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s/v Tiger Lily
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Discussion Starter #1
I must admit the one thing I dread is putting the mainsail away. I have lazyjacks with a conventional sail-tie and buckle-down cover setup. I have uttered many profanities at the end of the sailing day.

What's the scoop on the Stack-Pack or mainsail drop-bag (term?) setup? I've seen a few threads on the subject, but I'm still confused?

- Can this type of bag work with my existing lazyjacks?

- Do you have to have full-batten sail for this system? Doyle shows full battens in their photos.

- Can't you just have a canvas shop make one that works around the lazys and flake it into the bag as you zip it up?

- Can the bag roll and tie up along the boom or does it have to stay vertically extended under sail?

- I'd like to see your setup if you have one!

- David
 

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I must admit the one thing I dread is putting the mainsail away. I have lazyjacks with a conventional sail-tie and buckle-down cover setup. I have uttered many profanities at the end of the sailing day.

What's the scoop on the Stack-Pack or mainsail drop-bag (term?) setup? I've seen a few threads on the subject, but I'm still confused?

- Can this type of bag work with my existing lazyjacks? YES

- Do you have to have full-batten sail for this system? Doyle shows full battens in their photos. NO

- Can't you just have a canvas shop make one that works around the lazys and flake it into the bag as you zip it up? YES, also, no flaking - it stacks itself. Just drop and zip.

- Can the bag roll and tie up along the boom or does it have to stay vertically extended under sail? Just slumps down along the boom, captured against it by the jacks

- I'd like to see your setup if you have one!

- David
We chartered a 47' Harmony in the Virgins last spring. It was the only boat I've sailed with any of the setups you mentioned and I loved it.

It was lazyjacks with a permanently mounted cover that the jacks went through. It wasn't in very good shape - the cover was well worn and we had to spend time adjusting the jacks - they had kind of slumped or pulled so they were over on the starboard side more than port. Despite this, even when badly adjusted, it was WAY better than flaking and tying a conventional main. It was set up permanently deployed. I'd be inclined to make it so it could be eased and clipped out of the way at the mast.

There was no need for full battens to make it work. The battens hanging up on the topping lift when raising & lowering required a bit of intervention but not a problem.

Best of all, other than the specially cut sailcover, it was all owner built and used a standard main - very low cost. I've seen designs that suggest using micro blocks at every line interface. I can't see this for any reason other than to buy some cool new gear. :D They would add a lot of cost as well as chafe on the sail. Spliced eyes at each line intersection worked just fine. Remember the KISS principle. :)

I'd strongly recommend it. :cool::cool::cool:
 

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My new-to-me Cal 33-2 came with a Dutchman system. FAR superior to any lazy jack system. Sail just drops onto the boom like magic, and no hanging up or constant adjusting like jacks. Love it.
 

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My new-to-me Cal 33-2 came with a Dutchman system. FAR superior to any lazy jack system. Sail just drops onto the boom like magic, and no hanging up or constant adjusting like jacks. Love it.
Is that the system where vertical lines are threaded through grommets in the sail? Kind of like a suspension bridge cabling?

If so (even if not) what was the cost? Any downside or inconveniences?
 

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s/v Tiger Lily
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Discussion Starter #6
With the Dutchman you take the main cover off when underway?
 

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Sloop I believe you are correct. I assume these lines would attach to the topping lift and the boom. I wonder if the sail gets hung up if lines are not in perfect alignment? Would they hang up if you had an emergency and had to get the sail down quickly without pointing into the wind?
 

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I've had a Dutchman system and it worked fairly well. It really does make a mainsail flake onto the boom well enough that little more needs doing than securing sail ties and putting the cover on. Getting the vertical lines through all the grommets on the sail was a PITA yet after that proper alignment was easily achieved. But the Stackpack or equivalent method appeals to me more as the cover is ready and waiting at all times and there aren't quite so many (intentional) holes in the sail. I've heard that full battens hang up on lazyjacks a bit too often when raising a mainsail. To remedy that problem some have anchored the top end of the jacks to the spreaders, creating a "V". I'll be trying this approach on a new rig next Spring.
 

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We changed our Harken lazy jacks this year for EZ jacks. They are far superior and very easy to deploy to drop the sail and hold it until its easy to tie it up. In additon the have a simple but effective way to release them and get them out of the way when you are not using them, so there is no way they are up when you raise the sail so no hangin g up the battens.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=ez jacks&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDkQFjAA&url=http://www.ezjax.com/&ei=HUS_TsuWEMjY0QHV4MzLBA&usg=AFQjCNEESYMstdWgE6JYj4Z39QAoZ0s67Q

Our EZ jacks are on blocks on the spreaders.

I would be concerned with them permanently in place as they would chafe the sails. Even though I beleive the Dutchman system may flake better, i dont like the idea of placing more holes in my sail.

