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Old 22-08-2006, 14:00   #1
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Opinions on Lazy Jacks

I'm considering installing lazy jacks on my boom. I'm about to order a new sail cover and need to decide weather to do it or not. What are the down falls/advantages of having lazy jacks??????????

If I go ahead, I've pretty much made up my mind on which style to use but can't decide on the materials. Some use a coated wire and others use sta-set line.


The main sail is 46' luff X 16' foot (loose footed). If I let it go it practiclly fills the cockpit. But there are times when it maybe necessary to let it down quickly. I basiclly single hand. And the winds come up pretty fast here. You maybe in dead air one minute and 30 minutes later it'll be at 25 knots and gusting with 2-3' white caps. 380 sq. ft. of sail is a lot to handle when the wind changes so fast. So I'm wondering if lazy jacks may help.

Whatca think???
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:04   #2
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I really like lazy jacks but if I had to do it over I'd get a stack-pack. Just drop the sail and zip it up (if it's installed correctly). Since you need a sail cover too why don't you go for the stack-pack.
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:33   #3
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having used both I'd have to agree on the stack pack. It is so easy to reef, set, or stow with a stack pack. Moorings boats all have them.
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:47   #4
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I like lazy jacks but you need to set the spacing so you can rasie the sail without fouling the the lines of the lazy jacks with the sail battens. Some perliminary measurements will help.
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:51   #5
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Love em hate em. I have used them on a few boats, and they did not work well. Not my boat, and I didn't set them up, so that may be the problem. I have them on Kittiwake. Same design you have pictured. They work great. Bottom line, If properly installed and adjusted, they are a good way to go. I haven't used the stack pac.
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:56   #6
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Paul,

I solved the problem of a narrow slot by tying the lazy jacks at spreader height to the tips of the spreaders with shock cord. When I ease the jacks to haul up the sail the shock cords pull them to the side creating a much larger slot. When dropping the sail tightening the jacks pulls everything back in and the slot is again narrow. I have full battens and this works well with them. No more being hung up if you're not dead into the wind.
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:57   #7
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The lazy jacks that the riggers installed on my boat last winter have NO HARDWARE except for the eyelets on the mast and boom to which they attach, and the cleats on the boom for tieing them off. The lazy jacks are made out of rather slippery spectra line, and the various interconnections are made with eye splices, the line just running through with no metal rings nor any blocks. Nothing to chafe on the sail, although when sailing we generally loosen them and pull them forward to the reefing hooks at the gooseneck.

We pull out the lazy jacks when ready to drop the sail, and then once the sail is down and secured to the boom with sail ties, we loosen the lazy jacks and pull them forward to the mast again so they are out of the way of the sail cover.

We do sometimes have the problem of the battens getting caught when hoisting the sail, but that can largely be addressed simply by the helmsman keeping the boat head to the wind, keeping an eye on the sail going up and steering such that the battens stay out of the jacks.
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Old 22-08-2006, 15:20   #8
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Biggest problem I have is their in the way when I hoist sail. Catch on battens. If I did it again, I would consider something like the Jiffy Jax
http://www.jiffyjax.com

I have a Mack pack (Mack Sails version of a stack pack). Since they don't use a batten along the top of the pack, I think I could still make something like the Jiffy Jax work on my boat. I am considering doing a little engineering on my own.

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Old 22-08-2006, 15:43   #9
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I have a set of sudo-lazy jacks that I installed on my boat. It uses two lengths of of about twenty feet of 1/4" line from just above the spreaders for each side. Nylon eyes are spliced in the ends. 5/16" bungee cord is "W" through each side (hooks on each end, the "loop" between the two lines is pulled down to form the "W"). There is a clip about mid way on the boom and a pad eye toward the end of the boom. eyelet about winch height on the mast (each side). So, when not deployed, it all comes back and hooks into the eye (and a clip) on the mast. When deployed, one end stays attached at the mast, the loop (between the two lines from up on the mast) hooks into the clip mid boom, and the other end hooks on the pad eye on the end of the boom.

