Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate
Tom, your question has been pretty well answered. The answer depends on whether you want to continue to use the old sail cover. If you do, then you will want to have figured out a way to lower the lazy jacks and store them on the mast. You can leave them handy (like jackdale), or make a rope
bag to stow them in, if you prefer.
If you want a stack-pack, yes, then you'll need a new sail cover.
Ann, actually there are ways around this, & it IS possible to keep the same cover, sans having to lead them forward all of the time.. Or so it was when I built some laxy jacks on the cheap
On my first boat, a Ranger
33', I spliced up a custom set which were (semi) permanently installed. Meaning that I never even bothered to pull them forward, although they could be.
Their terminal ends went to cleats
on the spar, & they were led through blocks on the (single) spreaders. With their lower ends tied to several padeyes which I screwed to the underside of the boom.
The cover fit just fine with them in place, albeit, it was easier to fit it with them slightly loosened. And they ran up to the spreaders, around the covered, flaked & lashed main, in exactly the same fashion which they stayed, & were used, when hoisting & dropping the sail, as well as when under sail.
Actually, the only time which they were ever fully tightened was once the main was covered & put to bed
. Otherwise, they were left loose enough to hoist & drop the main, & so not to interfere with it's draft
shape, under sail.
I suppose that in time, there would have been chafing issues on the sail cover, but aside from that hypothetical, they worked idyllically. The trick to their being snag free on the hoist & the drop was that I spliced their multiple parts
in a gentle, "concave" curve, from boom end towards the spreaders. And I kept each section low enough & far enough forward to avoid fouling any battens.
- IIRC, on a 12' or so boom, there were 6 sections/legs, spliced into 3 legs higher up. Each with a forward cant, & spliced into the main line, leading up to the spreaders. With the tallest leg being perhaps 2/3 - 3/4 of the spreader height.
If you're up for an afternoon of splicing, over a few pints of ale, it's easy work, & other than requiring a good eye for design, no planning's required. Their biggest drawback was that had I ever wanted to fly a trysail, they'd have been in the way. But then, so are many others, & few are anything which a knife wont fix in 90 sec or less.
But she was a SoCal boat, & thus I fretted naught over the idea of such a conflict.
It's an educated guess, but part of my impetuous for their design may have come from one of Dan Spurr's books
. The Sailor's Sketchbook
perhaps? Although I knew from the start, after seeing them on some of my neighbor's boats how handy they'd be. And given that the West Marine
kits for them were like $150 or something equally stupid, in 1992. I ponied up $35 for the; padeyes, screws, blocks, line, & a 6-pack, & got to work.
With a set of good ones, you can just let go of the main halyard, & the sail lands on the boom, flaking it'self along the way. Which really helps, if you give the chore of dousing the main to a total novice
PS: The blocks on the spreaders were set perhaps 10" out from the spar. Also, if building jax like this now, it'd be a simple matter to sew anti-chafe strips onto the sail cover in the appropriate places. Be they doubled canvas
patches of the same color, leather strips, or nylon or spectra webbing.