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  #21  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

If you can reef successfully from the cockpit with out having to then inspect the reef at the mast, then bring it back , it is an advantage. But Ive seen too many reefing systems that ultimately need a trip to the gooseneck to sort out the reef. In that case leave everthing at the mast.

For example, if you have a conventional reefing system with a rams horn, then theres no point in cockpit reefing lines,

even with single line reefing, I find often you cant see if the tack cringle has got pulled down properly, especially at night on a reach , where you cant see the other side of teh sail, often this means a trip to the mast, which undoes all the advantages of in cockpit reefing ( and in that respect I am more a fan of double line reefing)

SO the answer is " it depends"
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Great thread.

I'm loving the idea of "both" for our circumstances. I can't imagine a situation where having more options is a bad things.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

On my Gemini I lead everything (and I mean everything from cunningham to vang) was lead aft. Mind that was on a stable platform where going forward was a simple stroll on a mostly flat deck. It was still a 8 foot walk across the cockpit to get to the halyard and reef lines (the up/down bit was to port, the in/ out bits were at the helm to starboard).

For me it was about instant sail tweak ability and ease of use.
The mast had no self tailing winches and it was actually more cost efficient to add six blocks, two deck organizers and two 3 line clutches than it was to replace a single winch with a ST. I used Garhauer throughout.

The main was fully battened on batt cars and dropped right into the stack pack that my wife made, no muss, no fuss.

On the Irwin 38 CC, nothing is lead aft. Jury is out on what I'll be doing, it's a center cockpit so the dynamics change considerably.

The main reason I can see not to lead lines aft is if you are a performance racer - then the extra line used for the halyard provides more stretch and therefore induced sag to the luff. You can always crank it out, but it will come back in a puff.

The other reason not to lead aft is the extra 'weight work ' caused by the friction induced by the extra blocks and organizers.

That's a highly individual call that depends on what gear, how big the sail is etc..

If you are leading aft you are likely not a racer (see the stretch issue above) - so you might as well look at making your halyard a 2:1 ( via a light weight block at the head and a hard point connection at the top of the mast) - a lot of the big catamarans do just that. It's a lot of line in the cockpit, but then they have a lot of cockpit. Using low stretch lines available today makes it possible.

A lot of posters have said the viability of leading the halyard aft depends on the reefing - I don't think that is as important, it's certainly not a show stopper - especially for a day sailing boat. Here's why:

If you are going to lead the halyard aft you can just as easily lead the reef lines aft. Put a line through the reef grommet at the clew and rig a block as a down haul - poof, no requirement to go forward to attach the grommet to the horn. Mark the main halyard so you know how far to lower the sail - or go with a infinitely adjustable reefing set up.
The back of the sail is right there in the cockpit with you, just stand up pull / fold and tie. Done.

Okay, the last reason not to lead aft - through deck penetration and toe stubbers.
It's there, it is a real reason, get over it and do it right, and mind your toes.
Once you put an organizer in you'll start thinking of all the other things you can lead back so it's right to hand at the helm. Think cunningham's, vangs, outhaul, lazy jacks etc..
Once you have that you can tweak the main to your hearts content, all while staring at your .0001 knot sensitive GPS speed so you can instantly see the effect of your shape change.

You are far more likely to adjust the sail controls if the means to do so are immediately at hand. Tension of the halyard is one of the main controls - yet most folks raise the main and never touch the halyard until they drop the sail.

We can't all sail on a 10 person crew wave thrasher, doesn't mean we can't have the ability to tweak and play - isn't that why we are out there?
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?





On my 1970 Cal 29 i can do everything without leaving the cockpit and there is no downside to being to reef the mainsail form a stable place

On the serious race boat with T900 haylards we really do not have strech issues
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Quote:
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?- Sailorman
No. I can wait till I have anchored or am at the dock to tie up the sail. With our EZ jacks ands strong track systerm the sail flakes dopwn nicely and sits on the boom nestled between the jacks.

