Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

I recently acquired my first sailboat, a Capri 16.5. My experience prior included only keel boats with other people, so one person could man the tiller, pointing up wind, while one or more others could raise the main.

I'm having trouble with this on my own. I point the boat up wind, but by the time I scramble to the mast the boat is blown in any other direction. The main is also difficult to raise even in the back yard with no wind. It sticks and I have to raise and lower it. This is made so much worse when the winds is coming from the beam or stern, pushing the sail into the shroud lines, usually catching the battens...

I'm thinking of trying a thinner halyard, with the assumption the sail is jamming due to having a too-thick halyard. It is a little fussy.

Would it be a good idea to lead the halyard back so I can raise it while manning the tiller? How would I guide the sail into the groove. I could get it started, of course, before even leaving the dock, but is there a way to self-guide the sail in? I've seen little components for this, usually on the jib, a pair of wheels that guide it in. What are those called? It there such a thing for the main?

I have a lazy jack.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-28-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

Tie the bow to the downwind side of the dock so wind will blow the boat back and make it face head-to-wind. Release the main sheet so boom can swing, then go up and raise the sail.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

Ah, that's a good idea. Just raise the sail before even leaving the dock. I was thinking of a similar technique using the anchor, but I guess there's no reason to not raise the sail before leaving. Thanks.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-28-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

Before replacing the halyards try cleaning up the mast and sail connection. Whether the sail is slugged or bolt roped or tracked, clean the areas up with acetone and then spray with Mclube Sailcoat.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-28-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

I second the lubrication idea. I melt ordinary candle wax with mineral oil (3 parts of wax, 1 part oil). Wax tends to stay on the mast a lot longer than any other lube. The oil makes it easier to apply evenly. Make sure there are no spots in the mast track that are pinching the sail. These pinch spots happen when mast track gets hit during boat trailering.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-29-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

Raising and lowering sails while underway is difficult alone without some way to control the helm. On bigger boats that would be a tillerpilot. On a smaller boat, you could try a tiller lock, or just tie it off. But, as Minne said, the better way it to pull it up at the dock.

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post #7 of 10 Old 09-29-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

I bought an 18 ft. boat a few years ago and also was having trouble raising the mainsail. I had sprayed sailcote in the slot of the mast which definitely is advisable at least yearly, but still had trouble. Even though I had received some training about the boat at purchase nobody taught me (nor did my manual cover) something that finally became obvious to avoid this problem.

I discovered that I did not have the mainsail sheet and the boom vang loose enough upon trying to raise the sail. It was putting too much tension downward on the boom which prevented the sail from being raised easily with the halyard.

This applies also when lowering the sail.....make sure the sheet and boom vang are loose and the sail will drop easily.

Good luck/enjoy your boat!
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

Hi Sailguy. That's a good one. I was thinking about that today, my usual process. I think I might be tightening boom vang before raising the main. I know I keep the main shoot lose, but I bet I'm tightening that boom vang... I'll have to experiment this weekend in the back yard if the rain ever stops. Thanks!
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-16-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

I tend to raise my main in the basin prior to heading past our marina's breakwater into the river. Raising it at the slip really wouldn't work for me. I also have the halyard led back to the cockpit and use a DIY device to help keep the tiller stable while I raise the sail.

This method seems to work well for me.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-18-2016
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Re: Trouble raising the main, Capri 16.5

A little late to the discussion; but, this may help.

IF and only IF, your mainsail is made from woven dacron fabric, does NOT use plastic slugs, etc. to connect to the mast groove; but rather, the sleeve and the three-strand polyester-dacron rope thats inside the sleeve at the mainsail's luff is what fits into the mast slot/groove .............. then there is a strong possibility that the sail is OLD and the bolt rope has become severely shrunken and that dimensional change of the length of 'the rope' has caused the sleeve that covers that 'bolt rope' inside that frontal sleeve to be severely 'wrinkled'. Such wrinkling makes the luff bolt rope and sleeve 'much fatter' than what was OEM specified; plus, as a bolt rope (naturally) shrinks over time it also becomes much 'fatter'. Once this condition develops in 'bolt-rope loaded into the groove sails', they become VERY difficult to raise/lower.

If so, take the sail to a sail loft and have them replace and RE-SET the bolt-rope inside that luff sleeve. This is especially true for such woven dacron sails (with a 'bolt rope') that were constructed/lofted before ~1995-2000.
If no 'sleeve' and the bolt-rope is directly hand sewn to that rope .... a new sail would be cheaper than a 'repair'.

If you're an addicted DIYer, and the bolt-rope is inside a 'sleeve', send me a PM on this website; and, Ill explain in detail how a DIYer should do this. I'll need a few digital pics of the sail before I can offer a definitive DIY course of action.

Last edited by RichH; 11-18-2016 at 03:53 PM.
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