Re: Flaking the Main Sail
We use lazy jacks, but they are stowed off the mast and boom until the sail is to be dropped. Interference with hoisting is minimized this way. It is an 'extra' chore prior to dousing but not onerous.
We do as sailormon, with someone at the mast alternate the folds between slugs, then tug aft on the leech starting from aft on the boom.. the sail generally falls nicely into the jacks that way prior to applying sail ties. We also pull the reefing clew lines through to the gooseneck and store each coiled seperately in a fold in the main at the mast. This helps to 'stretch out' the main on the boom and almost 'auto flakes' the bottom section. It avoids coils of reefing line falling all over the cockpit during the hoist, but you do need to be careful that the reeflines can feed out cleanly during the hoist.
We also find that the sail 'self flakes' much better if there's reasonable apparent wind while dousing, so if there's room we'll motor at a fair speed upwind to drop the main.
Once tied down we re-stow the jacks. They do not spend enough time on the boom to worry about wear and chafe, and we are able to use a standard simple sail cover.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)