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Old 03-08-2016, 20:21   #1
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faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

Greetings 450 owners. Just took delivery of a '15 450 in Houston. Great boat as we all know, however I am looking for some help.

We have a square top main that often gets tangled in the lazy jacks. I'm ok with the up down to clear it unless someone knows of a trick releasing the lazys or using the topping lift. The part I need help with are the reeling lines (3) not running clean and fast. I'm thinking of smaller lines without giving up strength nor wearability. Also considering not taking up the slack when coming down.

Speaking of coming down, the main doesn't like to drop as quickly as I had hoped. It often requires the crew to go up with a boat hook to pull it down. Fine for nice weather, but dangerous in big breeze or storms. Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Chris
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Old 03-08-2016, 21:56   #2
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

Hi Chris,

not sure about your reefing lines since we never pull these in when lowering the main - we just put them into the lazy bag upon closing.

As to the main not coming down, that is a routine maintenance thing. Use Teflon spray on the rollers whenever it starts to get sticky. We were told to never use WD40 there, so I am relaying this without knowing the exact reason.

Have fun...

Oliver
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Old 04-08-2016, 14:20   #3
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

I brought the lazy jacks back to the helm via 2 new blocks at base of mast plus existing deck hardware.





Plus 2 new clutches at helm.



Add a piece of shot chord each side to the lazy jacks from where the 2 rear lines join at the block, down to attachment on sail bag for second line back
from mast.



When raising sail just be couple of degrees off head to wind and release the lazy jack on the side the boom is favoring. (easy to do as it is now controlled from helm.) The shot chord pulls the lazy jack lines down to the boom when lazy jack line on that side is eased, raise main sail a lot more easier than keep going up an down trying to avoid lazy jacks.

When dropping do not pull in reef lines leave out. If you drop the Main with reef in, I pull the slack back through to end of boom and mast prior to closing boom bag so it is ready to raise fully next time.

Having 2 marks on each reef line at the clutch to know when it is all out and slack and also pulled in to the correct point for the reef when employed also helps.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:55   #4
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

You don't need to tighten the reefing lines when lowering the sail.

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Old 05-08-2016, 04:44   #5
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

Too late, you got me started. Problems I had with the L450 main set up were:
- battens often snagged when raising the main,
- reefing lines very frequently snagged somewhere, usually around the end of the boom just when you needed to use them,
- stack pack not made from UV resistant material so in tatters after 3 years,

Because of this I found myself motoring more than I should have.

I now have the Leisure Furl and it is a dream to use, a L440 next to me just also had one fitted. Ease up , easy down, single handed, reefs downwind, easy cover. see:

Leisure Furl on Lagoon 450?


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Old 05-08-2016, 05:30   #6
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

And my two cents worth....

- When lowering or raising the main (into the wind), we let out the mainsheet to allow the boom float laterally. This has a positive effect on not allowing the main to snag in the jack lines.
- We have installed a downhaul line (8mm), attached to the square top, runs along the mast, thru the mast base blocks and to the helm. When the last part of the main needs a little extra tugging to get into the bag, this helps a lot. No need for any boat hooks.
- We added Harken low friction blocks (removed the rings) to all the main sail luff and leach reefing points to reduce the friction in the reef lines when hoisting.
- Prior to hoisting the main, I run out about 3-5m of each 3 reefing lines onto salon roof as this also aids in reducing the friction.
- When lowering the main, pending how many hands are on deck, we will simultaneously pull in the reefing lines. But if not, and we have time, then we just stop the lowering process, tug at the reef lines or just pull them in when the sail is completely down. And yes, sometimes I just fold them at the boom end, over into the bag and they run out easily enough next time we raise the main.
- And as Paul does, we mark the reefing lines at the clutches for easy reference when placing a reef.

On particularly windy days or rougher seas, when lowering the main, a small section of sail will occasionally flop outside the bag but thats not often. Releasing the mainsheet and using the downhaul line are the key remedies to the basic 450 setup.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:38   #7
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver L. View Post
As to the main not coming down, that is a routine maintenance thing. Use Teflon spray on the rollers whenever it starts to get sticky. We were told to never use WD40 there, so I am relaying this without knowing the exact reason.
Quite right, do not use WD40 or most lubricants as these will accumulate dust and dirt particles in the bearings and eventually wear them or worse, seize them. Harken and McLube offer the right type of dry lubricants for this purpose. We use McLube Sailcote. Also used for numerous other bearing locations where you don't want dust to collect.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:09   #8
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

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Originally Posted by Houston450 View Post

Speaking of coming down, the main doesn't like to drop as quickly as I had hoped. It often requires the crew to go up with a boat hook to pull it down. Fine for nice weather, but dangerous in big breeze or storms. Any advice?

