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  #11  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

The problem with running halyards to the cockpit is that eventually you'll need to go to the mast sometime when the main is not coming down on its own, then you'll start tugging on the main and the halyard line will get tangled in the cockpit, so you'll have to run back to the cockpit to untangle, then back to the mast to tug on the main....

I agree with the KISS comment.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

Try it out. You need to see how well the boat tracks if you step away from the helm. With a skeg hung rudder and a long keel with a high B/D I won't be surprised if your Watkins tracks very straight even if no one is on the helm. I sometimes sail with a Yankee 30 that tracks so straight that the owner often does headsail changes at the mast with no autopilot or even lashing the tiller.

If so then just leave them at the mast and go sailing.

If not then decide if you'd prefer to spend $500 on hardware or on an autopilot.

If you are nervous about it the first time then find some crew to have on the boat who can help if things go south.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Having talked in the chat room I feel compelled to make a fuller answer.
....
Drop the main halyard (which presupposes it's run aft) to a set, marked point, then pull the reef line down tight. It'll hold.

Lazyjacks (a must) and a couple reef straps and you are done.
FWIW, on most boats you also need to ease the boomvang.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
FWIW, on most boats you also need to ease the boomvang.
I cheated, knew he had it laying in the hatch from our chat conversation.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

A downhaul on the main is something I think would be helpful. Since it sounds like you have hank-on jibs, a jib downhaul, as suggested above, makes a lot of sense to me, too.

The cost of the running rigging isn't that bad - I'm pretty sure I got me from Minnesota Rigging on eBay. I'm fairly frugal, but to me, the cost (even with a winch or two, and some other related deck hardware) is a small price to pay compared to the comfort of being able to stay in the cockpit if things get bad in a hurry. Look for used equipment on eBay and Craigslist to get you started. In the NJ/NY/PA area, you should be able to find a lot of surplus equipment because of Hurricane Sandy. I'm pretty sure there's a place in Annapolis that sells surplus equipment, and I know Minnie's Yacht Surplus in Costa Mesa, CA has a lot of stuff at decent prices, too. I'd like to find something even closer than Annapolis (I'm about an hour and a half from you), but that's all I've heard of so far.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
The problem with running halyards to the cockpit is that eventually you'll need to go to the mast sometime when the main is not coming down on its own, then you'll start tugging on the main and the halyard line will get tangled in the cockpit, so you'll have to run back to the cockpit to untangle, then back to the mast to tug on the main....

I agree with the KISS comment.
Funny never had this problem. You have to have a smooth well taken care of track and maintain it, but thats normal part of inspoecting and taking care of your boat. The only time I ever have to realy go to the mast is at the dock to take the sail cover off, and it pretty safe there

I single hand a lot also and have everything run into the cockpit. Why you may ask, I figure the least amount of times that I have to go out of the cockpit up on the coach roof the safer I am.

Chuck described the set up on my boat almost to a T with the turning blocks connected to the mast collar. To raise the main I just step around the wheel. My main halyard is led back to a ST 2 speed winch under the dodger ( free and clear) and it is quite easy to hoist the full battened main almost 3/4 way up without the winch. When finished I coil and place the looped line in and organizer. Safe and out of the way. Both reefs can be accomplished from the cockpit. I also have EZ Jacks...better than Lazy Jacks in that you can pull them out of the way to the mast when not using them, and I have the additon of being able to deploy them from the cockpit which you cant do with Lazy Jacks.

When dropping the main, first deploy the EZ Jacjs and then simply release the halyard from the self tailing winch and line stopper. It falls and flakes right in the boom. I dont do the sail ties till i dock.

Lazy Jack System - EZ-JAX

I am willing to go out singlehanded in all types of wind conditions knowing that I will be safe and not have to leave the cockpit to raise, lower or reef the main.

Its also easier when you have guests who know zero on the boat.

It costs a little money to set it up that way, but once you do its a snap to be able to control a 35 footer yourself without worryimng about getting knowck off the boat in 20 knot winds and 5 ft chop.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
I would much rather have a reliable autopilot than have the lines led back.

I single hand a 44 ft cutter much of the time.

Not sure why this is an either or. An autopilit requires more money also. I say you have both
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg
The problem with running halyards to the cockpit is that eventually you'll need to go to the mast sometime when the main is not coming down on its own, then you'll start tugging on the main and the halyard line will get tangled in the cockpit, so you'll have to run back to the cockpit to untangle, then back to the mast to tug on the main....

I agree with the KISS comment.
Funny never had this problem. You have to have a smooth well taken care of track and maintain it, but thats normal part of inspoecting and taking care of your boat. The only time I ever have to realy go to the mast is at the dock to take the sail cover off, and it pretty safe there

I single hand a lot also and have everything run into the cockpit. Why you may ask, I figure the least amount of times that I have to go out of the cockpit up on the coach roof the safer I am.
My experience has been quite the opposite... I know such a system can be made to work reasonably well - and someday I hope to sail with Jeff H on his boat, as I know he's put such a setup to very good effect... but pretty much every time I get on a delivery of a larger boat with the main halyard led aft, I know I'm in for multiple trips to and from the mast to deal with the snags caberg alludes to, if I'm singlehanding...

The worst case senario, is when a high-modulus rope like T-900 is used for the main halyard, in conjunction with an electric winch and rope clutches for all the crap that's led aft... Such rope will quickly acquire a set that is virtually impossible to pull back through a clutch from forward without hockling and kinking... On more than one boat, I've found the easiest thing to do when lowering the main singlehanded, was to simply toss the whole mess of halyard tail over the stern, let it trail out and unwind that way...

As I said, I'm sure it can be done - but in my observation/experience, it sure isn't being done well very frequently...

In addition, on boats with dodgers overhead canvas, I hate having to hoist the main without being able to easily watch it all the way up, that can be a real invitation to trouble... People putting the halyard on a self-tailing electric winch, and pressing the button without having a clear view of the mast, that can be a recipe for disaster...

Finally, I really don't like the idea of compromising the watertight integrity of a dodger or doghouse, but cutting holes in the leading edge for the passage of lines aft... In heavy weather, it can be shocking how much water can be admitted into what otherwise might stay a relatively dry area...

So, have I mentioned I really don't like lines led aft to the cockpit on most boats? (grin)

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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
My experience has been quite the opposite... I know such a system can be made to work reasonably well - and someday I hope to sail with Jeff H on his boat, as I know he's put such a setup to very good effect... but pretty much every time I get on a delivery of a larger boat with the main halyard led aft, I know I'm in for multiple trips to and from the mast to deal with the snags caberg alludes to, if I'm singlehanding...

The worst case senario, is when a high-modulus rope like T-900 is used for the main halyard, in conjunction with an electric winch and rope clutches for all the crap that's led aft... Such rope will quickly acquire a set that is virtually impossible to pull back through a clutch from forward without hockling and kinking... On more than one boat, I've found the easiest thing to do when lowering the main singlehanded, was to simply toss the whole mess of halyard tail over the stern, let it trail out and unwind that way...

As I said, I'm sure it can be done - but in my observation/experience, it sure isn't being done well very frequently...

In addition, on boats with dodgers overhead canvas, I hate having to hoist the main without being able to easily watch it all the way up, that can be a real invitation to trouble... People putting the halyard on a self-tailing electric winch, and pressing the button without having a clear view of the mast, that can be a recipe for disaster...

Finally, I really don't like the idea of compromising the watertight integrity of a dodger or doghouse, but cutting holes in the leading edge for the passage of lines aft... In heavy weather, it can be shocking how much water can be admitted into what otherwise might stay a relatively dry area...

So, have I mentioned I really don't like lines led aft to the cockpit on most boats? (grin)
Just an observation, the OP has the opportunity to do it correctly on his boat so he doesn't have the issues you mentioned. He isn't talking about getting on a variety of boats where it's messed up. He has the opportunity to make his better by learning from the mistakes of others and those you have mentioned. I am sure Jon has seen many nightmares as he experiences many different boats.

Chances are he isn't doing major ocean passages or has electric winches. Ease of cockpit reefing I believe encourages a person to do that under way as opposed to getting out of the cockpit exposed you may wait as you don't want to deal with the danger or hassle.

If you set your system up correctly and it's well thought out taking into account some of the pitfalls Jon has mentioned it can be an advantage. If you do it piecemeal or cobbled then Jon is right it won't be worth it and may cause more problems than its worth.

When singlehanding I don't look for opportunities to leave the cockpit. I would think most would agree you are safer and less likely to be thrown off the boat or struck if you are in the cockpit Vs. the deck. As the wind increases and the seas I would think that the gap of risk increases even further.

How easy is it for me to reef, move in front of the wheel, lower the main halyard below its reef point, pull in the reefing line. Tighten the clutch, tighten the halyard back up. A 1 minute maneuver. No going topside .

My system is no more complex than a mast one with the exception of a turning block, a deck organizer, and a rope clutch. It ain't rocket science here, thats why they make theese blocks.its not as complicated as its made out to be.

A sticky main sail track is a maintaince issue whether the line is led back through a couple of simple blocks or at the mast. Reefing lines same thing. This all should be checked before you leave the dock.
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Last edited by chef2sail; 02-26-2013 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Halyards to cockpit?

Lot's of good points here.

Deltaten, here's one more. Sail the boat a couple times, then figure what you need and don't need (with one exception - Lazyjacks). I'd not sail single handed without them.
No better way to make a cockpit cluttered than to dump a sail into it.
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