Good idea or not: Downhaul for hank-on jib - SailNet Community

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Old 06-08-2009
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Arrow Good idea or not: Downhaul for hank-on jib

Hello!

I am working on a way to better handle my hank on jib in heavy weather. A recent experience trying to take it down in heavy winds which found me spread eagle on the foredeck and repeatedly almost bounced off the boat (despite the harness!) is the impetus for this project. My plan is:

1. Put a block next to the jib tack
2. Put stancion blocks on the port stancions
3. Run a light line from the head of the jib through the blocks, back to the cockpit

Thus, to take down the jib I could just release the halyard and pull on the downhaul which would bring the jib down to the foredeck, the cleat the line to keep the sail down until I get back to port.

Any problems with this idea? It seems good to me, but I have never seen this configuration in use anywhere (although most boats I have been on the same size as mine had roller furling). Could someone more salty than I am give me any advice?

Regards,

Joe
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Old 06-08-2009
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I've never had problems with getting a hank on down, in fact usually too fast! The problem is keeping it all aboard, if you not there to pull it down you will have to go head to wind to make sure it all stays inboard of the stanchions.
And then you'll still have to go on deck to lash it down, i think there are some jobs that you just have to do the hard way.
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Old 06-08-2009
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Your idea should work, and some traditionalists use the same method. I've used this when sailing on a traditional boat with a long bowsprit, however the downhaul was still on the foredeck, but saved us from going out on the sprit with the foresail flopping around.
Another thing worth trying is blanketing the headsail with the main, that is dousing the headsail when running downwind.
Btw what type of boat do you have?
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Old 06-08-2009
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Yep

Yea it'll work. It helps to have a jib net. Haul the downhaul then pull the sheet tight and the sail will be controlled. Brandon
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To downhaul or not to downhaul

To take the sails down I usually head into the wind, drop the jib, tie-off the jib, drop the main, then flake and tie off the main.

In extremely windy conditions (~30 kts) the jib tends to 'fly up' on its own and fill (or flog) even without halyard tension. I used to just tie the sail closed, but when its very windy even just a bit of the head can catch wind and start to run up the forestay. It turns out that if I tie the jib head to the bow rail with a sail tie, the jib stays well behaved even without other sail ties on the body. This observation formed the basis of the idea I described above.

Incidentally, even if I didn't mind doing it the 'hard way' during the worst jib takedown it took my so long the flogging main ripped a batten pocket -- which is something I would like to avoid in the future.

Its encouraging that traditionalists use the same idea -- I was very skeptical of the idea being a good one if truly no one else used it.

To answer the previous poster's question, the boat is a 32' Discovery sloop. You can see a picture here:
Ahoy from the SF Bay

Regards,

--
Joe
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Old 06-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snider View Post
Yea it'll work. It helps to have a jib net. Haul the downhaul then pull the sheet tight and the sail will be controlled. Brandon
I am not familiar with a 'jib net'. Could you explain?

(reflecting today's economy, when I searched for the term google thought I wanted a 'job net'...)

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Old 06-08-2009
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Downhauls were once pretty common; I agree with Rich P that you will still need to figure out a way to keep the sail aboard. Netting between the lifeline and toe rail will do the trick. You will need a standup block for the headstay, a way to run the line past the stantions (how about stantion blocks?), and some kind of cleat in the cockpit area to fix the bitter end of the downhaul line.

Jib downhauls are not as prevalent as they once were because of the success of roller furling units RFs are now reliable, standard equipment. They are more expensive than a downhaul, but the prices have come way down over the years. I used a makeshift downhaul on my Oday 23 before I bought a CDI RF unit. After using the RF, I would never go back to the downhaul. It is just so much easier to unroll that sail when I need it; no unpacking, no hanking, no trips to the foredeck in bouncy seas, no unhanking and repacking the sail. Worth every penny I spent.
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Old 06-08-2009
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I had a great week's sailing last month in the San Juan Islands on a Bristol Channel Cutter with a jib downhaul.
As Jomsviking said, the downhaul is really useful when there's a bowsprit to deal with , and I can report that it worked really well, rigged as you suggest, with a block at the tack and at the stanchions.
All the best with your experiment.
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Old 06-08-2009
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JG, I had a down haul on my I26 and it worked great. I spent a lot of time single handing and did not want to climb on deck to stow the jib.

I set mine up just as you had outlined.

You will need netting to keep the sail on deck. By sure and run the stantion block out of toe stub area and keep down haul line tight. A kink from rough seas will prevent it's use. I found out the hard way.

Also don't run the down haul throu the hanks, it will snag and cause you to cuss alot.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailKing1 View Post
Also don't run the down haul throu the hanks, it will snag and cause you to cuss alot.
Ahh! Thanks for the tip, because thats just what I was planning to do...
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