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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 09-23-2011
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Raising the sails without the motor

I usually motor into the wind and raise the main then fall off to a tack and unfurl the genny.

It occurred to me however that even with lazy-jacks it would be useful to be able to hoist and douse the sails without the motor.

What I did today that worked is:
Hoist sails
Unfurled the jib and got some way on.
Tacked the boat and as soon as the battons on the main cleared the lazyjacks hoisted the main crisply.
Adjusted sails and set a course.

Douse sails
Furled the genny
Tack the boat and as the main flogged dropped it crisply.

Have you guys ever tried hoisting and dousing sails without the motor?
If so how do you do it?
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Old 09-23-2011
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if you hoist before shutting down the motor and the sail does not hoist and you cannot sail with some control you may need to restart the motor but what if it dies not restart. if you douse and then try to start the motor what if it does not start. I always leave the engine running untill the sails are set and I am sailing in control of the situation. I always start the engine before dousing to be able to maintain control of the situation.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Yes... have sailed many small boats without engines and a handful of keel boats including our own when the engine has been inoperable.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overbored View Post
if you hoist before shutting down the motor and the sail does not hoist and you cannot sail with some control you may need to restart the motor but what if it dies not restart. if you douse and then try to start the motor what if it does not start. I always leave the engine running untill the sails are set and I am sailing in control of the situation. I always start the engine before dousing to be able to maintain control of the situation.
Whilst that may be great for you - it doesn't work if you don't have an engine to leave running..

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Have you guys ever tried hoisting and dousing sails without the motor?
If so how do you do it?
David,

Raising sails: Your plan is as good as any I've come across and, yes, the key is to be able to get the sails up and down without too much struggle. Certainly the only way to do it is pointing into the wind. Some boats (like mine!) will allow you to do the following:

1. Unfurl the genny, get some way up on a close reach.
2. Heave to (ie. tack without touching the sheet, helm down)
3. Hoist the main
4. When ready, tack the headsail and sail off into the sunset...

Lowering sails: Same as coming into the dock under sail.
1. Drop one sail whilst sailing close to the wind on the other.
2. Get the other one ready to drop (lines clear, etc.)
3. Drop the other sail in a rush when needed.

It's valuable experience and worth practising!
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Old 09-23-2011
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Lazyjacks help when lowering but are a hindrence when raising

You should be able to pull the lazyjacks forward, out of the way, to allow raising slightly off dead into the wind.

Offcouse this can be done without an engine. Whether main or jib goes first depends a bit on the balance of the boat--my last liked main first, this likes jib first.
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Old 09-23-2011
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I'll second pulling your lazy jacks forward. I do it prior to getting under way, then re-set them as soon as practical.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Hartley's method is the seamanly way to do it...The boat will be under control at all times.

In light winds instead of tacking the headsail, just do a controlled gybe and off you go.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Whilst that may be great for you - it doesn't work if you don't have an engine to leave running..



David,

Raising sails: Your plan is as good as any I've come across and, yes, the key is to be able to get the sails up and down without too much struggle. Certainly the only way to do it is pointing into the wind. Some boats (like mine!) will allow you to do the following:

1. Unfurl the genny, get some way up on a close reach.
2. Heave to (ie. tack without touching the sheet, helm down)
3. Hoist the main
4. When ready, tack the headsail and sail off into the sunset...

Lowering sails: Same as coming into the dock under sail.
1. Drop one sail whilst sailing close to the wind on the other.
2. Get the other one ready to drop (lines clear, etc.)
3. Drop the other sail in a rush when needed.

It's valuable experience and worth practising!
Sounds easy but you left out the part where you got away from the dock. How did you get from the dock to open water where you have space to unfurl and sail off into the sunset. How do you do this from a windward facing side tie in 15 kts breeze.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Once you're up to a close-reach with the jib, shouldn't be any trouble to raise the main with the sheet eased out, it'll luff for you.

That's how most of us reef and unreef, so a full raising or lowering shouldn't be that different.
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Old 09-23-2011
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If you are hoisting sail at anchor or on a mooring ball, this is a "piece of cake."

Simply raise the main WITH THE MAINSHEET EASED. Do not harden the mainsheet until you wish to sail. After the anchor is raised or you have cast off either fall back and raise / unfurl the genoa, or harden the mainsheet and start to sail and raise or unfurl the genoa.

At the dock a different story. In the ideal scenario you are either head to wind or the wind is blowing you off the dock. Raise the main while luffing the mainsheet. Harden the main and unfurl / raise the genoa. Sailing off a dock while being blown on is virtually impossible.

I often anchor / pick up balls with the main up. Then lower it with all hands once we are dug in / or attached.
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