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Thread: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

  1. #1
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    Default Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    I am the owner of a Vivier Jewell:
    http://www.segling.info/jewell.html
    and here
    http://vivierboats.com/albumsen/Trai...ell/index.html

    Could anybody suggest to me a simple and efficient lazyjacks system suitable for my 20 ft. gaffer, often sailed singlehanded in rather windy conditions in Norway? re
    At present I have a simple slab reefing system that works well if I reef well ahead of encountering strong wind, but is a bit too cumbersome when I am alone.

    Best regards,
    Erik

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Just run 2 topping lifts and splice 1 or 2 vertical droppers in . It's better that the topping lifts land on the boom a bit forward, enough so they catch the gaff even when its laying on the boom.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Thanks, I know that Wolstenholme gaffer Kite uses such a system.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Looking at the photo in your first link, if it were my job, I'd probably run a line down each side of the sail from about where your throat halyard crane is (I think) to not quite the end of the boom. Maybe 8mm 3-strand --not for strength so much as for appearance; 6mm would be plenty strong, too. At the end of the boom, it would be simplest to do a round turn of the diagonal, then hitch back around the standing part; sort of an anchor hitch, using the boom instead of an anchor's ring. Almost any sort of attachment would work, though.

    From the center of each of those diagonals, do as John B suggests: splice a vertical line directly into each diagonal (I'd use 8mm for the diagonal and 6mm for the vertical, just for appearances sake) and drop the vertical down to the boom. Make the vertical fast about at the midpoint of the boom, to help gather in the gaff as well as the sail itself. Again, I'd do a round turn around the boom and then hitch the bitter end back around the standing part, cinching it snug so that it doesn't slide around on the boom.

    That's all essentially what my grandmother used on her 14' catboat, and it worked just fine. You can also see the general arrangement on my sloop, but those diagonals are also the topping lifts:



    One trick is to make sure the lazyjacks are long enough that when the sail is up, and the boom is carried by the sail, the lazyjacks are slack, but when you drop the sail, and the boom drops to where the topping lift is carrying it, the lazyjacks become a little more taut.

    Alex

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Looking at the photo in your first link, if it were my job, I'd probably run a line down each side of the sail from about where your throat halyard crane is (I think) to not quite the end of the boom. Maybe 8mm 3-strand --not for strength so much as for appearance; 6mm would be plenty strong, too. At the end of the boom, it would be simplest to do a round turn of the diagonal, then hitch back around the standing part; sort of an anchor hitch, using the boom instead of an anchor's ring. Almost any sort of attachment would work, though.

    From the center of each of those diagonals, do as John B suggests: splice a vertical line directly into each diagonal (I'd use 8mm for the diagonal and 6mm for the vertical, just for appearances sake) and drop the vertical down to the boom. Make the vertical fast about at the midpoint of the boom, to help gather in the gaff as well as the sail itself. Again, I'd do a round turn around the boom and then hitch the bitter end back around the standing part, cinching it snug so that it doesn't slide around on the boom.

    That's all essentially what my grandmother used on her 14' catboat, and it worked just fine. You can also see the general arrangement on my sloop, but those diagonals are also the topping lifts:

    One trick is to make sure the lazyjacks are long enough that when the sail is up, and the boom is carried by the sail, the lazyjacks are slack, but when you drop the sail, and the boom drops to where the topping lift is carrying it, the lazyjacks become a little more taut.

    Alex
    Called those quarter lifts on my catboat where they deadended on the boom and run to some blocks on the mast then down and back to the cockpit. You could adjust them underway. Great for keeping the boom out of the water running in a big sea. The key on any system is make sure the gaff is long enough so the tip is outboard of the lifts, as well the leech of the sail especially if you have battens.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    On mine the lazyjacks are dead ended up the mast and looped under the boom at appropriate intervals. When the sail is hoisted, the sail supports the boom and the jacks are slack. As the sail is dropped the lift supports the boom and the jacks are not slack....not actually tight but not slack, and do not support the boom. This helps during reefing as well, holding it all together.
    Your boat ( very pretty) is a ketch, with a small mizzen. for reefing you should be able to slack the main sheet to unload the sail, lower the sail and secure the clew and then the outhaul, and finally the points, and keep on sailing. The helm may need to be secured, I am guessing slightly a-lee.
    If taking in the mizzen is you first reef, then she should behave under jib alone (while the main is unloaded) with the helm pretty much hard over to leeward, probably about beam to the wind.
    I think reefing is a vital skill, and you should practice till it is no longer intimidating. Incidentally single line reefing and all lines lead to the cockpit may help.
    Good luck

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    I have a local following for what are propperly called "LazyLifts", locally called "LazyIans". These combine the functions of lazy jacks and quarter lifts. One vice of lazy jacks is that the weather side flops about and the lee side sometimes makes a fold in the sail.