Quote:
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.Jameswilison29
I also sail solo quite a bit and it has nothing to do with getting off your fat ass IMHO and those of you who dont want to follow your advice are not having trouble getting off of our fat asses either. There is a certain amount of safety when the wind is 20 with 6 foot swells and you are solo to being able to just drop your main into some lazy jacks from the SAFETY of your cockpit or eef quickly and not expose yourself to climbing on the coachroof or deck out in the open. Buying things for you boat which can decrease the safety risks should never be considered uneccesary crap.

For instance I notice you have cup holders on your boat. They are uneccesary as is the bimini. Onviously you have them for comfort.

In additon one persons unecessary crap is anothers choice to have. I would not be so fast to denigrate others choices so boldly. The OP was asking opinions.
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Last edited by chef2sail; 12-06-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

OP here ... I have an autopilot but it needs to be replaced. Indeed, I am a lazy fat-ass (as someone said) but my reason for bringing the halyards aft is primarily safety and not having to leave my family in the cockpit.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

On my Bayfield 29 (that I mostly single hand) all halyards are led aft. And I hate it. Hate, hate, hate! having them there. Reefing still needs to be done at the mast. And the battens insist on getting caught in the lazy jacks. Raising and lowering the main seems to entail several back and forth trips.

I suppose I could try and engineer a fix to the reefing and lazy jack issues; but I think it would be easier just to leave everything at the mast. Even when things are rolly and uncomfortable I feel OK there (autopilots make single handing much easier and safer, btw). Unfortunately, the halyards exit the mast maybe a foot above the cabin top. Unless I put a winch on the cabin top instead of the mast it becomes a difficult retrofit. I'm not so sure that a cabin top winch at the mast would be comfortable to use, and I worry about unintended consequences. I'm thinking about it, though.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I really believe that this is a personal decision, and no single answer fits everyone. The OP is single-handing a large boat with family, so I feel that for him, lines led aft make sense.

I personally, reject lines led to the cockpit for the following reasons:

1. When I race, I want my pit man out of the cockpit. Too many people there already.
2. My boat is 40 years old, and the core is dry and solid. I'm simply not interested in compromising that.
3. I don't want the added friction and trip hazards.
4. My boat isn't that large, and loads so great that I need everything led aft in order to safely handle the boat.

My reasons are right for me, and not anyone else. If I ever buy a different boat, I may re-evaluate the situation and run the lines aft.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

On my boat, the following lines are led aft: main halyard, cunningham, boom vang, spinnaker halyard, first jiffy reef, foreguy, spinnaker topping lift, jib halyard. Of those, really only the boom vang and foreguy are regularly adjusted while the sail is in use.

I have a boom lift on the boom near the mast, which, while it can be set to a fairly "neutral" position in reality needs to be adjusted once in a while as the wind strengthens and as part of any hoist, reef, and douse process. The outhaul is also near the mast, as are the lines for the second reef. The jib is hank-on and often starts the trip lashed down along the foredeck. Even with all those lines aft I'm going up on deck pretty frequently.

I too mostly sail the boat by myself with family or other guests. Somebody who isn't doing a crew job is always in the way during any operation involve the led-aft lines. Or they're on top of the line itself when I need it, probably asleep, or at least really comfy and not very happy that Captain Bligh is asking them to move so he can access the lines.

You really feel unsafe going to the mast? On my trips to the mast or foredeck, all those lines create a trip hazard. Besides, being on deck is perfectly safe unless you are in the dark or bad weather without a harness and PFD. The shrouds and the mast itself provide great handholds in addition to the teak ones.

I'm thinking of moving most of my lines back to the mast, leaving just the boom vang and foreguy. The deck will be a lot tidier and I can fill all the leaking holes in the deck where the winch and cleats were mounted. I expect I'll go to the mast just as often, but I know that when I go, everything I need will be there.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

heck out this site and maybe modify you Lazy Jacks to pull back to the mast and under the boom when raising the sail and only deployed when lowering it. This will prevent them fro getting in the way of the abttens when raising the sail. The trick is deploying when using as you can keep them at the mast when getting under way and raising the sail. Once you do that they will be more helpfull. You dont have to buy the EZ jacks to copy the method they do it.

Lazy Jack System - How does it work - EZ-JAX


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