Help what sail to raise 1st? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

I've consistently done the same for 35 years on boats from 420s to 65 fters. Main up first and down last. Keel down as soon as you have water for it and up as late as possible (except up when sailing downwind).

Competitive racing, deliveries, cruising, always the same: main up first and down last.
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post #22 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

I do not recall how similar the sail set-up is between 420's and FJ's. Sailing 420's, the jib is always raised first as the tension takes the load off of the front stay and pulls the mast forward. The mast is not very stable if this is not done correctly. It is much more difficult to tighten the jib halyard as much as needed if the main is raised first.

I think this procedure is much different on dinghy's because it can be done at the dock/launch while facing into the wind instead of sailing/motoring. I try to put the centerboard down first (if the boat is in water deep enough) to reduce the steps required after the sails are raised.
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post #23 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Jackdale, that was poorly phrased. Should have said, when you furl, jib first, then main.
btw, how is one able to teach offshore sailing in Calgary? ;>)
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post #24 of 38 Old 05-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

I am looking at all the post and can see a pattern. I will give room for some variable and change from the old way, new boats, or some other reason. Most of the post so far total up in favor of the aft sail raised first and lowered first. The old dogs seem be on that trail. The reasons that have been outlined seem to hold up for me. I will give room for a boat or sailing style that is unusual but remember I am new and want to train to have a kind of default system. Saftey needs to be at the core, I will always go back to fundamentals 98% of the time.
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post #25 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

I can tell you from experience it is much harder to steer into the wind with the jib up, There is a reason it is called the MAIN sail.

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post #26 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Lou,

I assume you're talking about your FJ here?

The technique for dinghies is different than the one for keelboats. The wire inside the jib luff takes over from the forestay and (tensioned correctly) will impart about 400lb onto a rig of that size. Assuming it is correctly set up the spreader angle and deflection will cause the mast to bend to an amount that fits the shape of luff of the mainsail.

It isn't impossible to hoist the main first on a dinghy, but it is harder. Generally speaking it is better to pull the jib up first—easier and it means that the rig is properly tensioned when you put the main up. Obviously, the considerations that apply to a keelboat (that it is hard/impossible to keep a balanced helm with the headsail alone up) don't apply: when you're doing this your boat is sat on its trolley just before you launch and you should be stood on the beach.

Unless you have an incredibly good reason (like, getting towed out a long way) you're going to want both sails up before you launch. Hoisting the mainsail in a 13ft dinghy on the water is a giggle, but not in the right way! Depending on the type of jib-luff-wire tensioning system you have, hoisting the jib can require one person pull the forestay outwards to unload the rig while the jib-luff-wire is tensioned. Obviously, this is impossible once you're afloat.

And, Lou, if you aren't talking about your FJ (or a different dinghy) then all of what I've just written is totally wrong.
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Last edited by Roxy405; 05-06-2012 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #27 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

I'm going to be contrarian here.
Motoring into the wind and raising the main first is the generally accepted practice. But what if you have no motor.
On a Catalina 25 I was very sucessfull in letting the genoa out about 100% then getting the boat moving close hauled. then raising the main with the sheet loose even with lazy jacks.
Another trick that worked pretty well was to tack with the jib only and quickly raise the main during the tack.
This was all single handinG of course in about 15 to 20k with no motor.

It certainly adds to your bucket if you can do basic maneuvers without the motor.
Practice it's not that hard.
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post #28 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Exactly the point that I was trying to make. After all, how did people sail before motors were invented?

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post #29 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Not sure about on a masthead rig, but on a fractional rig you can do some considerable damage if sailing with just the jib depending on your rig setup. It all has to do with rig tension.

For a dinghy, especially an FJ or 420 jib up first so that you can tension the jib wire which will pull the mast forward. On some larger dinghies this is unnecessary when the jib wire tension can be adjusted on the fly.

Unlike everything else on a small boat the higher the wind the looser you want the jib wire because it will give more mast rake (mast angled backwards). This is especially beneficial downwind. In lighter air you want the mast farther forward (less rake will result in more power). If you want to really crank the *@$&$ then get someone to pull on the forestay while you push the mast forward with you foot and cleat off the halyard. As you go it is easier to let out the tension than to add it. If you must tension the jib wire while you are sailing, head dead downwind so that the mast is being pushed forward and use your feet to push it forward while cleating off the halyard.

On a larger boat or a dinghy with adjustable jib wire, main up first, then jib.

Downwind spinnaker up, jib down. Then jib up, spinnaker down.

This is probably more than you wanted to hear, but hopefully it helps.
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post #30 of 38 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Agree main up first wherever possible. There are some conditions when headsail first is needed. Eg sailing out from a dock (no engine) when the wind is aft. In this situation raising the jib in the dock is ok as the wind is readily spilled.
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