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Old 30-11-2010, 13:52   #1
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Dutchman Main Sail Flaking

I currently have a Stackpak lazy jack type system, so know my likes dislikes about it. What about the Dutchman system? Who has/had one and what did you think of it?
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:07   #2
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Last boat had it and I would not replace stackpack for one more trouble than its worth.
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:34   #3
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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I currently have a Stackpak lazy jack type system, so know my likes dislikes about it. What about the Dutchman system? Who has/had one and what did you think of it?
Last boat had Dutchman. New boat has Stackpak, but she's not in the water so I can't compare.

Dutchman was on a new fully battened sail on a 34' boat with relatively short boom. It took a couple of hours to get the Dutchman set up properly the first time and then tweaked a little to get the lines to the right length. After that, it worked like a charm with the sail self flaking very nicely. Covering required zippers where the lines went aloft which is a minor hassle compared to the Stackpak. Although I liked the Dutchman a lot, especially when soloing, I'm not sure it's any better than Stackpak plus lazy jacks. I'll know more in May. Why are you considering the change?
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:42   #4
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Not considering changing sail on my boat. But some possible replacement boats have the Dutchman, so I wondered how it compares. In research it seems the Dutchman gets praise. But if I search on Lazy Jack systems it would probably come back with results that say it's better than the Dutchman.
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:51   #5
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I've sailed both, I like the dutchman but it seems like it'd get tempermantal without constant tweaking. the stackpack works just as well imho without mods to the sail.
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:53   #6
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Not considering changing sail on my boat. But some possible replacement boats have the Dutchman, so I wondered how it compares. In research it seems the Dutchman gets praise. But if I search on Lazy Jack systems it would probably come back with results that say it's better than the Dutchman.
I expect the Dutchman flakes as well or better than lazy jacks. There are no issues with long battens hanging up. Closing the cover is probably easier on the stack pak.

I see you're from Salem, MA. We just bought our boat there. Stored at Dion's shed for the winter.
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Old 30-11-2010, 23:59   #7
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We have had a Dutchman for many years and find it most helpful. Still have to assist the sail to get a nice and tidy flake. Ours is set up on an endless line so that we can lower if when the sail cover goes on. The nylon guide lines need replacing ocasionally.
Regards, Richard.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:16   #8
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Further to my original post having read of other experiences I thought I may have been harsh or my set up was not optimum but they seem to fit in with my experience. So I will go further to say it does seem like a system made to be different but is not in fact probably from a maintenance point of view not as good as the stack pack.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:18   #9
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I have had a Dutchmen since its inception and on 3 different mains. Sailed with it offshore thousands of miles and coastal cruising for over 20 years. The hardware has improved, but the basic concept hasn't changed.

I find it works very well and as I have a fairly large main at 440sf with a long boom keeping this off the deck and on the boom is essential.

The system will self flake the main, but it takes some "memory" to get it to do this quickly and get the folds/flakes on the right side of the boom.

When we drop the sail, my wife usually goes to the mast and guides the flakes if they are not cooperating - they usually do however.

We only need one or two sail ties to keep in on the boom as the Dutchmen lines (3 in our case) keep the sail on the boom. We wrap the reefing lines from the aft end around the back of the sail and the forward reefing lines into the folds. We do this so the reefing lines do not add friction when hoisting by having to run through the eyes.

I've also modified the connection to the topping lift. I fashioned a line which is connected to the end of the boom to which the 3 Dutchmen lines are fastened. This is a 3/8" line with an eye at the top which the topping lift (a spare main halyard) is then connected to. This leaves me with a spare halyard which doesn't have the Dutchman attachments and the who assembly allows me to raise of lower the end of the boom as a regular topping lift does.

Reefing is no problem, perhaps easier with the Dutchman guiding and collecting the sail on the boom.

I haven't used an other sail management systems, but this one has given no chafe, and does the job.

