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Old 14-06-2016, 02:39   #1
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Keep my Lazy jacks?

So I'm running into a small dilemma right now. I currently run a Catalina 42, and it currently has lazy jacks that can stow away, etc. My sail cover for my mainsail has some tears in it right now, and I am looking into getting it replaced soon. (Its just plain old) The issue that I am running into right now is when I go out sailing, I am very shorthanded since my wife is taking care of the kids most of the time. The issue that I run into sometimes is that its difficult to raise the mainsail because I have to go on the towards the boom to release the sail ties and then raise the sails. It is very difficult to do this very quickly as I have to run around and then hopefully keep the boat going straight into the wind, etc. Sometimes I have some difficulty lowering the sails into the lazy jacks because the sails sometimes will sometimes blow over while it is being lowered.

I was thinking of removing my current lazy jacks and opt to go to the UK lazy cradle or the mack pack. In my head, it seems like it would be easier. I could head into the wind and ask my wife to use our electric winch and to pull up the sails, and it would be just as easy to lower.

Am I not doing something correct? I am still a beginning sailor so any advice would help.

Obviously the cheapest route would be to get a new sail cover. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 14-06-2016, 02:49   #2
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

I have the same problem dude. I've have suggestions of pulling the lazy jacks back pout of the way before raising the sail. I don't have a problem lowering them, just raising the sail
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Old 14-06-2016, 02:56   #3
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Yeah I can stow my lazy jacks to the side whenever I want. Its just raising the sails without it spilling over is difficult by myself.
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Old 14-06-2016, 03:00   #4
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

I have a system similar to what you called the UK Lazy Cradle.
With this system, as with normal lazy jacks, there is still the problem of the sail battens hooking the lazy jacks as the sail is raised.
To eliminate this, before I raise the sail, either at the dock, mooring, or at anchor, I roll down the sail cover and secure to the boom. The lazy jacks are then brought forward to the mast, and the sail is secured to the boom with ties.
Once the sail is hoisted, the lazy jacks can be put back to the normal position, but I keep the sail cover rolled down, as when it is up, I cannot see the foot of the sail, which is important for reefing, and it flaps around.

For lowering, I don't have a problem with the lazy jacks, it's fairly easy with the auto pilot. If I can, I'll sail closed hauled, and then ease traveller and main sheet until the main sail luffs, and then lower. While I ease the halyard down, I pull in on the leech reef lines, and that pulls the leech aft, and helps to land the main on the boom without it spilling out of the lazy jacks.

All in all, I like the system with the lazy jacks attached to the sail cover.
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Old 14-06-2016, 03:04   #5
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkchen View Post
Yeah I can stow my lazy jacks to the side whenever I want. Its just raising the sails without it spilling over is difficult by myself.
I think that is something that has to be lived with. I release the sail ties just before the hoist. With the slack taken out of the leech reef lines, it helps keep the sail on the boom. If the sail does come off the sail, it's no big deal, just hoist quicker.

I manage to do this single handed on a 47ft boat, it gets better with practice.
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Old 14-06-2016, 03:04   #6
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

It's not s perfect solution, but s stackpack (or mack pack or ....) type setup will make it easier for you. No sail ties, the main is constrained in the bag. Do you have an autopilot? This will help a lot when short-handed also.
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Old 14-06-2016, 03:16   #7
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

I do have autopilot. In an ideal situation I always like to raise the sail before I get out of the marina because its just plain easier to raise and lower your sail there. If I use the autopilot then I'll need to go outside of the marina to do it. I guess if I want to stay cheap then it'll be better just to use autopilot.
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Old 14-06-2016, 04:39   #8
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

It sounds like your current lazy jacks system is of a poor design. As, sadly, most are. But a little common sense & ingenuity can remedy such.
And my "apologies" for the attached Sermon. I'm just trying to pass on a bit of what I was fortunate to be schooled in.

With a set of custom DIY lazy jax, you'll Never have any problems with snagging on them. Regardless of what you're doing with the main.
My first pair cost me $20, including; the blocks on the spreaders, the mast cleats, strap eyes on the boom, 3-strand nylon, & a 6-pack, for when I was splicing them.

