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  #1  
Old 08-16-2011
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Making Lazy Jacks

When I rig lazy jacks, I use two lines for the port side lazy jack and two lines for the starboard when rigging two or three drop systems. When rigging 4 or 5 drop systems, I use 4 lines for port and 4 for starboard. I'll describe how to rig the two or three drop system first, then the 4 or 5 drop system.

I like lazy jacks that can be deployed/retracted as needed. So the first line I rig (for either a 2/3 or 4/5 system) I like to think of as a little halyard, since it's used to raise or lower the lazy jack. Tied or spliced to one end of this line is a stainless steel ring, which will be used to support the remaining lines in the system. This line runs up through a block mounted on the underside of the either spreader about a foot out from the mast*. For a 3 or 5 drop system, the other end of this line is brought down and is secured to a cleat mounted to the boom mounted about a quarter of the length of the boom aft of the gooseneck. For a 2 or 4 drop system, this line is simply led down the mast.

When rigging a two or three drop system, I run a second piece of line through the ring of the first line and bring each end down to the boom where they're tied off to two evenly-spaced eye straps (approximately two quarters and three quarters of the boom length aft of the gooseneck respectively). I like to fasten the eye-straps to the bottom of the boom so they can be used for both sides of the lazy jack system. Do this for both sides of the mast, and you've got a two or three drop lazy jack system.

If I want a four or five drop system, I run a short, third line through the first line's ring, and tie or splice stainless rings to both ends of that line. Then I follow the same step used in the 2/3 system for each of the two new rings (using 4 eye straps on the boom spaced at even locations instead of 2).

After having installed countless lazy jack systems over the years, I'm convinced this is the simplest and least expensive way to arrange them. Anyone can do it--it doesn't require a rigger.

*Mounting these blocks away from the mast gives me a little room to get the headboard of the sail through in case I'm not directly into the wind. Furthermore, because the system is retractable, I can retract the leeward lazy jack if I'm still having trouble raising the sail. If the spreaders are too low, I'll instead run them through cheek blocks mounted on the side of the mast at an appropriate height.

REMEMBER: Don't every use lazy jacks to support the boom. Always use a boom topping lift or rigid boom vang.
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Old 08-25-2011
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Old 08-25-2011
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Good job, Knotty. Wish I'd read this thread six months ago.... Got mine rigged with the blocks three feet above the spreader.... wasn't thinking....
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