I can't believe those advocating not running the reefing and main halyard
back to the cockpit have really sailed much single handed. All of At sea's reccomendations are contrary to my experience. I'm not a spring chicken, have done more than 20,000 miles of offshore
sailing, most of it double handed with my 90# wife as well as a solo TransPac this past summer.
I've had zero, zilch, nada problems with running all the strings, except the spinnaker
halyards back to the cockpit. In fact, think it's dangerous for a single hander to have to go forward away from the helm
of the cockpit every time you need to tweak a sail. There is nothing safe about hanging on to a wildly gyrating boom on for dear life as you try and reef because of a sudden squall or worse, putting in the 3rd reef in a storm. On a typical day in SF Bay
I'd reef and reef deeper and shake it all out a number of times on the sail from Alameda around Angel Island and back to Alameda. Sometimes I'd do it just because it was SO EASY from the shelter of the dodger
in the cockpit. On the recent TransPac, had to reef several times a day at one point for passing squalls. Would tie in the reef and shake it out all within the passing of a few minutes. No drama, no wet, no sweat under the dodger
. Really comforting to know I could do it with a behemoth oil
tanker bearing down on me north of Alcatraz and still tweak the heading set on the self steering
The old roller reefing booms are a PIRTA of the first order. They resulted in a crappy setting sail and were a whole lot harder to do than slab reefing whether done at the mast
or the cockpit. The rolls mostly forced you to go to the mast to reef. The sail would bunch around the gooseneck making it extremely difficult to operate the crank. The sail itself would end up with a huge belly in the middle and super taut leech. If you hauled in on the sheet to try and get the belly out of the sail, the leech would stretch out of shape permanently runining the sail. When I put slab reefing on my roller reefing boom, was amazed at how much easier and better the results were. I wouldn't wish roller furling
booms, the old kind, on my worst enemy.
Lazy Jacks are to lower the sail. stow them against the mast when they aren't needed. Trying to raise the main with the Lazy Jacks deployed is asking for trouble. It can be done but why chance it. Raising the sail without the jacks is easy if you just leave the last sail tie in place as you raise the main. When enough of the sail has been raised that it intersects the sail tie, just undue the tie and continue to raise the sail till you are pau. Real easy when you've got the main halyard
on the cabin
top from the cockpit.