How loose is your main sheet while raising the main? - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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View Poll Results: How loose is your main sheet while raising the main?
I keep the main sheet tight 6 8.82%
I keep the main sheet a little slack 26 38.24%
I keep the main sheet completely released 36 52.94%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-23-2009
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On my islander 26 I pulled my main up by hand and would use approx. 1 - 2 twist on the winch to bring it taught. I always keep my mainsheet tight while hoisting the main. With that said even centered and tight the boom will still sway about 1 1/2 feet.

I started this process because before I ran the lines aft I was making my way back to the cockpit after raising the main one day and a power boat came out of port causing a wake that hit the boat at the same time I stepped down of the cabin top. Boat heeled, boom swung and I almost went over. From that day on my mainsheet was always tight.
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Old 06-23-2009
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Running Stays

I have to keep my mainsheet just loose enough to get the sail all the way up, but I have to keep it pretty tight to keep the head of the main from fouling on the running backstays
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Old 06-23-2009
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Originally Posted by jason3317 View Post
It's important to loose the mainsheet when hoisting the main to get a full hoist, plus make it easier on the crew grinding the halyard up.

In addition, you should probably slack the vang too, if it is not already.
Agreed, especially short-handed or single-handed. If the helmsman or auto-pilot can't keep the boat directly into the wind a completely slack mainsheet will allow you to get the main all the way up more quickly and the boat under sail.

If you have a solid vang this works really well. Release the vang, ease the topping lift (if you have one), and let the main sheet run free. With the boat as much into the wind as you can manage haul away. Even with a very bad back I can get the main up to within a couple of feet of the tape in half a minute or so, and grind the rest of the way up in short order. With the main up, I can return to the cockpit, get the boat on course, set the jib, set the autopilot, and return to the mast to tidy up.

If the main sheet is too tight you will be fighting the breeze pushing the main to leeward as you try to grind the sail up. Too much work.
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Old 06-24-2009
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I have a topping lift but still find the main runs up easier if I take a little tension off the sheet, not loose, just eased a little.

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