Measurers Corner

Measurer’s Interpretations and Recommendations

Topic:Control Lines
Question:Is a fraculator (a system to steady the mast forward downwind) permitted?
ID Number:000001
Short Answer:Yes 
Answer:Proposed Rule Change:
§IV - 8.24 Fraculator A means of steadying the mast forward (especially downwind) is permitted but shall not involve additional attached fittings or blocks.

Lines with hooks or clips attached to the stays, jib tack, jib luff, jib halyard or bow cleat are allowed and may be lead back to the cockpit.  
Section:§IV - 8.24 
Action Date:2008-07-29
Wed Apr 17 02:21:40 2024
2007-11-03H.L. DeVoreI know this "device" as a "defraculator". And, in fact it is commonly not a separate piece of rigging or a device. Commonly people will simply take their jib halyard off the jib, attach it to the stem fitting and grind the halyard tight after easing the backstay. I believe this practice should be allowed to continue as otherwise the practice could simply evolve to leaving the jib up and tightening the halyard...though inconvenient this can be sone well to achieve the same purpose. The larger question of defraculator I believe should address whether people can rig any sort of special gear or lines to achieve the result. This would appear to be illegal with a strict interpretation of the blue book rules. Though practicality does push a crew to putting at least a small 12-24" line or loop at the jib tack to attach the halyard "conveniently" to. FYI, I have seen people using separately rigged lines to pull on the slackened headstay so that the jib halyard is not ever disconnected. Shouldn't be allowed in my opinion...but defraculation with halyard should providing a line no longer than 24" at tack for halyard to clip to.
2007-11-06Richard RobbinsIf you Google the words there is an article from Ullman with "fraculator". See It also has an interesting drawing.
2007-11-29Kristian MartincicThis device would seem to fit into the category of "not mentioned/not allowed" However, since this is such a effective and simple tool that I believe it should at least be considered. The ability to steady and straighten the mast is very handy, and a dedicated frac is better and safer than other methods (halyard to stem, halyard looped around mooring cleat, foreguy to forestay etc.) I would suggest that a good way to rig a frac is with a short (approx 40"?) piece of 3/16" dyneema with a snap shackle at one end , attached to the stem head fitting, clovehitched to the forestay just above the top of the lower swage fitting, or just about at the middle of the line. To use, the foredeck crew clips the frac's snap shackle to the jib halyard itself, just above the halyards shackle. This means that it's one simple operation to attach or detach the frac. Tying the frac to the forestay means that when released the shackle doesn't scrape the deck, but still has overall effective length to make it easy for the crew.
2008-01-23Justin GibbonsIf you think that a fraculator is okay, and you're going to send someone up to the bow to fraculate, what difference does it make if the jib halyard is never removed from the head of the sail? Why have a person spend more time (time on bow = risk) and also risk losing the jib halyard than is absolutely necessary? What about the guys who throw a line around the headstay and fasten at both chainplates? A fraculator is a fraculator is a fraculator. They are legal or they aren't.
2008-04-03Richard RobbinsThis was discussed by the technical committee (3/12/2008) and it was selected as a topic to pursue. Fleet input is requested.
2008-07-30Richard RobbinsAdopted by Governing Board July 29, 2008. See July, 2008 Version of Rules.
2015-04-07Jamie HiltonIf a boat attaches a line to the jib tack which the jib halyard is then attached to for pulling the mast forward or a line is run from the cockpit to the head stay as a deflector, isnt the effect the same? Aren't both systems pulling the mast head forward? Is one system inherently safer than the other? I think the two systems mentioned herein perform the same function, yet one is legal and the other is illegal. Is there a quantifiable justification for that? If not, is it possible to eliminate this distinction?
2015-04-07Richard RobbinsWhere do you see that a line from the tack to jib halyard is prohibited? Both ideas you describe seem legal to me in the spirit of IV 8.24. The fraculator on #238 is a hook on a cord between the bow cleat and the perpendicular jib track kept tight to deck with a shock cord that the bowman hooks to the one of the jib hanks. Once hooked, the jib halyard is tightened to pull the mast forward. This gets used rarely; it is easy to forget to take it off when when the jib needs to come up.