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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    4,262

    Default Rod kicker (Selden)

    After sailing a boat with a Selden rod Kicker for some time I decided to read up on how it is meant to work.
    The Jimmy Green website has a quite good description:-

    A Seldén Rodkicker aids sail handling when reefing, preventing the boom from dropping into the cockpit or onto the coach roof. The Rodkicker can be supplied with an optional integral gas spring. This lifts the boom when the kicking strap is released, opening the leech of the sail.
    A Rodkicker with a gas spring replaces the topping lift, making reefing fast and simple. The gas spring is easily retrofitted to a Rodkicker that does not have a spring.
    The Seldén Rodkicker also doubles the purchase of your kicking strap

    Either ours does not have a gas spring or it's defective. I'll be checking when I go to the boat next. However, it does not stop the boom hitting the spray hood. If I move the fixing point a little further along the boom towards the mast the weight of the boom will sit on the kicker when the topping lift is taken off, is this how they should be set? As long as the down position is below the boom level with the sail up it won't effect anything. In it's present configuration there seems no reason for it to be there apart from doubling the purchase of kicking strap?
    Is there much benefit in having a gas spring? At present I use the topping lift to raise the boom above the reef level when putting a reef in, which works OK.
    Allan
    Sailblogs.com search Brilliant with Hilary and Allan as crew. Password Bristol.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cumbria; U.K.
    Posts
    3,299

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    The gas-spring as fitted by Selden is not a durable item. Corrosion is its downfall. Some owners have identified stainless springs which are probably a good thing. (Maybe cheaper than a Selden supplied replacement).
    I replaced mine when it failed, didn't really make a deal of difference but it was more convenient than using the topping lift at times.
    I didn't fancy dispensing with the topping lift altogether though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,102

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    Quote Originally Posted by earlybird View Post
    The gas-spring as fitted by Selden is not a durable item. Corrosion is its downfall. Some owners have identified stainless springs which are probably a good thing. (Maybe cheaper than a Selden supplied replacement).
    I replaced mine when it failed, didn't really make a deal of difference but it was more convenient than using the topping lift at times.
    I didn't fancy dispensing with the topping lift altogether though.
    We replaced our Selden Gas spring with one from SGS Engineering. It was easy to find one of exactly the same dimensions. With our fully battened main and sailbag, the original strut no longer held up the boom effectively. We went for a "variable" strength stainless strut- fittings were identical . GSSV14-250 on our boat.

    look at https://www.sgs-engineering.com/gas-struts.

    One of the old plastic end fittings was impossible to remove, but was an easy Selden part to source. The kicker now supports the boom and is perfectly easy to position with a 2:1 and the coach roof winch. We haven't reduced the strength of the strut to the original Selden part. It works well and the exchange was a fairly simple job. No need for a topping lift at all. We park the main halyard there, but it does no work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bucks/Plymouth
    Posts
    4,769

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    Another vote for sgs-engineering, great company to deal with.
    I also bought tailgate replacement struts for my car at a fraction of the dealer price

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    4,262

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueChip View Post
    Another vote for sgs-engineering, great company to deal with.
    I also bought tailgate replacement struts for my car at a fraction of the dealer price
    By coincidence I used to deal with them before I retired. I contacted them a few weeks ago and they were still as helpful as I remember. If we don't have a failed strut I'm not sure if I should bother fitting one, I think I'll just move the bracket as I said above. I can't understand why it would have been fitted how it is.
    Allan
    Last edited by Allan; 02-08-19 at 17:19.
    Sailblogs.com search Brilliant with Hilary and Allan as crew. Password Bristol.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    4,262

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    Does anyone have any further comment on using a rod kicker, either without a strut or with a failed strut, just to keep the boom off the sprayhood?
    Allan
    Sailblogs.com search Brilliant with Hilary and Allan as crew. Password Bristol.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    Hi Allan

    Our Beneteau First20 hasn't got a topping lift and relies on a Barton Strut which works exceptionally well and is under constant compression.
    There is a separate kicker.
    I'm not familiar with the Selden arrangement but if you're interested in looking at alternatives, the Barton gets my vote.....looked up the price in F4 which made me cough a bit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,857

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan View Post
    Does anyone have any further comment on using a rod kicker, either without a strut or with a failed strut, just to keep the boom off the sprayhood?
    Allan
    Yes. It could be very expensive if the boom were to land on my HR sprayhood/windscreen. I have a Selden rod kicker that does the job. It is adjusted so that the boom is comfortably clear of the sprayhood. With the sail and possibly sail cover in place the cover willbe touching the sprayhood and I find it better to raise the boom slightly with the topping-lift.

    My kicker came without a gas cylinder and I have not felt the need to instal one, preferring to keep a topping-lift in place as an extra line to the masthead. The kicker needs to be securely located on the boom to prevent possible damage.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    3,701

    Default Re: Rod kicker (Selden)

    I've fitted a Barton Boom Strut - works a dream, no gas strut to go wrong, holds up the boom when kicking strap released so no topping lift required (but I've retained it as an emergency main halyard). Designed on the KISS principle. And provably cheaper than the alternatives.

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