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Old 22-09-2016, 13:41   #46
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
I've been thinking about making some modifications to my boat to lead the main halyard, topping lift, and reef lines aft from the mast into the cockpit. Seems like a good safety feature, not having to leave the cockpit to reef the main in rough weather.

Obviously I'd need some blocks, deck eyes, deck organizers, rope clutches and a couple of winches, and I'd need to drill the cockpit coaming and install tubes for the lines to run through. Not a super complex job, by any means, but before I embark on something like this I want to be sure to consider both the pros and cons of doing so.

Pros - safety, convenience
Cons - cost, additional friction in the lines

So, for a blue-water cruiser, what should I be thinking about, in addition to the items listed above? Is there a compelling reason to NOT do something like this? I welcome opinions on both sides of the debate...

Thanks,
David
Leading the mainsail halyard to the cockpit is helpful for raising the main, but may complicate dousing the main, so likely not worth it alone.

Leading the mainsail halyard and reefing lines to the cockpit is another story.

Now the sail area can easily be adjusted to suit conditions.

On our first boat we avoided adding furling due to all the naysayers.

Then upon walking through marinas and yacht clubs, determined that it would be odd for the vast majority to be wrong (though it happens).

Despite the "terrible sail shape" of our furled sail, we actually sailed faster and made more distance per day. Why? How? Easy! It was easier to adjust sail area to suit conditions, so we did, more often, than when we had hank on sails.

Our current boat had the halyard led aft, but not the reefing lines. I fixed that in a "jiffy". Har Har.
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Old 22-09-2016, 14:15   #47
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Best quote of the day! Fear is not the issue, it's all about reducing risk. That will be different for everyone, and also every circumstance. A one-solution-fits-all is not realistic.

In my case, I personally have no concerns about going forward, but I also have to consider my wife and any other possible crew. And none of us are getting any younger and have to consider the future too.

Regards,
David.
I have often felt that going forward IS reducing risk. You do it in a prepared and organized manner and the whole setup is simple with low risk of problems. The lines, tangle ups, complications of lead aft have often made me do things which felt risky. Like hurriedly going forward to release a a rope jam at a turning block etc.
Strangely though, led aft on a small boat seemed convenient.
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Old 22-09-2016, 14:19   #48
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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I added a set of vertical jacklines. Initially they were added to keep the geona sheets off the mast-mounted winches, but I built them strong (Spectra line) and often clip to them when it's really nasty.

The pics are flat water , but you get the idea. I often clip with the short tether around the line, which holds me quite snug. the long tether line is still on the jackline. Easier movement that granny bars and less to install.
Granny rails have a lot more uses than just a tether point. You use them as a solid handhold, brace against them when working around the mast, climb on them to reach higher up the mast, hang things such as coils of line from them etc.
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Old 22-09-2016, 15:31   #49
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Having sailed both arrangements, its a definite for leading lines back to the helm/cockpit. Safety First! IMO, as a blue water cruiser, I can't see for the life of me why I'd want to go up on the deck to the mast when there is 30+kts howling and 3+m swells banging - its an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 22-09-2016, 15:36   #50
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Granny rails have a lot more uses than just a tether point. You use them as a solid handhold, brace against them when working around the mast, climb on them to reach higher up the mast, hang things such as coils of line from them etc.
Agreed. I'm sure it depends on the boat. I have a hard top to get higher, and the line tails/coils are secured to the deck. Granny rails would also block the view from the helm. Depends on the boat.
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Old 22-09-2016, 17:02   #51
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
I've been thinking about making some modifications to my boat to lead the main halyard, topping lift, and reef lines aft from the mast into the cockpit. Seems like a good safety feature, not having to leave the cockpit to reef the main in rough weather.

Obviously I'd need some blocks, deck eyes, deck organizers, rope clutches and a couple of winches, and I'd need to drill the cockpit coaming and install tubes for the lines to run through. Not a super complex job, by any means, but before I embark on something like this I want to be sure to consider both the pros and cons of doing so.

Pros - safety, convenience
Cons - cost, additional friction in the lines

So, for a blue-water cruiser, what should I be thinking about, in addition to the items listed above? Is there a compelling reason to NOT do something like this? I welcome opinions on both sides of the debate...

