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post #6 of Old 08-26-2001
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Mainsail Flaking Singlehanded

OK, but you asked for it. On the Laser 28 I carried a piece of 2" diameter PVC tubing that was slightly longer than my boom. At one end, maybe a foot from the end, I had drilled two 1/2" diameter holes (on the same axis) through the PVC tube about 16" apart. Thru these holes I passed a lenght of shockcord that was tightly tied into loops that went halfway around the tube at each hole. Then I had a 3 foot 1/2" diamter dowel that I would thread through the each of the shock chord loops so that it laid parrellel to the PVC tube.

To roll the sail single handed, I would loop a sail tie or tighten the first reef clew line and hang one end of the tube in that loop. At the mast, I would make a loop with the cunningham and hang the other end of the PVC tube with the dowel end facing forward. I would then tie a small loop of light line through the cringle in the headboard and between the dowel and the PVC tube.

Then I would simply roll the sail around the PVC tube. Once the sail was close to rolled up I would throw a couple loose ties around the sail. Here''s the neat part. I would then walk to the forward end of the roll and pull out the dowel. That releases the small loop of line and then I can pull the PVC tube out. I then would pull or push on the luff or leech and sliding the roll slightly until the battens were parrallel with the roll and then roll the sail the last little bit up onto the boom and tie it off working from one end to the other. Piece of cake! On a J-33 you have a bigger heavier mainsail. I would use a larger diameter PVC tube and maybe spread out the shockcord loops maybe 6 feet and use a smaller PVC tube as a retainer so that you could partially fold the head of the sail over before you start to roll the sail up.

(I would not try this on a J-125 as its too much and too high-tech cloth to handle that way.)
Good luck.

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