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The Melges MC I own came with a board system that required a lot of muscle to pull it up. And the board height or depth was not easily adjustable. The former made for sore arms after a long regatta; the latter was a nuisance because I want to angle my boards (i.e., raise them a bit) in heavy air sailing.

I achieved a 2:1 purchase in the board line by adding a Harken #82 single block to it. I cut the line just in front of the deck-attached block and installed the new block in an eyesplice to the board-connected segment of the line. Double check correct operation: the new block almost reaches the existing block on the bulkhead when the board is down. When the board is up (as shown in picture below), the new block moves to within four to five inches from the deck-attached block. 

Since we need a few extra feet of line with this arrangement, I ran a new board line through the new block and terminated it with a Harken #200 cleat mounted on the board-well facing the inside of the cockpit (see picture). I mounted mine on the front edge -- it can also be mounted on the rear edge of the board-well by extending the line some more. A stopper knot in the line (and a low-profile eyestrap on the cam cleat) prevents it from coming loose.

A side benefit of this modification is that I can now change the board depth by adjusting the length of line at the new cleat!

Parts List:

  • 16-20 feet of 3/8" board line
  • 2 - Harken #82 single blocks
  • 2 - Harken #200 cleats
  • 2 - Harken #201 low profile eyestraps
  • 4 - #10 x 2" screws
  • fids to make eyesplice in line
  • caulk to seal screw holes in fiberglass

  1999 Update

In early 1999 I updated the system again and copied the one now being used by Melges. However, I improved on their arrangement by keeping the board-height adjustment capability. The picture shows the finished product.

A short 1/8" Vectra line connects the board to a floating #82 single block. Board line reduced to 1/4" diameter instead of 3/8" diameter. A double block replaced the single block visible in the picture of the old installation. The thinner line moves very smoothly through the blocks.

Good luck and...See you on the starting line!


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