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brokesailor 05-21-2013 04:52 AM

Flaking the Main Sail
 
One of my least favorite jobs is flaking the main after a sail. I have a new, stiff main. Even with lazy jacks it is quite the chore. Anyone have that magic bullet of tips to flake?

Minnewaska 05-21-2013 06:46 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
Agreed, not fun. Its a different experience on each boat, as deck access to the length of the boom is different. If you have the halyard at the mast, you just have to do it a few feet at a time and make the flakes large enough that they drape a bit and stay in place. I know, give it some wind or a boom that is moving and it can be a disaster. If the halyard clutches off in the cockpit, its a minimum two person job.

Lazy Jacks drive me nuts when raising the main, but they are useful to drop it, especially when shorthanded. You might just add a stack pack or equivalent to the bottom, so that you can just dump the sail into it, without bothering to flake and then just zip the stack pack over the top.

Alex W 05-21-2013 06:53 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
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. You could even install a cam cleat on the mast which holds the halyard there to make this easier. Harken has that recommendation here for the spinnaker halyard, but it would also work for the main:
http://www.harken.com/content.aspx?id=3912

The other is to flake it well at the mast (making sure to get the alternating flakes there), then fix it up at the far end of the boom from the cockpit. When I'm singlehanding it is hard to flake it properly at both ends by myself, but if I do the mast side first then it goes easily.

If you find it hard locating the right flake points at the far end then you could get them right once and mark them to make it easier to find them the next time.

Rhys05 05-21-2013 09:12 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
We gave up on flaking (no lazyjacks) pretty early on and now just roll the mainsail. Disadvantage being that it is almost definitely a two person job.

T37Chef 05-21-2013 09:44 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
I find it easiest and results in the best finished job if I alternate/flake it at the mast as I lower the main into the EZ Jax (a retractable version of Lazy Jax) and then once its down clean it up on the aft end of the boom by pulling the main aft and tidying up the folds. I tie it from the aft forward then lower/retract the EZ Jax and store them then throw the sail cover on and its done.

If theres a good bit of wind I just lower it fast and cover it before I get back to the slip so no one can see how bad a flake job I did :) LOL

DrB 05-21-2013 09:45 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhys05 (Post 1033179)
We gave up on flaking (no lazyjacks) pretty early on and now just roll the mainsail. Disadvantage being that it is almost definitely a two person job.

Your main must be bolt rope not slugs. I can't see how one would do this with slugs.

Rhys05 05-21-2013 09:46 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DrB (Post 1033198)
Your main must be bolt rope not slugs. I can't see how one would do this with slugs.

That is correct. Slugs would make it easier to flake and impossible to roll.

zz4gta 05-21-2013 09:58 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
I have slugs on my race main and roll it. I just pull it out of the mast track. Does take a little more time to hoist, but is easier to drop and reef. On my boat anyway.

chucklesR 05-21-2013 10:02 AM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
I normally just drop (have lazy jacks) then flake it well when I have time. Being a center cockpit I have a high boom that makes access to the sail aft a real climb. I almost need a step ladder at the mast.
I've found that really tight lazy jacks as well as a taunt outhaul make a big difference in keeping the sail on the boom.
A slow drop is just not an option more often than not because by the time I drop sail I can't just meander along pointing into the wind due to narrow or thin water and other traffic.

The idea of getting a good flake on it and then marking the main at the mast is a good one. Now I just have to get a good flake and a sharpie.

outbound 05-21-2013 12:20 PM

Re: Flaking the Main Sail
 
get a dutchman- then don't worry - be happy


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