Cunningham Systems

The cunningham controls the fore and aft position of draft in the mainsail or genoa and works together with the traveler, mainsheet, outhaul and vang to optimize sail shape and increase boatspeed. Cunningham controls lead to the crew to encourage adjustment as wind speed changes.

Typical Boat Length:
Small Boat: 22' - 28' (6.7 - 8.5 m)
Midrange: 29' - 34' (8.8 - 10.4 m)
Big Boat: 35' - 42' (10.7 - 12.8 m)

 

4:1 Cascaded

This simple 4:1 system leads aft to the cockpit. A favorite on small keelboats and daysailers.

cunham2.gif
Diagram
Ref.
Description Small Boat
Part No.
Midrange
Part No.
Big Boat
Part No.
A Single 2146 2148  —
B Stand-up 349 2652  —
C Cheek 350 2644  —
D Cam cleat 470 458  —

 

8:1 Cascaded

The most basic cunningham is a self-cleating 4:1 tackle positioned at the mastbase.

cunham1.gif
Diagram
Ref.
Description Small Boat
Part No.
Midrange
Part No.
Big Boat
Part No.
A Fiddle 244 2655 2621
B Fiddle 245 2658 2624

 

4:1 Double-ended Cascaded

This system is easy to adjust from the trapeze. It’s easy to rig and unrig. Popular on smaller beach cats.

cunham3.gif
Diagram
Ref.
Description Small Boat
Part No.
Midrange
Part No.
Big Boat
Part No.
A Single 348  —  —
B Pivoting lead 395
C Cheek 233

 

12:1 Cascaded

This simple 2:1 purchase is attached to a 6:1 cascade for a 12:1 system. Used on larger racing and cruising boats.

cunham4-2005c.gif
Diagram
Ref.
Description Small Boat
Part No.
Midrange
Part No.
Big Boat
Part No.
A Triple 344 2640 2640
B Triple 347 2648 2648

 

6:1 Double-ended Jib Downhaul

Small boats like J/24s use a double-ended genoa cunningham system to adjust draft from the weather rail.

cunham5.gif
Diagram
Ref.
Description Small Boat
Part No.
Midrange
Part No.
Big Boat
Part No.
A Single 2146 2149 2152
B Cheek 350 2644 2606
C Cam cleat 468 150 150
D Bullseye 339 339 237

If you would like to link to or reprint this article please contact advertising@harken.com

  • United States
  • Australia
  • France
  • Italia
  • New Zealand
  • Polska
  • Sverige
  • UK