SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Learning to Sail (
-   -   Gaff Rig Main Dousing (

shazzer333 11-05-2006 05:13 AM

Gaff Rig Main Dousing
Hi all

I have recently bought a small Gaff rigged sloop.

I sail this single handed and would appreciate any advice for how I can easily drop the mainsail safely.

In previous attempts after rounding up into the wind. I have found that I need to release both throat and peak halyard, I then cleat them off. What happens to me next is the boom drops on to the side of the boat and the sail billows out and tries to go over the side. All very messy and possibly dangerous.

Although I have been told to ease the mainsheet after rounding up into the wind. If I do this the boom can go over the side sail and all. This can be very tricky when there is a swell. So I now round up and then tighten the mainsheet to hold the boom almost amidships.

My question is simply. How can I drop the main safely without the boom and sail going over the side??

My main is controlled only by mainsheet,throat halyard, and peak halyard.
no boom vangs,cunninghams, travellers etc. The boom is only supported at the gooseneck and by sail tension from the gaff.

Your help would be appreciated


zakimimula 11-05-2006 05:34 AM

Re: Gaff rig main dousing
Hey Shazzer,

Your answer is lazy jacks - they do the same job on a gaff rigged main as they do on a bermudan main. You can rig 'em exactly the same way too, so they can be tucked down out of the way when not needed, and pulled up otherwise.

Avoid attaching them to your topping lifts, if you have them (and you should, they provide invaluable control of the sail shape, and help reduce sail stretch), and be sure to keep them clear of the topsail running gear too, if you have it (and you should - big-ass jackyarded topsails are one of the best bits about a gaff rig!).


shazzer333 11-05-2006 06:22 AM

Thanks Mike

She is only 15' 6" or 18' with the bowsprit.

No Topping lift. Have heard about Lazy Jacks but never seen one in operation.
Will Google to see how they work.

I am new to sailing but not to boating in general.

As I am trying to keep my rig as simple as possible. I would prefer to find an answer in the form of technique rather than additional equipment.

all tips are appreciated though.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome