Mainsyl Problems? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-08-2008 Thread Starter
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Question Mainsyl Problems?

I have been having problems for some time now getting my mainsyl hoisted clear to the top of my mast. (A 33 ft Irwin with external sail slides).

One problem that I see is that I might have is that I have not been lubing the track on a regular basis. I will try that right away. The other is I had a friend of mine lead the mainsyl halyard back to the cockpit for easier handling. It comes through a block at the base of the mast, partially around an unused winch on the deck, and then back to the cockpit. I make sure the mainsheet is unlocked but still I cant get the slack out of the leach (leading edge) of the mainsyl.

My question can the uphaul (line on the luff (trailing edge) of the mainsyl) be causing the problem I am having? Any suggestions or help is appreciated..
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-08-2008
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clarify and possible problems

Hi Terryjoe,

Just to make sure we are all talking the same language here, you are using luff and leach backwards. The luff is the leading edge and the leech is the trailing edge.

Now I'm not sure I totally understand your problem. If the head of the mast is making it, but you just can't tighten the luff, then you may:

- need to loosen the main sheet
- need to loosen the boom vang
- try using the topping lift if equiped

If the head board is not making it to the mast head, some ideas I have are:

- make sure the halyard is run properly (e.g., not on the wrong side of a lazy jack)
- lube the track like you say
- check all the blocks leading the halyard aft
- if you have a winch at the mast, try using it
- using the deck mounted winch as a means of routing the halyard may be creating too much friction
- is it a wire or rope halyard - check the halyard for integrity
- you could have a fouled or seized sheave at the mast head

hope this helps.

S/V Gracie
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-08-2008
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Good advice above. One more thing, make sure you're headed dead upwind while you raise the main. Any side pressure from the wind will tend to make those sail slides jam, and having the main fully aluff while raising it will keep the slides shaking loose rather than jamming.

And if you're looking for a lubricant for the slides, try dry stuff, not wet. Graphite is effective, but dirty. Candlewax might actually work. Put it on a few slides, with a downhaul, and run them up and down the mast slot. Can't help, might work.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-08-2008
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Use McLube SailKote, which is a dry lubricant developed for this and other similar purposes.


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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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