Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 235 Times in 186 Posts
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I have removed them from two boats as they are an absolute pain in the neck if you care to take care of your sails or if you sail shorthanded.
On the first point, arguably the single fastest way to kill a sail is to bunch it up every time you drop it. On my boats I have always carefully flaked the sails on the boom, laying the fabric out neatly to avoid crimping. It is nearly imposible to flake the sail neatly with lazy jacks in place so I ended up removing them when it came time to flake the sail.
But the bigger problem was dealing with raising and lowering the sail with lazy jacks in place when you are short-handed. If I raised the sail with the lazy jacks in place, the battens almost always got hung up on the lazy jacks.
Of course I could and did move the lazy jacks to the mast before I raised the mainsail, but then I was stuck trying to attach the 6 lines of the lazy jacks to the boom while the sail was up which is actually far more onerous than flaking the sail with the sail on the deck. (especially when one of the lines got away from me and I had to go up in a bosin's chair to retrieve it.
And frankly the Lazy jacks had to be removed when I was sailing anyway as they distorted the sail shape no matter how much I eased them.
I also found it easier to move the lazy jacks to the mast rather than have a custom mainsail cover, but of course that meant the jacks tended to slat if not tied off.
If you really feel a compulsion to complicate your life in order to make it incrementally easier, then I would suggest that you consider a Dutchman system which at least does not have to be removed to raise and flake the sail and which actually works pretty well to preserve the sail.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay