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  #31  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

When I first got my boat it had only one block and line ran back to cockpit...

As I had purchased the boat in fall and hadn't sailed yet I asked if I should run Main Halyard or Jib Halyard to cockpit with the hdwr i had...

I was told (for various reasons reitereted above) that I should run BOTH back AND invest in a jib downhaul setup...Which I did...

As a fair amount of my time is single handing...I found the convienence and safety of cockpit control has cut my trips forward my 2/3s... (I still have to go up from time to time to straighten the rigging) but mostly can address from the cockpit...

Reefing I do BEFORE I leave dock (shaking out on a calm day is easy)

I just recently purchased an auto pilot for next season, will have to see if I suddenly have an urge to run up on deck to man the lines...
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  #32  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I really believe that this is a personal decision, and no single answer fits everyone.
Bubblehead is right, there is no one answer that works for everyone. But it goes beyond just what the person wants, it extends to what works on your boat.

I have to go to the mast to release, my lazy jacks, my reefing lines are not run to the cockpit (and even if they were I would have to go to the mast and secure the tack) and when the main comes down I have to go onto the coachtop to take in the slack on my reefing lines which otherwise would strangle the helmsman.

Before making a decision, try it out with crew to the extent possible. Have a crew drop the main using only the halyard and see what happens. Try it in heavy air, try it in light air. After he does this how much does it really help? Did you need to go to mast to get the lazy jacks out? Did your slides get caught on the sail track door? Do your battens get caught in the lazy jacks? The P35 has an unusaully long boom for 35' boat which makes for a larger main (at least at the foot). Not sure if that makes a difference.

Bottom line is you are the only one that can answer this. What works well for one person on one boat might not work for someone else or even the same person on another boat.
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  #33  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Here are my reasons for leaving my lines at the mast:

- My sailing is essentially cruising sailing and once the sails are set, unless something dramatic happens with the weather, nothing up the mast is going to be changed so going to the mast to adjust something is a rare event.
- When I hoist my main, the Stakpac lines have to be carefully lined up to prevent the ends of the battens fouling. This is easy when I'm at the mast and the autpilot is keeping the boat head to wind.
- Reefing from the cockpit is not possible unless you have either single-line reefing or two lines for each reef point - either way that's a heck of a lot of line to have lying around the cockpit. By the time I have a third reef in, I would be knee deep in rope.
- Additional deck organisers, rope clutches and winches provide a whole new list of areas where water could leak into the boat - I have enough trouble already with chain plates, mast partners and hatches so drilling another bunch of holes in the roof is totally a unpalatable prospect.
- A friend recently bought a new Beneteau and all the mast lines are fashionably back to the cockpit and the two banks of rope clutches and two winches take up an amazing amount of space and the lines are always in the way, whether you're sitting or standing.
- My boat is a centre cockpit and the cockpit can be fully enclosed and serves as our main living area in all weather conditions. For us to have to plan our lives around coils of line is just not going to happen.

No, I'm happy to go to the mast every now and then and am not about to make life in the cockpit all about rope. But as has already been said, that's just me, others will differ.
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  #34  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

As things stand I have 5 sheets (cutter rig) running into the cockpit. I also have Running backstays (2), lines used to ship running backs(2),stropping blocks(2)and roller furler(1)...all running aft but outside cockpit stowed on boom gallows. I also have an alternate self-tending jib sheet. I don't have my halyards or downhaul run back to the cockpit, but I have reorganized the cockpit so 80% of the things the helmsman needs to get to are in the aft half of the cockpit.
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  #35  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

A couple of further thoughts...

Jeff H has elsewhere described his system of running his lines aft, and knowing Jeff, I have no doubt it is a very slick system, and works superbly...

Having said that, however, his would likely be the FIRST on any boat I've ever sailed about which I could honestly say that... Virtually every boat I've delivered with halyards led aft really sucked in some fashion, and most definitely did not necessarily eliminate the need for ever going to the mast...

