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I sail a 23'' O''Day with a hanked jib. When the wind picks up I often like to just drop the jib and sail with the main. When I come into the harbor to pick up my mooring I also like to keep the main up in case the outboard stalls but I want the jib down so I can see where I am going. Also it''s no fun having a wildly luffing jib up. If I have crew I usually turn into a run or a broad reach an let someone go forward to pull pull the jib down. What is the best way to do this when alone? Is it safe to tie down the tiller on a run and leave it untended while I go forward? Is it better to try a "Rod-Stop" with the boom out to leeward on a preventer. This, if I understand it properly, leaves the beam exposed to the waves and would permit considerable rolling. In a heave to position dropping the jib while backed seems difficult. What is the best way to do this?
 

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I was always taught where possible to drop the sails when headed into the wind that way they at least fall into the boat.When sailing my 30'' boat s/h (which has a large m/h genoa)I luff almost to the wind,ease the sheet to take strain off luff and assuming you have halyard to hand drop it.Most of it lands on deck.Make fast the sheet to hold the jib on deck,nip forward with a tie and remove the halyard to prevent it pulling the sail up again.Usually works unless its blowing so hard you should not be out there anyway...Jim
 

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Tying off the tiller while you bounce around on (or off) the foredeck can have bad results. The safest thing to do might be to rig a downhaul for the jib. With a line attached to the halyard shackle and led through a block at the tack fitting and then aft to the cockpit, you should be able to throw off the halyard and then pull the jib down without leaving the cockpit. You might be able to use the downhaul line to hold the lowered jib in place on deck by lifting your end of the line over the bunched sail and then hooking the line under a guy hook or other fitting further aft, before cleating it off. You''ll have to figure out where the hooks would need to go, but it''s a lot safer than wonderding how long you can tread water while the boat sails on.
 

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Amen on the idea of installing a downhaul. Sounds like the perfect answer for the single-handed sailor. Although I have a roller-furled jib (also an option), I have a downhaul on the main on my Newport 27 so as to avoid the walk to the mast on those blowy, choppy days.
 

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Maybe this looks like a pile on but I am a strong believer in jib downhauls with hank on jibs. Besides it sure makes life easy to be able to just let go of the halyard and know it won''t go up the mast. Also, if you must leave the helm, its better to put the boat on a beat or hove to. Most boats will short tack upwind with only the mainsail sheeted. If you want to stay put, and don''t plan to drop the jib, its pretty easy to hove to. I hove to to make lunch or use the head. (unless its light winds and there''s no one around at which point I put the boat on a close reach or beat.

Jeff
 

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When I had my Catalina 25, I ran a small line tied to the head with a bowline through all the hanks, througha block at the baase and back to cokpit, release halyard and pull and sail comes down till you can tame it later
 

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While I am not sure where and how you use the boat I would get a tiller pilot. They really don''t use much power at all and make single handing a joy.

You can call up Navico or Autohelm and ask for a refurbished one and get a really good model that way at a big discount.

The way to use it is to sheet the jib in really hard and then steer the boat (with the autopilot or crew) so that the sail will drop inside the lifelines (if you have lifelines). If not steer a little higher and drop it closer to the center.

While the boat motors into the wind on autopilot you go forward and let the halyard out a little at a time as the sail stacks inside the lifelines. once it is down there most sails even deck sweapers will stay there with a little help. Some boats rig light lines on the lifelines to keep the sail inside.

Yea, get a autopilot. Then you can get yourself food while the boat sails. What''s better than that?
 

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Sorry for posting os late but this one enterests me.

I sail a J22 on Barneget bay and was challenged with this issure last year when my wife decided to take a nap. I leanned that as long as you are in light winds alls you have to do is head hard up wind, trim/over trim the main, cleat the main sheet, ease the jib, drop the tiller, drop the jib halyard, then go forward and pull the jib down. As long as the jib sheets are eased and not completly dropped, the jib should stay put until you pull it down. The tiller will tack back and forth autometically in due the main''s position. The boat will tack a few time and make verry little head way. I''v never done this in anytning over about 10 kt''s of wind but I''ll bet it will work up to about 18 Kt.
 

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I have a hanked jib on my Rhodes 19, which I lower under way when approaching the mooring.(I have no motor). I agree that the best way to douse it is to head up, cleat the main sheet hard, and go forward. This works in up to 15 -18 kts. The boat is "almost " in irons, so you don''t go very far. Give yourself some room anyway. I hurry forward, jib halyard in my left hand, an pull in the sail as it comes down. I wrap it in the sheets, tie around a cleat, crawl back to the mast and tie off the halyard. All set until I''m moored. Works every time - except on the days it doesn''t!
 

