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s/v Tiger Lily
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been considering bringing my main halyard back to the cockpit. I've thought it would be a nice addition to my new slick Tides Marine track, new mid-boom sheeting, and stackpack. My rigger is giving me the pros and cons of bringing the main halyard aft to the cockpit. Mostly he is trying to persuade me to keep it at the mast ... but I would consider him to be a purist.

I'm working on creating a practical family boat ... I'm a casual sailor with small kids often in tow. There isn't a lot of white nuckle bluewater sailing going on.

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Bring the main halyard back to the cockpit or keep it at the mast? Which do you prefer?

Happy holidays.
 

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Superior Sailor
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Solo much, or do you always have a crew along...??

Sure is nice to have control in the cockpit of both lines and steerage...
 

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HANUMAN
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Both.

Leave the winch on the mast. Add a self tailer to the cabin top and use a cleat instead of a stopper block.

Use a simple block at the base of the mast to run the halyard aft to the cockpit.

This will allow you to work at the mast if you choose and not get the halyard caught up in a stopper block.

This is the main problem with halyards run aft. If you need to run forward to help the main down it's pretty much a given that the halyard will foul in the stopper block, then your run back to clean that up and the main catches on something, then you run forward, repeat ad nauseum.
 

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I am thinking of doing the same. Sometimes I have someone competent aborad and alot of times I have my wife and kids or people who have never sailed before. Most of the time I end up raising the sails myself and hope the person I left at the tiller can keep us headed into the wind. I have not heard any negatives so I will be following this thread closely. Thanks for bringing the topic up.
 

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I like my main halyard at the mast, and I also sail solo or with wife and kid (quasi-solo). I think the main goes up and down faster/easier if you're there next to the mast. Less opportunity for problems and better ability to deal with them if they develop.
 

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I ran mine back to the cockpit, but most of the time I raise it at the mast. It's just a block at the base of the mast, a cheek block on the cabin top, and a cam cleat for speed IF I need to drop the main in a hurry. My .02
 

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The prior owner of my P35 had a couple of blocks installed on the cabin top and a winch next to the companion way so he would be able to run the main halyard back to the cockpit. I have a fully battened main so when I drop the main it never comes down cleanly because the battens always seem to get stuck which meant I still had to run to the mast to get the sail down. As a result I don't lead the main halyard to the cockpit.

When I singlehand I set the autopilot into the wind and run to the mast to lower the main.

When I painted the nonskid on my cabin top I took the blocks off, so I'm now committed to keeping the main halyard at the mast. In addition I didn't like having the extra blocks on the cabin top.
 

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Ours is run back to the cockpit throuh a block on the mast collar through deck organizers and I am changing our old Shaefer stoppers to new Garhauer ones which I got at the boat show. Other lines run back though the Garhauer clutches include centerboard line, jib halyard, spinaker halyard, topping lift and two reefing points for the main.

Essentially we can run the boat from the clockpit. In addition our EZ jacks can be deployed from the cockpit. On the cabin top are 4 ST 2 speed winches, We also have a Tides Strong tracks and lowering and raising the full batten main sail is a cinch from the cockpit. No need for anyone to go topside in rainy weather, no need to go topside in rough weather, no need to go topside when single handing.....all safety increases. I say lead it back.

Dave
 

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Seattle Sailor
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I agree with Dave. My lines are all run back to the cockpit for a number of reasons:
1. It is much easier in a pinch with sailing solo or short handed to raise and lower the main from the cockpit. Although from the cockpit I need to use the winch more than I would at the mast, you are within arms length of all your major controls.
2. If you had an urgent problem, it is pretty easy to just "pop" the main halyard out of the cleat or stop and drop it to the boom without loosing control of the tiller/wheel for more than a second.
3. If you are using help while raising or lowering the main, it avoids the need (although not always the impulse:eek:) to yell at the crew helping, since they are right there, not forward on the cabin top.

I will admit, that on a full-crewed boat I would prefer to have the main halyard at the mast, but I rarely sail that way. Therefore, my set up is similar to Dave's and others and it works pretty well.
 

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I really like having the main halyard in the cockpit. Yours is a bigger boat than ours, but we have no issues putting up the sail with the extra blocks. When needed I can easily raise/lower the sail myself from the comfort of the cockpit. I would note that our reefing lines (jiffy) are also run to the cockpit so everything can be done in one spot. If your reefing setup is different, you may want to take that into consideration in your decision.

As an aside, our furling genny halyard is in the cockpit and I'd prefer to have it at the mast as we usually just raise it and forget it.
 

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Hey,

A few questions:
Are you in a slip or a mooring?
Do you have an autopilot?
What's more difficult, raising the main or lowering the main?

I'm on a mooring, and I raise the main before I leave the mooring. So having the main led aft doesn't really matter for the hoist. I still need to go to the mast to retract the lazy jacks (or be REAL careful the battens don't get hung up on the lazy jacks) before I raise the main. And I need to go all the way forward to drop the mooring.

I have an autopilot, so to drop the main I turn Fred (the AP) on and head upwind. Then, for the drop I need to go forward to deploy the lazy jacks. So I like having the main halyard at the mast so I can help the main flake properly as it comes down.

So, for me, on my current 35' I have the main at the mast.

My last boat was 28' with a smaller, easier to handle main. I led the main to the cockpit and it was easy enough to raise and lower from there. Reefing was easy because the single line reef was led aft too.

Barry
 

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Our main halyard runs back to a winch & stopper at the aft end of the cabintop. This enables us to hoist the main with the helmsman getting most of it up, until the winch is needed for the last bit. Then a helper can wrap the halyard 'round the winch and crank a few turns while the helmsman tails. This provides for relatively quick hoisting without leaving the helm unattended. For singlehanding, the winch is not far from the wheel so we can still manage pretty well. Our jib & spinnaker halyards are still forward. This is not much of a problem since we got roller furling for the jib, and usually have plenty of crew when we use the spinnaker.
 

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As others have noted, it's hard to say, not knowing what your reefing set up is...

In general, however, I vote for Keeping It Simple, Stoopid - and leaving everything at the mast...
 

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Interesting discussion.

My main halyard (and reefing, and most other lines) is all at the mast (Pearson 323). I have also thought about leading the lines back, but right now the effort to plan, install, and make pretty again outweighs any advantages for me. And I am up topside often enough that it is rarely a chore; with an autopilot is is easy to manage solo - although I do use a tether if there is any sea.

Having said that, one of my philosophies is to keep things simple - fewer things to go wrong. I would like to add a plate to the bottom of my mast to better organise all the lines, though!
 

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On our 28, we kept the winch on the mast, but installed roller furling for the jib. Since I abhor lazy jacks or similar, dosing the main always means going on deck to secure it. So it wouldn't have helped to me. Dumb question to those with sail-gathering-devices - when you lower your main, don't you still have to go on deck to secure it? :confused:

We know about short handing - our daughter has been on the boat since 3 months (she's now 18 yrs). My wife always managed to be able to steer (even with a baby in a pouch) while I dropped the sail. So I guess that I'm ambivalent, it's never been a problem for us.
 

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Unless you have a separate winch for each halyard led back to the cockpit when you use a rope clutch you loose tension. Also you have that amny more lines cluttering up your cockpit and cabin top.
 

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Even though I usually sail solo, I also believe in the benefits of occasionally raising my fat ass off the cockpit seat and walking five feet to the mast or even ten feet to the foredeck to sail the boat.

There is no shortage of folks on sailnet who will advise you to buy, buy, buy more unnecessary crap for your boat. Our sponsors love this advice.
 
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