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I have been interested in installing a Dutchman system for my sailboat. Do you have any suggestions that might help me minimize silly mistakes?

Thanks

David Wild
 

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Thanks John I have passed this on to my Sail repairer.
Dave with regards the Dutchman when purchasing you get a very good installation guide with tips on fine tuning
Regards Paul
 

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I have been interested in installing a Dutchman system for my sailboat. Do you have any suggestions that might help me minimize silly mistakes?

Thanks

David Wild
Hi David, Are you asking about the mainsail flaking system (akin to lazy jacks), or one of the other Dutchman products?
 

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Thanks guys for your interest. The system I am interested in is the Dutchman Mainsail lowering system or similar. I have a 33' boat with a 3/4 rig so whilst not a huge boat the main can be a bit of a handful if short on numbers or experience. It's also really windy here. 25 knots is a normal summer afternoon breeze. So while the boat is not huge a boom flapping about could really hurt somebody. I don't like hurting crew, even inexperienced ones, so safety is a big concern.

It will be a week or so before I am in front of a computer again, but would love any advice as to whether lazy jacks or Dutchman is the way to go.
 

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Hi Dave,

I have had both Harken Lazy Jacks and the Dutchman Mainsail flaking system. Dutchman is on our current boat.

While there are pros and cons to both systems, if I had to state a preference it would probably be for the more traditional lazy jacks. The Dutchman system works reasonably well, but in my experience it takes a fair bit of tweaking to make it work as advertised.

Another consideration is that the Dutchmen system requires that the mainsail be modified with a series of holes through which the monofilament flaking lines can pass. This is not a big deal if you are ordering a new mainsail anyway. If you are retrofitting an existing sail, you could maybe do it yourself if you're handy, however it is often best to have a sailmaker familiar with the system make the modifications. Proper placement and alignment of those holes is key to the system working.

Whereas a typical lazyjack system does not require any modifications to the sail.
 

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I really like my Dutchman

I'm a fan of the Dutchman furl/flake, it is a slick system, although to be honest, I have not used lazy jacks. I didn't find Dutchman that hard to adjust, and once adjusted, it stays adjusted. We have a 46 foot boat, and the sail just flakes down almost on its own and lies there on top of the boom waiting to be tied off. We usually neaten things up as we tie off the stops.

We also have full battens, and I think this works particularly well with Dutchman.

The only thing I need to do is slack off the topping lift when the sail is up, (to keep it from distorting the sail shape) and tension it before the sail goes down (to keep the vertical lines tight which holds the sail right in the middle of the boom.

It does require the sail cover be modified to fit it. That can run up the cost. In my case, I needed a new cover at the same time I got a new sail, (higher stack height) so it was not a huge deal.
 

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Here is another vote for the Dutchman. I have it on my Caliber 33 - I needed new sails and a new cover anyway so I went with the Dutchman system while I was at it. It works great and like Taylor says above the sail just falls right into perfect flakes ready to be tied off. I like it better than lazy jacks but I have to say the mack packs I have had on charter boats in the past were pretty easy to use too
 
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