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Discussion Starter #1
I've been sailing the Hunter 335 a few days and find it particularly challenging.

1. It has a Dutchman and getting the sail down it tricky at best. The boom is two feet over my head. The only way to get my arms up to the boom is to tie it off to the side but even then it doesn't flake very nicely. The sail is new maybe it will take a set in time.,

2. Ten knots of true wind the boat is on the verge of needing a reef.

Any ideas short of yachworld to make this boat more manageable.

To douse the sail I need a driver, someone to control the lowering of the halyard and someone at both end of the sail.
I would like a better way.
 

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You do need to insure the "control lines" (the mono fishing lines) are either straight above or forward of the top fairlead for the dutchman to drop properly.
 

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Does it have an Auto Pilot? If so, That's your driver. Can't you just release the Halyard ( with a stopper knot) and walk up to the mast, or cabin top to help flake the sail? Perhaps the Dutchman needs some adjustment?

10 knots of True wind - reef ? What point of sail? What's the apparent wind speed ?
 

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My boat has everything led to the c0ckpit. If singlehanding, I control the sail dropping by stepping on the halyard with my foot before reaching down through the dodger to open the clutch. Then I alternately lift my foot to allow the sail to drop, and press my foot down to slow/stop the sail if I need to adjust the flakes. The sail is well broken in, so it flakes well when the monofilaments are tensioned properly and the boat is pointed into the wind. I have a wireless remote for the autopilot, so I can tweak heading from the boom to keep boat pointed perfectly into the wind. All this can be done singlehanded with proper technique.
 

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2. Ten knots of true wind the boat is on the verge of needing a reef.
In what way is it telling you to reef - heel, weatherhelm? You say it's a new sail, but it might not be designed, cut or fitted correctly. The rig might need tuning.

Has this always been the case with the boat?

Are you sure the anemometer is calibrated and 10kts isn't really 15 (unlikely because you would notice that difference)?

Mark
 

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New sail will require some "training". You must be directly into the wind and lower the sail slowly allowing it to flake, not just drop it. Stop and control the direction of the folding of the sail if it doesn't go in the right direction. I single hand my Cal 33 with a Dutchman system and have no problem lowering the main. It would be far more difficult without the Dutchman.
 

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My boat has everything led to the c0ckpit. If singlehanding, I control the sail dropping by stepping on the halyard with my foot before reaching down through the dodger to open the clutch. Then I alternately lift my foot to allow the sail to drop, and press my foot down to slow/stop the sail if I need to adjust the flakes. The sail is well broken in, so it flakes well when the monofilaments are tensioned properly and the boat is pointed into the wind. I have a wireless remote for the autopilot, so I can tweak heading from the boom to keep boat pointed perfectly into the wind. All this can be done singlehanded with proper technique.
Im confused....the lines are all lead back to the cockpit. It sounds like your procedure takes place on the coach roof?
cant you just drop the sail from the cockpit?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My boat has everything led to the c0ckpit. If singlehanding, I control the sail dropping by stepping on the halyard with my foot before reaching down through the dodger to open the clutch. Then I alternately lift my foot to allow the sail to drop, and press my foot down to slow/stop the sail if I need to adjust the flakes. The sail is well broken in, so it flakes well when the monofilaments are tensioned properly and the boat is pointed into the wind. I have a wireless remote for the autopilot, so I can tweak heading from the boom to keep boat pointed perfectly into the wind. All this can be done singlehanded with proper technique.
Cool tricks
 

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Im confused....the lines are all lead back to the ****pit. It sounds like your procedure takes place on the coach roof?
cant you just drop the sail from the ****pit?
On the roof. I could drop everything from the c0ckpit if I needed to in hazardous conditions. Under normal conditions, it is much quicker to stand at the boom and drop the sail about 10' at a time, ensuring that the flaking is happening correctly. There is always some luffing of the sail as it comes down, which can require manual assistance for proper flaking. Dutchman system makes flaking a lot easier (and keeps the sail from falling off the boom in an emergency douse), but it is never as perfect as the boat show demo that they do. Plus, I have to go forward to detach the halyard and deploy the sail cover anyway.

Likewise, I always go forward to raise the sail by pulling down on the halyard while my wife tails from the winch. Why crank and crank and crank when I can just pull the [email protected] sail up in a few seconds? I'm there anyway to attach the halyard.
 

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Lazy Jacks - or EZ-Jax!

Start the above video at the 5:00 minute mark to see how they work.

I built my own EZ-Jax knockoff and love it because: 1 - I can use a standard mainsail cover with no holes or slits. 2 - when raising the sail the jacks are not in the way. 3 - I can flake the sail easily.

To use them - Keep them retracted against the boom when underway or when the sail has been stowed. You deploy them just before you drop the main. After the main is down and secured, you retract them against the boom.
 

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I single hand my Legend 33.5 regularly....when she's not on the hard like she is now that is. I'm assuming this is the model being referred to by the OP. I don;t have a dutchman but I do have an autopilot and I drop the main using the same procedure that Take 5 mentioned. Typically don't reef until around 15 true unless the ladies are on board. The boat definitely needs a reef at 15 though. It's not going to sail flat close hauled at 10 true if that's what you're after. Of course it could be that I just don't know how to sail her properly and no way to know if I'm doing it wrong since I was self taught. On the other hand it could be that I don't actually know the true wind speed. Can't trust those dad gum wind instruments. They're almost as bad as weathermen. You just have to feel it man. If it feels like it needs a reef at 10....
Put in a reef. All what you get used to I suppose
 

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Afterthought...
If the headsail is 120 or larger you might want to think about rolling it in a bit before reefing the main. Not going to feel right between 10 and 15 if there is too much headsail. Kind of a balancing act.
 

