Too difficult to get the headsail in.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 06-11-2018 Thread Starter
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Too difficult to get the headsail in....

I am racing on a Lancer 36 with a 130% headsail. Currently on a port tack it is very difficult to get the headsail in. It takes throwing my entire body weight (215 lbs) against the winch handle. I have yet to be able to completely get the sail in. I am trying to figure out what is causing the issue. I have had a few other racers look at it and they have not been able to provide anything conclusive. Hoping by opening it up to the community I may get some additional ideas.

It does seem that there is way too much pressure in the system. I have had 3 high load blocks blow up on my this month, including the block built into the end of the genoa track!

Here are some current ideas:
- Sheet is too large. Going to try a smaller sheet during tonight's race
- Angle of the sheet from the car is bad. The block at the end of the track doubles back. I have tried running from the car directly to the winch with a 50(ish) degree angle and it still is too difficult.
- Winches are too small. The winches are Lewmar 42. Recently cleaned and lubed. They are working smoother than ever before.

What other thoughts can you all come up with that I could put to the test?
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post #2 of 32 Old 06-11-2018
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

This happens ONLY on a port tack? No such problems on stb?

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post #3 of 32 Old 06-11-2018
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

Ensure that the roller sheave in the sheet lead spins freely and has not become misshaped about the pin by wear such that it would "wobble" under load or hang up. From your comment I assume your sheet runs to turning blocks aft of the winches and then forward to the winch. Insure that the sheave there spins freely and does not wobble about the race due to worn bearings. A #42 for a sail of that size on a 36 foot boat should be more than adequate for free running line over fair leads.

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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
This happens ONLY on a port tack? No such problems on stb?
Correct, which makes it even more strange to me.
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Ensure that the roller sheave in the sheet lead spins freely and has not become misshaped about the pin by wear such that it would "wobble" under load or hang up. From your comment I assume your sheet runs to turning blocks aft of the winches and then forward to the winch. Insure that the sheave there spins freely and does not wobble about the race due to worn bearings. A #42 for a sail of that size on a 36 foot boat should be more than adequate for free running line over fair leads.

FWIW...
Hmm, misshaped pins or bearings could certainly make sense. That is something nobody has brought up yet. Is there an easy way to check for that?
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

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Originally Posted by blobaugh View Post
The winches are Lewmar 42. Recently cleaned and lubed. They are working smoother than ever before.

What other thoughts can you all come up with that I could put to the test?

Did you end up with any spare parts when the winches were cleaned and lubed?

In order to test that winch. Try cross sheeting the jib sheet. Give the sheet a half wrap on the starboard winch (just enough to direct it across to the port winch. Use the port winch to bring the sail in on a port tack. If you have no problem bringing in the sail on the port winch, your problem is in the Stbd winch.
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post #7 of 32 Old 06-11-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

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Did you end up with any spare parts when the winches were cleaned and lubed?
Haha! No, there were no "spare" parts. I will try cross sheeting and see if that helps anything. Oddly enough though the stb winch seems to move smoother than the port winch. Just making this issue all the stranger.....
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

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Haha! No, there were no "spare" parts. I will try cross sheeting and see if that helps anything. Oddly enough though the stb winch seems to move smoother than the port winch. Just making this issue all the stranger.....
Did you stick all the leftover parts in the Stbd or port winch? Let us know how it works out for you.

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post #9 of 32 Old 06-11-2018
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

At this point, I'm a bit confused about which blocks you broke.
If there was no difference when you went from the gene track sheet block directly to the winch, then it can't be the turning block. If you've just replaced the gene track sheet block, then that also shouldn't be the problem.
I have to assume that the sail isn't getting hung up on a stanchion or the rig, for that would be fairly obvious. So, that pretty much leaves the winch, I would think. If you are in a slip, ease your dock lines a bit, attach a line to a dockside piling or cleat and pull the boat with that winch.
I have had the aluminum frame on a winch swell up from corrosion and really make turning the drum difficult, but that's an extremely rare occurrence, I believe.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #10 of 32 Old 06-11-2018
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Re: Too difficult to get the headsail in....

in keeping with svHyLyte's Comment, as a proof, If visual inspection doesn't reveal anything, try switching the turning blocks one at a time. If the problem appears on the Starboard side then you've narrowed it down to a block.
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