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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
One trick for releasing the halyard slowly when the clutch is at the cockpit and you are at the mast is to stand on the exposed halyard routed on the cabin deck.
I sometimes do this thing where I open the clutch, put half of a wrap on the winch to turn the line and take it with me to the mast. The winch gives me enough friction on the line that I can pay it out at my leisure when gradually lowering the main.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

First, I hang all the sail ties around my neck. I ease the topping lift, to lower the boom enough so that I can reach it comfortably from the cockpit. Then I tighten the mainsheet, to limit the boom's ability to swing. Then I release the main halyard and let the sail drop to the deck. Then I stand on the cockpit seat at the aft end of the boom and pull the leech of the sail aft, and lay down a flake across the boom. It doesn't matter which side is flaked first. Then I pull the leech of the sail aft and lay down a flake on the other side of the boom. I lay flakes on alternating sides of the boom until about mid-boom, when I tie a sail tie, to hold it in place while I flake the rest of the sail. Occasionally, on a big boat, it is difficult for me to lay flakes on alternating sides by myself, because of the weight of the sail. In that case, I might lay 2-3 consecutive flakes on the same side. Alternating them isn't really that important, if the result is a neat, smooth sail.

I usually am singlehanded, and it only takes a couple minutes. I prefer to flake the sail before entering the marina, because it is usually cooler out on the water than in the marina. Also, if the sail is flaked neatly, it is much easier to move about the decks without trip hazards, when entering my slip. I have ez jacks, but usually don't use them, unless conditions are especially choppy. My boat is 35' masthead-rigged, and I have no difficulty doing the same on 40 footers.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

We use lazy jacks, but they are stowed off the mast and boom until the sail is to be dropped. Interference with hoisting is minimized this way. It is an 'extra' chore prior to dousing but not onerous.

We do as sailormon, with someone at the mast alternate the folds between slugs, then tug aft on the leech starting from aft on the boom.. the sail generally falls nicely into the jacks that way prior to applying sail ties. We also pull the reefing clew lines through to the gooseneck and store each coiled seperately in a fold in the main at the mast. This helps to 'stretch out' the main on the boom and almost 'auto flakes' the bottom section. It avoids coils of reefing line falling all over the cockpit during the hoist, but you do need to be careful that the reeflines can feed out cleanly during the hoist.

We also find that the sail 'self flakes' much better if there's reasonable apparent wind while dousing, so if there's room we'll motor at a fair speed upwind to drop the main.

Once tied down we re-stow the jacks. They do not spend enough time on the boom to worry about wear and chafe, and we are able to use a standard simple sail cover.
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  #14  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbetter View Post
I sometimes do this thing where I open the clutch, put half of a wrap on the winch to turn the line and take it with me to the mast. The winch gives me enough friction on the line that I can pay it out at my leisure when gradually lowering the main.
I used to do that on my old boat, but it doesn't work so well with the dodger on the new boat.

I found the stepping on the line trick by accident (literally "why can't we drop the main...oops, I'm stepping on the halyard"), but now use it intentionally.

My only experiences with lazy jacks have made me happy that I don't have them.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

Theres the traditional Lazy Jacks and theres EZ Jax and others similar to EZ Jax that are retractable. When raising the main sail they are stored along the mast and boom and don't interfere with the sail.

That said, I have raised the Main numerous times with the EZ Jax deployed with no issues, as long as your dead into the wind. Maybe its because I don't have a full battened sail? I don't get all the issues folks mention regarding their concerns with Lazy/EZ Jax

Dutchman system is also a notable mainsail handling system but I don't much care for them. Add to that, changing out those monofilment lines every few years is no fun, its also pricey for what you get IMO. A Bristol 35.5 I used to sail on had them.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

For a singlehander, wouldn't the Dutchman system be about the simplest solution?
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

probably, so would a furling mast or boom then again what i it gets jammed? UM
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
get a dutchman- then don't worry - be happy
Why put any extra holes in your sails.

We have the same setup with EZ Jacks as T37 does. Advantages of EZ jacks is that they retract to the mast vs. lazy jacks.

Two years ago we had similar difficulty with our NEW Quantum main with full battens. It took 11/2 years before their were fold memories in the sail. You couldn't just drop the sail into the jacks like Chuck said because it was so stiff it would stand upright.

It is a two person job for a while with lowering the halyard in increments and putting the fold in the sail as it comes down. Shawn's method works to a T.

Now 2 years later I can just drop it into EZ Jacks in one drop and it flakes really well. I singlehanded a lot so this makes it easy As was said the trick is to get the jacks tight.
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  #19  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Theres the traditional Lazy Jacks and theres EZ Jax and others similar to EZ Jax that are retractable. When raising the main sail they are stored along the mast and boom and don't interfere with the sail.
I've used both and didn't like either of them.

They don't flake the sail, they just drop it in a controlled pile. They make the sail bag a lot more annoying to deal with. If you can't retract them then battens sometimes catch on the jacks.

I understand the concept and thought they were cool when I first read about them, but they aren't for me.
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Re: Flaking the Main Sail

before deciding on the dutchman spoke to multiple sail lofts. consensus was there is more wear on the sail from a lazyjack system then the dutchman unless you are diligent about bringing everything forward on the jacks whenever the sail is up.then they slap on the mast. also the jacks actually add more windage and complexity. have a mainyard,topping lift and the dutchman. have the top end of the dutch set up with a line that can serve as a third halyard. Also with main down can bring all the monfilament forward so it doesn't interfere with putting the trysail up. we are a couple so sailing is always taking turns single handling. like not having the main flopping around when it's raised,reefed or struck. Can replace mono yourself.just fishing line. for me it means I can drop the main for a canal,lock or other situation where it needs to be down briefly without it being a big deal. also can set up the boat before going out and then do everything myself without getting stressed. did not want to go with in boom or in mast for multiple reasons and from past experience. guess we all develop biases from past experiences
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