    The two pix below show the most complex lift system I've made for Marmalades heavy boom and enormous sail. Starting from the back with the longest line, that lift part passes under the boom at a point just forward of where the gaff lies down when the sail is struck. Up to the cheek blocks on the mast at an angle no lower than 45 degrees and down about half way. Each end has a small block spliced on. (For your light rig, splice on a ss thimble, no need for a bock.) On Marmalade there's a total of four lines each side so I just divided the space evenly. So the second line passed under the boom about 3/4ths of the way from gooseneck to the first line, up to those two hanging blocks, and down half way again to spliced blocks. The third line passes under the boom half way from gooseneck to the aftmost line, up through the blocks, and down to turning blocks that lead forward to the mast and then back to the cockpit allowing the lifts to be operated from the cockpit if needed.

    Marmalade has cleats to guide the lifts under the boom and also to allow a leg to be secured if I want to trim the weather lift to bag the sail - necessary in light air given the heavy boom.

    When tacking, the sail pushes the new lee side out to lie smoothly and quietly against the sail while - the lines slide under the boom - trimming the weather side so they don't swing about wildly.

    You can see that this is really a spread out compound tackle 4:1 on each side but since the sides are connected, it's 8:1. Of course there are major losses due to friction and due to the fact that the lift from each of the parts is less and less efficient as you go forward. But the real weight is on the aft most part anyway so all's good. The store bought lazyjack "systems" lay out the parts in the opposite order which is why if the boom is not supported by a topping lift it will work at sagging down.

    For your system you don't need but one line (two parts each side) for the weight by you will want two lines (three parts each side) to contain the sail's bunt. Your gaff is so long you could go to the end of the boom but I'd experiment with passing the aft line under the boom a foot forward of that. The mast's cheekblocks might go up just below where the jib stay lands. You could cleat the free ends of the second line just above the companionway, with its pass under the boom splitting the difference between the cleat and the aft line's pass under. Use low fairleads under the boom to allow smooth passage. You may want two bits of leather chafe guard on the boom attached by top stitching as you would with oar leathers.

    The first pic shows all the lines but it takes a little looking to sort the parts of the peak halyard from the LazyLifts.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Here we are looking up.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    And finally, how the third (forward) lift part passes under the boom and then to the turning block. As mentioned above, fairleads under the boom are cleaner than all these cleats if you have a light boom. And for your boat, I'd put a cleat on the boom, no need for the truning block. If you put a cleat on only one side, you can put an eye splice on the end that comes down opposite the cleat, pass under the boom, and plop the eye over the cleat. You can then easily tie and adjust just the other side.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Ian's point of having the lee side of the sail creased by a lazy jack that is too tight, ( or topping lift ) is important. Over time you could get real wear along those lines, particularly when everything is loaded in a strong wind.

    I'd follow Ian's plan with a larger sail, in his case about 600 sq/ft, because you need more ways of controlling a larger sail.

    My main and mizzen are each about 178 sq/ft (same size, slightly different shape) and arguably similar size to your main. My lazy jacks simply pass under the boom, through an eye lug as a guide only. When the sail is hoisted there is ample slack in the whole system so there is no chance of the LJ pressing on the lee side of the sail and the topping lift is slack as well as the sail is supporting the boom. As I lower the sail the end of the boom drops about 8 inches till the topping lift takes up...the LJ take up (mostly, not really tight). It took almost no fiddling to set up after I made the plan and it works perfectly...every time.
    That said Ian's pattern will work on a smaller boat.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Ian's system is basically what I did. The quarter lifts had the lazy jack lines spliced in. As I recall I had them long on one side then they went around the boom and up to the other where they were fasted with toggles. I dead ended the lifts on the boom so that I could trim the weather one to keep the boom out of the water down wind in a rolling sea.

    Where they were real handy was getting underway and making my mooring. I had really big cleats on the outboard side of the cockpit coaming. My mooring pennant could be led back to the cockpit from the open chock at the bow. Raised the sail keeping the gaff parallel to the boom, nicely confined by the lifts, waited for the boat to pay off in the direction I wanted to go, then released the pennant going off on a beam reach with the peak slack. At my convenience peaked the sail.

    Coming in, I'd hook the mooring pennant on the cleat, with the main sheet slack and maybe the peak down. Sail went out over the opposite side. I then dropped the sail into the jacks with the lifts holding everything up. Trimmed the boom in, walked the mooring pennant forward made it fast, poured some coffee from the thermos and then furled the sail. No fuss no dancing about a tiny foredeck trying to avoid a slatting sail and boom.

    I love lazy jacks.

    Now thinking about how to rig lazy jacks on a 200 sg ft lugger full battened but boomless lug main.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Gaff rig reefing - lazyjacks

    Subscribed.

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