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Joined: 6/15/08
Posts: 2
Spinnaker Sheet Blocks, Topping Lift, Downhaul

For the past couple of years I have been participating in non-spinnaker PHRF races, both around buoy and ocean. I am thinking about raising my game and joining the spinnaker class. However, before I make the leap have a couple of questions:
1. What type of spinnaker was the Catalina 36 designed to fly; symmetrical or asymmetrical? Pictures seems to have both.
2. Given the Catalina 36 does not have a bow sprit, I think for racing a symmetrical would be best; if I can use a symmetrical are there drawings / instructions on where to install the topping lift and downhaul? Where are these lines controlled from?
3. Regardless of spinnaker type are there drawings / instructions for how to install the spinnaker sheet blocks, or are these blocks just attached to aft cleats using nylon straps?
Thanks in advance for any answers to my questions that you can provide.

Joined: 9/4/09
Posts: 1127

Can't help you with much of this, though lots of folks here will have answers for you, but the Catalina yachts store does sell a bowsprit kit for the C36 as well as some downwind sails and furlers for it. See link below:


plaineolde's picture
Joined: 11/4/08
Posts: 753

Hmmmm, I sure do like the looks of that bowsprit. Might tempt me to use my asym a lot more often than I do now :rolleyes:

deising's picture
Joined: 11/3/08
Posts: 1351


If you search in these forums for 'spinnaker', or possibly 'downhaul', you will find many good posts describing the setups various owners have.

Good luck.

Joined: 6/15/08
Posts: 2

After reading responses to original post realized I should have provided a more detailed discussion on the search I conducted before posting my query. Prior to even looking at the forums I reviewed the owners manual. Then I spent some time searching the forums and google. Below are my notes from that search. I provide this so others looking at this topic can perhaps find answers to their question(s) and hopefully perhaps others might direct me and those that follow to threads/web sites I may have missed.

There is a good thread discussion on attaching topping lift to mast

The owners manual has good drawings on the spinnaker halyard. In addition there are several good questions on forum regarding spinnakers halyards here are some of the better ones I located:



Information on the Maui Pro site seems to indicate that for racing both a symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnaker is okay for a Catalina 36.

There is a thread on attaching spinnaker sheets but the article does not address spinnaker block placement.

There is a thread discussing use of a a pad eye being attached the jib sheet cheek blocks for the spinnaker sheets block. In the thread there is discussion of a more detailed article being put on the technical page of the website but I can’t find it.

Just to ensure I didn’t miss anything before I posted this did second search as was recommended. That said there is lots there and I certainly could have missed something. Hopefully someone can point me towards it.

David Wilson
Pau Hana
1996 C-36 Mk II #1508
Newport RI

GloryDaze's picture
Joined: 2/24/10
Posts: 140

The C36 was designed for a symmetrical kite, and with the generous J measurement it sails deep angles very well
The lines can be controlled from any place on the boat you choose. I like to have the foreguy and topping lift run back to the cockpit. That being said I have raced on several boats that these lines are controlled by the mast man. It really depends on the talents of your crew and your particular preference.
The spin sheet block position on the rail will be determined by the cut of the kite and the strength of the wind.
Now that I have raised more questions than I have answered, have fun with it.

Nimue's picture
Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 429

My setup just uses the second genoa halyard for the pole topping lift. No extra holes in the mast and it works fine.

The foreguy is attached to a padeye in between the light prisms on the foredeck.

You don't say if you have a Mk 1 or 2. On my mk 1, I rigged the mainsheet back to the secondary winches near the helm, so the 'topping lift / 2nd genoa halyard' leads to the old mainsheet winch on the cabintop. The Spin halyard also leads to a winch on the cabintop.

The foreguy/downhaul leads through fairleads along the cabintop very close beside the handrails on both sides of the boat, and ends in cam cleats on the edge of the cabin, right next to the dodger supports (again, each boat is a bit different). This means that the person trimming the guy on the primary winch always has the downhaul adjuster right in front of them, which is very helpful, and also means the downhaul is 2:1, which you will need when it's windy.

My upwind halyards (main and genoa) are on the mast as these are not used that much once you are sailing anyways.

The spinnaker sheet leades on my boat are on the toe rail right in front of the pushpit rail.

Our spinnaker is rigged with separate sheets and guys on each side, so the guy is trimmed on the primary winch and the sheet on the secondary.

Have fun.

TomSoko's picture
Joined: 2/15/07
Posts: 978

Listen to Nimue. He knows what he is talking about, especially when talking about racing and trim. Just a thought.

Whispering Eye's picture
Whispering Eye
Joined: 2/12/11
Posts: 30

Here's a link to the Selden bowsprit & furler I installed on Whispering Eye 2 years ago.  It works great and is handled easily by my the two of us.


Joined: 7/2/14
Posts: 22


Has anyone installed this Selden bowsprit on their C36?

If so, what are your experiences?  Did you manage to install it between the forestay, bow pulpit and still keep access to the anchor locker?

I'm thinking about one for an aysm spinnaker.


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