This was my first time making a set, BTW. But I chose the DIY route as; I was 22 & "poor", plus I'd looked at the $150 kits @ West Marine, that many of my dockmates had/were getting, & knew that I could build something better, on the cheap.

Especially as I both often saw, & heard, complaints & horror stories from folks with the OEM kits. And it was obvious from where the legs of their jax were located, & how few legs that there were, that they wouldn't capture the sail well. In addition to their being designed so that the angles built into them would be snag prone, via their geometry & locations of their attachment points.


To make your own: Simply put the blocks on the spreaders about 1' away from the mast. And splice the jax in a Crescent Shape, starting at about 70% of the way towards the boom's aft end.
I spaced the legs on mine so that they were about 2' apart. So, say, 6 of them on the boom of my Ranger 33', at the time. My 1st boat.
And the strap eyes are for the boom's underside, where you tie (& tune/adjust) the legs of the lazy jacks to.

When going sailing, I'd loosen them only slightly, prior to leaving the dock. Taking the mainsail cover off at the same time. Never really needing to bother with sail ties, due to the spacing of the jax legs holding things in place. Though sometimes I'd throw a couple of ties onto the sail, at day's end out of old habit. And the only time that the jax got adjusted, was to re-tension them after the sail cover was on, & the boat was put to bed.

Ah, & the sail had standard plastic slides (slugs). And with the jax, I could literally let go of the halyard, & the sail would drop onto the boom, flaking itself on the way down, with no need for any assistance.
So that I could give a total newby the task of; hoisting, dropping, or reefing the main, & it was a no brainer for them to get it right; sans drama, with a little verbal guidance.


BTW: Be VERY careful using a powered winch on anything. But especially when hoisting sails. As with a second's inattention, you'll be shopping for a new main.
And Do Not put the halyard into the self tailing jaws of the winch when operating it via electro-mechanical power.
Rather, tail the line by hand, as if it were a non self-tailing winch. So that you can Feel as well as see, any snagging, or problems when hoisting the sail/tensioning the halyard. And thus, be able to instantly desist from hoisting things, if your hands or eyes detect any problems.

For if you're tailing it by hand, you can let the drum spin all day, under power, but if you're not pulling on the halyard's tail, then the line (& the sail) won't be moving at all.

Also, don't fall into the trap of watching the winch or your hands, while operating things. Watch the sail the whole time.
As until you've hard wired proper line handling techniques when using a winch, into your muscle memory, via practice on a standard winch. Power winches have as many dangers as they do advantages. Both to you/your hands, as well as the gear & equipment onboard.

If you tail a powered winch as delineated above, you still get to skip the grinding part, for all but the last 2'-4' of the hoist. But you greatly lessen the odds of damaging anything, due to not being able to feel the sail's feeding throughout the hoist.
It's, sadly, a common mistake.

Proper tailing technique truly is a safety thing, for many reasons. And at times it can literally save your life. And no, I'm not joking or using hyperbole.
The reasons behind such are explained in the linked post.
And while it's quite a read, it's worth the time, IMO. Especially as most folks will never get the expert level of coaching that I did over the years. breaking load of main halyard


Also, here are a few lazy jacks links, gleaned via a Custom Google search of this site https://cse.google.com/cse?siteurl=w...LIZED&gsc.sort=
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Old 14-06-2016, 04:47   #9
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkchen View Post
I could head into the wind and ask my wife to use our electric winch and to pull up the sails, and it would be just as easy to lower.

Am I not doing something correct?
Get your wife to hold it into the wind while you raise the sail. Works great for anchoring too. If I had a wife I'd get her steering for sure. So alone......

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Old 14-06-2016, 05:56   #10
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

A boom bag/ stackpack or whatever you want to call it doesnt really change things all that much. With a decent set of lazyjacks alone the sail should sit in it reasonably well without much in the way of ties in moderate weather.

