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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-15-2005
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dahoser is on a distinguished road
Raising sail alone

Have a Venture 17 and would like to know how to raise the mainsail by myself in the ocean or lake
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Old 06-15-2005
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jbanta is on a distinguished road
Raising sail alone

I sail a 29 both halyards at the mast step. I leave my motor going pointing me direct to the wind and raise both my jib and my main. My Autohelm 2000 holds the course great and I never have to rush to raise sail. I recommend a pilot like the autohelm 1000 but if you can''t see that expense try a tiller tamer.
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Old 06-16-2005
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Denr is an unknown quantity at this point
Raising sail alone

I''ve raised three main sailors, you need to show them authority, love, respect and kindness, they''ll love you for life.
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Old 06-23-2005
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Raising sail alone

Most singlehanders will run their halyards to the cockpit to make this easier.

But a Tiller Tamer (or homemade version of one) can hold the boat pointed into the wind while you jump up and raise it at the mast. Same to lower it, but you could save the proper flaking & wrapping of the main when you get back to the dock. I use a couple of bungie cords to hold it in place until its safe to stow properly.

And look at making up a downhaul for your jib (if you use one), and some netting around the bow sides to stop it from blowing off into the water, which really sucks when you''re alone.

Keeping your sail slides and mast groove well cleaned & sprayed with silicone will make the task slick & and easy when you are singlehanding.

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Old 06-30-2005
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JeffC_ is on a distinguished road
Raising sail alone

Since the original poster doesn''t say whether he has auxilliay power (on such a small boat, one cannot assume), he may still be left with his question…

<b>If you do have an outboard:</b>
A tiller tamer only lashes the tiller in place; the boat will certainly fall off the wind before the main can be raised the majority of the time. In a 17-ft. boat, just leaving the tiller for the cabintop will do it. Still, if you''e quick, and in light wind, this may be perfectly acceptable. For more control, you could devise a steering line, i.e., a loop rigged to the tiller, outboard around your stern cleats, forward, and then across the cabintop, where a foot-loop is tied in. You can then effectively keep the bow into the wind while raising the main.

For any sailraising maneuver, a freed mainsheet and snugged topping lift are important for quick feeding of the boltrope (on a boat so small, I''m assuming a boltrope instead of plastic sail slides) into the mast groove and to avoid drag which will hamper your effort on the halyard. Always stand on the weather (upwind) side of the boom.

<b>If you do not have auxiliary propulsion:</b>
I''d suggest raising all sail dockside before casting off.

Such small boats are usually launched from a ramp. If you have no motor (or even if you do) and you are able to launch next to a dock, and can row or motor to the dock, orient the boat so that the boom can point downwind without fouling anything, and assuming you can sail off the dock safely, do so. Any of the classic "learning to sail" handbooks will give descriptions & diagrams about how to accomplish this under various wind/current situations and dock configurations.

A less seamanlike maneuver would be to raise the main while drifting down with no propulsion. In this scenario, a tiller tamer won''t help you much. Until the main is up and sheeted in, you''ll drift downwind crab-wise, causing a hazard to those around you. If you must, and have the searoom, just make sure it''s clear downwind, that you''ve made all the required preparations in advance (topping lift, running rigging, free mainsheet, loose sailties, etc.) and jump to the job. On a big lake or the open ocean, this may be feasable, but is still considered bad form. Once you''re under main alone, you can use the ''tamer to let you more easily raise whatever small jib she carries. With only a main sheeted hard in and the tiller lashed amidship, your small boat is likely to sail an upwind coarse with noticeable leeway, or possibly "short tack" with the bow crossing back and forth across the wind (you may even cause a roll tack by your shifting bodyweight).
+++

InRe to a downhaul, I heartily agree with Jonathan: it can make singlehanding much more pleasureable. I might add that, singlehanding with a boltrope main, you simply cannot do without a lazy jack system to catch that main when it all runs out of the groove ans spills out on your cabintop and cockpit. I created a very serviceable one from a few screws, tangs, a couple hundred feet of very light line, a tube of Lock-tite (to keep the screws from backing out and insulate the SS screws from the aluminum mast), a screwdriver & an electric drill, for a boat almost 50% larger than yours. Of course off-the-shelf systems are available in every boat store. You will smile every time you use it.

Hope this is long wind blew you something useful,
Jeff
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Old 07-23-2005
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Raising sail alone

I am not sure what you mean by lubing the slide track. Won''t that decay the rope on the sail because grit/dust may become a part of the lube?
thanks for the reply
Hoser
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Old 07-23-2005
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Raising sail alone

Da,

Some sails are attached to the mast by a series of (usually plastic) slides that are sewn to the luff of the sail and run up the mast groove (kind of like hanks on a headsail). But on many smaller boats a <u>boltrope</u> is sewn into the luff and foot of the main, and this rope is what is fed into the mast slot (and if applicable, the boom slot as well). The slides would need a well-lubricated groove, but dry and clean is best for a boltrope.
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Old 07-28-2005
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Raising sail alone

After suffering through my first knock down yesterday, I won''t go back out alone without strong(er) downhauls and a lazy jack. Not being able to drop those sails when I needed too is partial cause for the bruises all over my body today.

Slammed down by heavy, unexpected wind. The windward jib sheet blew, I released the leeward one. It immediately got tangled on halyard cleats on the side of the mast, trimming the jib rather nicely -- but on the wrong side, knocking me down again. Then loosening the jib halyard to jerk it down resulted in the halyard fouling on one of the cleats as well. Jib downhaul too light to pull hard enough. No lazy jack or downhaul on the main. Once pointed windward, I blew 3 of the main''s battens right out of their pockets with the luffing. I learned my lesson.

Downhauls + lazy jacks = good thing

Example of "how much wind?" is that the flapping jib caught a 1/4" lexan hatch cover and snapped that sucker clean in half.

Jonathan
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Old 07-29-2005
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aflanigan is on a distinguished road
Raising sail alone

I was sailing with a fellow who owns a boat with a downhaul line for the jib. We were out sailing and he wanted me to look over his rig and set up to see how things looked. The jib downhaul is a great idea but I pressed him about the need to put netting up around the pulpit and forward lifelines to corral the snuffed jib. It was hard to impress upon him the minimal usefulness of the downhaul without such lines or a snuffer bag. We had fairly light air and it took us a few minutes of heading up into the wind and timing the hauling down of the jib to get it settled on deck rather than sliding into the water. I guess it''s hard to imagine just how crucial being able to quickly douse a sail is going to be when you get hit by a squall.

Allen Flanigan
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Old 08-01-2005
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dahoser is on a distinguished road
Raising sail alone

Remember, my boat is only 17 feet and not with a motor. Can you take the question 1 step further. Also what about throwing out my own mooring but then how do I retrieve it?
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