Removal of the Mainsail - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Removal of the Mainsail

Hi All:

I had a most unfortunate ripping of my mainsail on my O'Day 32' on my way up to Ventura, CA in a storm last weekend. I'm going to have it mended until I can gather enough clams for a new one, but does anyone know how one removes it from the boom/mast? My only experience (been lucky) needing to do this was with a 15' sailboat long ago. Seems like it would be a real beeotch. If anyone can explain it to me, I would be very grateful. :-)

Tania Davidson
Ventura Harbor
Ventura , CA
O'Day 32' Aft Cabin Caralyn
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-30-2012
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There should be a gate, or a gap in the sailtrack on the mast where a pin or stopper can be removed to clear the slugs off/out of the track. Then release the outhaul, disconnect the clew car and the tack pin/shackle and slide the main out of the groove in the boom forward towards the mast. If it's calm it may help to hoist the sail, open the track and peel out the slugs as you lower the sail.

If you have a loose footed main just release the corners and you're done.

If you're folding it up for transport it works better to remove the battens.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Removal of Mainsail

Thank you so much, Faster! That is reassuring. Doesn't sound that bad. :-)

/Tania
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-30-2012
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You're welcome.. it's easy enough but it can be awkward. It's much easier with two people.. that's a lot of cloth to muscle around by yourself.

Also if it hasn't been done in a while the lock pin/stopper/whatever is used to make sure the slugs don't fall out on their own may be corroded or difficult to remove.. we can cross that bridge if it comes up...

Good luck.

Ron

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-30-2012
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Handy tools to have for this might be a pair of pliers and/or vice grips, some WD 40 and the extra hand for rolling the sail up. As Faster also mentioned, don't forget to take out the battens from the sail before folding it up for storage.

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-30-2012
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If the sail has a bolt-rope on the foot (such that the rope fits into a slot in the boom), you might want to take a garden hose and spray as much freshwater into the slot as possible. If the sail hasn't been off in a while there is probably a lot of salt and dirt in there. If so, the accumulated gunk will probably make sliding the sail out of the boom difficult. If the build up is really bad (rare, but it happens), you may have to wash out as much as possible, let it dry for a few hours (or overnight), then spray a bunch of dry lube (e.g., SailKote) along the bolt-rope to facilitate getting it out of the slot.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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Ditto what SBS said with the sailkote, also spray the lugs or sliders as far up the mast sail track as you can reach, that will help a little sliding the sail down on out

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
There should be a gate, or a gap in the sailtrack on the mast where a pin or stopper can be removed to clear the slugs off/out of the track. Then release the outhaul, disconnect the clew car and the tack pin/shackle and slide the main out of the groove in the boom forward towards the mast. If it's calm it may help to hoist the sail, open the track and peel out the slugs as you lower the sail.

If you have a loose footed main just release the corners and you're done.

If you're folding it up for transport it works better to remove the battens.
Can I add, when the sail is down and flaked over the boom, take some sail ties and tie them around the sail but NOT around the boom, just around the sail. Then the whole sail will slide forward like a vast sausage and really isn't that bad to manhandle.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Can I add, when the sail is down and flaked over the boom, take some sail ties and tie them around the sail but NOT around the boom, just around the sail. Then the whole sail will slide forward like a vast sausage and really isn't that bad to manhandle.
Yes but that's only do-able with a loose footed main.. I suspect that the OP has a bolt rope foot (but that's just a guess).

We had a 24 ft dayracer some years back, the last main we bought was bolt rope luff, loosefooted, velcro clew strap, and used only the cunningham at the tack, we took the main off after every sail by rolling it into a tube as someone eased the halyard. Worked slick.

Ron

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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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