Setting up an Expedition Rig.
Put the mast up with the cleat to one side and the eye facing back.
Lay the sail and spars down on the mast thwart with the boom jaws facing forward. Place it on the opposite side to the cleat on the mast. Fasten the end of the halyard to the eye on the yard (top spar). Pull the other end of the halyard and raise the sail, several inches short of the top of the mast, fastening it off on the cleat.
Pull the boom back and push the boom jaws onto the mast. Place the hook that is at the end of the line hanging from the boom jaws into the eye on the back of the mast. This is the downhaul line and together with the halyard it keeps the tension in the leading edge of the sail (luff).
Pull the halyard down tight , and cleat it off. The sail should now be near the top of the mast, and the down haul line should be tight.
The other line on the hook is the kicker line and this goes to a cleat back along the boom. Pull thiis line tight and cleat it off.
This line is used to control the tension in the trailing edge of the sail (leech). You can easily apply more tension by holding the boom down as you pull the line through the cleat.
The cleat at the end of the boom is for the outhaul line. This line is used to control the amount of curve in the foot of the sail.
As a starting point, slacken the outhaul until the foot of the sail is about a handspan from the boom. This gives the sail the correct ammount of curve to allow it to produce plenty of power when it is drawing.
The length of the downhaul line determines the height at which the sail sets. Generally the sail should be just short of the top of the mast. If the downhaul line is set too long the yard (top of the sail) will hit the top of the mast before the halyard tensions the sail.
If this is the case, undo the knot holding the downhaul line to the hook and shorten it. With the sail at the top of the mast there should be enough room to see under the sail and to duck under the boom when going through the tack.
If you are short, the sail could be set lower, by shortening the downhaul line further.
When everything is set right you can coil up the remaining length of halyard and tuck it behind the cleat to tidy it up.
The sheet is tied to the boom with a short black cord in a prussic loop. This allows you to slide it to where it handles comfortably but will lock off when it comes under tension. In strong winds you get more purchase by having it near the end of the boom, and possibly taking it under a thwart or seat rail.
If you decide to tie it off to leave both hands free, do it in such a way that it can be released quickly and easily. Pulling on the loose end of this knot will release it immediately.
When the sail it set up correctly it should hang in a gentle curve. In light winds the luff and leech should not have too much tension. The halyard and kicker should not be pulled too tight or you can get tension creases running up the sail. As the wind gets stronger, the wind stretches the cloth and the sail can go a bit baggy and the top can twist away. You then need to tighten the halyard and kicker to pull the sail back into shape and twist.
These changes can be subtle but learning how to control the shape of the sail with the tensions in the halyard and the kicker can result in a better performing sail.
To prevent loosing the rig in a capsize, tie a lanyard onto the downhaul eye and tie off the other end to the mast thwart. It is best to make the lanyard about 3ft long so that the rig can be lifted out if needed. If the rig drops out in a capsize it will just hang under the boat whilst you right and re-enter the canoe. After the canoe has been bailed the lanyard can be pulled in and the rig lifted up and re-stepped in the mast thwart.
To lower the sail, lift the tail of the halyard and release it from the cleat. The clip around the cleat prevents the rope from jamming in the cleat.
Lower the sail down onto the thwarts, holding the boom and then yard to guide it into the boat. Unhook the down haul.
It is worth taking care with the saill when you put it away as screwing it up will only put lots of creases into the fabric which will reduce the efficiency of the sail.
Pull the outhaul to stretch the sail along the boom.
Roll the sail around the boom.
When the bottom half of the sail is rolled tightly away and you get to the yard, fold the yard alongside the rolled sail and continue to roll the remaining cloth away.
Roll the sheet around to hold it all neatly together.
With the rig and mast back in its bag it can be stowed under the thwarts and the canoe is ready for paddling.