Main complaint is on boats with dodgers, you simply can't see what you're doing. In addition to the winch handling usually being cramped by its proximity to the dodger, one has to keep "backing out" from under the dodger, to see the state of the hoist, or whatever... At the mast, you can be watching everything, as it happens... From under a dodger, you can be flying blind much of the time, which of course is generally a prescription for some sort of trouble... And, don't get me started with halyards and reefing led aft on boats with full cockpit enclosures - there's good reason why they NEVER actually get sailed... (grin)

Sensing halyard tension is SO much easier done at the mast, IMHO...

For offshore, I want my dodger to be as watertight as possible. My boat has a rigid windshield, so it comes close to a hard dodger in terms of remaining relatively watertight, with only my vang control passing through the coaming... Streaming lines aft really leaves the dodger vulnerable in heavier conditions when you have water coming aft on deck, or heavy spray... Whatever openings are provided for the lines aft can admit an impressive amount of water, an can turn what would otherwise remain a relatively dry space into another that's routinely getting doused...

Finally, your main halyard can often serve an important secondary function as a dinghy hoist, or in a MOB recovery situation... Especially with the latter, where the remaining crew on deck might very well be essentially singlehanding - the ability to manage everything at the mast is a virtual necessity, and could be made far more difficult by having to do so from the more "remote" location back in the cockpit...

Given more time, I can certainly come up with other reasons why I don't care for halyards, etc led back to the cockpit... But I'll be hard pressed to think of any IN FAVOR of doing so, that override the simplicity and utility of leaving all that stuff at the mast...
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Let me address the 'coils of line in the cockpit' factor - keeping in mind I had 6 lines led aft, plus the traveler and the mainsheet on my Gemini 105mc.

A picture speaks a thousand words - what coils of line.
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  #37  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

i am just finishing up my first year of sailing i have a spirit 23 that i have sailed single handed every time except one.
i am still trying to get everything figured out on what to do when
i am not so much worried about raising sails but i want to be able to
drop them from the cockpit .
the only auto pilot i have right now is a couple of bungee cords maybe
next year i can get a real auto pilot but for now this will have to do .
i am starting to put stuff in place so when i replace the halyards they will run
to the cockpit
im not lazy when the wind kicks up and the boat starts driving in circles it would be nice to be in the cockpit to lower the sails
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  #38  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I'm pondering the same set of issues. I mostly single hand. My previous boat had then back at the cockpit. It wasn't perfect but I could keep things under control while raising and lowering the main. My current boat, a Sabre 28, have them at the mast. I like the simpler setup but it was pretty challenging to keep it into the wind while I was at the mast. Is there a trick I am missing or do I need to buy an autopilot? I think I would be happy with the main at the mast if I could reliably/safely keep it headed into the wind when I am single handed.
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  #39  
Old 12-07-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

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Originally Posted by jkemp101 View Post
it was pretty challenging to keep it into the wind while I was at the mast. Is there a trick I am missing ...?
That's a really good question, and if anybody has a better answer I'd love to hear it.

Here's what I do: heave-to, ease out the main, and then head up on deck. I do have my halyards run aft but I still need to be on deck when the jib is coming down, or it will end up in the water. So I typically bring the jib halyard with me and cast it off when I'm standing at the mast and ready. The wind pressure and friction are enough to keep the sail up without the halyard made fast, so I can generally pull the sail down by hand and lash it down on the foredeck.

After that I head back to the cockpit where I get the motor started and deal with the main. However I could see dropping the main right after the jib, or even before while it's partially in the lee of the jib.
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  #40  
Old 12-07-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkemp101 View Post
I'm pondering the same set of issues. I mostly single hand. My previous boat had then back at the cockpit. It wasn't perfect but I could keep things under control while raising and lowering the main. My current boat, a Sabre 28, have them at the mast. I like the simpler setup but it was pretty challenging to keep it into the wind while I was at the mast. Is there a trick I am missing or do I need to buy an autopilot? I think I would be happy with the main at the mast if I could reliably/safely keep it headed into the wind when I am single handed.
You will really appreciate having an autopilot - makes singlehanded sailing much more manageable, allows you to fly a symmetrical spinnaker, and will allow you to catnap at night on any extended cruises.
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