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Old 23-07-2012, 23:59   #1
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I have grown tired, when cruising, of having to single handedly fold the main down onto the boom. So recently, I have looked at the dutchman system. Is this really worth it?
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Old 24-07-2012, 01:44   #2
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

I have used them a few times, and they always worked well for me. But I don't have extensive experience with them. I know they really need to be installed by a sailmaker to ensure the grommets get lined up properly, and I am not a huge fan of either the fishing line they use for the guides, or the effect on the roach of the main sail.

I have lazy jacks on my boat, and again, they work fine. But moving them forward off the sail is a bit of a pain, and pulling the sail up can get tricky if they get caught up in the jack lines.

Either ow ever would be much prefered to any roller furler system in my mind.
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Old 24-07-2012, 04:31   #3
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

I have Dutchman system and have never been happy with it. Have been trying to get it adjusted so the sail comes down for 1.5 years now. Seems the folds don't always like to to go to the right side. I think part of the problem is that I have a full roached battened sail.

My last boat I had a Stakpak and it worked a lot better I feel. But at $2000 from Doyle I don't like it enough to replace my Dutchman. But there are other verisons I am considering for when I need to replace my main sail.
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Old 24-07-2012, 04:43   #4
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

I had the Dutchman on our Crealock 37 that we cruised in for 10 years. The system worked very well. I replaced the lines once. We had a full battened main. It is necessary for the sail to develop "memory" for it to work properly, and it does take some effort to flke the sail properly to get the cover on, but overall, a good system. Our current boat had lazy jacks, and I really didn't care for them. Battens would hang up when raising the sail, unless dead straight into the wind, still took effort to reflake the sail. I switched to a Leisure Furl boom, and am very pleased with it after 5 years. Once you know how to set it up, it is effortless, and, in my opinion, much safer as there is no need to leave the cockpit to reef. I wouldn't hesitate to have a Dutchman system.
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:28   #5
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

We have a dutchman and are happy with it. There was a thread on this topic a year or so ago.
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:54   #6
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I have Dutchman system and have never been happy with it. Have been trying to get it adjusted so the sail comes down for 1.5 years now. Seems the folds don't always like to to go to the right side. I think part of the problem is that I have a full roached battened sail.

My last boat I had a Stakpak and it worked a lot better I feel. But at $2000 from Doyle I don't like it enough to replace my Dutchman. But there are other verisons I am considering for when I need to replace my main sail.
Never had a Dutchman, but do have a Doyle 2+2 main. A real PITA to flake.
Couldn't justify $2300 for a Doyle stackpack, so designed and made, what I think, is a superior version.
Male/female adjustable straps under the slide mounted, foot boltrope,
1/2" pvc in doubled fabric pockets, with cutouts for 1" figure-8 straps, slid over the pipe, with St Steel sisterhooks to let my lazy jacks go when I need the awning.
Zippered flap 4" wide to close off top, with 1/4 turn fittings on flap around the mast, supported by adjustable height lanyards on the mast.
My boom gooseneck lifts with the main, (with draft downhaul), and auto matically eases topping lift.
What used to be a 45 minutes sail putaway, is now 2 minutes.

Oh yeah, less than $1000 installed, all st steel fitting, sunbrella,--and that GOOD thread.
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:57   #7
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

People have a love-hate relationship with their Dutchman system as evidenced in the comments here. Those who manage to properly adjust them exclaim their effectiveness and those who don't have them properly adjusted always blame the Dutchman. It does take some effort to ensure the proper tension and spacing but once done, they work great even on full roach mainsails.

What is difficult is sifting through the comments of folks who think they properly adjusted them as human nature always tends to blame the thing rather than themself.
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:19   #8
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

Illusion's comments are spot on. Once it's set up it works well. Sometimes a couple of folds don't end up on the correct side of the boom when the sail comes down, so you just pull them through. Ours uses small diameter Dyneema line, not "fishing line."

