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I read an article on Lazy Jacks in the latest Good Old Boat. Seems like a good idea to me...any time my wife or someone else doesn't have to go forward (on Lake Superior, where you have about 10 minutes at best even in summer before hypothermia does you in) seems like a good idea to me.

Our jib is hanked, we've already rigged a downhaul for it. Theoretically, lazy jacks seem to be a good way to get the main down in a fairly orderly and reasonable way so that it's contained above the boom.

Those of you who have (or have had) these, what do you think?
 

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Hello,

My boat has lazy jacks and I like them very much. My next boat will definitely have some way of controlling the main when I lower it.

My previous boat was 28' in length and had a smallish main. I didn't have Lazy Jacks on that one and it wasn't too bad to flake the main without. I would not want to have to lower the main without the lazy jacks on my current 35' boat.

Barry
 

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I've sailed with and without lazy jacks. I like them a lot. It just keeps sailcloth and lines from being everywhere on deck when dropping the main.

Gerhard
 

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corny...

We have Lazy Jacks on our 12.5ft long boom. There are two lines on each side; three would be much better and four would be ideal.

The Lazy Jacks are great when lowering the main, especially if you're "in a hurry".

They're a bit of a pain when raising the main; you have to be headed into the wind to make sure the battens don't foul the lines.

And, as Jim mentioned, it takes a bit more work to put the sail cover on.

Paul
 

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I have been a racing sailor for many years before "seeing the light" and buying a cruising boat a little while ago. I have never used Lazy Jacks but I imagine that if set up well they would be very helpful. Is there any body out there who has used a "Dutchman" system. It seems like a good idea but I would love to hear from somebody with experience. I think that if it works it would flake the main as it lowers, but does it work? I've seen a video put out by a manufacturer which looks ok, but it is on a model about 8 feet high on land with no wind. What about in the real world?(cold, tired, boat bouncing around, wind from wrong angle,inexperienced crew, as equipment gets older,etc)
 

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I have Lazy Jacks on my boat and use them only when dropping the main. They are helpful if installed correctly. Mine can be raised and lowered and the installation is such that the starboard one always hangs up on the winches mounted on the mast, so someone has to go forward to raise them. This can be fixed if the tops are not mounted on the mast, but on one of the lower struts, typically where deck lights are mounted. This creates a "V" shape which makes funnelling the main onto the boom easier. After I get back to the dock, I can lower the Lazy Jacks so putting on the sail cover is not an issue.
 

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YES!!!!!!
I installed lazy jacks from a company called EZ Jax and they are one of the best things I have spent money on. I solo a lot and these make it so easy. Also, they retract when not in use and so they fit under your sail cover and stay out of sight.

BTW I have no commercial interest in that company, I just love the product.

Do it.

Cheers, Bill
 

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I have Dutchman system on my Catalina 30 tall rig. While not perfect, it does let you drop sail fast if you need to, and controls the sail on the boom.
 

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Mixed feelings. They can be a pain when raising the main and can be handy when sailing shorthanded.

On our Sigma 33 with a loose luff (meaning the sail does not stay attached to the mast when lowering) you couldn't do without them when sailing singlehanded.

I made my own system with some lines and simple clamps so I could pull the lines along mast and boom so they didn't interfere with the main while hoisting it. I simply put them in place just before lowering the main (short trip to the mast required) and stowed them again after I flaked the sail to keep it on the boom for storing under its cover.

I hate the systems you find on most charter boats; no matter what you try the battens always get in the lines of the lazy jacks.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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I have removed them from two boats as they are an absolute pain in the neck if you care to take care of your sails or if you sail shorthanded.

On the first point, arguably the single fastest way to kill a sail is to bunch it up every time you drop it. On my boats I have always carefully flaked the sails on the boom, laying the fabric out neatly to avoid crimping. It is nearly imposible to flake the sail neatly with lazy jacks in place so I ended up removing them when it came time to flake the sail.

But the bigger problem was dealing with raising and lowering the sail with lazy jacks in place when you are short-handed. If I raised the sail with the lazy jacks in place, the battens almost always got hung up on the lazy jacks.

Of course I could and did move the lazy jacks to the mast before I raised the mainsail, but then I was stuck trying to attach the 6 lines of the lazy jacks to the boom while the sail was up which is actually far more onerous than flaking the sail with the sail on the deck. (especially when one of the lines got away from me and I had to go up in a bosin's chair to retrieve it.

And frankly the Lazy jacks had to be removed when I was sailing anyway as they distorted the sail shape no matter how much I eased them.

I also found it easier to move the lazy jacks to the mast rather than have a custom mainsail cover, but of course that meant the jacks tended to slat if not tied off.

