Alado Sail Tensioning

In terms of engineering concepts, Alado is one of the simplest and easiest systems to use.


To understand completely how it works, it is best to set aside any expectations (un-learn what you know for a minute) that you may have as to how a separate Jib Halyard is necessary to lift the sail or how a winch is necessary to set the tension of the sail.


Basic Engineering


The Top Assembly with two sheaves is supported by the interlocking foils which in turn are supported by the drum, which is supported by the stay clamp resting on the connection fitting at the end of the wire. The system freely turns independently of any swivels.


The sail is lifted by the mechanical action of a 1:1 lift using the uphaul line of the external halyard. For every foot lifted an equal foot of line is required.


The head of the sail should stop just a few inches below the sheaves to allow full tensioning ability. If not, satisfactory tension may not occur. TIP: Installing the System then measuring the "luff" distance before you cut or order a sail will ensure no " size surprises" when you install the sail.


Once sail tension is achieved, secure the "downhaul" line of the external halyard by tying it off or alternately you can attach a turnbuckle to the drum and an eye splice on your new halyard for easy tensioning.



It is not recommended to drill any holes in the drum as this may crack the casting and void the Lifetime Warranty.


The Physics Explained...

  • With the tack of the sail secured to the Drum, the luff of the sail is in essence now part of the uphaul and is adding "upward force" to the drum when the external halyard runs through the Top Sheave.
  • Tensioning and securing the "downhaul" line to the drum creates an equal "downward force". The system now has equal & opposite forces at work, keeping the Top and Drum extra secure by use of vertical pressure on the interlocked foils.



The use of a high-quality low stretch rope for the external halyard will mitigate any accidental loosening of the sail.


For racers, changes to the sail and tension are made by the Bowman. Using both luff feeds will assist in a speedy sail change.


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