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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 03-06-2012
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difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

My mainsail goes up with little effort until the last couple of feet, at which point it takes considerable effort with the winch to get it the rest of the way. I have raised the topping lift, ensured reefing lines are loose but can't for the life of me figure out why the last couple of feet are so tough. I am a bit concerned that something might give.

Any suggestions on what I might look for or try??
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

Is your downhaul and/or boomvang slack when raising the main?
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

Yep - checked that as well!
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

Have you eased the mainsheet?

I wonder if you have slides if there is one towards the botom of the sail that is sticking.
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

There should be something holding the leech of the sail. It might even be the mainsail sheet.
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

Halyard fouled around another line?
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

I ran into a similar situation with my Morgan when I first began using it. Turns out the track was jammed near the top with mud-dauber nest crud. I cleaned the track, polished it with a Dremmel tool, then lubed the track with silicone track lubricant and the problem was solved. Now, I no longer use the winch at all--just haul it right to the top with no problem.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

If the luff seems tight as you do this, then it's probably a lower slide/slug binding as BP suggests.. if the luff is not tensioning then an upper slide/slug, or as Travlin' suggests, something in the upper section of the track.

Some lube on the slugs and into the track may help..

One other thing to look for.. make sure you're using the right hole in the headboard. On some boats the 'pull' gets so far off axis that it's trying to pull the sail out of the track the last bit adding friction - this can happen if the sheave outlet is some distance from the mast and you're using the closest hole on the headboard.

Since this is a recent development it's likely dirt/drag or a damaged slide.
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

Try clipping a free line by itself to the halyard and raising that with a little tension on the line to determine if the halyard is running properly.

Next step would be to add a spare slide / slug between the halyard and line to check the track.
davidpm and chef2sail like this.
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: difficulty raising mainsail the last few feet

I had the same problem. Recently I took the main off to wash and do sail repair. At that time I also used Acetone to clean each of the plastic slides. They had a build up of grime from many years of being lubricated with somthing. As others have said, check your mast slide track to be sure that is clean. I would reccomend sailcote to lube the slides and track. Silicone and other wet type lubes will build up grime after a while from collecting dirt and salt.

After installing the main goes up much easier. Also be sure the main sheet is eased.
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