One idea that might work for your situation is something like a dutch lashing that can be released easily from the cockpit. Google fails to find the knot I use, but it enables a single long running gasket to be quickly undone with just a tug from the cockpit. We use it on a square rigger I sail on to release the headsails without needing to go out on the bowsprit or jibboom. If you are interested I could try drawing it. Otherwise you could use any slip knot type system.

The ultimate (in my minds eye...) system that I intend to try one day, is long curved arms that rise up well above the boom to stop the sail falling off onto the deck. It would make it into a kind of park avenue boom.

The sail should be very easy to raise without fouling battens on the stowed lazyjacks. Or the sail falling onto the deck and fouling lifelines etc.

With the lazyjacks deployed the sail should drop in nicely, and even without lazyjacks it would be easy to stow the sail on the boom without it falling off.
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Old 14-06-2016, 08:58   #11
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Why use sail ties at all? The lazy jacks should constrain the sail, what little it doesn't do the sail cover will.

When putting the sail up, take of the cover, loosen the jacks, and pull to the front of the boom. If the sail falls on the deck, it's not hurting anything.

The one thing I may have missed, do you have an autopilot? Set it to point the boat directly into the wind while you raise the sail. If you don't have an autopilot get one.
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Old 14-06-2016, 09:26   #12
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkchen View Post
So I'm running into a small dilemma right now. I currently run a Catalina 42, and it currently has lazy jacks that can stow away, etc. My sail cover for my mainsail has some tears in it right now, and I am looking into getting it replaced soon. (Its just plain old) The issue that I am running into right now is when I go out sailing, I am very shorthanded since my wife is taking care of the kids most of the time. The issue that I run into sometimes is that its difficult to raise the mainsail because I have to go on the towards the boom to release the sail ties and then raise the sails. It is very difficult to do this very quickly as I have to run around and then hopefully keep the boat going straight into the wind, etc. Sometimes I have some difficulty lowering the sails into the lazy jacks because the sails sometimes will sometimes blow over while it is being lowered.

I was thinking of removing my current lazy jacks and opt to go to the UK lazy cradle or the mack pack. In my head, it seems like it would be easier. I could head into the wind and ask my wife to use our electric winch and to pull up the sails, and it would be just as easy to lower.

Am I not doing something correct? I am still a beginning sailor so any advice would help.

Obviously the cheapest route would be to get a new sail cover. Any advice would be appreciated.
i've been single handling big boats for decades and my guess is you might want to simply slow things down and think one step at a time. to raise the big main i bring her head to wind while almost dead in the water. all but one sail tie was removed and halyard attached while tied up in the slip so it's a simple two step; step one, pull free a simple sail tie slip knot. step two, haul like hell on the halyard. don't have lazy jacks so don't have extra steps to mess with.

no autopilot. not allowed for the single handed racing i do. you likely have one but i'd learn to do as much as i can do without one. adds to the challenge.

sailing is fun and something else.
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Old 14-06-2016, 09:41   #13
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

I never had much of a problem with catching on the lazy jacks. It's about using your autopilot, letting the main sheet be loose to keep it luffing, and timing in raising/dropping the sail to not catch the lines.
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Old 14-06-2016, 10:11   #14
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Years ago I joyfully invested in one those automatic "fall in a bag" lazy jacks replacements device for my tiny sweet Halman 20.

Bad move.

It cluttered up the whole process going up or coming down.

I'm sure someone more experienced will recommend particular devices.
I wouldn't recommend investing blindly.

Mick Mallon
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Old 14-06-2016, 10:20   #15
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Re: Keep my Lazy jacks?

Three solutions: 1. Get a basic auto pilot so the boat self steers(should do this anyways). 2. Get roller reefing, operable from the cockpit(good idea anyways if you got young kids); 3. Change the hanks to the rollerball types that fast drop the sail no matter what your direction is.

You might also explore just sailing with one reef already in the sail. For the Cat42, most of the drive is in the foresails. A sail shop should be able to figure out a workable system for you. Going forward is always a risky proposition. Granny bars help a lot.
Beware of electric winches that do not have adjustable clutches. They can rip sails.

Options 1 and 2 are all worth doing as cheap insurance on your life since you have kids. Why take risks when for $3-$5K you can get all three done.
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