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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Singlehanding- Flaking the Main
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Thread: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-17-2013 01:45 PM
Alex W
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

You don't need an autopilot. Just steer into the wind and lock off the rudder (using the brake on a wheel system, tiller tamer or line cleating the tiller in place on a tiller boat). An autopilot hooked into a wind system is helpful if you are sailing in gusty conditions.

Dropping and flaking on a ~30' boat only takes a minute, I do prefer to do it on the water and find that it is safer to do this instead of having sail fabric everywhere when I'm trying to dock. I may reflake at the dock if I had to rush the job, but it can be pretty annoying if the flakes aren't right so I try to just do it properly the first time.

I don't have lazy jacks. I've had limited experience with them, but mostly found them annoying.
06-17-2013 12:17 PM
flyingjib
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

I have the Dutchman system on my C&C 30 and it helps a lot when I'm single handing. If the Dutchman's control lines are tensioned properly, it all gets flaked without any fuss. As mentioned here before, A well cleaned and lubricated sail track helps as well.
06-17-2013 11:18 AM
Sublime
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

Just drop fast and flake it later. Or get lazy jacks or a dutchman's system.

I don't have an autopilot. I can flake it if it's a calm day. I start at the aft end and use sail ties as I move forward.
If there's a breeze or gusts, other boats, then it's safer to flake it at the dock. I'll gather it up a bit so I don't have sail all over the deck, but if you're single handing, you need to pay attention to other boats and stay in the cockpit as much as you can. Flaking the sail isn't a top priority.
06-17-2013 10:44 AM
Faster
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

Heading straight into the wind, if your slides are lubricated the main should drop readily.. when I'm alone I flake the leech as it comes down, then pull all the slides down as far as they'll go when I've worked my way to the mast.

If it's a luff rope main then it's a bit tougher.. I'd drop at the mast as quickly as possible then deal with the sail afterwards. Much easier to flake a bolt rope main with two people, where you can have one forward and one aft, flake as you drop. Alternatively you can drop it, and roll the sail rather than fold it. Find the middle of the luff, and roll from there towards the ends then tie the 'tube' to the boom - but again that's a two+ person job to do neatly.
06-17-2013 10:02 AM
ctl411
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

Head up drop the halyard a foot or so go back to cockpit tighten main sheet hard against topping lift. Correct course of boat back to head up ( if you don't have autopilot). Back up to mast take all but half turn off winch. Take line tail back to cockpit stand on cockpit seats flake as you drop from the back. Tie off the bulk of sail in the back. You can straighten out the luff at the dock.
06-17-2013 10:02 AM
FirstCandC
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

Thanks to all. I had no idea sailing would be that much more fun when you are in control of the boat.
06-17-2013 09:56 AM
Alex W
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

I guess I'm out of the norm, I flake it as I drop it, even when single handing.

If you have halyards run back to the cockpit then there is a good chance that the halyard is running along the deck at the base of the mast. You can use your foot on this exposed line as a brake.

So the process is:
* turn into the wind
* use the autopilot or lock the helm to keep pointing that way
* open clutch and quickly move to mast
* put your foot on the halyard
* flake the first few flakes that fell as you were moving
* release a little sail, flake, repeat until it's down

You have to keep an eye on where you are going of course, and be ready to run back to the cockpit if you need to steer.
06-17-2013 09:30 AM
jsaronson
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

First,
Sounds like you have a luff rope rather than slides on the luff of the main. Either way, drop if fast, flake later. If you have extra hands on board AND you have slides you can drop it part way and flake, put on the aft tie, repeat as you move forward. If you are considering jacks, look at easy jacks - a variation on lazy jacks.
Glad you are enjoying the boat!
06-17-2013 09:22 AM
PBzeer
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

Lazy jacks can be a curse when raising the sail, but that's only if you don't plan ahead.

Before you leave the dock/anchor/mooring, loosen them. After you raise the main, tighten them back up. Then when it's time to drop the main, just let it drop into the lazy jacks, and flake it out when back to the dock, or, if conditions permit while still under weigh, start at the back, putting on sail ties as you move forward. (I have a StackPak, so I just pull the zipper as I move forward)

Like anything you do singlehanded, planning ahead makes everything easier.
06-17-2013 09:05 AM
cranki
Re: Singlehanding- Flaking the Main

I have done a lot of single handing. I drop it and then flake from the aft end.
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