Thanks,
David
/-


Majority of my ocean sailing has been single handed and wouldn't be without all my lines running to the cockpit.
The pro/cons are adequately covered here and won't repeat; however, one feature I was late to add is the down haul on the main. I have a MacPack with a line running to the sail head board and the sail is pulled down neatly into the cover thus eliminating the last reason to go on deck to the mast.
When I was young and nimble and could jump around like a rabbit wasn't much of a chore going on deck, but age eventually catches up then you need all the convenience a safety available.
Sure I drilled holes in the combing and deck, added extra blocks, winches and clutches, none of which was difficult or that expensive.
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Old 23-09-2016, 00:13   #52
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

I've been a racer most of my life and on all the big ocean racers I've crewed on, including 84 footers, all control lines led back to a cockpit ( most big race boats have more than one cockpit). this is for safety and above all else, speed in control of sails. I've carried this on in my cruising boats where all halyards, tweekers, reef lines and spinnaker pole control lines are led back to the cockpit. I feel a lot safer not having to go forward in a blow and why get soaked when you don't have to? Plus when sailing short handed, it works!
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Old 23-09-2016, 00:52   #53
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

There is some REALLY good stuff in this thread. Great food for thought! Thank you all for your well considered contributions.

My personal plan for my next boat includes tailing to the cockpit - but not a veritable loom of control lines, extra winches, blocks, cam cleats and clutch bars. Oh no! I'm not ocean racing to a Caribbean beach bar or market. Give me lines to well build and well maintained roller-furling systems. That will do nicely, thank you very much!

The two primary considerations for me tailing to the cockpit are short-handed sailing (read: sleep) and age. Health and happiness carries a lot of weight.

Only the grace of God will allow me a larger boat on our budget, so tailing to the cockpit on a large boat is a moot point. However I should point out that large in my world, is over 40'. Even then, I would tail furling lines.

I am critiquing every boat I consider for a sail plan balanced to the hull design. From light zephyrs - to design wind - to "Oh Crap!; I'm gonna heave to if I have the sea room!" I want this baby to behave.

For me, everything furls; and to a large reinforced clew area with large chafe-guards sewn in; ones that are suitably staunch to stand for storm sails. If there is no inner-stay, next boat is getting one. Gimme a main and a stay sail furled to the size of storm sails and well balance to the keels' center of force. That the ticket; rather than having to hank storm sails solo in a blow. What was fun while I was young can wear my donkey out - if not outright kill me at this age.

Yes, there are times when it is unavoidable. We all have to go out on the deck in an blow from time to time. And yes, I still yell to the wild and wet wind with a grin on my face. Just not from the bow pulpit or at the mast if I can help it.

Rrrr...
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Old 23-09-2016, 02:42   #54
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
what was a success was routing the topping lift to a jam cleat attached to the backstay. Dead easy to adjust so it sits quietly and downwind in light airs with the topping lift, preventer and mainsheet it's easy to set the boom so the main is happy. Without leaving the cockpit
Hey, can you please explain more on your arrangement and why this is better than leading it to the mast?
In my case, I need to put it on a winch in order to lift the boom...
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Old 23-09-2016, 06:59   #55
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by CareKnot View Post
There is some REALLY good stuff in this thread. Great food for thought! Thank you all for your well considered contributions.

My personal plan for my next boat includes tailing to the cockpit - but not a veritable loom of control lines, extra winches, blocks, cam cleats and clutch bars. Oh no! I'm not ocean racing to a Caribbean beach bar or market. Give me lines to well build and well maintained roller-furling systems. That will do nicely, thank you very much!

The two primary considerations for me tailing to the cockpit are short-handed sailing (read: sleep) and age. Health and happiness carries a lot of weight.

Only the grace of God will allow me a larger boat on our budget, so tailing to the cockpit on a large boat is a moot point. However I should point out that large in my world, is over 40'. Even then, I would tail furling lines.

I am critiquing every boat I consider for a sail plan balanced to the hull design. From light zephyrs - to design wind - to "Oh Crap!; I'm gonna heave to if I have the sea room!" I want this baby to behave.

