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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any opinions of a good Lazy Jack system? Harken''s system requires that you modify your sail cover. Schaefer''s does not, but has a "pull back" hook. Any pros or cons on either system? Feel free to email. Thank You!
 

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Im leaning towards EZJacks as they can be ''reefed'' when sailing or in port - only needed when raising or lowering,etc.
www.ezjacks.com
 

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I installed the lazy jack system from Wichard last year and I am very happy with it. It does not require modification of the sail cover and can be hooked back if desired. The components are of excellent quality.

HAM
 

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I would be glad to send you the hardware I removed from my boat that was once a harken lazy jack system. Unless you have a really big boat (more than 40 feet) they are simply more trouble that they''re worth. On my 34 foot boat they would always hang up on the battons when raising or lowering the main if the vessel was not directly into the wind. A main sail from a boat smaller than 40 feet is not so much sail cloth that it cannot be women/man handled. I know all of the manufacturers of this type of equipment will claim that the lines were lead incorrectly on my boat and that is why it did not work, they were not! When considering so called saftey features such as lazy jacks for smaller boats I always apply the KISS theory "keep it simple stupid". I single hand most of the time, regardless of who makes the hardware, all of these systems have the same inherant limitations. A good autopilot (when single handing) is a more helpful device to keep the boat into the wind when taking down the main than any sail containment contraption. Thats my story and I''m sticking to it!
 

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Not to be argumentative but I have to completely disagree with Denr. On a bang for the buck scale, I think that lazy jacks are tops for convenience. I have a 35'' high performance boat and I find that the main is huge! While it is quite simple to hold the boat directly into the wind while you are raising the main, you can, if you install the right lazy jack system, tie back the legs and raise the sail freely. The only time the legs need to be deployed is when you are dropping the sail. There is nothing more simple than lazy jacks considering the other possiblities including in the mast and in the boom furling and the dutchman systems. All that being said, I would have to completely agree that an autopilot is an excellent investment short-handed or not. I use mine extensively both when single-handed and on any passages as it simply allows you to do other things and it is alot less fatiguing not having to stare at a compass or gps while steering a course for a mark that is beyond eyesight. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We installed EZJax on our 33ft Morgan OI last spring and are well satisfied. The autopilot is great, but for a pair in their 70''s, the Jax are a bonus when the breeze is 15 knots.
 

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I want to install lazyjacks on my 30 footer (do a fair bit of solo). I want them to be retractable so I can put them up only when needed. Sail net have 4 different makes listed in their site. Two indicate they can be retracted, the Sail cradle kit and the Sailnet kit. Does anyone have any opinion or knowledge or comment on whether these work, are value for money etc ???.
 

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I have generally found lazy jacks to be a pain in the butt as it makes it harder to actually flake the sail or install a sail cover. I currently single-hand a 28 footer a lot and I suggest that it may be easier to single-hand without them. On most boats if you come to a stop and put the helm hard over, the boat will slide sidewards abeam to the wind. I find it easiest to flake the sail while standing on the leeward side of the boom with the sail on the windward side of the boat. Before you install the lazy jacks I suggest that go out and try that.

Good luck
Jeff
 

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Very happy with EZ Jacks on our I28 even though the high aspect ratio main will not come all the way down. They retract out of the way and can be reset without leaving the cockpit.
 

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Hi,had lazyjacks when I bought my boat 4 years ago. I removed them at the end of the first season,and installed a Dutchman. Battens NEVER get hung up, and I can drop my sails on any heading,even downwind.I singlehand 80-90% of the time.This is the 2nd boat I had them on.Talk about KISS,it doesn''t get easier than this.
Marc
 

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Marc,

I''m very glad to hear your assessment of the performance of the Dutchman system. I''ve never been a fan of lazyjacks either.

I''m planning to put the Dutchman mainsail flaking system on my new boat. Would you tell me what size boat you have installed the system on? Do you use a full batten main? And, does your system use the topping lift installation technique?

Wayne
 

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Hi Wayne. I''ve used the Dutchman on a Niagara 35,& my present boat,a PDQ36 catamaran. Tha Niagara started out with a conventional main & then went to a full batten one. The PDQ has a full batten main. Neither one used used their topping lift system. The rig is great,just install it & forget it.
Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Marc:

I do''nt understand how you use a Dutchman system with out using the topping lift to hold the upper end of the Dutchman wire. I too have had a Dutchman for 10 years and the only thing I did not like was the pockets at the boom to hold the wires, they would hold up the sail. I built stst brackets that were up about an inch that secured the wire to the boom. This was on a Gulf 32.

On my new boat, a 43 Steel cutter I installed a lazy jack system that could be folded up to the mast. I have been considering going to the Dutchman system on her. A friend of mine Evans Starzinger on his 47'' aluminum sloop Hawk uses lazy jacks and is recomending that I not add the Dutchman system. That the Dutchman is not useable for offshore work, where it works well for Coatal.
 
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