Trogear Sprit Installed (finally!)


With 1 month until Splash '16, it was well past time to finish installing the sprit & bobstay assembly. Done. There's a few tweaks needed yet, but it could be tested today...if she was on the lake. Unfortunately, she's tucked inside a building, with dozens of boats to be moved before she sees the light of day. FILO isn't a friend in these situations. for reference purposes to explain where the sprit came from.

Yes, there's been a rating change (PHRF) and there will be a rating adjustment (ORR) commensurate with an increase in sail area (1,087 sq. ft. for the new .6 oz. kite), but should be well worth the effort. Of course, if the Mac is upwind the entire race...all for naught. Chances are slim, especially on the heels of an El Nino, but it's possible.

The white line is a temporary preventer needed during the installation process. With the bobstay eased, the sprit will rotate upwards to shrink the Olson 34 back to close to 34', especially helpful in congested harbor conditions.

Lots of cipherin' and guzintahs expended. 4 weeks until it gets loaded up under the kite. Christmas in May!


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Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member

That looks very cool! Will you use it with or without a furler? With an asymmetric chute? Will you get a larger area asymmetrical than you used without the sprit?

Be sure to let us know how it performs!


A-sail and larger (much larger!)

The Roller Furler will stay where it is and there is no thought or capability (currently) to institute a top-down furling unit for the kite (Facnor and Pro Furl, as examples).

Yes, there's a new kite to fit the new dimension, both combining to adjust the PHRF and ORR rating. The new kite is a .6 oz. offwind Runner, 1,087 square feet, with an Apparent Wind Angle range from 105 to 155. We'll have to switch to a different sail when the wind climbs to an Apparent Wind Speed of 14+, 'cuz blowing up a new sail would create a Big Bummer.

We're time-lapsing the painting of custom graphics this Saturday (4-16-2016), with 5-6 crew members chipping in to help...and create a permanent record and memory.

Eventually, this time-lapse is intended to be inserted into the EY.o blogsphere...eventually. It'll be fun if it turns out as envisioned.

Stay tuned. 1 month before 1st hoist!


Member III
It looks like you should have a battering ram or at least a mermaid to go along with it.

So the A frame is held down by a single line and anchored on the leading edge. Do you use Dyneema or something springy? Did you have to reinforce the bow and create a place to tie off the line?

It will be very interesting to hear you report on how this changes the handling.


Answers and a few unknowns...

The bobstay is constructed with 1/4" Dyneema. The full system is illustrated below.

The 'A-frame' is secured to the boat via a 1" diameter fiberglass tube (mantra prior to drilling: " measure thrice, drill twice! 1 port, 1 starboard) and secured initially by epoxy and then via fiberglass tabbing on the interior.

A stainless steel rod, tapped on the ends to accept bolts, is inserted into the fiberglass tube and accepts the lift & torque loads the A-sail imparts.

In harbor, docked, the bobstay is eased to permit the A-frame to pivot to an 'up' position.

The bobstay is lead aft, through a stanchion mounted lead to a bowcleat. It'll be marked so the bobstay is cleated to maintain a horizontal position.

Can't wait to see/feel/observe how the characteristics are altered. Splash '16 is scheduled for May 12th, river trip to the lake on Saturday the 14th, mast step same day, may get to complete intitial test of the new kite and sprit Sunday the 15th. :)

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Bobstay + Trogear = :)

Thanks for asking! If measured by 'Smiles per Mile', it was an 'off the chart' season. All systems performed as intended/designed, we learned how to fly the .6 oz kite, all 1,087 square feet of it, and more importantly, learned how to douse it quickly w/o damage. All good.

To extend the 'smiles' this season, last Saturday, while prepping the hull for VC-17, 4 of us went through the steps that we believe will turn into our 'spin peel procedure', the temporary spinnaker strop fitted for length.

So, yes, the bobstay stays and the sprit sticks!

2 local boats in the MORF fleet are rumored to be installing the same system, 1 is a sister ship with the same kite from UK. It can be an arms race...

Splash '17 is targeted for Thursday May 11, river trip Friday May 12 and mast step Saturday May 13...all weather permitting! :)


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Junior Member
Hi Grizz - I am thinking about installing a Trogear on my Olson 34 as well. Now that you have several years under your belt can you share your good & bad experiences? What sails have you flown...asymm spinnaker? code zero?

Appreciate the feedback!

Kevin McCoole
Here Comes the Sun


Heck of a year...(which in itself could be the understatement of the year...)

There were/are no bad experiences incurred by adding the Trogear sprit. Lots of time was spent with the local UK Sailmaker loft to dial in which sail(s) to marry to the sprit. Much of this was toggling between 2 very distinct targets: local buoy/beercan/distance races (run within LMPHRF numbers) and the marathon distance race known as Chicago to Mackinac, which is run with the contraints of ORR and aditonal contraints created by the Division we race within: Cruising. The Cruising Division does not allow poles & symmetric kites (ASail only) and caps the sail inventory to 1 main, 2 headsails and 2 kites, no penalty for a Staysail, so you better pick right...

That said, we picked a UK 'runner' with a weight of .6 oz and a Code 0 (1.1 oz?). Local buoy/beercan/distance races aren't constricted by the same rules, but the budget is, so we sail with those 2.

We've found we can manage the local races with a crew of 5, 4 if the conditions are right (light air), 6 is a great number. The addition of the B&G Zeus chartplotter was an eyeopening upgrade, fuzing our Polars into software that allowed us to 'see' our decisions better. This 'sight' can be described as us always defining upper and lower boat speed numbers to fit within...until either Ma Nature changes or the course/heading changes, i.e. "upper = 5.2, lower = 4.8". My helming is directly tied to these numbers, soaking down towards the target when there's pressure and speed, coming up when pressure softens. The latter, which looks great when only boat speed is factored, in reality sucks, as that speed is taking the boat further away from the target. Helming with a A Sail is managing a sine wave, up and down, communicating with the trimmer, assessing pressure, course position and seastate. It's simultaneously intoxicating and exhausting...

Our Runner is a huge sail (1,087 square feet), lightweight and we are always on alert to True Wind Speed, no interest in blowing it up, especially during a Mac, as it's our only true A-sail. The Code 0 isn't effective as the Runner offwind , but kicks ass in light air on the beam and close reaching conditions. When Ma Nature pipes up, kites come down and we switch to Jib and Main...

This boat never had a pole or track on the mast for a symmetric kite, still doesn't have a pole, no interest or desire to dive into that mess. There is a track, but it's used to control the Whisker Pole, which only comes out when the wind is honking on our stern.

AT this time last year, before everything crashed, we had spliced dyneema to low friction rings to alter (drastically?) how we run the spin sheets. Never got to test the system, but they're ready to go. This system will eliminate the cross-cockpit spider web of spin sheets, run forward of the mainsheet, clean up access up/down of the companionway. So clean...

What also was never tested was the removal of the Secondary winches (and the 42#'s of weight), which were only used to clear Bulgarians/FUBAR cross sheeting snafus. That also is queued up and waiting the first time we can place a butt on that surface to put crew weight where it's needed most.

Hope you are still tracking this, as it got a bit more involved than originally conceived. Yvonne and Henry of Trogrear will be able to walk you through any questions you have. Locally (Chicagoland) 2 boats have added TRogear to their inventory: Tenacity (an Olson 34) and Exeter, a Baltic 34. I know Exeter had a custom sprit built, specifically for Code 0 use. Tenacity adopted theirs the season AFTER I installed mine, sailboat racing being an arms race, they not willing to let us have free rein on the course! Hope it helps.

Happy New Year. Stay safe.


Member III
Blogs Author
Grizz - Sounds like a great modification, thanks for the write-up.
If you have a photo or a chance to take a photo, I would be interested for future reference to see how you run your lines for your larger headsails.