Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
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Re: Sailing as a senior
[QUOTE=Minnewaska;2051626378]Making life easier aboard is the not the exclusive domain of the senior, it just becomes more necessary. Good you were ahead of the curve. No doubt it's one of the reasons you've kept her so long.
I'm thinking about whether I would want a Dutchman on a future boat. I like the system, especially the fact that one can retain a full battened, traditional main.
My only hesitation is whether the main would be too big to flake without the dutchman, which is the case now, with just my wife and me aboard. Any failure of our current furling system and the whole main must come down on deck and wait for calm conditions to correct. I can not flake it alone, while my wife is at the helm. The last time I did need to flake it and tie it to the boom, it took four of us. Two strapping 30 yr olds, plus me and my wife.
I've been thinking about boom furling the next go around, but they can fail too and can also be temperamental to furl. If the boom is not at exactly the correct angle to the mast, it will start to extend, as it rolls, like a bad carpet roll, and jam.
I wonder if there is anyway to suggest whether boom furling or the dutchman would be more reliable. Everything fails eventually. The Dutchman might be easier to correct, if it does fail, in a remote place.[/QUOTE
I have very very limited experience with other boats... raising, dropping, flacking, reefing and covering the main. So I can't compare one system to another. I can say this.
Dutchy is easy to repair and adjust... and inexpensive. Once the sail is "prepped"... the only fail would be the monofiliament.
Cisually you don't see it except from pretty close. Stack pack and lazy jacks you do.
Dutchy trains the sail to flake. It pretty much drops in correct flakes... All you do when it's down is:
Pull the leach aft a bit if necessary...
put on a few sail ties... not needed actually as the sail will not come off the boom. Ties permit a better fitting cover.
Cover needs to have slits and zips... no big deal... modify existing one.
Super for reefing as no sail spills onto the deck.
Our track has a bit too much friction so the weight of the sail will not drop it down onto the boom. A light breeze is a help.... more breeze helps more. Wife does forward and pulls the sail a bit and guides the flakes. Easy peasy but I don't let her go up there unless seas are calm... which means we do the drop clear of stink pots.
We have leach loaded full batts.... much easier to install than luff loaded ones.
No impact on sail shape or trim. Of course the sail maker has to properly install the grommets. Long foot means more lines. We had two we now have 3 with the last few mainsails.
Set it up and fiddle with lines etc. on calm day with main hoisted.
After than it's pretty bullet proof.
You can use single or double line reefing...
There are no noticeable chafe issues.
pay attention... someone's life depends on it