As far as the stack pack, my friends who have tyhem have mixed reveiws. The positives are that it is very easy to zip up the final act of putting away your sail. Their negatives are increased windage and danagling fabric when underway, increased windage at anchor as it appears to be higher off the boom than a regular sail cover, and sometimes the top zipper hight is high to reach to zip up the top of the bag.

Dave
 

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My rigger set us up with stowable lazy-jacks, kinda like the EZ Jacks. We went a bit "high tech" with 1/8" spectra to catch the mainsail - end for end spliced to double braid where it comes down from the spreaders and ties off to the mast cleats. And Antal low friction rings to build the cascading legs. Once the mainsail is dropped, we stow the lazy jacks under the reefing horns - so we can use a conventional mainsail cover, as well as no batten hangups next time we raise the mainsail.
 

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Is that the system where vertical lines are threaded through grommets in the sail? Kind of like a suspension bridge cabling?

If so (even if not) what was the cost? Any downside or inconveniences?
Yes. Here's a link from Doyle Sailmakers on the system.

Doyle Sailmakers: Dutchman

Main disadvantage is that removing the main in the fall and installing in the spring is a bit more involved. The special topping lift wire with the monofilament lines must be removed and coiled. When I priced a new main last year, I got a quote of $800 to install a Dutchman system from North.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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I have the Mack sails version the "Mack Pack" and am happy with it.

I slacken the lazy jacks off and bungee them forward to the mast before raising the sail which means no battens get caught as you hoist.

If you have a crew on the helm that keeps you dead into wind as you hoist you can avoid this.
 

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I was under the impression that the lazy jack lines held the canvas cover upright and in place. If you slack the lines and pull them forword for raising the sail, what shape does the cover take? Does it fall away? Will the sails droop?
 

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I've heard that full battens hang up on lazyjacks a bit too often when raising a mainsail. To remedy that problem some have anchored the top end of the jacks to the spreaders, creating a "V". I'll be trying this approach on a new rig next Spring.
My lazyjacks are threaded thru holes a little ways out on the spreaders, but not sure it helps that muck; they can still snag the batten ends. When ordering my Mackpack, Mack cautioned me that under some conditions (off the wind) if the lazyjacks are attached too far out there may be an undesirable force on the spreader that it is not designed for.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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I was under the impression that the lazy jack lines held the canvas cover upright and in place. If you slack the lines and pull them forword for raising the sail, what shape does the cover take? Does it fall away? Will the sails droop?
Yes the sail does flop off the boom at the rear of the boom when I slack the lazyjacks but as I hoist the sail after doing this it is not a problem.

The cover only flaps if I undo the mast fixings.
 

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s/v Tiger Lily
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Discussion Starter #16
It would imagine that with the stack-pack or Mack-pack bag one advantage is not having the sails stowed away so tightly allowing them to breathe more and lightening the creases.
 

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My Catalina came factory with the Dutchman system. I like it better then lazy jack systems we have used in the past.

It does not help with making a quick exit from the boat after a day of sailing. You still have to put on a traditional sail cover that can be slightly more complicated due to the monofilament lines. Also, taking the sails off and putting them back on is a little more complicated. However, that system can be made easier. We have a line that the monofilament is attached to that can be disconnected from the topping lift and be stored with the sail. So you don't have to re-thread the monofilament each year.

One of the negatives I have heard about for the stack-pack/Mack-pack type of set up is that they can flap and be loud while under sail. Also, they limit the ability to have reef points for the mainsail.

If i were to pick, I would stay with the Dutchman.
 

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One of the negatives I have heard about for the stack-pack/Mack-pack type of set up is that they can flap and be loud while under sail. Also, they limit the ability to have reef points for the mainsail.
That system is only an enhancement of age old lazyjacks. How does it limit reefing?
 

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"Sparkie"
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I have had dutchman on 3 boats including the one I own now. I have had the Harken lazy jacks on one boat and took it off and did without rather than mess with them. I do like the dutchman, but replaced the monofilament with 1/16" vinyl SS wire. It does not stretch and make the system work a lot smoother. I can literally drop the sail and tie it off to the boom. Very little effort compared to fighting it when loose. My vote is Dutchman, though the parts are ridiculously expensive.
DD
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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We had a stackpack style cover made and after a few modifications I really like it. There are a few negatives which I'll list first. The cover remains in place while sailing and on the windward side it bellows out a bit, never flaps or makes noise but obviously disrupts air flow somewhat. At the mast the cover attaches to the mast so you have to undo it to access the reefing hooks, not a big deal but makes it fractionally more difficult to hook the sail. On the plus side it's super easy to use, just zip it open to raise the main and when you drop it just pull in the reefing lines and zip it back up. Couldn't be simpler which means that we use the main more often than we used to for short sails and we also cover the main whenever we aren't using it (we used to leave the cover off while cruising unless we were anchored up somewhere for a few days). I wouldn't bother with one if I was going offshore, but for coastal cruising I wouldn't go back to a normal main cover.
 
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