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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I recently bought a '99 Hunter 420 with a Lazy Jack system. Second only to a furling main, I thought lazy jacks were supposed to make sail management a breeze! Instead, it's a real ordeal. It's hard to reach the sail on the boom because the boom is about 8 feet off the aft deck, and the bimini prevents reaching the boom amidship. So flaking the sail is incredibly difficult, and zipping the sail cover is equally so.:(

What I do now is drop the sail and wait till I'm in port. I use a stepstool and slowly work my way from back to front. Twice. The first round is to flake the sail and the second is to zip the cover. It takes forever and wears me out.

I'm not new to sailing, or flaking a sail. But managing the sail with the center cockpit configuration, high boom and that Hunter arch really takes the wind out of my sails!

So...can anyone provide some much needed advice?

thanks!


 

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This is why I usually have tall (6'+) crew aboard...since I'm short. :D

Is your mainsail a full-battened sail or only have partial battens. Also, how many legs does the lazyjack system on your boat have—two, three or four??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hi. thanks for responding.

I'm short too:(

It's a fully battened, roachy mainsail. Heavy Dacron sailcloth, too. ugh.

And the lazyjack system has 3 legs. Not sure where you're going with this..so I'm curious!
 

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Well, lazyjacks seem to work best with fully battened mains...and if the system doesn't have enough legs, the main tends to get fouled on the lazy jacks rather than dropping nicely into them. Can you post a pic of the main flaked on the boom with the lazy jacks...that would give me a lot more to work with,. :D
 

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Do you have battcars or any kind of sailtrack system on your main track? If the main comes down easily, it should pretty much flake itself, and all you should need to do is pull back some on the aft end of the sail to tighten it up. It's also possible that the previous owner didn't flake the sail well, so it has no "memory", to flake out properly when you lower it. Is the sailcover an integrated one, like the StackPack? If so, have you tried putting a tail on the zipper to pull it with?
 

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:D Look forward to the pix... then we might be able to help a bit more..
 

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Lazy Jack suggestions

Hi.

I am not an expert here... there are others that may know more than me, but I have owned three boats with them, and one with in-mast furling.

Don't just run to the inmast. It is easier than the LJ, but it has mixed results in a blow which could be dangerous. I have also noticed getting a lot better performance off of a "traditional" main system. I have the inmast now and like it, but if I could go back I would go with the Harken Battcar system or a in-boom furling. All that being said:

One responder said that the previous owner may not have "trained" the sail. That is my experience too. It takes a little while to make it flake like the pictures (and other experienced boats) flake. Here is how we did it... my wife would slowly drop the sail and I would stand about 1/4 way down the boom and force it to each side. We slowly dropped it, not fast. After a while, it set it.

Second, Try incresaing the tension on the LJ's. If they are too lose, the sail flops all over the place. If they are too tight, it will not lay out properly and can damage the gear. We set them where they would just barely loose when the sail was up but tight enough to flake the main when dropped. Incidentally, they will loosen over time and need constant maintenance.

Only drop the main when you are dead into the wind. The hunter 420 has a huge main... if it is blowing off the beam, your sail will follow off the boom. We also tied it off as soon as it hit the boom for that very reason.

What we hated about that system was the cars getting jammed in the track. Lubrication helped. Harken makes a good product... I think it is called Sail Lube... or something like that. They carry it at West Marine (it is expensive though, in my opinion)... keep your track lubricated as much as possible. Sorry I cannot remember the name of the lube, I do not use it anymore and the memory fades quickly with kids.

Hope that helps. I always found a little bit of swearing and beer made it look better too. Of course, I am sure I am the only sailor that has cursed his sails... well, maybe...

Take care. Fair winds.
 

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Take a look at Dutchman system

You might want to look around you marina for someone that has the Dutchman system and get a close look. Our first two boats had Lazy Jacks but our latest has a Dutchman. Raising is easier since the leech can't catch on anything like with the lazy jacks, and flaking is much easier too. On the downside there is more work when taking the main on and off the boat since the Dutchman threads thru the sail.
 

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Unfortunately, the Dutchman system has a few problems that LazyJacks do not. It makes removing the mainsail much more difficult, as it threads through the mainsail. It can cause chafe on the mainsail, and can't be pulled forward like lazyjacks can. It is a fairly expensive modification to the sail and topping lift.

I still prefer the simplicity of lazyjacks.
 

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Another thought(s)

A last thought or two:

I do not know what your last boat was or how much SA you carried on the stick, but I have found (short of IM or Boom Reefing) that large boats are all a pain to get the sails to drop like you think they should drop...

You also mentioned getting on the sail cover. We had a full dodger and bimini too. After you drop the sail AND GET IT TIED ON (very important or you will start over), pull the boom all the way to one side or the other. As I recall, you have a seat(s) on the stern rail (I am not a Hunter expert, but I think this is correct). Stand in them and lean over to get the back cover over the sail.

We also tied a loop in the sail ties (permanent) so that when you go to tie them on, all you have to do is run the bitter end through the loop and a couple of half-hitches with a quick pull loop to get them off. (I do not know if that made any sense... but that is the best I could explain it). Point being, when it is blowing, you are going to be slipping and sliding and holding onto the boom and everything trying to get the sail lashed. You need to find whatever system you can to do it quickly. The only time I ever thought I might actually die on my boat was going forward to lash off the main (at night) in a blow with large seas!! Not a fun experience.

If you cannot get any of that to work, well, may I suggest in boom furling??? easy for me to say at $8-$10k... but better than hating to go out and sail your boat. My guess is, you will figure it out and love it... especially when faced with spending a chunk of change on a IB furling!!!!!!!

You will get it!
 

