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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-07-2009
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difficulty raising mainsail

my mainsail runs up a track on plastic sliders. the all-rope halyard runs inside the mast, exiting near the winch. sail has always been very difficult to raise but either it's getting worse or i'm getting woosier.

i am able to manually (sans winch) pull sail up 2/3 of the way. after that it becomes increasingly difficult and just about impossible to get it beyond 6 inches from top of track. it doesn't feel like a single hard-to-get-by point but more of a gradual build-up of resistance, kinda spongy. it feels like the rope is rubbing against or wrapped around something and this sensation increases as sail is raised. rope is quite worn (lots of 1/4" sections of fibre sticking up) for much of its length.

i then raised the mainsail using my topping lift (which runs inside the mast right next to my main halyard and exits a couple of feet above the main halyard exit). same problem.

in both cases, sail drops without any problem.

when main halyard is unclipped from the mainsail, the halyard runs up and down effortlessly.

finally i hoisted the mainsail using the spinnaker(?) halyard. i was able to pull the sail all the up way manually with no effort. (when i say all the way, i mean as far as the awkardly led line would allow for, see pic)

is this normal?

p.s
as the spinnaker (?) halyard is attached to the top jib roller furler thingus, when lead aft it has to run over the top-most portion of the shroud (see pic). Is this ok to do occasionally, ie for hoisting someone aloft or diagnosing halyard problems? i have lots of external lines running up the mast on the forward side but only the internal halyard and topping lines on the aft side. this problem has led me to think i should rig up an external backup for the main.

suggestions?

and thanks for reading all this!
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Old 10-07-2009
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Even on my simple J24 the sheave bearings had worn out and had made raising the main a PITA ,one small 5 dollar bearing made all the difference in the world

The other issue is friction in the sail track and things like Mclube sailcoat sprayed on the slugs should help out a lot
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I find that the difficulty of raising the main is directly related to lubing the track and slides. I McLube the track each spring before the mast is raised. For a month or so I can raise the main almost full hoist by hand. By mid season, I need to use the winch after halfway or so. Lubing the slugs helps some, but the winch is still necessary. It is not so inconvenient to be worth a trip up the mast, but a means to lube the track with the mast up would be nice to figure-out.
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Old 10-07-2009
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Silly question.. do you release or loosen your main sheet and boom vang? It's always easier (imho) to raise the last few feet of a main when you do so.
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Old 10-07-2009
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Some time if the back stay is to tight and there is a slight backwards curve to the mast the main will be hard to raise.
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Old 10-07-2009
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I'd check the main halyard sheave. The fact that you were able to hoist the sail easily with the spinnaker halyard tells me the track is fine. In fact I'd be worried that the sheave might not be rotating at all. ls there a difference in feel operating the main halyard with no load compared to operating any of the other halyards with no load? If for no other reason than to check, I'd go aloft and visually inspect the sheaves.
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Old 10-07-2009
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make sure that the topping lift (if you have one) is tight enough. if the end of the boom is too low then the sail can not come up all the way. you may have accidentally changed the boom angle when you were trying other halyards, and that allowed the sail to be easily raised with the other one.
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Old 10-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southshoreS24 View Post
make sure that the topping lift (if you have one) is tight enough. if the end of the boom is too low then the sail can not come up all the way. you may have accidentally changed the boom angle when you were trying other halyards, and that allowed the sail to be easily raised with the other one.
Risky advice...the topping lift should only be tensioned as essential to raise the boom above the cockpit. When the main is raised full-hoist, the main should be and must be lifting the boom...a tight topping lift avoids no source of hoisting difficulty but can be a problem in itself, if the main is not carrying the boom...as a tight topping lift sets up the classic condition for breaking the boom (done that ).
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Old 10-07-2009
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Next time as you raise the main spry mclube or dry silicone spray on and above each sail slug. That did it for mine when I first bought her. I hear that there is special slug that has carpet or something on it that you can remove your sail and then slide it up and pull it back down with another rope that cleans the track but have not seen it and just lubing it everyonce in awhile works for me. Can raise it all the way buy hand.
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Old 10-07-2009
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as far as going up the mast on your spin halyard over the upper shroud that is a very bad idea, you could bent something or worse. the person going up the mast will have to fight the pressure of the halyard trying to move out to the end of your spreader. if you are not having probs. with raising your main on the spin halyard then you probably have issues with your sheaves/bearings
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