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Rigging the Peep Hen
Rigging the Peep
from the Shallow Water Sailor's Manual
- With mast down and boom and gaff connected, attach upper lazy jack line to lazy jack eye on mast and tie the two hanging ends to the mast with a short piece of line to keep them out of the way.
- Attach bitter end of throat-halyard to the attachment loop of the upper throat-halyard block attached to mast;
reeve through the lower throat-halyard block attached to the gaff jaws; reeve through the upper throat-halyard block
itself, checking to assure the halyard.s entry directions on the blocks do not result in a twisted halyard; reeve
through one of the inner turning blocks at the mast base and back to the cockpit.
The Peep Hen is not normally fitted with a turning block at the mast base. For this boat, the throat halyard
should be led to one of the cleats on the side of the mast. Traditionally, for a gaff-rigged boat, the throat halyard
is lead to the starboard side of the mast.
- Attach the bitter end of the peak-halyard to the end of the gaff; reeve through the upper peak-halyard block;
reeve through the mid-gaff block; reeve through the lower peak-halyard block, checking all the time to assure the
halyard entry directions on the blocks are correct, i.e. halyard will run clean without any twists; reeve through
outer turning block at base of mast just next to throat-halyard; run line to cockpit. The Peep Hen is not normally
fitted with a turning block at the mast base. For this boat, the peak halyard should be led to one of the cleats
on the side of the mast. Traditionally, for a gaff-rigged boat, the peak halyard is lead to the port side of the mast.
- Raise and secure mast.
- Run gaff up and down to check for twisted lines. If no twists, you.re a genius and need not be reading these directions!
- Attach lower lazy jack line to attachment point opposite the cleat on boom; release the upper lazy jack lines
from the mast and thread the lower lazy jack line through one of the upper lazy jack line eyes; thread through the
lazy jack metal eye on lower mid-section of boom; then moving to the other side of the boom, thread through the other
upper lazy jack eye and secure to cleat on boom; check to assure the gaff and all halyards are inside of lazy jacks.
- Attach sail.s throat cringle to the throat shackle on lower part of gaff jaws; securely attach sail's peak cringle
to the outhaul hole in gaff.s end with a length of line; starting from the throat, thread the head lacing through i
the grommets and around the gaff, ending with several turns through the peak cringle and tying off the lacing i
through the outhaul hole.
- Now attach the sail.s tack cringle to the tack shackle; attach the luff lacing to the throat shackle and begin threading the luff of the sail to the mast, raising the sail as you go; tie off the luff lacing on the tack shackle; some lacing tension adjustment will be necessary to assure the sail can be raised and lowered freely. Preferred Lacing Method: To avoid lace binding during hoisting or lowering, use the following lacing method: attach the lacing to the throat cringle, and take a turn around the mast and through the first luff grommet. Now, instead of going around the mast in the same direction as the first turn, change direction around the mast and through the second grommet. See Figures 1 and 3 which show this pattern. Repeat the pattern attaching the bitter end of the lacing to the tack cringle.
- Attach the clew of the sail to the boom.s outhaul hole with a length of line; attach the sheet.s bitter end to the tiller block; reeve through boom block and then back through tiller block. Place a figure eight stopper knot on sheet.s working end. Check to assure sheet will stop the boom.s forward movement before it damages the boom.s gooseneck or any other equipment. Keep sheet loose so sail flies free.
- Fully raise the sail and adjust lazy jack lines to assure they are loose when sail is fully raised. Also check to make sure the boom clears the gallows.
- Attach bitter end of clew jiffy reefing line to the attachment point of the reef block located near the end of the boom;
thread through first reef clew cringle and reeve through the reefing block; thread through reefing eyes along boom forward;
reeve through the free inner turning block; bring back to cockpit, reeve through other cockpit or cabin top blocks where
present. The Peep Hen is not normally fitted with a turning block for the clew jiffy reefing line. Thread this line
through the hole in the cleat on the port side of the boom and tie a stopper knot in the end of the line.
- Attach bitter end of tack jiffy reefing line to tack shackle; thread through first reef tack cringle;
reeve through outer turning block and back to cockpit, reeve through other cockpit or cabin top blocks where present.
For the Peep Hen, attach bitter end of tack jiffy reefing line to the cleat on the aft side of the tabernacle;
thread through first reef tack cringle; lead the line back to the cleat on the aft side of the tabernacle.
Thread this line through the hole in the cleat and tie a stopper knot in the end of the line.
- For the Bay Hen or boats that have been fitted with lines leading to the cockpit, assure jiffy reefing lines are not
twisted and thread them through the holes in cockpit cleats; place stopper knots on ends of reefing lines.
- Lower sail and check that lazy jacks are working to hold the sail. Fold the sail smartly by pulling leech and
making neat folds on top of boom. Work from clew to peak. As you fold sail use gaskets to hold in place.
- Check peak and throat halyard lengths (when the sail is in the lowered position there should be a little excess halyard length hanging in the cockpit). I do not attach my halyards to their respective cockpit cleats but this is an option.
The Halyard Keeper
Have you ever wondered what that extra cleat on your mast tabernacle was for? Reuben explains:
"Back in the days when I was building the Hens, I supplied each rig with an extra line I called the
This line was affixed to the cleat ABOVE the hinge on the front side of the mast.
"Before lowering the mast, I'd lower the sail and lash it and the gaff to the boom using
bungee or a piece of line. You can
also put on the sail cover at this point.
"Now, there are still a bunch of lines leading from the gaff to the top of the mast - so,
before lowering the mast, I'd take the
halyard keeper and lead it from the cleat on the front of the
mast aft and around ALL the halyards and back to me standing
near the mast. As I lowered the mast, I'd keep tension on the
halyard keeper. This would pull all the halyards and the lazy
jacks in towards the mast, keeping them from tangling or falling in a mess into the
"Once the mast was lowered, I'd pull tight on the halyard keeper
and lash it off onto the same cleat from which it lead. A
quick tie of bungee or line around the mast, gaff and boom at the
boom gallows, and the Hen is ready to trailer.
"Raising the mast is the exact opposite. Untie the halyard keeper - hold
it with tension while raising the mast, then coil
and tie off once the mast is raised. None of the halyards or
lazy jacks will get tangled or caught as the mast is raised."
last updated September 22, 2005