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Old 16-02-2012, 02:21   #1
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Hard to Haul up the Main

Anyone got a fix for this - I got a 36 footer with a main that hauls to within 3 feet of the top. Huge effort thereafter gets it to within 6 inches and then no more!! The boat has two reefing lines running back to the cockpit which are always eased when pulling the halyard. I also experimented with different angles on the topping lift and vang but no luck. Pulling the main down is a chore too taking 2 guys 5 minutes on a flat sea to do.
What's the cure for getting this rig to slide up n down like it were on rails?
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Old 16-02-2012, 02:47   #2
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

mclube And check the sheaves
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Old 16-02-2012, 03:27   #3
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

It could be the sheave. Disconnect the halyard from the sail and try pulling it up and down alone. Any stiffness ?

You don't tell us whether the main has a bolt rope or slugs. The same problem could apply to either - it doesn't fit the mast. Not all bolt ropes or slugs are the same size so maybe you will have to cut off whatever you have and fit one size smaller. You can easily resew smaller slugs yourself but a new boltrope will need a sailmaker.
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Old 16-02-2012, 03:37   #4
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

I use dry lubricant from an auto accessories shop. Just rub it on the slugs as you insert them in the track. Mclube as suggested by Xymotic may be better but the cheap lubricant totally solved it for me.

Of course there is the risk of a frozen sheave or some other mechanical cause.
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Old 16-02-2012, 03:47   #5
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pirate Re: Hard to haul up the main

I know this may sound stupid... but have you slackened of all the main sheets/topping lift...
I sometimes forget something with a distraction..... and those last few feet are a bitch... till I remember...
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Old 16-02-2012, 03:55   #6
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

Good question.

The vang should also be eased during hoisting.
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Old 16-02-2012, 03:58   #7
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

full battened? the compression caused by battens on teh luff can cause issues without the right hardware
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Old 16-02-2012, 04:37   #8
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

Op said difficult to drop removing sheets etc.Make sure halyard not crossed with lift etc,& others above.marc
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:00   #9
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Is the halyard of the right diameter? My main was a lot easier to raise when I switched from 1/2" to 7/16".
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:08   #10
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

Boatman and Savoir made good suggestions. You really need to be sure everything is eased off. I know, that last 5 feet can be rough!
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:39   #11
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

As far as lubricating the sail track goes, Practical Sailor ran some tests a few years ago and concluded rubbing candle wax on the track worked well and was best value. That's what I've done and it works great.
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Old 16-02-2012, 06:00   #12
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

If there are metal slides on a metal T track, some times they need to be loosened up by squeezing them open a bit ... flattening with vise-grips.
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Old 16-02-2012, 06:08   #13
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

OK I'll throw out one; are you sure you are using your main halyard and not your spinnaker halyard because that would make it harder to haul up as the sail gets near the top.
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Old 16-02-2012, 18:09   #14
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

We've found putting bits of soap between the slides as we hoist (once or twice a season) has really helped with both raising and lowering the main. I bet a chunk of soap at the beginning of the hoist would work with a bolt rope too. Good luck!
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Old 16-02-2012, 18:21   #15
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Re: Hard to haul up the main

I started using a track lube a really long time ago on the boat we raced. It was a pale goop that looked like vasaline but had powdered teflon in it. I have since found it at McMaster Carr and keep a tub. I've used it on any bolt rope in track with great success. It has been years since I bought but this sounds like the stuff. McMaster-Carr It lasts a long time. The techno-bilge is that the teflon is mechanically forced into the surface, like a crayon and so stays.
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