How loose is your main sheet while raising the main? - 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 06-22-2009
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How loose is your main sheet while raising the main?

When on a boat with a diesel, and raising the main while motoring into the wind, how loose or tight is your main sheet?
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Old 06-22-2009
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I keep the main sheet tight! I don't want the boom swinging side to side across the cockpit. Also on a boat where you raise the main at the mast, very few things can put over the rail quicker than a swinging boom.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Main Sheet

I single hand a lot. When its time to raise the main I usually release most of the tension on the sheet so that the boom will move about a foot or so then head up to the mast and haul it up. This allows for some breathing room if she wanders off of directly into the wind. I've had her start to fall off the wind (to either side) with a tight main sheet and it can get pretty interesting rather wuickly when the sheet is tight!
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Old 06-22-2009
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I would say it depends on how windy it is and how good the helm person is


On the race boat there is so much stuff in the way you have to be perfect up wind to raise the main OR it will hang on something
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I forgot to say I have autopilot that I set when I am raising the main. It will keep the boat dead into the wind.
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Although you mention your auto pilot, I still think I would continue to completely release my mainsheet. Therer are times the wind tends to shift quite a bit, and the last thing I want is to raise my main with a significant wind on the beam.
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I leave the mainsheet loose. I have to go to the mast to raise the main, and I don't want the boat to start heeling while I'm coiling the halyard. Besides, I have my topping lift adjusted so the boom is a little low when the main is down, and slack with the main up. If I don't release the mainsheet, the sail won't go all the way up. I don't have an autopilot, so the boat never stays perfectly upwind. The main is always flogging on one side or the other when it's raised, I just head to the cockpit on the other side.
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Old 06-22-2009
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When the admiral is at the helm I have the mainsheet tight. If I am solo I would have it loose to compensate for not being able to keep the boat dead into the wind.
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I keep a bit of slack in the mainsheet, after taking up the boom with the topping lift quite a bit. This allows me to hoist the main sail completely without fighting the mainsheet, and prevents the boom from moving around too much.
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Old 06-22-2009
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I forget, sometimes, how much of a luxury it is to have all my sheets led aft to the cockpit and to have an in mast roller furling main. I usually put the autopilot on a heading, keep the mainsheet tight and then release the outhaul/inhaul...then just pull out to the last reef point....if thats steady then more....then if thats steady all the way.
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