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On the roof. I could drop everything from the c0ckpit if I needed to in hazardous conditions. Under normal conditions, it is much quicker to stand at the boom and drop the sail about 10' at a time, ensuring that the flaking is happening correctly. There is always some luffing of the sail as it comes down, which can require manual assistance for proper flaking. Dutchman system makes flaking a lot easier (and keeps the sail from falling off the boom in an emergency douse), but it is never as perfect as the boat show demo that they do. Plus, I have to go forward to detach the halyard and deploy the sail cover anyway.

Likewise, I always go forward to raise the sail by pulling down on the halyard while my wife tails from the winch. Why crank and crank and crank when I can just pull the [email protected] sail up in a few seconds? I'm there anyway to attach the halyard.
OK


On the roof. I could drop everything from the c0ckpit if I needed to in hazardous conditions. Under normal conditions, it is much quicker to stand at the boom and drop the sail about 10' at a time, ensuring that the flaking is happening correctly. There is always some luffing of the sail as it comes down, which can require manual assistance for proper flaking. Dutchman system makes flaking a lot easier (and keeps the sail from falling off the boom in an emergency douse), but it is never as perfect as the boat show demo that they do. Plus, I have to go forward to detach the halyard and deploy the sail cover anyway.

Likewise, I always go forward to raise the sail by pulling down on the halyard while my wife tails from the winch. Why crank and crank and crank when I can just pull the [email protected] sail up in a few seconds? I'm there anyway to attach the halyard.
Got it. I misunderstood when you said it was set up for singlehanding.

One of the purposes for leading everything back to the cockpit for us was to AVOID going to the coach roof when we both sailed or when I was single handing. It is safer that way. I didn’t want to depend on the autopilot and go on the coach roof .

I did a lot of single handing Haleakula in early days so less exposure on the coach roof was the goal. The sail with our EZ Jacks comes down flaked well enough that I would when by myself , or if it was windy, forgo putting the ties on till after I was docked/ anchored.

We have a Strong Track system for the main, 4 FULL battens, and my wife can pull our main up about 3 quarters of the way without using the winch and venturing out of the cockpit. no need to go to the mast to pull on the halyard. No need to winch it up the whole way. The key to this I found was having not only good turning blocks, but insuring their angles didn’t contribute to friction. In addition it makes lowering the main a piece of cake in fact when lowering we tend to do it hand over hand or it would come crashing down quickly. It took me a couple years to get the blocks perfected. It’s very effortless and frictionless.

Our reefing can also be accomplished from the cockpit solely.
We sail in wind/ rain too so it’s nice to avoid being exposed when we don’t have to.
 

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Lazy Jacks - or EZ-Jax!

Start the above video at the 5:00 minute mark to see how they work.

I built my own EZ-Jax knockoff and love it because: 1 - I can use a standard mainsail cover with no holes or slits. 2 - when raising the sail the jacks are not in the way. 3 - I can flake the sail easily.

To use them - Keep them retracted against the boom when underway or when the sail has been stowed. You deploy them just before you drop the main. After the main is down and secured, you retract them against the boom.
i second this. We have the EZ Jack system too. Have even replaced some parts already. It makes lowering the sails into the “cradle” safe, effortless , and neat . No extra holes in the sails or specialized cover. No replacing broken fishing twine. Nothing rubbing on the sail. Fool proof system.

we can even deploy the “jacks” from the cockpit.
 

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Note that the guy that was EZ Jax is out of business - with good reason. They are not difficult to design, or install without EZ Jax support.

I made my own with quarter inch diameter line. At the time I thought that I goofed by using line that was too thick, but 7 years later, they are working fine.
 

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To get back to OP's original questions, are you guys really suggesting that his problem will be fixed by ripping out his Dutchman system and replacing it with ezjacks (or some other knockoff)? I think that's a little extreme, especially since he has a brand new sail that has been cut with the Dutchman disks and pockets, which are a significant additional cost. Sounds to me like the sail just needs to be broken in.

I've used stack packs and ezjack-like systems on other boats, and I like my Dutchman system better. The main negative to me is that it's costly, but for those of us who inherited the system from previous owners, it's a great system because raising the sail is so much more straightforward if you have fully battened sails with some roach.

By the way, normal sail covers work fine with Dutchman. Specialized zippers or slits are NOT necessary. Just de-tension the topping lift and run the monofilaments forward and/or aft out the end of the cover.
 
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TakeFive is correct. With a new stiff sail, it takes a bit of time for the sail to be trained. After that it will drop and flake nicely.

For anyone deciding between a Dutchman or lazy jacks, they each have pluses and minuses. My current boat came with a Dutchman and I quickly came to love it. When I replaced the main a few years ago, going with a Dutchman again was not even a question. I have sailed on friend's boats with lazy jacks and don't like them nearly as much. Most of the negatives given for a Dutchman I have found to be complete non issues. Only valid ones are it does cost a bit more and putting the sail on at the beginning of the season is more comlicated.
 

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I have plastic sail slugs and a 3 line Dutchman with a 45' hoist. Lots of friction. My buddy with a sister ship put a separate track... feeds through the track gate and is low friction UHMW plastic track. His main drops on the boom like a lead sinker. I have to pull mine down and need help from the wind. Your problem is FRICTION.
 
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