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post #11 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

It is possible to raise the main without going head to wind on most boats. Won't be as easy as head to wind with the slugs completely unloaded and the sail flogging to shake them loose. It's not as easy off the wind but as long as the heading isn't so far off the wind that the sail is against the spreaders it's doable especially if you have a winch. If you are anchored or on a mooring makes more sense to raise the main before turning loose the mooring buoy or raising the anchor as you will usually be head to wind unless the tidal race is stronger.

Keep your Lazy Jacks stowed against the mast and you won't have any issues with them snagging a batten. Even head to wind Lazy Jacks will snag a batten so keep them out of the way run forward to the mast.
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post #12 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

Boy my opinion of the sailing skills of a few here has just went down a bit.

Raising the main as described in the OP is not very difficult, and is the normal way that singlehanders do it. Real sailors don't need to turn on the iron jib every five minutes to reef, raise, or lower the mainsail. I can do it in 25 knots of wind without any difficulty singlehanded, without the motor. It is no more likely to catch battens on the lazy jacks than when motoring straight into the wind. Also, if you have anything more than 100% for a headsail, it is easy to point the boat well into the wind. I can get mine to 35º or better, and mine is a semi-fullkeeled boat with attached rudder.

You guys/gals need to get out there and sail more often. Learn some *sailing* skills, not *motoring* skills - they are sailboats for Pete's sake!
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post #13 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

'I can do it, if you can't, you should sail more......' Should have seen that face slap coming.

I think all valid points have already been made. The OP should give it a try in all conditions and report their experience back. I have no doubt they'll find a pitching boat in 5 ft seas, with 25 kt winds, will be different than in a calm harbor with 8 kts of breeze. Lazy jack interference can also be variable between boats, sail size/shape, batten placement, etc.

While it doesn't seem applicable to the OP's setup, I'll generically add that in-mast furler changes this dynamic. You can not (should not, even if you have powered winches to force it), pull the main out on the opposite side it furls from. IOW, if the sail has to bend around the mast slot, the friction on the sail can be massive, especially in stronger winds. On the other hand, 5-10 degrees of wind from the correct side, can actually make it easier than unfurling straight back. Not so sure about full on sailing at 40 degrees off the wind. If you can't truly ease the boom far enough to fully luff the main, I'm sure I would never get the outhaul tight enough. Haven't tried it. Don't plan to. My manhood is not threatened by running the motor for a few minutes.
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post #14 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

A lot of good points and suggestions as to how it can be done, but from my perspective and experience it is just easier to raise the main first with the boat in a more stable condition. We always are leaving a slip in a harbor with the motor on anyways, on our way out of our protected harbor. Once the main is up it's just easier to unfurl the headsail from the cockpit. Here is the Great Lakes(USA) that is how it is done, by tradition and experience. There are other ways as suggested, but this is the easiest, and easiest to control the conditions. Every boat is set up a little, or a lot different, and results will vary boat to boat as to how well each way and order of raising sails can be done.


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post #15 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

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Originally Posted by tschmidty View Post
Because you probably already have the motor on. The other big point is trying to get going to weather under jib alone would be pretty difficult, if even possible.
Our boat sails very, very well to weather under Yankee jib alone. We often sail to anchor under headsail alone, rolling it up a few rolls every tack until its just a handkerchief by the time the anchor drops.
We almost always put up the headsail first when we go sailing, as we can put it up on any wind angle and don't have to worry about an uncontrolled jibe. Then, once we are out in the weather we can decide how much main to put up.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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post #16 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

We routinely do this. It’s really no issue. On our boat tricks that help.
Use solent not genoa.
Get as close to wind as possible but with decent headway. For us that’s about 40 degrees apparent.
Ease maint sheet and Vang all the way but tighten topping lift which also tightens the Dutch man.
Open all reef clutches and pull out some excess to decrease friction.
Raise main.
Ease Dutchman.
Get rid of lack in reef lines
Sheet in main.
Set Vang where you want it.
Find a bit of backstay before you start may make it easier.
Think the big advantage of a Dutchman is this evolution and reefing becomes easier as the main is controlled.

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post #17 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

It’s not uncommon to run under a jib alone in strong winds. Then need to have some main to get balance if you’re going to change point of sail.
It’s very worthwhile to learn to do this without an engine. Both to full main but more importantly to your reef points.

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post #18 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
the rule of thumb is to raise the mainsail first and lower it last, because it makes sense logically and it's rationale has been re-proven by generations of sailors.
Your generations of sailors did not have roller furling sails so their experience may be considerably different than that of modern-day sailors.
Might I point out that if you are sailing off or on the anchor, the above practice could land you in a world of hurt?
After you have dropped your anchor, sailboats usually fall off as they fall back and the mainsail can fill and propel the boat into another boat, unset the anchor and/or drag the anchor along the bottom if enough scope has not been laid.
Picking up the anchor, once again the boat will fall off and the main can fill before you are ready to sail. This is especially true of boats with swept back spreaders and cats that can't ease the main out as far as a standard rig.
For those of you wanting to sail off or onto your anchor, try using the jib for both maneuvers and you might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.
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post #19 of 61 Old 08-22-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Raise main under sail?

Just want to thank everyone for the great discussion. The real origin of this question was of course tucking/shaking a reef under sail on a 39i earlier this summer, and then something that happened after that:

I took my daughter and her friends out in early July, and we motored for a long time while slowly getting the main up (to the equivalent of one reef) in decently big winds and seas, getting all of them thoroughly seasick in the process and actually setting of the temp alarm on the volvo just as we got the main all the way up because we were working so hard (and I need to scrape my prop). We had a great sail, then left for a US visit for a month.

I thought nothing of it till we came back to the boat two weeks ago, and couldn't sail because the tank was nearly empty (marina's diesel pump is broken)! I had used a lot more diesel - ok, maybe a couple liters - that day than I realized. Truth is, I was close to running it empty, and I didn't have a reserve.

So aside from resolving to keep a jerry can with some extra, I was being my usual cheapskate self and thinking about how much we used, since under normal conditions the 20L day tank will last months.

I will hopefully play around on Friday morning and let the class know how it goes :-)

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post #20 of 61 Old 08-22-2018
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Re: Raise main under sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Your generations of sailors did not have roller furling sails so their experience may be considerably different than that of modern-day sailors.
Might I point out that if you are sailing off or on the anchor, the above practice could land you in a world of hurt?
I'm not that old Capta. Roller furlers were reportedly invented in 1907, and have been commonplace throughout my sailing experience.

I used the expression "Rule of Thumb" as opposed to "Hard and fast rule." I have never been one to blindly follow a rule to it's illogical conclusion despite different conditions that suggest compelling reasons to vary from it. More often than not, keeping an open mind will prevent one from "landing in a world of hurt."

The OP was about reefing, not sailing on or off an anchor.
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