I’ve bought myself a Sailspar continuous line roller reefing for Sundance as sail changes whilst solo are a pain in the backside let alone trying to fold the sail at the end of the day! To go with this I wanted a clutch to go on the reefing line so I can easily pull it through and lock it off where I wanted. Doing a bit of digging on the net I found Spinlock do a couple of clutches and Selden do a “Tandem fiddle double cam”. In the end I opted for the Spinlock clutch as I thought the Selden system could be a bit of a handful or two handful so to speak (I should point out I’ve not tried one and have heard they are very easy to use, it’s just a/my personal choice. I tried to find some sort of reviews or instructions online for the Spinlock XTS0814/1M and I couldn’t so here’s my thoughts.
Firstly I emailed Spinlock about the clutch and they got back to me pretty swiftly but there wasn’t really a huge amount of information apart from confirming the XTS and the 8-14 mm size would be what I required. I wanted to know how the line went through the continuous line went through the “bullseyes” so a second email went off asking for instructions as I couldn’t see any on the product page of the website. Instructions through weren’t the clearest but the line
“Put the two bullseyes around the line and close them.”
was good enough to put my mind at rest so I ordered one from Mylor Chandlery as they were the only place I could see them listed online and they were showing “in stock” (not even on the Spinlock Website). The endless line version is just under £15 more expensive than the standard one but that wasn’t an issue. I also ordered one of the XTS Side Mount Kits even though it doesn’t really say if they would fit the endless line jobbie, Spinlock sell the standard single clutch, a port mount one or a starboard one, what they don’t tell you is there’s no difference between them so to speak, the side mounted clutch just has the bolts and bottom moulding turned around.
Although they were shown in stock it took over a week to turn up, after a week I gave Mylor a phone where a very nice and apologetic man looked into it and said they didn’t stock the M version but had them sent direct to the customer and their suppliers were showing stock. I suspect they didn’t check till the order went thought… either way it doesn’t matter I wasn’t in a rush but if you are it might be worth checking.
When they came through I was delighted to find the side mounting kit would work but they “Split Bullseyes” weren’t really what I expecting from a company with the reputation of Spinlock, they were just the normal bullseyes that had a hacksaw slot cut through them! I ran my finders over the odd angled cut and could feel the metal burr catching on my skin! I suppose I was expecting some sort of half moon, interlocking smoothed edge affair or the bullseye split open to drop the rope into and close round neatly. Not something that’ll snag and pull at the outer braiding of my continuous spliced line, and I paid extra for the privilege!!
Anyway here’s some pictures so you can make your own mind up, if I hadn’t of already had the endless line spliced I would just buy a normal clutch and thread the bullseyes on before splicing it, when I do replace the line I’ll buy some solid bullseyes and do that as I’m not really happy with how they they are. I should add this is not a dig at Spinlock as a company or it’s products, I haven’t brought this to their attention as there’s not a lot that can rectify it now.