To offer up some feedback. (FAR) Less than 1 boat in 100, have their mainsail
halyard on the port side. And so in an emergency
, 99%+ of sailors out there wont make the transition immediately, to things being switched around.
So putting your main halyard there is a safety
faux pau. In addition to a basic, commonality one. Thus I'd suggest that you simply move the deck hardware
over to the other side. And run your gear that way.
On your kite setup, keeping the halyard & topping lift
at the mast
make sense for short handing. As then, one person can handle the sails
controls solo. Or, a 2nd person can work at the mast
, while you go forward to handle the sail or pole.
That said, while you don't need a winch
, for a kite on a boat that size, you NEED to have something mounted on the mast, around which you can snub the spinnaker
Basically, in order to better control it's descent. Especially when it partially fills while you're dropping it, & are up forward, on the foredeck.
As it's a big enough sail, that when it fills, you need
the extra friction of a winch, or cleat, etc. to snub the halyard on. Because the load on the halyard will be too high for you to hold with one hand, & sometimes even with your full body weight.
If you size a cleat right, you can mount a standard (horn type) one, firmly on the mast, at around waist height. And when I say size it right; you don't want the cleat so small that when you jerk on the halyard (which is only underneath one of the horns) that the halyard locks in place. But rather, you want the line to come close to stopping when you do this, but not fully.
So, yeah, the sizing is a little tricky. Plus, with a winch, even a tiny one, or one designed only for snubbing (a fixed winch, which doesn't rotate). If you mount it on the mast. Then you can vary the number of wraps of the halyard which you put around the drum, to tune the friction on things, based on the load in the sail, due to the wind
strength that day.
Ergo, were it me, I'd go & pick up an $40, used winch, & mount it on the mast. It'll make life a lot simpler.
Regarding jam cleats
on the mast. For kites, they're not necessarily the right call. As there will
be times when the halyard has to run, with ZERO hinderance. Or, if not, at a minimum, your spreaders will be getting wet. And since you wont/can't have a crew member
standing watch at that jammer all of the time, during every takedown...
As, what happens if, or rather, when the jammer closes, half way through a takedown, & then the kite refills?
I say this, having lived it. As, for example, one time on a J24, on the Chesapeake Bay
, with a VERY experienced crew onboard. We had about 60sec warning before getting Nailed by a 45kt Line Squall. And when we saw it coming, we just let the spin sheets
& guys run free. Turning the kite into a flag, basically. As there wasn't time to try to even try douse it via any of several conventional techniques.
Yet, despite the kite's being attached to the boat only by a halyard, we took a good 70 degree knock down... and yes, the main was eased fully.
Had any of our gear not been free to run, or had snagged, we'd have probably sunk the boat.
Not that spinnakers are to be feared, but if the above can transpire on a boat where half of the crew are pro's, & the other half are on the water
5 days/week. And in training to be pro's...
Well, it's why I always carry 2 knives when I'm on the water
, & Never loan them out. As there are times when lines just need to be free to run, period.
And yes, like clutches/jammers are common on many boats, especially racers, with all of their halyards led back to a line bank at the companionway
. But they also have a cool hand tending them full time, whenever any sail changing evoluction is going on.
In addition to a heap of experienced crew onboard as well, most to all, equipped with knives, needs be.
PS: A winch for the main halyard on a boat that size isn't mandatory. Especially if you have a good cunningham setup. Or a boom who's gooseneck slides vertically, on a track on the mast. As with the latter, you simply rig a cunningham for the boom, in lieu of a winch on the halyard.
But you should be able to get enough luff tension by hand, on a boat that size, regardless.