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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, this is my first season with my Precision 165. I sail in the mountains in Colorado where it's can be really gusty and I'm having difficulty hoisting my main solo. I have an electric outboard to motor out of my slip, but I was hoping to get some suggestions on effective tiller rigs, some sort of makeshift autopilot I can use to point into the wind long enough for me to get to the foredeck and hoist.

Any suggestions or tricks would be appreciated!
 

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I know of no easy answers on this but here are a few thoughts:
-Small boats like this often raise their mainsails while hung off a bowline at a dock- bow into the wind, and then sail off from there.

-If you can't do that and need to raise the mainsail underway, then you really need to figure out how to raise the sail from the cockpit while steering with the tiller between your knees.

-There are things that make raising the mainsail single-handed much easier. If you have a bolt rope that goes into a groove in the mast, then you might want to buy a 'pre-feeder' like the Holt feeder seen here at the bottom of the page- http://www.apsltd.com/c-1061-headsailandmainsailprefeeders.aspx

Or better yet, the Harken part #947 Prefeeder seen here Harken Hardware Catalog

This will allow you to raise the sail without having to be at the mast to feed it into the luff groove.

Alternately, have slugs installed on your main, if you do not have them already.

There are tricks to raising the mainsail underway, but the can be risky in shifty-gusty conditions. The consist of sheeting the boom close to amidships and start raising the mainsail while facing roughly into the wind. Most boats will reach off a little and then round up into the wind, tack through and do the same on the other tack. That is called short tack and if you allow the boat to short tack, you can partially raise the mainsail every time you pass through the wind, until it is all the way up.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply, I do have a bolt rope that can make things more difficult, so I'll definitely look in to the pre-feeder option. I'm not sure how I'd go about hoisting from the cabin without running a lot of new hardware. I'll take a look at some posts regarding that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Apologies for the ... posts, I couldn't post links or images until I had 10 posts. I'm new!

So if I were to add some hardware, would something like this be what I would consider? It would be awesome to do without any holes in the deck but I'm not sure that's possible.

Here's the mockup:
 

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Make the holes. use through bolts with fender washers on the bottom and if you want to cut the bolts just the right length, use round headed nuts on the bottom. (May spare you scalping some skin) The bolt rope is still going to be a problem. I single hand my Oday30 it takes about a minute to raise the main.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I see, that makes sense. So your rig there looks like it's running two halyards supported by a single winch. That's a great idea, thanks for the reply.
 

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I have a C28. When I am single-handing I wrap a line around the tiller and tie it off. Super simple, and it works too.
 

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First, love those genoa tracks on the cabin top, that'll get you some tight sheeting angles even if it looks like you could run into some interference with the shrouds.

On a small boat it is tough, because even with something like a tiller clutch and motoring, the bow will swing off in the wind.

All good ideas above and your diagram looks fine, and you will have to drill a couple holes. Instead of adding a block on the mast you can add a halyard organizer plate and add blocks as needed. The small one here will fit your tabernacle.

https://www.dwyermast.com/items.asp?cat1ID=40&cat1Name=Hardware&familyID=19&familyName=Halyard+Organizer+Plates

Or a turning block directly on the deck would work.

And adding slugs really helps a ton in raising the main and is pretty easy and inexpensive. Sailrite has a guide and on my 17' I used example #1 which is plastic slides and no grommets needed. Literally < $20 in materials even including a few spares (which you will want!).

Here is the guide: Slugs, Slides & Shackles - Selection, Installation and Positioning Instructions

You would normally use a sailstop and then you can prefeed your slugs at the dock and have them held above the gate. On my boat, couldn't find one where the threaded part of the stop was narrow enough to slide in the track. Another option is a mast gate which is very nice but is $50-60 if I recall but you can DIY one also.

For my boat I drilled a very small hole (3/32" I think) and use a cotter pin attached via some very small line through another small hole. Fairly common and you can't lose it. Drawback is that you have to drill a hole and there is some slight risk of tearing your sail but just round off the cotter pin end with a file.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ah ha! That organizer plate is slick, I like that idea. Slugs, too, I hadn't thought of that. This is all great info, I appreciate the help. Building a winter project list for sure! This summer I may have to make due with tiller rig and as much of a raised sail as possible leaving the dock.
 

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my boat has a gentle weather helm, so here's what I do: set the boat on a close-hauled tack, tie off the tiller (or wheel) so she's self-balanced. move traveller to leward and give the mainsheet some slack. when you start hoisting it won't catch much wind ... now hoist main while the boat sails herself, close-hauled. when done, tack/jibe to new heading, adjust sails, and off you go ... also works for reefing and lowering the main.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice, thanks for the tip. My only concern there is a big puff (common on the lake I'm on) but it's certainly worth a try. Either way, speed seems to be the key!
 

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I added a standing block to my jib track. You can also use a cheek block to the coachroof. Then it goes aft to a rope clutch, and winch, near helm. This way I can "maneuver" full batten mainsail through lazy jacks without leaving tiller. Many options from all these posts! Good luck.
 

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I used a tiller tamer on my Venture 22'. Worked great to head forward to hank on the head sail or raise the main.
 

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Bungee cord to "tame the tiller."
Head into the wind as best you can with a slight forward movement...
Ease the mainsheet completely (it'll flop some as you raise).
The sail slugs and the halyard run to the cockpit is really only useful together... if you are going to remain bolt rope the halyard to the cockpit will actually be a pain.

I am a 25 foot sailboat with bolt rope main, with the halyard run to the cockpit, and I usually jump the rope before the deck organizer when I am solo, and raise the main myself that way, then I take up the slack to the halyard after it's up.

But yeah, I'm on a tight lake in the hills too, and the gusts are brutal. Here's the best suggestion I can give you... duck deep into a cove on a windward side (to get shelter), head into the wind, you should have a drop of 50% or better of wind speed, THIS should get you a decent quiet place to raise your mainsail (this is how I do it solo sailing when the winds pipe up, but I still want to sail).

By the way that 165 is a sweet little wing keel boat, you'll have some fun with that. That was on my list at one point in my ladder of upgrade boats.

Welcome to the obsession.

PS. I get that the boat is a might bit tender for going forward to raise the main. You'll likely be MUCH happier with sail slugs, and a sail stopper, and that halyard run to the cockpit as you mocked up (I know - winter project - I am familiar with that)... this was my last winter: www.shnool.com - /images/capri25/Boat Projects-2012/ You'll get use to it all though.
 

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If I can't sail right off the dock, I row my 15'er out far enough to get some room, raise the jib and get sailing on a close reach. With the tiller lashed, I can go to the mast and raise the main as it luffs while the boat sails itself. I use the same method in my Mariner and my '22 after I shut off the motor.
 

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Looking at your deck photo it seems like you could get away with almost no holes in your deck. You should be able to bolt an eye to mount your turning block to the mast pivot bolt on your mast step, and as someone said above, you should be able to buy an extra block mounted on a track car that you could mount on your jib sheet track rather than bolt to the deck. (It will want to be further aft than you show it.) and so all you need is a cam cleat for the halyard.

Jeff
 

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If you have two cleats on the sides of the cockpit in line with your tiller you can experiment with tying a line between them that wraps around the tiller with a loose clove hitch.

That acts as a tiller tamer and doesn't get in the way like a real tiller tamer does when you are actually sailing.

The friend who bought my Catalina 25 figured this trick out and it works great. It's much better than the Tiller Tamer that we once had on there.
 
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