Pimps and Bimbles

A number of D-Zero owners have now made some changes to the ‘standard’ control line setup, incorporating some neat ideas as well as increasing the amount of purchase available, or routing them more easily to make the handling even better than standard.

Others like to just customise their D-Zero’s to make them more personal as its such a tight one-design, which makes the D-Zero better for ALL levels of sailor and some very close racing…

It should be noted that all these modifications will not necessarily make the D-Zero faster, as several standard boats have either won National Championships or in the Top 10 results regularly. The biggest Pimp & Bimble will be ensuring your fitness and knowledge of the D-Zero, and spending time on the water – nothing replaces this !

As our dealer and distributor, DZERO.CO.UK make and sell all these as kits and parts, though if you want to make them more personal or have some time / knowledge, then they are not too challenging with the right splicing tools. The Class Assoc recommends Harken blocks and FSE Robline ropes as they are standard on the D-Zero, though any blocks, cleats or rope manufacturers are permitted.

Click on each picture to see if a larger version of the smaller images with more detail is available.

Please Note: Making some of these modifications may affect your warranty. If you have any concerns please speak to the the Class Association or the Dealer prior to making them. The Class Association / Dealer cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage caused as a result of modifications made to your D-Zero.

Below are the following pimps & bimbles – 2:1 Traveller; 12:1 Kicker; 16:1 Kicker; Control Line Handles; Alternative halyard storage; Boom end block alternative; Clew Strap; Tack Tie; and Control Line Loops; and more will follow. 

If you have a Pimp or Bimble you’d like to share, please email the Class Assoc and we can add your ideas (as long as they meet the rules).

Control Line Loops

Further to the AGM 2020, the below control line upgrades were allowed to provide easier grasping of the control lines when sailing, saving reaching forward into the hull and reducing the hiking moment. There are specific rules, C.9.2 m) on this so please read if you are making your own sheaveless loops. Options seen to date that meet the rules include a 4mm dyneema spliced loop spliced onto either an A4 stainless steel ring, an A4 stainless steel thimble, a Ronstan Shock (or similar sheaveless block), or a Harken sheaveless lead ring. The loops can then be self-attached onto the toestrap lines. Time for customising with colour…

Alternative to the Harken Tie-on Boom End Block

A few D-Zero owners have noticed that the tie on boom end block does tend to wear through the tie on rope so some have changed this for a block with a stainless loop. This works very well as a replacement.

Or you can gently file and wet & dry the U bracket on the boom to stop the chaffing of the dyneema, and replace the standard FSE Robline / Harken supplied 2mm dyneema for some coated dyneema or core.

Alternative Halyard Storage on the Boom

To prevent wash through and potential loss of the mast chocks it is no longer recommended to store the halyard under the shock cord that holds the chocks in. 1 solution is a piece of shock cord on the mast. The other, as shown below, is to store it on the boom.

Control Line Handles


Control line handles, to assist grabbing the right rope when lots of water is washing over the bow on a breezy day. The ones used in the photo are trapeze handle discs made by Seasure, though there are several alternatives on the market. You could use the traditional ‘handle’ style ones but these look much more ‘pimp’ and work well according to the boat owner.

16:1 Kicker 

GBR119 16to1Kicker

Just as easy a mod is the 16:1 kicker setup here using 2 ‘primary’ lines  (see the yellow dyneema line on the photo above aswell as the grey) adding an additional purchase to the cascade.

Simple to create – splice the existing block that attaches to the boom strop onto a length of 4mm dyneema, and then splice this length onto the mast, having run the dyneema through another Harken 29mm bullet block shackled to the boom strop. The loop of dyneema runs through the same bowline holding the lower primary line onto the mast. A locking stitch may be required to hold the loose end of this loop.

12:1 Kicker

Some D-Zero owners find the 8:1 standard kicker setup just does not have enough grunt for them (Dan Holman says it’s fine and as a National Champ he should know, however…) , and some find that 16:1 or 32:1 is too powerful or has too much loose control line.

