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Old 26-09-2007, 21:02   #1
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On-Boom Sail Cover Idea

Sorry for the long post but this is a design idea for a "better mainsail cover"...I've been working on this idea for some time and I'm ready to try it once I get your comments!!

In another post I got some great tips about converting my mainsail to a loose footed one on my Catalina 30, and I'm going to go ahead and do that. Now that I have decided on that, I will have an open slot in the boom that I can use that to anchor a "leave-on-boom" sail cover with either a bolt rope or slugs sewn into the bottom of the cover..
I have looked at both Doyle Stack Pack, Doyle Craddle Cover, and the Mack Pack...all of which have some good points, and some features I do not like.
I think I have a design idea that surpasses them all in features, is less complicated, uses less sunbrella, and would cost a whole lot less to have made.
I'd really appreciate your ideas on this because I clearly could have missed some things. I hope your input can save me the frustration of mistakes...plus, if this works, I'll gladly share the plans and pics with everyone.

I do not want to sew the cover to the main (like the Doyle Stack Pack)..I want it to be totally separate from the main.

I don't think I even want to tie the lazy jacks to the cover to hold it up as a "cradle" (like all of the commercially made ones do) I'll just let the lazy jacks catch the sail when dousing.

To keep the cover from flapping in the wind.. I'm thinking just roll it down to each side of the boom and use a couple of cloth snap-straps on each side of the boom to secure it to itself along the side of the boom while sailing..

I don't think I want the cover to wrap around the front of the mast (like all of them do)...I was thinkng about the front of it just snugging around the front of the sail up against the mast with a built-in bungee and a black clip. I have a picture of one that was built that way.

I dont think I want the zipper down the top (which can wear out and catch.. like they all use) I'm thinking just have overlapping sunbrella flaps with a bungee sewn in one side, openings every 12 inches or so that would "pop" over hooks on the other side...or even just use 1" wide velcro.

I would not need to carefully line up slots in the cover for the reefing lines because since this cover will not be held up against the sail, the reefing lines can just go over the cover that is rolled up against the boom.

So basically, we have a flat piece of sunbrella with a boltrope sewn into the middle, that slides down the boom slot.
Then overlapping flaps that go up and around the sail, each flap crossing over the top of the sail and partially overalpping the other flap... with a batten sewn into a hem a few inches back from the end of each flap for stiffness to roll and stow along the boom, then the bungee in an edge hem on the starboard flap that would be exposed every 12" or so and be popped over hooks sewn into the port side flap..and a black clip (like on life jackets) at the mast in the starboard flap as the bungee that would click into a mating clip on the port side flap, thus enclsoing the "wad " of sail near the boom, and snugging around the front of the not-so-neatly flaked sail near the slugs.

To stow the sail, after lowering the sail in the lazy jacks, I'd just walk to the cabin top, standing on port side of the boom, unroll the port flap onto the sail, grab the starboard flap and flop it over the port side flap, snap the bungee over the hooks, then snap the front clip at the mast.

When raising, you'd reverse that and pop the bungee off the hooks, unclick the snap at the mast, roll up each side and snap the flaps so it's rolled up and snuggling up along the boom.

My current mainsail cover is huge, is a royal pain to remove and put back on, so on my small inland lake, I tend to sail too much of the time on jib alone...I'm sure if I had a sail cover that is this simple and stays on the boom I would use the main more...plus I'm confident this can cost less than half of the (~~) $1,000 for the commercially available ones, and have what I think are better features.

Your thoughts and experiences invited!!!
I look forward to hearing your ideas!


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Old 26-09-2007, 21:34   #2
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I think the velcro is a good idea. We have used zippers , they must be lubed and I like if they can be covered from sun exposure(flap). I had the foot "loosened" on our last boat. I didn't see much difference in sailing performance. Don't think i would do it again. But that said our curent boat is loose footed. We did use the old lugs to fasten the sail cover to the boom. I think a double piece of cloth on top(flap) is a good idea for additional water repelling. On our next repair/ rebuild I may suggest to my canvas person(wife) to use a zipper but have an large overlap/flap to cover the zipper and velco to hold down the flap.
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Old 26-09-2007, 22:47   #3
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I had a large white plastc zip ( biggest size biggest teeth) in my boom cover/lazy jack bag and in a 5 year period of tropical sun had zero problems

Fire the main, falls in boom bag, zip up and rum o'clock in 1 minute .

