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chef2sail 06-14-2011 08:22 PM

EZ Jacks...Lazy Jacks
Looked up at the mast when out sailing and saw that the old system is very frayed and I want to replace it. One of the advantages of the system I have is that it is retractable and is not up in place when raising the main so our full batten sail never gets hung up and there is no chaffing. Also our system did not require any special treatment of our sail cover. I have reasearched the Schaeffer, Harken and EZ hack sustems with the EZ Jack appearing to meet my needs but I worry about its quality ( I never really worry about Harkens or Schaeffer prodicts) My question is not should I use this system because that ship has sailed I like one. The question is which one do you have:

1-what are its advantages
2-whta are its drawbacks / weaknessess
3-quality of the lines/ gear
4-blocks on mast or on the underside of the lower spreader
5-can it be pulled out of the way easily


Faster 06-14-2011 09:06 PM

We are using a DIY 'EZ' jack setup that works well for us. We have a 1/2/4 setup with the 1 and 2 part in cord, and the /4 part in shockcord. The /4 section is a single piece of shock cord with a hook at either end. On either side of the boom we have 2 padeyes and a central hook used to connect the shock cord sections to the boom to set up the lazy jacks in place. The ends with hooks go to padeyes aft on boom and at the gooseneck, and we take 'bight' between the /2 part eyes down to the central boom mounted hook.

Once doused and with the sail ties on, we disconnect the shock cord sections from the boom and connect the works to a single hook connected to another section of shock cord on the cabintop rail either side. This keeps the system off the sail (most of the time) and off the mast. Being shock cord it has enough give when the main is eased and there's no sail distortion at all.

The plus side is, like you've mentioned, no interference with the hoist, no slatting on the mast when stowed, and no mods to the sailcover. Downside is that it's an 'extra task' prior to dousing the main, but we've become used to that. The other plus is the cost... a few inexpensive padeyes and hooks and the shockcord.

Hope you can make sense of the above.....;)

Here you can see them in place (If you look closely)

Here they are shown stowed (well off the rig, as you can see....)

Liquorice 06-14-2011 09:46 PM

Make your own.
It's just line, pad-eyes, maybe some small blocks and a couple of cleats.
If you do it yourself, you get to choose the quality.

T37Chef 06-15-2011 09:56 AM

EZ Jax here, you can have the control lines routed to the cockpit too.

Why not go with something like a Doyle Stack Pack?

scherzando 06-15-2011 10:32 AM

EZ Jacks Lazy Jacks
I have had the EZ Jacks for about 3 yrs with no quality issues but being a Lake Michigan sailor they only get used about 5 months a year.

You could make them yourself as mentioned in a previous post. I have a full sail cover so they retract nicely.

JimsCAL 06-15-2011 12:49 PM

My new-to-me boat came with a fully battened main and a Dutchman system. I have been impressed with the system as have sailing buddies that have sailed with me and have lazy jacks. No hangups when raising or lowering the sail and sail drops right onto the boom like magic. Major disavantage is the cost of course. Also the sail cover needs a couple of extra zippers to get around the guide lines, and a halyard type topping lift is really needed.

PBzeer 06-15-2011 01:44 PM

I have a Doyle StackPak with the standard lazy jack setup. I've thought about making them more easily retractable, but haven't done so, as I haven't had that many problems getting the main up with them in place. When the wind is going to be fresh enough to cause a problem, I simply retract them before setting off.

nolatom 06-15-2011 03:56 PM

Way to go on using that symmetrical spinny for cruising (figured you weren't racing, with the kayak on deck).

Spinnakers are underappreciated as cruising sails. But they can make a sailing day out of a motorsailing, 'breathe-your-exhaust all day' motorsailing-downwind ordeal.

Faster 06-15-2011 03:59 PM


Originally Posted by nolatom (Post 740842)
Way to go on using that symmetrical spinny for cruising (figured you weren't racing, with the kayak on deck).

Spinnakers are underappreciated as cruising sails. But they can make a sailing day out of a motorsailing, 'breathe-your-exhaust all day' motorsailing-downwind ordeal.

Thanks!... definitely not racing. We HATE sailing wing on wing, so when conditions allow, we fly the kite fairly regularly. As a frac rig, our headsails are sized like a generally manageable 30 footer's.... Otto steers the gybes as we handle the pole and strings.

chef2sail 06-15-2011 05:33 PM

No to the Doyle Styack Pack......I dont want stray material flapping around and the zippers degrade in the UV to quickly. Also it means the jacks are up permanently.

I want to be able to retract them so it looks like EZ Jack or my version of it will work best.

1- blocks on jacks on spreaders on on the mast.
2- type of line and thickness?


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