For me, everything furls; and to a large reinforced clew area with large chafe-guards sewn in; ones that are suitably staunch to stand for storm sails. If there is no inner-stay, next boat is getting one. Gimme a main and a stay sail furled to the size of storm sails and well balance to the keels' center of force. That the ticket; rather than having to hank storm sails solo in a blow. What was fun while I was young can wear my donkey out - if not outright kill me at this age.

Yes, there are times when it is unavoidable. We all have to go out on the deck in an blow from time to time. And yes, I still yell to the wild and wet wind with a grin on my face. Just not from the bow pulpit or at the mast if I can help it.

Rrrr...
I'm not a big fan of in-mast furling.

In theory, it sounds great, infinite area adjustability.

In practice, as soon as one encloses are furling system, trouble begins.

Even an enclosed foresail furling drum is more trouble than open.

Enclosing a furling system over the entire length of the mast? Forget it!

I'm sure there are folks who have in-mast furling and love it.

I won't have it, ever.
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Old 23-09-2016, 07:08   #56
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pirate Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Granny rails would also block the view from the helm. Depends on the boat.
No more so than a pulpit.. how thick do you think they are..
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Old 23-09-2016, 07:36   #57
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

Hi Rod,

May we presume you've had some problems?

I've dealt with closed and open drum furling on various headsails and in-mast and boom furling systems on mains and mizzens over protracted periods and under all conditions.

The only trouble I've ever had was when a block key cracked and bent, jamming the pulley on the furling line to the staysail. It was the only part of the system I couldn't visually inspect without taking it apart. It's also the strongest part of a block, so I really didn't see that coming. The sail was half furled when it jammed, so I just tied it off and kept sailing till the storm passed.

The only downside I've found is sacrificing some roach, because battens don't furl so good. But that's ok too. The have a sail for that.
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I'm not a big fan of in-mast furling.

In theory, it sounds great, infinite area adjustability.

In practice, as soon as one encloses are furling system, trouble begins.

Even an enclosed foresail furling drum is more trouble than open.

Enclosing a furling system over the entire length of the mast? Forget it!

I'm sure there are folks who have in-mast furling and love it.

I won't have it, ever.
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Old 23-09-2016, 08:16   #58
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

I have only seen a handful of problems with in mast reefing.

One time it was an old and bad system (add-on), another case was the crew not controlling the lines and jamming the main.

Never ever heard of any trouble on Amels. Note Amels were very early adopters and build their masts around the idea.

Many, many maxis have in mast furlers. They do have a problem now and then but so do slab reefers (e.g. tracks being pulled out of the mast ...).

A well designed, built and maintained in-mast is 100% good solution imho. At times, this is the only viable solution too.

b.
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Old 23-09-2016, 08:18   #59
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

I've found that the easier the boat is to work, the more you'll use it so I have everything led aft and have a Mack Pack on the main and mizzen with a Tough Trak to make the sails go up and down very easily. I can douse, furl and zip up the cover very quickly where it used to take 10 minutes when it was calm.
I have slab reefing which means I can slack the main halyard to a predetermined spot, haul on the two slab reefing lines and retighten the main halyard in about that much time. About as long as it takes to wish I'd reefed sooner.
I'm also looking forward to some overnight passages and possibly some single handing which I would prefer to do as efficiently and stress free as possible without waking the rest of the crew.
Plus I'm getting old!
I find myself unconsciously setting the boat up so I can keep sailing when my physicality starts to seriously diminish like all the lines led aft to a two speed Harken winch so I'm not hauling on things that have quickly gotten to hard to haul on a pitching deck.
Maybe I'm transitioning from Old School to Old Man.
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Old 23-09-2016, 08:28   #60
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Re: Pros and cons of leading halyard and reef lines to cockpit?

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I have only seen a handful of problems with in mast reefing.

One time it was an old and bad system (add-on), another case was the crew not controlling the lines and jamming the main.

Never ever heard of any trouble on Amels. Note Amels were very early adopters and build their masts around the idea.

Many, many maxis have in mast furlers. They do have a problem now and then but so do slab reefers (e.g. tracks being pulled out of the mast ...).

A well designed, built and maintained in-mast is 100% good solution imho. At times, this is the only viable solution too.

b.
Now you guys have me thinking about in-mast furling. I, and my wallet, damn you ;-)

-David
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