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post #4 of Old 08-23-2001
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Mainsail Flaking Singlehanded

I basically do the same as Mike with a few additional steps. I sheet the main near the centerline and my boat will short tack to windward when left like that. Standing at the mast I then lower the halyard pulling one flake between each slug side to side so the fabric alternates fold direction at each slug. I then walk back to the cockpit and tighten the mainsheet and pull the traveler windward and place the helm (tiller) hard to leeward (i.e. so its trying to turn the bow into the wind.) This leaves my boat basically beam to the wind, moving slowly sidewards. I hang the sail ties on my neck.

I push the doused sail to leeward of the boom and stand to windward and then working from the leech of the sail simply fold the sail over the boom with the alternating folds carefully aligned with the folds at the luff. As you fold the sails you slowly move forward and at various points you need to stop and tie off. I have done this single handed on some very big boats with relative ease up to about 38 or so feet.

I absolutely agree with Mike that lazy Jacks make folding as sail neatly much more difficult than having an open boom and room to work. If you don''t care about your sails get lazy jacks, but if you wnat neat flakes its much easier without lazy jacks.

Now then, if you have a bolt rope as some of my boats have had, you need to rig up a PVC tube after you drom the sail to roll the sail onto. The tune can hang at the gooseneck and clew end of the boom. and is slid out when the sail is all rolled. I used that for years. It''s a bit more complicated but it still works.

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