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Terry,
This is so late you may never read it, but here goes anyway.
I singlehanded a 24 Columbia for two years cruising nearly 5000 miles. I tried the downhaul routine and had limited success. The downhaul line would hang-up occasionally when raising the sail, and with all the stuff I had onboard for cruising, it always seemed to be underfoot or rolling out from under foot is more like it. So, I took it off.
The safest way to lower the headsail on any vessel that is being sailed short-handed is to heave-to. With the head sail backwinded, ease the sheet enough to allow the sail to come down. Now you have a stable platform to go forward, pull down the sail, tie it to the lifelines with lines that are tied there just for this purpose, and walk back to the cockpit.
The sheets aren''t flogging. The clew isn''t trying to bean you. And, it isn''t nearly as noisy.
Tom S.
 

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Headman has the most seaman-like advice, and if I were rigged for cruising or had an obstructed foredeck, that''s what I''d do. But we daysailors can get by with something a bit less. . .
I''ve had a snag or two with a downhaul, but it''s always been from me being in a hurry to get out of the slip and not preparing it properly.
I have a small boat and no lifelines, so if I don''t get my sail on the foredeck, it gets wet and I look clumsy. I go with the downhaul. Even if your halyard is at the mast (not run to the c-pit), you don''t have to go very far away from the cockpit for any length of time.
Being hove-to lets you forget about the tiller AND provides the tight windward jibsheet necessary to keep your sail from going over the lee rail. And the downhaul makes sure that the head of the sail doesn''t catch wind and lift up, so you don''t have to go all the way forward to wrestle with it.
Then, do as much housekeeping on the foredeck as you''re comfortable with as your boat short-tacks back and forth. Plenty of room, and no traffic? tie the sail down or stuff it. Tight quarters? Let''er lay, and get back to the tiller.
 

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I sail by myself a lot. Last year I used a downhaul and was happy with it, but I have this idea that the downhaul and the halyard could be spliced into a continuous loop. When the downhaul goes up the halyard is coming down and vise versa. This would eliminate having to deal with the tails of these lines. The only problem I see is making a splice between the 3/8" halyard and 1/4" downhaul that would run smoothly through a couple of fairleads going to the bow. I''m going to rig it up this winter and give it a try next season.
 

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terryny,
I rigged a down haul on my Macgregor 26. The downhaul runs through the hanks and I haven''t had it hang up or wind around the head stay. When I tighten both jib sheets to bring the jibfoot to the centerline, drop the jib and tighten the halyard shackle down with the downhaul, my jib doesn''t go anywhere. If it starts to inflate in a strong wind, I confess I do go forward and throw a bungee cord or two around it, but this is not usually necessary.
The jib downhaul leading back to the cockpit does roll awkwardly underfoot sometimes and I''ve considered making a continuous loop halyard/downhaul just to control the ends and keep the downhaul from running back across the deck to the cockpit. But I''ve never felt there was much need to get that intricate.
I suppose what I might do is lower the jib and mark the halyard below the cleated end, then raise the jib and bring the end of the downhaul back to the halyard cleat and mark that, you could simply tie the two ends together in a suare knot and cut off the excess. That would give you the minimum amount of linefor your loop, then (instead of running the excess loop back through fairleads to a cleat at the cock pit) I would just coil the extra line and hang it from the halyard cleat.
Billmac26, let me know how you do with your loop downhaul.

Chas.
 

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Modified jib down haul. If you want more control of the jib. Instead of just a downhaul that pulls the jib to the deck. You can run the down haul line up to a turning ring mounted at the perependicular point from the jib clew to the forestay. The line goes out to a small turning block attached to the clew and back to the ring where it continues on up the forestay to the head of the jib.

You then have options. If you want you can bunch the jib onto the forestay by pulling in the dousing line without releasing the halyard. If you release the halyard the dousing line will ball up the jib at the base of the forestay. Just make sure you leave enough line so the dousing line does not interfere with the operation of the jib.
 

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Have you ever actually done that? It would seem like it would really be hell on the sail but also one of the key things about a downhaul is that the sail needs to be free to ''flag'' or there is too much friction on the hanks for the sail to come down easily. I think that a brailed sail, which is what you are loosely describing would be next to imposible to drag to the deck.

Jeff
 

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I only use a down haul. Mine is not rigged to brail the sail. The person who suggested the change does it all time. He claims once the sail is pulled in it comes down quite nicely and balls up loosely on the foredeck.

I have no idea what shape his sails are in, but is it really that much tighter than it would be stuffing the sail into a foredeck bag.
 

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I tried this Quick braile idea last year and it just seemed to create too much friction to work for me. Maybe it would work better on a smaller sail, or maybe some tinkering would make it work, but I gave up on it pretty quickly.
 
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