View Full Version : controlling the main when handing

Peter Heiberg
10-13-2005, 04:49 PM
My 50'SS IOR sloop has a mainsail with a luff rope (as opposed to slides)that travels inside the mast groove. When lowering the sail by myself the whole foreward end of the sail is dumped on deck The groove terminates about 18" above the boom. When sailing alone it is almost impossible to refurl the sail on top of the boom. (yes, I have a couple of lazyjacks rigged). I would be glad to hear of any ideas on how to retain the foreward part of the sail on the boom as though it had slides on a track. Cheers, Peter

John B
10-13-2005, 04:59 PM
I hate those systems. I'm doing a coastal race on a 42 ft yacht next week that has the furling boom and luff groove and I hate that too.

There's only one answer I can think of and I think you know that one. ;)
See your sailmaker about the slugs/slidesand put a stop on the bottom of the groove.( and extend the groove lower if you can.)

I'm editing this because I sound so grumpy. Not to change what I've said... its just that its a pet hate. A sail should go up and down simply and pronto in my view. I've been on race boats with luff grooves and 3 guys to get them set , 1 feeding, 1 hauling on the halyard at the mast,another on a winch back at the cockpit all with sails smaller than the one I used to pull up on my own boat ,taking literally 3 times the effort to do it.
As for this boom furler thing on the cruiser I'm doing this race on... you literally have to winch the main all the way up AND all the way down !! labour saving, easier to handle?lemon lemon lemon.

[ 10-13-2005, 08:51 PM: Message edited by: John B ]

Ross Faneuf
10-13-2005, 06:07 PM
You might look at the Dutchman Sail Flaking System. I have a similar main to yours (though smaller), and this system helps flake the sail over the boom.

I won't try to describe it in detail. It has the effect of lazyjacks. It consists of one or more heavy monofilament lines rove vertically through the sail, and fastened to the foot of the sail and the topping lift. The sail can't spill to the deck.

It is fussy to set up, but requires little attention once it is set up. Cost is higher than lazyjacks; your sail has to be modified by someone who understands and is familiar with the system.

Paul Fitzgerald
10-13-2005, 07:33 PM
Im with John B. I have an old mainsail converted to eyes and slugs which I use for cruising, and a good rope luff main for racing. Didnt cost much for the conversion, and I just leave the slugs in the luff groove and tie the mainsail cover over the front of the mainsail.. Its a bit high but looks and works ok.

David W Pratt
10-15-2005, 11:33 AM
Get a gaff rigged boat.
Good luck.

Peter Heiberg
10-15-2005, 02:08 PM
I appreciate all your replies and as you might guess. have thought of them all too.
In reverse order: I recently sold my old Gaffer "Carlotta" which was one of the original Bristol Channel Pilot skiffs. I spent four years rebuilding it and then sailed it from Falmouth Cornwall to Vancouver B.C. via Hawaii without benefit of an infernal combustion engine. Having owned it and managed the 1000' sq ft. mains'l for 35 years I think I can say I've paid my gaff rigged dues. But your quite correct, that main was much easier to raise and lower.
I didn't know the Dutchman system was called the Dutchman system but did read about it in Hendersons (sic?)book about single handed sailing. I have considered having grommits added to the sail for the eventual slugs and then running a line from the topping lift through an appropriate number of grommits and then round the boom and see what happens when I drop the sail.
I hadn't considered not altering the luff groove and just letting the sail remain a bit above the boom but it seems like I could try a succession of these ideas until I find one that works.
Also been considering a personality change so other people will sail with me and do all the work.
thanks to all

Dave Hadfield
10-16-2005, 09:40 AM
We rented a Hunter 45 once in the Caribbean. It had, of course, a huge main which because of the "roll bar" arrangement of Hunters made handling it difficult. The Cherterer had equipped it with a Dutchman system.

It worked fine. That huge, clunky, very sail fell onto and over the boom in folds which weren't too hard to re-arrange tidily.

Still, looking back, I prefer the smaller sails of a ketch rig, and since the main boom is usually over the cabin roof, the easier location to deal with it.

Also, we owned a 26ft trailer sailor that came equipped with a luff-roped main. Very awkward. One of the first things we did was pay to have it converted to slugs, which slid up the groove with a fraction of effort

10-18-2005, 03:22 PM
I'll go sailing with you - personality change not neccessary.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-18-2005, 04:41 PM
On which boat?

er...slugs do work...

[ 10-18-2005, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]