SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Help what sail to raise 1st? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-01-2012 12:20 AM
Help what sail to raise 1st?

I'm usually single handed or running the show myself. With main only I can tie off the tiler pointing down a bit and the boat will sail herself while I raise the genny. Much easier than the other way around.

I made the mistake once of sailing genny only with guests that couldn't be trusted with the tiller. Even though I wanted to raise the main once I got out I couldn't.
05-24-2012 09:00 AM
Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

When sailing away from a mooring generally raise the main first, except when a strong current has the boat pointed downwind and the mainsail would be plastered against the rig before you have it raised. Then sail away and out of the mooring field under the jib and go onto a close reach to raise the main.

When sailing up a mooring generally drop the jib first, except when a strong current will hold the boat pointed downwind at the mooring plastering the mainsail against the rig before you can get it down. Then sail up to the mooring under the jib and drop or furl the jib at the last minute.

If you sail to or from a dock the same principles apply. You certainly don't want to be sailing downwind into your slip with the main sail up.
05-24-2012 06:30 AM
Help what sail to raise 1st?

I find much easier raising the main first and dropping it last.
I sail on a sloop and i have no experience with ketches so i can't really this is a golden rule
05-20-2012 03:53 PM
Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

I'd think sailing's biggest problem is the sailors who hardly ever raise ANY sails.
05-20-2012 01:29 AM
Screaming Seagull
Help what sail to raise 1st?

Always raise main first and drop last. I feel more in control also find it easier to set the jib.
05-07-2012 09:49 PM
Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Funny how things change over the years along with personal preferences.
The "jib and jigger" sail combo is a proven ketch combination. After a century away from sailing fishing boats, especially with light plastic recreational sloops and cutters; traditional sailing methods are blown in the wind. I sailed for years pulling the main first but 50 years of experience has taught me there's more than one way to skin the cat. In a heavy blow, a jib and jigger set is the only way to go and is easily managed with an added reef for the mizzen and a close sheeted genoa. Single sticked boats are considered "easier" to sail and less expensive to maintain with half the hardware, but most schooner, ketch and yawl aficionados know better.
05-07-2012 12:27 PM
Group Think

I nearly 100% of the time raise the main first and typically do it while on our mooring. The few times that I don't raise it on the mooring is if there is 15 to 20 kt winds as we need to go in a certain direction get into the main channel and sometimes the main and the motor be working against each other . Not that the we can't dump wind from the main, but it just makes steering more difficult especially as we leave the mooring. In these instances, we wait until more open water to raise the main.

The jib/genoa is raised second. Sometimes we do it running or reaching, but usually not when close hauled unless very light (6 kt or less) winds.

As far as which sail to drop first, usually it is the headsail, but I have dropped the main first and rolled in the head sail to a very small area and used it to sail onto a mooring more effectively in a breeze with two people. As we approach the mooring we come in on a close reach or "close haul" at about 3 kt boat speed at the right moment, spin the boat, furl the remaining head sail exposed while gliding into the mooring. We try to time it to "overshoot" the mooring by about the 3 ft which allows me time to pick up the pennants while the are slack and get them on before the boat gets blown backwards by the wind. My wife hates when we do this (no motor), but she knows it is a critical skill to have.
05-07-2012 11:26 AM
Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Generally, main first, then jib. As for the questions about how to do this with no motor:

If on mooring, bow is kept into the wind by the painter.

If in open water, raising the main will keep the bow into the wind. You might actually end up sailing backward some, but that's okay (as long as you have the room!). Once the sail is up and you have some steerage way, you can raise or unfurl the headsail. With a roller furling headsail, you can deploy the sail on almost any heading, but with a hanked on jib, you'll also want to be into the wind.

Raising the headsail first and then the main while close-hauled is okay as long as you can actually sail like this with the headsail alone. Not all boat/sailplan combos will actually allow for that.
05-06-2012 10:37 PM
Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Agree main up first wherever possible. There are some conditions when headsail first is needed. Eg sailing out from a dock (no engine) when the wind is aft. In this situation raising the jib in the dock is ok as the wind is readily spilled.
05-06-2012 09:26 PM
Re: Help what sail to raise 1st?

Not sure about on a masthead rig, but on a fractional rig you can do some considerable damage if sailing with just the jib depending on your rig setup. It all has to do with rig tension.

For a dinghy, especially an FJ or 420 jib up first so that you can tension the jib wire which will pull the mast forward. On some larger dinghies this is unnecessary when the jib wire tension can be adjusted on the fly.

Unlike everything else on a small boat the higher the wind the looser you want the jib wire because it will give more mast rake (mast angled backwards). This is especially beneficial downwind. In lighter air you want the mast farther forward (less rake will result in more power). If you want to really crank the *@$&$ then get someone to pull on the forestay while you push the mast forward with you foot and cleat off the halyard. As you go it is easier to let out the tension than to add it. If you must tension the jib wire while you are sailing, head dead downwind so that the mast is being pushed forward and use your feet to push it forward while cleating off the halyard.

On a larger boat or a dinghy with adjustable jib wire, main up first, then jib.

Downwind spinnaker up, jib down. Then jib up, spinnaker down.

This is probably more than you wanted to hear, but hopefully it helps.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome