Gaff Rig Main Dousing - SailNet Community

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Old 11-05-2006
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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

Shazzer

Last edited by shazzer333; 11-05-2006 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 11-05-2006
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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!).

Cheers,
Mike.
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Old 11-05-2006
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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.

Shazzer
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