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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > How loose is your main sheet while raising the main?
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Thread: How loose is your main sheet while raising the main? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-24-2009 04:26 AM
Mipcar I have a topping lift but still find the main runs up easier if I take a little tension off the sheet, not loose, just eased a little.

Mychael
06-23-2009 04:53 PM
SVAuspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason3317 View Post
It's important to loose the mainsheet when hoisting the main to get a full hoist, plus make it easier on the crew grinding the halyard up.

In addition, you should probably slack the vang too, if it is not already.
Agreed, especially short-handed or single-handed. If the helmsman or auto-pilot can't keep the boat directly into the wind a completely slack mainsheet will allow you to get the main all the way up more quickly and the boat under sail.

If you have a solid vang this works really well. Release the vang, ease the topping lift (if you have one), and let the main sheet run free. With the boat as much into the wind as you can manage haul away. Even with a very bad back I can get the main up to within a couple of feet of the tape in half a minute or so, and grind the rest of the way up in short order. With the main up, I can return to the cockpit, get the boat on course, set the jib, set the autopilot, and return to the mast to tidy up.

If the main sheet is too tight you will be fighting the breeze pushing the main to leeward as you try to grind the sail up. Too much work.
06-23-2009 03:37 PM
rodgerdodger
Running Stays

I have to keep my mainsheet just loose enough to get the sail all the way up, but I have to keep it pretty tight to keep the head of the main from fouling on the running backstays
06-23-2009 02:05 PM
SailKing1 On my islander 26 I pulled my main up by hand and would use approx. 1 - 2 twist on the winch to bring it taught. I always keep my mainsheet tight while hoisting the main. With that said even centered and tight the boom will still sway about 1 1/2 feet.

I started this process because before I ran the lines aft I was making my way back to the cockpit after raising the main one day and a power boat came out of port causing a wake that hit the boat at the same time I stepped down of the cabin top. Boat heeled, boom swung and I almost went over. From that day on my mainsheet was always tight.
06-23-2009 01:52 PM
jason3317
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Not true... if you use the topping lift to raise the boom sufficiently, you can tighten the main sheet to help keep the boom centered, and still get full hoist on the mainsail easily. The key is tensioning the topping lift enough to allow full hoist on the mainsail.
OK, so my comment would only apply to those without topping lifts. This would include most, if not all, J/Boats...I'm sure there are others manufacturers that would appy here too.

But, I still maintain that by not freeing the sheet, you are loading up the leech and it will be harder to get a full hoist on the main than if the sheet is on hard. It will definitely increase the effort needed by the person grinding the main halyard
06-23-2009 01:34 PM
sailingdog Not true... if you use the topping lift to raise the boom sufficiently, you can tighten the main sheet to help keep the boom centered, and still get full hoist on the mainsail easily. The key is tensioning the topping lift enough to allow full hoist on the mainsail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason3317 View Post
It's important to loose the mainsheet when hoisting the main to get a full hoist, plus make it easier on the crew grinding the halyard up.

In addition, you should probably slack the vang too, if it is not already.
06-23-2009 08:33 AM
jason3317 It's important to loose the mainsheet when hoisting the main to get a full hoist, plus make it easier on the crew grinding the halyard up.

In addition, you should probably slack the vang too, if it is not already.
06-23-2009 01:43 AM
WheresTheBrakes I just tell the captain to do it, I rarely have to get out of the hot tub on deck. I'd have to have all the girls rearrange, it could take hours to get them back in place, plus I'd probably spill my martini..

Seriously, my autopilot is a rope.
I leave my mainsheet a little slack, neither I, the rope, or the admiral can keep her into the wind within 5⁰.. so I end up with a slack main and a boom swinging a foot in each direction..
06-23-2009 01:39 AM
patrickrea My method is the same singlehanding or with crew. Genoa trimmed for the course I am on. Toppping lift slacked off, main slightly loose. Wheel brake lightly tensioned to maintain course. I actually stand in the companionway to access the deckhouse mounted main halyard winch for the hoist so I am not worried about being slammed by the boom. I trim after the hoist and then clean up the halyard lying in a heap in the cabin. Works for me on this boat.
06-22-2009 10:03 PM
jackdale
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArgleBargle View Post
i find with lazy jacks fitted its much easier to have the mainsheet loose.
Can you move your lazy jacks up to the mast after your get the sail on your boom? It makes all the difference.

Jack
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