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  #11  
Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I really like having the main halyard in the cockpit. Yours is a bigger boat than ours, but we have no issues putting up the sail with the extra blocks. When needed I can easily raise/lower the sail myself from the comfort of the cockpit. I would note that our reefing lines (jiffy) are also run to the cockpit so everything can be done in one spot. If your reefing setup is different, you may want to take that into consideration in your decision.

As an aside, our furling genny halyard is in the cockpit and I'd prefer to have it at the mast as we usually just raise it and forget it.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Hey,

A few questions:
Are you in a slip or a mooring?
Do you have an autopilot?
What's more difficult, raising the main or lowering the main?

I'm on a mooring, and I raise the main before I leave the mooring. So having the main led aft doesn't really matter for the hoist. I still need to go to the mast to retract the lazy jacks (or be REAL careful the battens don't get hung up on the lazy jacks) before I raise the main. And I need to go all the way forward to drop the mooring.

I have an autopilot, so to drop the main I turn Fred (the AP) on and head upwind. Then, for the drop I need to go forward to deploy the lazy jacks. So I like having the main halyard at the mast so I can help the main flake properly as it comes down.

So, for me, on my current 35' I have the main at the mast.

My last boat was 28' with a smaller, easier to handle main. I led the main to the cockpit and it was easy enough to raise and lower from there. Reefing was easy because the single line reef was led aft too.

Barry
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Consider where your reef points are managed. If at the mast, that's an argument to lead the halyard to the mast.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Our main halyard runs back to a winch & stopper at the aft end of the cabintop. This enables us to hoist the main with the helmsman getting most of it up, until the winch is needed for the last bit. Then a helper can wrap the halyard 'round the winch and crank a few turns while the helmsman tails. This provides for relatively quick hoisting without leaving the helm unattended. For singlehanding, the winch is not far from the wheel so we can still manage pretty well. Our jib & spinnaker halyards are still forward. This is not much of a problem since we got roller furling for the jib, and usually have plenty of crew when we use the spinnaker.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

As others have noted, it's hard to say, not knowing what your reefing set up is...

In general, however, I vote for Keeping It Simple, Stoopid - and leaving everything at the mast...
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Interesting discussion.

My main halyard (and reefing, and most other lines) is all at the mast (Pearson 323). I have also thought about leading the lines back, but right now the effort to plan, install, and make pretty again outweighs any advantages for me. And I am up topside often enough that it is rarely a chore; with an autopilot is is easy to manage solo - although I do use a tether if there is any sea.

Having said that, one of my philosophies is to keep things simple - fewer things to go wrong. I would like to add a plate to the bottom of my mast to better organise all the lines, though!
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

On our 28, we kept the winch on the mast, but installed roller furling for the jib. Since I abhor lazy jacks or similar, dosing the main always means going on deck to secure it. So it wouldn't have helped to me. Dumb question to those with sail-gathering-devices - when you lower your main, don't you still have to go on deck to secure it?

We know about short handing - our daughter has been on the boat since 3 months (she's now 18 yrs). My wife always managed to be able to steer (even with a baby in a pouch) while I dropped the sail. So I guess that I'm ambivalent, it's never been a problem for us.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Unless you have a separate winch for each halyard led back to the cockpit when you use a rope clutch you loose tension. Also you have that amny more lines cluttering up your cockpit and cabin top.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I couldn't imagine single-handing on the Great Lakes without halyards and reefing lines led back to the cockpit.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Even though I usually sail solo, I also believe in the benefits of occasionally raising my fat ass off the cockpit seat and walking five feet to the mast or even ten feet to the foredeck to sail the boat.

There is no shortage of folks on sailnet who will advise you to buy, buy, buy more unnecessary crap for your boat. Our sponsors love this advice.
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