It sounds WAY more complex than it actually is. The bungee cord makes it easy to put out even with sails fully deployed, and it gets out of the way when you are all done. Since I single had almost all the time, this arrangement works out very well for me. Don't know about the stack pac arrangement, but it seems that it would be pretty expensive. This set up cost about $150 USD, and I bought a roll of 5/16" bungee for $40, and have used about 40 feet to redo the bungee cord part last year (after 4 years of use).
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Old 22-08-2006, 16:56   #10
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Nothing but trouble

About got divorced over those damn things. Tried rigging them a multitude of ways; still couldn't get a decent set and effective sail handling. Sought advice from those much more knowledgable than myself, but they weren't there to drop the sail when the wind really started to howl and see how crappy the whole system was. Finally decided on the Dutchman system. Lost the main halyard when it chafed thru at the truck in 40 knots in the Yucatan channel (bad splice in a new halyard direct from the shop), and the main fell down with a loud crack. Of course, I was down below at the time (figures), but ran up the companionway to find the main neatly stacked on the boom directly where it was supposed to be. My guess is that with lazyjacks, the main would have blown off the side of the boat and it would have been a hassle to retrieve. As it was, I had a spare halyard set up, and the main was back up and drawing in 5 minutes. I've tried lazyjacks on 3 different boats now, and although it might just be me, my suggestion is look at the Dutchman system. My 2 cents.
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Old 22-08-2006, 18:11   #11
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Thomas, You boat is one of the ones I was refering to. I guess if you have worked the bugs out, your system is a good design, but I remember struggling with it at least once. Of course handling that 40 acre main sail without them would be worse I think it really is a matter of getting them dialed in so they do not foul other rigging. Kittiwake's lazy jacks also run off th spreaders, and I have no problem with them. The are 1/4" line tied off to the belaying pins on the shrouds. When I want them out of the way, I just slack the lines and tuck them behind the gooseneck.
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Old 22-08-2006, 19:53   #12
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I've looked at the stack packs but I don't know that it would work that well with a loose footed sail.

When I'm runing before the wind I run the boom out about 45-50 degrees and then ease off on the out haul. The sail takes the shape of a large jib balloned out like on a whisker pole. I don't think that would work very well with a stack pack.

I like the idea of a Dutchman but don't you have to punch a bunch of holes in the sail???

Attaching the lazy jacks to the spreaders with bungee's sounds appealing like Vasco mentioned. And yeah! I'll probably go rings vs blocks..........._/)
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Old 22-08-2006, 20:40   #13
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We tried lazy jacks (EZ-JAX), but the fouled the sail too much during raising and lowering, when it was blowing. We had the lines going up to the spreaders just outboard of the mast in order to avoid just that situation. I liked the self-deploying feature (from the cockpit) of the EZ-JAX system.

We ended up removing them. Looking back, I am pretty sure they were cut too large for the boom. So, proper sizing is important.
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Old 22-08-2006, 23:18   #14
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My Lazy Jack system sounds very similar to Thomas's set up. Mine seems to work OK. But I had issues the first time I installed the system. I got caught up and similar complaints as above. It turns out to be criticle to get all the mounting points just right. I now have a very workable system.
Tell me though, in regards to Charlies post above, how does a stack pack work in making reefing easier?? Are there disadvantages to stackpacks??
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Old 22-08-2006, 23:47   #15
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Maybe I'm willing to do a little more work but we have no issues with our lazy jacks in fact would not chose any other system at this point. Our full batten loose footed main [60' hoist / 18.5' foot] is on batt cars and we have retractable lazy jacks. They have no blocks or moving parts. They look like conventional lazy jacks when extended and catch the sail wonderfully. After I have tied the sail up after lowering I pull them forward and tie them off at their cleat which is about a foot behind the gooseneck on each side. The sail cover is totally normal except an extra zipper on each side to accommodate the retracted lazy jacks. When hoisting the main the lazy jacks remain forward and have not obstructed the sail at any time. Only thing you need to make sure of is that the halyard is lead properly. Also they remain forward while sailing at all times so there is no chafe issue.

FWIW
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