As my boom was a mast section, the bag attached to it by having the bag in a left and right side with 1 inch web every 500mm or so running through a sail slide and stitched together

It stayed up all the time when sailing and never flapped

Dave
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Old 27-09-2007, 09:53   #4
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What you're describing is basically what is on our boat.
We have a Dragonfly 1000 with a 15' boom and a 44' mast.
The main is loose footed and full battened with Fredericksen recirculating mast cars.
The cover in the picture is a homemade improved version of the original cover.
We went back and forth about surrounding the mast with the cover, but decided to do so after considering we have lots of rain and wind in the winter.
We have a zipper on the front and down the center of the top with enough sunbrella overlap to protect it from the sun (Sun? What's that? We live in the Pacific NorthWET)
The lazyjacks are attached to 3/8" circular battens. Originally, the battens were flat and the lazyjacks were attached to the boom, but this works better. Instead of wrestling the cover up between the dropped sail and the lazy jacks, the cover is raised along with the lazyjacks. It's a lot easier to just throw the reefing lines on top of the sail and zip the cover with this arrangement.

Steve B.

Oops! This is the old cover. See next post.
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Old 27-09-2007, 10:06   #5
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Oops! Pressed wrong button before I was ready.
Here are the pictures I meant to send.
Steve
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Old 27-09-2007, 11:07   #6
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Steve,

INTERESTING...so your lazy jacks literally are tied to the round batten in the sailcover and stop there...hmm...all the other ones then go down to the boom...your idea sounds MUCH simpler...I like it..I think I like it better than my idea of "roll it up and clip to each side of the boom"



And I see you have a topping lift so that takes the load when sail is down, not the lazy jacks...no problem with too much load on the sail cover.

So...do you adjust the lazy jacks before or after dousing or raising the main, or just leave them in one set-n-forget setting (I like that idea if that is what you do)
...this way the lazy jacks stay up at all times?

Curt

PS: When I called my sailmaker this morning about loose footing the main I told him the reason was to build this sail cover and he is interested in that after I told him some of the ideas... I know he could sell them cheaper than the Doyle Stack Packs and other ones...maybe he'll cut me a deal for helping him with the design of a potential future product for him.
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Old 27-09-2007, 11:47   #7
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Thinking outside the box! I like it.
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Old 27-09-2007, 15:35   #8
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Moonchaser,

Actually I don't have a topping lift, I have a Boomkicker. What may look like a topping lift is the starboard ama's cap shroud. The camera was in the perfect position to make it appear as a topping lift.

The weight of the boom and sail is taken by the boomkicker, with none taken by the sail cover. The only upward loading experienced by the sailcover is the amount I put on the lazyjack cord to keep the sail from falling over the side of the boom.

If you look carefully, you will see that both sides of the cover are raised with only one line on the starboard side of the boom. I engineered the lengths so that the raising line hits the stop on the block before the cover can be overstressed. See previous picture.

When I go for a sail, I unzip the cover, raise the main and then ease the lazyjacks. When I roll up the cover sides on each side of the boom, I roll in the eased lazyjacks into the cover and store that with 3 bungie loops. These loops are sewn onto the bottom edge of the cover. When rolled up, the hooks are on the inside of the bottom edge so the bungie loops meet the hooks. See attached picture.

This system makes it very easy to singlehand the boat. When done sailing, I can point the boat upwind, raise the lazyjacks, drop the main and after throwing the reefing lines over the aft end of the sail, zip the cover over the sail in about 2 minutes with no help.

Another photo I took can be seen at Boomkicker.com
Click on pictures and scroll down to Dragonfly 33 w/model 1500 Boomkicker
That is the old sailcover before improvements.

Steve B.
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Old 27-09-2007, 16:36   #9
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I am doing a similar arrangment modelled on North Sails systems. My lazy jacks will be led aloft to pennant blocks on the spreaders so that they are kept away from the sail while sailing and can be easily adjusted up and down. I like the zipper idea with an overlapping flap for weatherproofing. and grommets at the junction of the vertical flap attached to the lazy jacks and the body of the cover to allow water to drain.
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