If you really feel a compulsion to complicate your life in order to make it incrementally easier, then I would suggest that you consider a Dutchman system which at least does not have to be removed to raise and flake the sail and which actually works pretty well to preserve the sail.

Jeff
 

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I have sailed on a few boats with lazy jacks. Two of them are 70ft + schooners. HUGE help there. So, I also put them on my Pearson 30. Also a vast improvement over none. I made my own and installed them for under $100 (including all of the mounting hardware). It took about 4 hours for everything. They are a very simple, retractable system. If you want more info on how to make them, PM me.
________
Glass Pipes
 

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We retract our lazy jacks after the sail is down and tied up. They stay that way until shortly before sail comes down on next sailing. No problem putting the sail up. When we are done sailing for the day, we let go of jacks from their retracted position on mast, we go to a port tack briefly to set up jacks nice and tight on starboard side, then do a brief starboard tack to tighten up port side. Dropping the sail including time to adjust lazy jacks takes about 2 minutes. I could spend all day and not get the sail to flake as well as it does in the jacks. No problem putting mainsail cover on with the lazy jacks retracted. Took me a while to figure this out, but sure works well for us. Why people cut slots in their sailcovers is beyond me, just retract the lazyjacks.

michael
 

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I have a Dutchman on our P30 -- on a positive note, it works very well and additionally makes reefing easier. The Dutchman is integrated into the topping lift and the monofiliment lines run through small holes in the main -- the system is always there and ready to go, requiring only that you take in the topping lift before dropping the main or reefing. For the record, I have full battens so I never have an issue of battens getting fouled, etc. as some users will report with other systems.

The Dutchman was installed by the PO of our boat. While I like the convenience, I'm not certain what I'm going to do with my next mainsail (hopefully next spring) as the Dutchman requires some modification to the sail to install the lines. As small as they are, I'm not wild about the idea of putting holes -- no matter how small -- into a sail (seems counterintuitive...). Most people claim there is no effect on performance. Even after the sail is flaked, you should be careful to watch for any abrasions where the monofiliment contacts the sail -- I have several worn areas on my main from points of contact. More info on the Dutchman system is here.
 

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My preference would be the Stac-Pack system, from Doyle. However I don't believe that it can be retrofitted to an existing NON-Doyle sail.

Next would be Lazy Jacks (actually EZ-Jax®).

I have sailed with the Dtuchman system, and admire the clean neat flaking. However, the monofilament line adds additional windage, and the system looks like a maintenance PITA.
 

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Find that unless the boat is dead into the wind the upper battens get hung up on the lazy jacks. Ideally the system would be designed so it would be easy to pull them back against the mast when the main goes up and then deploy them for taking the main down The system on my boat is not well designed. However, I have to say that the big main on my boat would be much harder to control when taking it down without the lazy jacks.
I'm thinking of putting in a dutchman system when I replace the main . Boat across the dock from me has it and it seems to work very well.
 

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I installed lazyjacks on my C&C 27 this year, basically copying the Harken system and swaging up my own guide wires. (Note to Harken: I did buy some Harken ball-bearing blocks...) It's not a complete hands-free system, but it's better than what I had. I now get the mainsail cover off before leaving harbor, which means I can hoist without fussing around on deck to remove sail ties You do have to point head to wind (a good idea anyway) but I also have shock cord coming off the spreaders that keeps the jacks apart and allows a pretty clean hoist. When dousing, I still find I have to go on deck and tidy up the flaking, but my spouse/crew doesn't have to try to then attach sail ties while we might be rolling a bit in wake or chop. So a good project worth tackling.
I sailed on a Tartan 31 on the Hudson (Bob Millstein's Pentimento) in May. He had the Doyle zip system and I must say it was pretty slick. I've since seen other sailmakers offer similar setups (Evstrom Sobstad and I think North as well). One of my dock neighbors sewed up their own version.
 

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have sailed with and without them---i donot race--i will not race---try lowering sail in stormy or pre-stormy conditions without them--ye cannot see thru the mainsail-AND the main will catch air and become uncooperative--btdt--the lazy jacks are THE way to go--i donot have them on my formosa as yet-her boom is almost 20 ft in length--lol--they WILL be installed prior to my setting out cruising---my sail cover is set up for lazy jacks---so i donot HAVE to have the lovely stack pak system--i just want lazy jacks--a good safety measure in heavy weather----go figger!!!!!
 

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From a raceboat POV i cant see the jacks as much worse than hoisting the main through the running backs ?

And if you find it a PITA go back to a bolt rope mainsail and have that floping around on deck by yourself :)
 
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