When deploying the mainsail
after motoring away from the slip, the opposing forces on the outhaul
and the retraction mechanism are difficult to manage.
The retraction mechanism (continuous looped line around the mast-mounted internal retraction winch) must be reversed a few feet at a time, to allow the outhaul
to pull out the mailsail a few feet at a time (two competent sets of hands, or one set of hands alternating between the different lines). It seems impossible to hold some intermediate level of tension on the retraction loop to keep the sail foot tight and making one smooth continuous deployment.
The alternative is letting the continuous loop to go slack, allowing the mainsail
to unroll freely, which sounds ok but chances the wind
to billow the sail out in an uncontrolled manner before the outhaul is all the way out. Theoretically facing into the wind
should minimize the flogging but without a second set of hands to keep the boat pointed exactly into the wind, the sail can fill suddenly and start to heel and turn the boat (as I have proven to my embarrassment). This dramatically slows the deployment since the outhaul loads are now too high to pull without winching, which is difficult to do while lunging for the wheel
Retracting the main into the mast
gives the same issues, plus the aft-bowed mast
causes a wrinkle during the process that raises jamming concerns. Obviously, keeping the entire sail taut during the retraction is very important to prevent jams, so uncleating the outhaul and winching in a flogging sail is a bad idea. I am mostly concerned about successfully shortening sail in threatening weather
Selden's manual cryptically advises keeping some tension on the retraction line when moving the sail but this doesn't shed much light on the best ways to accomplish this.
Without falling back into furling
vs. non-furling discussion, any operational advice would be greatly appreciated. I am new to the larger boat and my wife can cause equipment
merely by looking at it.