Chris
If your sail is new, you may find that, as it ages, it comes down easier as the fabric softens (degrades). Our tired old main used to drop like a rock into the stack pack. When we got a new main we added a Strong Track to make it even easier. We were surprised to find that the new main, with it's new, stiffer cloth, did not want to come down at all, despite the new track. We rigged a downhaul and are finding that, after a year, the new sail has finally been 'trained' and now comes down a lot easier.
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Old 18-08-2016, 07:36   #9
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

We too have had a lot of trouble with raising the main and the lazyjacks.

This is what works best for us so far: ideally at anchor or mooring, loosen up the mainsheet wide and let the boom run free, and then go to the mast and raise the main manually. By doing it manually three benefits: 1) it is much easier to spot the possible hang-ups with the lazyjacks, 2) using hands you get that critical feedback if a reefing line is tangled up somewhere before you tear up the sail bag, and 3) it is *faster* than using the winch. We just use the winch for the last 2-4 feet.

-Erik
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Old 02-10-2016, 13:42   #10
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

Have had the same issues on the 39. Find that the hoisting is simply a matter of watching the battens at the lazy jacks and hauling by hand when they are clear until the first reef starts up and friction takes charge, onto the winch then.
However, lowering is a different issue. Initially started just dropping it and let the reefing lines do their own thing, until I took a single reef and then needed to take the second; the second reefing line fouled at the end of the boom and wouldn't pull through. Only option was to drop the sail completely, or as completely as it would; usually leaves the head two, sometimes three metres up the mast.
I now pull the main sail down using the reefing lines then thumb the clutch and 'throw' the halyard at the mast to keep the main dropping. This seems to do the trick as the last metre or so of sail works its way into the bag if you leave slack halyard at the foot of the mast.
Although my main seems to be behaving itself now I'd still be interested in some spec on the down haul and the routing of the lazy jacks to the helm position.
Chris
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Old 02-10-2016, 14:12   #11
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

The main on my Lagoon always came down hard. It had Harken ball cars and full battens. My conclusion was it was the full battens.... they were setup to have some compression/bend/force pushing into the mast.
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Old 02-10-2016, 17:01   #12
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

If you loosen the mainsheet and raise/drop the mainsail slowly, you should be OK. I just throw the reef lines in the lazy bag after the sail is lowered. You can also loosen the lazy bag a little, but we did not find this necessary.

On a different note, if you plan to do extended cruising, change your reefing lines. We've had the factory first reef line break on two different occasions (at the low friction ring by the leech) and the mainsail ripped the lazy bag both times. It was fun trying to control the mainsail in bad weather. I finally learned and got better quality lines in NZ.

Keep an eye on the reef lines. Keep loosening/tightening them to change the stress points. Make sure they do not chafe where they enter the boom by the mast. Use better lines.

You'll enjoy the L450. We love ours.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:25   #13
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston450 View Post
Greetings 450 owners. Just took delivery of a '15 450 in Houston. Great boat as we all know, however I am looking for some help.

We have a square top main that often gets tangled in the lazy jacks. I'm ok with the up down to clear it unless someone knows of a trick releasing the lazys or using the topping lift. The part I need help with are the reeling lines (3) not running clean and fast. I'm thinking of smaller lines without giving up strength nor wearability. Also considering not taking up the slack when coming down.

Speaking of coming down, the main doesn't like to drop as quickly as I had hoped. It often requires the crew to go up with a boat hook to pull it down. Fine for nice weather, but dangerous in big breeze or storms. Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Chris
Re the square top catching on the lazy jacks, I had the same issue on my Lagoon 400 my simple bush fix was to tie a light line to one side of the lazy jack at the triangle and feed it back around the port shroud to the steering station I then just pull on the line when the sail is on the way up, the lazy jack spreads allowing just that bit extra for the sail to raise without fouling the triangle.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:43   #14
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

For faster dropping of the main .........you would not believe how well the strongtrack system from Tides Marine works! Our full batten sail drops like a bag of rocks now! Easy self install.
High quality hardware. Best money I spent on our boat.
Search the internet. ....you'll find lots of similar sentiments.
Cheers, David
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Old 05-10-2016, 13:38   #15
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Re: faster mainsail dropping? Reefing mod?

What track/car system do you currently have?

Are the battens possibly over-tensioned?

We've had great results when installing the tides track on many boats, but in general if you have an existing track car system it should work fine if it's clean. Definitely no traditional lubricants or oils, I highly recommend Mclube one drop. You want to avoid anything that will allow for surface dirt buildup or cause the balls to skid along the track resulting in deformation.

A lot of other slide systems simply need a good fresh water flushing.
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