How to tame a stuck mainsail - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-08-2007
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How to tame a stuck mainsail

Giu,
You asked me to remind you to post your wisdom on what to do with a stuck mainsail. I expect someday I'll have that problem and liked your thoughts on dealing with a stuck genoa.
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Old 08-08-2007
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I too, Giu
learned a new way to deal with that problem
from you!
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Old 08-08-2007
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I am waiting too

Giu,
I am also interested to find out that trick.
If it works for slab reefing with full battens you have a beer from me.
It never happened to me that I would be unable to lower the sail, but it is nice to have something more in the bag of tricks.
For a roller furler I can imagine one can use the topping lift line and perform almost the same trick on a main as with the main halyard on the Genoa.
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Old 08-08-2007
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Tomaz,
Spent a week in Bled a few years ago, BEAUTIFUL!!!
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Old 08-08-2007
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I had to draw a lot to explain this, so here it goes. Its easier for me to draw than to writte. Took me longer, sorry.

Normally it is very rare for main sails to jam because they normally run on tracks and are often pulled by halyards. So if a halyards breaks the sail comes down.

Jaming is normally due to bad routing of halyards inside mast causing them to get stuck, normally happens when main halyard is pulled by another halyard inside mast, and "locks" on the sheave (so sometimes releasing everything might be the best bet), or track malfunction.

Normally stuck main sails happen more often on mast furling type arrangments, and these don't have battens.

In 1999 a friend of mine, António, sailing alone from Açores to Lisbon, on a 30foot Swedish designed boat, that had Selden mast with a hook for the main halyard had his main stuck all the way up, when the halyard "jumped" the sheave.

He needed to reef at some point and ...bad news.... no luck

He showed up a few days later with his main wrapped around the mast as shown bellow. This was his solution. He sailed with genoa only for 580 miles, with the main like that.

I draw here what Antonio did. He is a good sailor.
Hope it helps someone in the future.

Remeber you need to release the foot on batten sails so they go up.

















(If you don't like it go to McDonalds...their Whoper is on promotion this week.)

Last edited by Giulietta; 08-08-2007 at 03:03 PM.
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Giu,

Nice trick. I assume he was single handed. If not someone can go aloft on the spare halyard and cut the stuck halyard and that should free the sail to come down. Not fun in a seaway, but doable I suppose.

Without the ability to unlock the headboard wrapping it seems to be the only way to deal with it at sea. And then you probably have to go up the mast and sacrifice the halyard anyway.

jef
sv shiva
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Giu,
I'll skip McDonalds, I like it! Neat trick and I think I now owe you 2 beers. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 08-08-2007
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Nice description and a very good drawing. Great job.

- CD
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Old 08-08-2007
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Basically, you're furling the sail along the mast, instead of along the boom. However, what happens if the sail has a bolt rope along the foot???
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"Basically, you're furling the sail along the mast, instead of along the boom. However, what happens if the sail has a bolt rope along the foot???"

Wouldn't ou just loosen the outhall?
pigslo
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