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Old 15-03-2018, 07:24   #1
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Stack pack or sail cover?

On my old boat I installed Lazy Jacks and used a sail cover in port or at anchor.



The cover was not modified to work with the Lazy Jacks so it was always a little lumpy when we used them together.



I've seen a lot of people talk about going to stack packs and there are tales of how it's much easier to put away the main. But I'm concerned of the affect it may have on sailing and the efficiency of the sail.

But what's the consensus out there?

1. Anyone have experience with both?

2. Which do you prefer?

3. What are the pros and cons of both? (I already know the pros and cons of Lazy Jacks or no Lazy Jacks)

Thanks
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Old 15-03-2018, 08:23   #2
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

I have the perfect solution:

Mackpack

It's both, sort of a stack pack, and sort of a sail cover.

I used to have a stack pack on my 40ft Passport. I hated it. It had huge battens that were very heavy. I could never look at the foot of the sail easily (yeah, bringing down that heavy thing, which would flap around and hit me if I was near the boom with a bit of wind), so reefing was a pain. It would definitively affect the shape of the sail, because you end up having that crap on your boom and on your main's foot, all the time.

If you want the best of both world, Mack Pack is the answer. No heavy battens, no permanent fixture, it's a sail cover. But it works with the lazy jacks, and it works with you. You can roll it up when using the main, and it stays rolled up near the boom.
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Old 15-03-2018, 08:29   #3
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

I had a Stack Pack on my last boat. It was nice when stowing the sail. However, it had to be re-stitched every year and it was difficult to take it off the boom to get the stitching done.
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Old 15-03-2018, 08:58   #4
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

As an older couple sailing a heavy 55 ft Tayana we would be unable to sail the boat without a stackpack. Our's was designed by ourselves and a sailmaker in Cartegena. It is in its second incarnation and while requiring yearly service we average 4,000nm per year and it is invaluable.

Last year we were caught in a F10 storm off New Zealand and without sails the stackpack gave us steerage.
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Old 15-03-2018, 09:01   #5
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

Re: restitching, we got tired of having to restitch anything on the exterior of our boat every couple of years.
Then we discovered Tenara (Gore Tex) thread and never looked back.
I restitched our trampolines and when my wife made new wheel and sail covers, she used it.
That was YEARS ago, and the stitching looks like new.

Oh, and a vote for Stack pack. Mine's home made and rolls up against the boom with bungie loops and hooks to keep it out of the way and nearly invisible when sailing.

Sorry for thread drift.
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Old 15-03-2018, 10:26   #6
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

I have used both Stackpacks and sail covers.

My preference is stowable lazy jacks and a sail cover. That involves the use of sail ties.

BTW - I take a sail cover off when I leave the dock and put it back on at a dock.
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Old 15-03-2018, 10:37   #7
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
BTW - I take a sail cover off when I leave the dock and put it back on at a dock.
That's I do at the moment. I designed my lazy jacks to be removable or storable, but I don't do that personally.
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Old 15-03-2018, 10:42   #8
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim View Post
That's I do at the moment. I designed my lazy jacks to be removable or storable, but I don't do that personally.
I would stay with what you have.

Or if you really want a stack pack go with one that rolls and stows along the boom. The stack packs with built in lazy jacks are a royal pain. The mainsail battens snag on the lazy jacks when raising the main.

You also cannot use reef point lines with most stack packs.
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:44   #9
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

!7 years of ownership, sail cover to Mackpack, back to sail cover

It sure was nice with the Mackpack (I went with that because it seemed to be the best system of the type) at the end of the day, but I got to hate seeing the thing flap in the breeze while sailing. I installed it with the plan to roll up while under sail, but with the way the lazy jacks are threaded through the cover I found it would difficult to do, effectively. Previous poster may have figured out a good way.

I wondered if the MP would have worked better if the jacks weren't threaded through the cover. There were other things I thought could have improved it from the standpoint of ease of removal, if going offshore for example.

But I went back to a sail cover, and while I think about the MP while I'm tightly furling the main and covering it, I'm not sorry.