However it MUST be set up properly with each line tensioned sufficiently to guide the sail down and not loose so that it flops over to one side. The fore and aft alignment to the topping life is also critical as these need to perfectly vertical so that, again there is no friction when the sail goes up and down.

Yes - the sail cover needs to be modified with slits and zippers, but this is a minor matter.

Yes - the sail is modified with the grommets installed in it for the lines to weave through. These are not attractive, but I don't think they have a measurable effect on performance.

Yes - the lines and the grommets are not an enhancement or make the boat more attractive. But to my eye, lazy jacks aren't attractive, nor is the stacpac. The system is not even visible from 50' I suppose.

It's easy to maintain as the only wear item is the heavy gauge nylon mono filament used for the control lines. You can carry spare and easily replace if it parts. It's a good idea to replace it occasionally as it does loose its slipperiness from the sail going up and down and I suppose from UV exposure. It is essential that the sail maker do the layout and install precisely.

I recommend it when installed and used properly.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:32   #10
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At the suggestion of a friend/sail maker, we added a Dutchman when we bought our boat. If I had it to do over again, I'd have the retractable EZJax we had on our last boat, in a NY minute. Because of the shape of our sail, if we do not have the exactly correct wind angle off the bow the upper batten gets hung-up on the inner control line (which is hard to see from the halyard winch) and we have to partially drop and then re-hoist the sail. The EZJax were a no-brainer. Less costly, easily deployed and out of the way when not necessary.

FWIW...
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:41   #11
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We have the Dutchman on our main (660 sq.ft, 22' boom) and it works GREAT. I highly recommend it. I agree, correct installation is key to good operation on this.

The lines aren't very visible. Here's ours from the dock and IMO they're not noticable at all:

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Old 01-12-2010, 09:47   #12
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Our Dutchman system works great, as described by others. The new mainsail comes flaked from the sailmaker, and it keeps those flakes in memory. It requires just a little assistance when stowing to get things "just so." When reefing there's no hurry to wrap sail ties around the foot, b/c it's not going anywhere.

Our control lines are spectra, and they last as long as the sail does. We use zippers on the sail cover to go around the lines.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:11   #13
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defjef pretty much covers my experience over the last
7 years using dutchman system.
Especially handy as I often time single hand and when necessary I can release halyard and forget, (flakes like
venetian blinds)...no gathering, no obstruction from hanging sail, no chafe.
Its recommended that dutchman is installed on new sail,
and that sail creates memory...I left sail flaked on boom the
first winter. (not on boat)
For Dutchman owners, if one reads the booklet, at the very end
they indicate that if you have read through the booklet they
will replace the monfilement(for one time only) free of charge.
I did read and after 7 years they did replace N/C, no problem.
One must ease the running topping lift when getting under
way and then and then tighten again before taking sail down...easily done.
Hope this helps, Hugo
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Old 01-12-2010, 17:34   #14
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I have a dutchman on my mainsail on my caliber 33 and love it. Sometimes you want that main DOWN and out of the way while you tend to other stuff - the dutchman together with a strong track means that if I release the halyard, the sail is down and flaked and under control within seconds. But it has to be installed correctly as noted above.
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Old 01-12-2010, 18:22   #15
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Quote:
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We have had a Dutchman for many years and find it most helpful. Still have to assist the sail to get a nice and tidy flake. Ours is set up on an endless line so that we can lower if when the sail cover goes on. The nylon guide lines need replacing ocasionally.
Regards, Richard.
Yep...what he said. To make it tidy it still takes some fiddling. But after a little memory sets in....not much effort. If I had money to burn and the next boat didn't have it. I would consider putting them on and modifying the sail

I've replaced my nylon lines a few year back with 'titanium' weed whacker line.

The titanium, I think, was a marketing ploy with the inclusion of titanium dioxide. I don't think there's any strength abrasion resistance, but there might be some UV protection...6 years later in the tropical sun they're still looking good...very good. The spool was cheap....umm, inexpensive. I don't think I'll have to replace them
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