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Removal easy

We have an Ericson 34 with a Dutchman system. I found the argument that I previously heard about difficult mainsail removal and installation to be a red herring. Removing the sail is a cinch. You just loosen one screw for each Dutchman line and then tug the fishing line back out of the guides in the sail. In our case there are two lines. Re-installing the mainsail is a little more effort than the removal since you actually have to thread the Dutchman line through the guides in the sail in the proper order from the top of the sail down, but it's really quite simple. The guides are several feet apart so their aren't very many to deal with. I'm going to mark the starting side of the first guide for each line so there's nothing to figure out next time I have to thread it. Once you thread through the first guide the rest is obvious.

There may be something to the wear issue. I have studied the system underway and I just don't see how there would be much if any wear induced by a properly adjusted Dutchman. With the sail raised, the Dutchman lines are slack so it isn't like there's any leverage against the sail material. We shall see.

On the plus side, I certainly don't miss having the battens catch on the lazyjacks when raising in rougher conditions with the sail flagging. Then when you do douse the main, flaking is easier since the sail is more restricted in it's collapsed movement on the boom.

From a simplicity standpoint it's hard to criticize the Dutchman either. It has much less rigging parts than the lazy jacks. It's true that the topping lift has to be converted from a single line into a closeline arrangement, but that makes it easy to replace the Dutchman lines if they wear out.

sailingdog said:
Unfortunately, the Dutchman system has a few problems that LazyJacks do not. It makes removing the mainsail much more difficult, as it threads through the mainsail. It can cause chafe on the mainsail, and can't be pulled forward like lazyjacks can. It is a fairly expensive modification to the sail and topping lift.

I still prefer the simplicity of lazyjacks.
 

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I guess that's all part of why I really hate dodgers and biminies, even if they are Real Nice when you're on the hook in bad wx. When the boom is unobstructed and reachable, you can release the main halyard, start pulling flakes on the boom as you go forward (releasing the line as you go) and by the time you are at the mast, it is all down, flaked, and tied.

All that extra Stuff...We need a Parrothead version of George Carlin's classic routine about "Stuff" !
 

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Cruisingdad said:
What we hated about that system was the cars getting jammed in the track. Lubrication helped. Harken makes a good product... I think it is called Sail Lube... or something like that. They carry it at West Marine (it is expensive though, in my opinion)... keep your track lubricated as much as possible.
There is a lube called McLube which is often used on the dinghy racing circuit - but is very expensive and actually doesn't last that long. I found that for my main track - which was VERY sticky - a solution that has worked to perfection is to clean the track with a small brass-bristled wire brush, and then to take an ordinary household candle (about 1" diameter) and rub it vigorously up and down the track such that it gradually softens and folds inside the track itself, leaving a coating of wax inside the track.

I have an external luff track that takes "T" shaped plastic lugs. This technique might be harder to use if you have a luff rope, but I'd definitely try it before spend loads of money on expensive an none-too-durable modern alternatives. All you need is a willing helper to belay you up the mast and then ease you back down again!

cheers,

Matt
 

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Another trick I've seen some of my friends use is to have a piece of sponge between the two top slugs or slides on the headboard of the mainsail that is soaked in silicone or Boeshield T9 that cleans/lubricates the track as it goes up and down the mast.

Boeshield T9 is great stuff for this, as it leaves a thin film of lubricant when it dries. McLube SailKote is also pretty good stuff and has the advantage of being safe to use on sails as well as the mast and slugs.
 

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A suggestion that might help deal with the sail when dousing is to use the reef lines. I douse to the first reef grommet, tighten that reef line, douse to the next reef grommet and tighten that reef line. We can reach the boom so I also neaten the flacking each time before dropping the sail further.
 

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McLube is supposed to be Krytox (an exotic expensive son-of-teflon like $10 per pounce) dispersed in white paraffin wax, which makes it less expensive and less effective. And the wax is the reason that it wears off, although some Krytox stays behind. That makes it pretty much self-cleaning and since neither component will "soak" into sails, it won't stain them.

Pretty nice stuff even if it is still too expensive to use it as a *cleaner*. Also, it isn't a particularly good cleaner since it isn't loaded with solvents.<G>

The same type of product (krytox in wax) is supposed to be available at some bicycle shops, where they use it as a gear chain lubricant that doesn't pick up lots of dirt.

Putting a section of line or rag into the sail track, and attaching the halyard and a downhaul so you can haul it up and down to clean the track with some solvent, is good medicine. Burrs, loose pop-rivets, all sorts of things can make the sail/cars hang up so sometimes it is also worth going aloft SLOWLY and eyeballing and brushing in the track, too.
 

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Pack-It

We have a 42 foot Center cock pit Endeavour, you cannt get any worse than that for main sail recovery :) My wife is 4'11" and I am 5'8" so that makes it worse.
Then we have a Doger with full Bimini enclosure, It's like, Booom ? What Boom ? you cannt even see it let alone tie a sail to it.
Solution....
We have a System similar to the Doyle Stack Pack BUT it is not sewn to the sail, it is seperate from the sail. Banks Sail Makers did it for the PO but never finished it. If you ever work with a sailmake, dont pay them till the job is done. Anyway.....Now that we have corrected the inventors mistakes I can drop the sail anytime I want, as long as I head into the wind and it drops like a rock into the bag and thats it, period, nothing else to do, And when we get back to the dock or anchorage, I step up on the mast steps and pull the string to sip it up.
this is as far as I know the best system for us cruisers that dont want to spend the money or for some personal reasons dont like in mast-in boom systems.
I dont like the doyle being sew to the sail.
I can pull my bag/cover of the boom with out removing the sail :) or pull the sail with out pulling the boom. there are several differnt ways you can do it. Talk to your sail maker....
But its really made my main sail storage very easy .
 
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