me back here for the much needed help.
I have the mast set up from the third picture down with the 'pivot' bolt running through the foot of the mast so ill get a shackle through that. I have the rigging for all of this i just didnt really know how to put it to use. If i get stuck ill come with some pictures.
Thanks again its a huge help as I'm learning out of books and a bit of trial and error. I'm more used to a motor boat but sailing is so much better :)