Grommets as adjusters

This is so obvious that practical experience prabably says it doesn’t work. Why?

Grommets are often used as adjusters for things like sheeting positions, ouhauls, etc. Elegant idea.

But in many cases (e.g. outhauls), we can be pretty damn sure that the load will be in one direction only.

Why not just use a piece of rubber tube: lighter and less aerodynamic drag.



Great thought, Angus. In my case, I went to grommets because grommets are available in a multitude of sizes in any hardware store. I don’t know where to get rubber tubing of a specific ID in small quantities.


One possibility is model aircraft fuel tube.

Safe disposable tubing from medical and laboratory equipment isn’t too hard to come by either - here at least.


Model engine fuel tube of the silicone variety (not the harder plastic type for petrol engines) will stretch onto a 3/16" (4.6mm) boom. It is pretty tight at that diameter but works nicely in the Kittiwake kits to locate and adjust the jib and main clew. I use 1/8" (3mm) lengths.

So you are suggesting to simply use one ring of tubing and tie into it?.. Or tie to the boom at one side of the tube? Sounds fair either way Angus.

A suppose that with a little old-fashioned sailorising there’s no reason why you couldn’t make it two way with a loop of twine round each end. For extra sophistication use kevlar binding twine and put a little low viscosity cyano over the finished ‘fitting’. Easier than steel and lighter.


Just a word of warning!

Since I happened to have some gromets the right size, I decided to use them. For a variety of reasons it seemed desirable to attach a small split ring to some of them as a fairlead. I did this with some very fine kevlar bindiing twine wrrapped round the grommet several times and then sealed with a little cyanoacrylate.

I then found that I had compressed the grommet and that it wouldn’t go on the spar! You’ve got to leave some room for it to expand!