A lot can come down to how you day sail, or otherwise need to cover each day. If you sail to different places each day when you are out, a sail cover is not so big a deal.
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Old 15-03-2018, 20:46   #10
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I would stay with what you have.

Or if you really want a stack pack go with one that rolls and stows along the boom. The stack packs with built in lazy jacks are a royal pain. The mainsail battens snag on the lazy jacks when raising the main.

You also cannot use reef point lines with most stack packs.
Thanks. FYI, the new boat has nothing right now. No lazy jacks, no stack pack or mack pack.

On my other boat, I fixed the old owner's lazy jacks. They were not installed properly and did not work. He actually tied two lines together near the block so that the jacks could not be adjusted!

I like the lazy jacks especially when I'm single-handing the boat. So, I'm trying to get other people's experiences with both.

The main issue with regular lazy jacks is that they don't work well with sail covers unless the cover is designed for them.

One obvious choice is to make a custom cover that accommodates the jacks.
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Old 15-03-2018, 21:28   #11
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim View Post
Thanks. FYI, the new boat has nothing right now. No lazy jacks, no stack pack or mack pack.

On my other boat, I fixed the old owner's lazy jacks. They were not installed properly and did not work. He actually tied two lines together near the block so that the jacks could not be adjusted!

I like the lazy jacks especially when I'm single-handing the boat. So, I'm trying to get other people's experiences with both.

The main issue with regular lazy jacks is that they don't work well with sail covers unless the cover is designed for them.

One obvious choice is to make a custom cover that accommodates the jacks.
Lazy jacks are only necessary when lowering a sail.

Once the sail is down and secured with sail ties, stow the lazy jacks at the mast, then cover the sail (if at the dock) - no custom cover required.
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Old 15-03-2018, 21:37   #12
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Lazy jacks are only necessary when lowering a sail.



Once the sail is down and secured with sail ties, stow the lazy jacks at the mast, then cover the sail (if at the dock) - no custom cover required.


slapslapslapslapslapslapslapslap
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Old 15-03-2018, 21:53   #13
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Stack pack or sail cover?

We went from sailcover to mackpack and will never look back! We donít worry about where to store the cover the lazy jacks let us handle the mainsail as we need to and no more. The lazy jacks get pulled forward when raising the main and once itís raised we put them back into place. Although (as jackdale points out) itís difficult, but not impossible, to tie in reef points. Also the head of the sail is still exposed when the pack is closed and we are going to sew a collar to keep that area out of the sun. You need to be careful with the zippers and donít pull them hard because quite often our new sail wonít pack down into the pack when we drop it... requiring a little bit more work pushing down the sail into the pack to zip it up.
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Old 15-03-2018, 22:02   #14
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

I purchased a stack pack two weeks ago for $800 (Australian) for our 32 foot yacht and after two weekends of sailing I really like the ease of use. My 11 year old can stow the mainsail. So its a winner for me.
Not to mention to get the main ready all you have to do is unzip the bag.
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Old 15-03-2018, 22:12   #15
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Re: Stack pack or sail cover?

BigJim,

Everybody's got an opinion, right? Well, I think your decision should be based on whether your primary love with the boat is racing or cruising. If racing, forget the lazy jacks (wind resistance, plus crew to help stow the sail).

If you are cruising, where the boom bag sort of item really comes into its own, imo, is that when you reef, you don't have to tie in reefs; the lazy jacks direct the sail into the bag, and the bunt of the sail is captive in the bag, so it's easy to see under, and you don't have to tie the nettles around the sail, above the boom. Less weather exposure for you.

The boat we had before this one, the boom was 12 ft. long, and it was a 4:1 aspect ratio. Basically, a small sail. So small, we never tied in the reefs points, in fact. This one, the mast is about 15 ft. taller and the boom is 17 ft long, and the mainsail's a real handful. The point is that the overall sail size and shape may affect your decision, too. The original owner/builders of this boat sailed it w/o a boom bag; we bought a new main, and boom bag after sailing her for only a few months, and I've never regretted the choice.

Anyhow, I think use and sail size/shape are factors for you to consider in your decision.



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