Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NE & Windwards
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Re: Tips From the Pros
Have done this trip back and forth with the seasons since 2013. We have a Dutchman. Kind of a PIA to set the tensions on the fishing line just right (ours are attached to the topping lift). Pretty much precludes the use of a trysail so we have a deep third reef. Requires some attention to retighten the topping lift before messing with reefs or hoists.
That said allows one crew to hoist, reef or drop the main by himself from the comfort and safety of the cockpit. This can be done without needing to turn the engine on and heading into the wind. As long as you have wind before the mast and have let out the main enough you’re good to go.
Wife doesn’t like it because it’s a pain to put on (take off) the mains cover. There’s a slit for each fishing line which means a lot of fasteners. So for when you’re not putting on/taking off the cover everyday it’s a joy.
Found some tricks with the main and Dutchman set up.
We have single line reefing for the first two reefs and double for the third. The single line is a PIA. However if you tighten the topping lift enough that the aft end of the boom rises, slowly drop your main while taking up the reef line slack you get a good shape to the main. Nice and tight and flat. Given the Dutchman keeps the main totally under control this gives you no stress time to see the clew tightens first and then the tack.
Down is usually a 8-12 day trip. Back is a bit shorter and usually easier. I haven’t done this trip without crew. Still it’s nice to be able to handle the boat yourself. The Dutchman makes this easier to do. Would note until I have full confidence in my crew I’m on deck for changes in sail plan.
Last edited by outbound; 06-29-2019 at 08:19 AM.