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Old 24-07-2012, 07:01   #9
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

I have had the dutchman on a couple of boats. It worked really well on the last boat, which didn't have a hydraulic boom vang. With the hydraulic vang, you would have to let the halyard down a few feet, then pull the mainsheet tight to tension the dutchman, then let the sail drop. The faster the sail comes down the better the results.

Reefing downwind was tricky-you would have to let the halyard down a bit at a time and take up on the reefing line to the end of the boom--otherwise the dutchman lines would break.

If you get one, have the sailmaker install simple grommets in the sail, not the plastic ones supplied by dutchman.
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:09   #10
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

We had a Dutchman system on our previous boat and have a Doyle Stackpack with lazyjacks on the current one. Once the sail was trained (flaked on the boom for a few days), it went up and down more easily with the Dutchman. It flaked like a venetian blind with only minimal attention to the old slides. That contrasts with pulling the lazyjacks forward so the battens don't stick with the current setup and then still having to hand flake some to get everything to fit properly in the Stackpack.

I much prefer the Stackpack compared to the cover with Dutchman. We had our cover modified so that it wasn't hard to line up the Dutchman lines with the slots and close the cover around them, but it's not as easy as just zipping the top. On the other hand, if your boom is high and you're short, zipping could be a pain as you get close to the mast.

I love the Stackpack at the end of the season. I disconnect the outhaul, remove the reefing lines, pull the slides off the mast and zip the front of the stackpack over them. I can then slip the main off the boom in the pack. It's easy to handle and ready for transport. The Dutchman is a pain to rig, though not too bad with an assistant. I don't think there's enough difference between the two to warrant switching from one to the other on a functioning sail. Starting from scratch, I'd probably lean towards the Dutchman.
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Old 24-07-2012, 09:54   #11
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When I was a kid sailing with my dad, he had the dutchmen system installed. Rigging that sail (with the dutchmen) is among my worst memories on the boat. Needless to say, it has left me reluctant to purchase the system. On the other hand, flaking the main is not my favorite chore.
Based on the comments (all of which I'm grateful for), I think that I should shy away from that particular flaking system. I just don't think I would have the dedication to properly install the system, and so get its proper results.
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Old 24-07-2012, 10:02   #12
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CnC40sailor View Post
When I was a kid sailing with my dad, he had the dutchmen system installed. Rigging that sail (with the dutchmen) is among my worst memories on the boat. Needless to say, it has left me reluctant to purchase the system. On the other hand, flaking the main is not my favorite chore.
Based on the comments (all of which I'm grateful for), I think that I should shy away from that particular flaking system. I just don't think I would have the dedication to properly install the system, and so get its proper results.
I understand your reasoning but am reminded of the old adage often stated in different terms that all mean the same thing - no effort, no reward. This really isn't that much work.
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Old 24-07-2012, 10:23   #13
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
I understand your reasoning but am reminded of the old adage often stated in different terms that all mean the same thing - no effort, no reward. This really isn't that much work.
Please excuse my ignorance,--but how do you get rid of the vertical guides if you have an above-boom awning and no hard vang?
Extra long topping lift and boom crutch?
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Old 24-07-2012, 10:30   #14
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I have lazy jacks on my boat, and again, they work fine. But moving them forward off the sail is a bit of a pain, and pulling the sail up can get tricky if they get caught up in the jack lines.
To widen the "slot" in the lazyjacks tie them off at the spreaders to the ends of the spreaders with about a foot or two (depends on the size of the boat) of bungee cord. When you slack the lazyjacks the bungee cord pulls the lazyjack lines to the sides widening the slot. When you tighten the lazyjacks and drop the sail the bungees will stretch and the slot will be narrower. No more having the battens catch on the lazyjacks when hoisting the sail.
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Old 24-07-2012, 10:36   #15
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Re: dutchmen system.....worth it?

Lazy jacks work fairly well. It takes some time to learn to use them hoisting sail and not getting a batten caught though. for single handing that means the tiller must be just right while you are hoisting etc. May be more work than not... in the end it's a love hate relationship.
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