So a nice compromise is a 12:1 as shown below from a keen owner.

With the detailed ‘How to’ video here, along with plenty of flies just to amuse the owner:

2:1 Traveller

A bit of fiddling and some help with an extra hand required for this mod. The below is a simple modification retaining the factory 2:1 purchase on the traveller dyneema cord, though replaces the knot (or several) with a simple cleat to make it easier to hold the required tension. And you can let the stress off the boat after racing or when travelling…

Photo 1 showing the full set up. The long tail on the Starboard side is the ring control rope prior to it being trimmed down:

Photo 2 showing the cleat arrangement ( if you never adjust your toe strap then use this cleat or it is a CamCleat CL826 with CL211 Mk2). The purple rope is dead-ended to a spliced loop in the dyneema. This could be spliced on if your splicing skills are up to it (again the purple rope has now been trimmed down a little):

Photo 3 showing the separate line for the central steel ring for the Traveller adjustment rope (green). Having it on a separate rope means that the ring will always be central and you do not need to worry about it when you put the tension on.  The standard setup has the ring spliced into the dyneema and it can move affecting one bear or other. There is a piece of shockcord in place to hold the rope up:

Finally (to make it really pimp) a nice purple high load thimble (why us a 50p nylon or stainless thimble when you can use a colour-co-ordinated anodised one). It just helps the rope flow nicely and reduces wear:

There are several different versions that have been seen on the circuit, some don’t use any elastic, some use the cheaper thimble. 

Clew Strap

A very easy upgrade to the D-Zero is to replace the standard 4mm control line used as a clew attachment, and replace with a clew strap made from dyneema strapping. Rooster is well known for their clew straps as first used on the Laser / ILCA with great effect, and also recommend that the boom is sprayed regularly with Harken McLube dry spray to help the strap slide up and down the boom easily. This helps the adjustment of the Outhaul very quick and easy.

Tack Tie

Another easy upgrade to the standard elastic or rope tack rope. Uses either some 4mm Polyester PS12 (12 strand easy splice rope) or 4mm dyneema, and a rope bobble. Enables the tack to be simply tied – the tie is a length of dyneema with a small spliced soft-eye in one end, and a bobble spliced into the other end. The tie loops through the sail, round the mast and the bobble pops through the soft-eye to secure. The tie can be twisted or another bobble added, to tighten the tack as the wind increases.


  1. Colin


    The class rules do not allow you to pierce the hull.
    The hull is the bit in the water, so would it not be permissible to anchor fittings to the cockpit with self tappers, setscrews etc. and still be in class ?.

    • Paul Jefferies

      Hi Colin,

      The intention of this rule is to not permit any further piercing of the hull (deck and ‘hull’). So making any further holes in the boat aside from in line with making repairs is not permitted under the class rules.

      Did you have a specific purpose in mind? It would be interesting to know.



  2. Colin.

    Hi Paul.

    “Yes” I own GBR136.
    I’m intending to fit a compass and an OS315 backing plate, also from past experience I know those supper sticky tidy’s etc. don’t stay stuck…

    Other Classes I have owned have similar worded rules regarding the hull, but are much more relaxed about the cockpit/deck area.

    Good Sailing.


    • Paul Jefferies

      Hi Colin,

      I will ask the Technical Rep for you and come back to you shortly.



  3. Russ h

    I beleive Rodney is getting a carbon tacktick bracket being made, maybe worth checking with him. By the sounds of it. It will bolt under the kicker fitting so no extra holes needed.

  4. Colin

    Hi Russ.

    Thanks for the info.

    This may resolve the compass problem, if every one wants a tacktick, hopefully it will be universal, so we can fit a compass of choice.

    atb Colin.

  5. Nick Turpin

    Put a piece plastic tube around the mainsheet eyelet then tie the block around the tube. This should prevent the eyelet from chaffing through the rope.

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