Seeking some pearls of wisdom on square heads on mainsails....
I'm in the process of purchasing
a L39 catamaran
and I with assistance of Listing Broker conducted a survey
and sea trial earlier this week. The sea trial was a total, unmitigated disaster!
Unfortunately, an over-confident, inexperienced listing broker was not familiar enough with the boat's sail plan so to demonstrate appropriate hoisting the mainsail
. Instead he demonstrated for thirty plus minutes extreme ineptness and extreme difficulty. And he was intimidated by the geneaker to the point of refusing to deploy. I guess he or the owner were trying to save money
by not hiring a knowledgeable professional to conduct the sea trial.
Regardless I'm still interested in pursuing a purchase
, because the surveyor
confided that the broker had not rigged the sail properly and given the high quality of the mainsail rigging
it should be hoisted and doused with ease. A necessity for a retired cruising couple.
Here's the issue in a short recap....the mainsail has a flat or sometimes referred to as a square head
. This makes the roach larger and provides greater mainsail performance. The broker had failed to attache the head
prior to leaving a secured dock
. At sea, he vainly struggled heavily for more than thirty minutes to attach the head/main halyard
to the top car used to transport the top of the sail to the top of the mast
All the rigging equipment
is nearly new and in excellent working condition. It is designed to be as near a frictionless system as can be. The sail, nearly new, is to be mounted on Seldens' series of six or so stainless steel
cars (low friction) and an electric winch
is available to hoist.
The broker had to "climb" up the mast
nearly 8 feet, stand on the boom and spend nearly thirty minutes failing to attach the head/main halyard
to the top most car. He ultimately was successful, but when dousing the mainsail he was forced to manually pulled the sail down instead of a quick simple drop of the sail into lazy-jack stay-pack system. And the upper 3-4 feet of the sail was left hanging vertical exposed to the wind
. The way the broker had attached the head prevented it from completely fitting into the staypack for closure. In fact is was more than three feet above it. The broker's response is "that's how it work's"
The surveyor basically voiced to me "BS" the guy doesn't know what he is doing. The broker says I will always have to climb the mast as he did to attach the mainsail head and will never be fully stowed due to the angled top battens.
Surveyor says the broker has the tension on the line is too tight on these two top angled battens. Loosening the line cures the issue. I have more faith in the surveyor's assessment than the brokers but have no experience with this system. I'd like to see it work as designed before buying
Really, its hard to believe Lagoon
did such a crappy job of design when they do such great designed work and the mainsail hoisting and dousing system is far superior to many I've seen. The surveyor concurs with that assessment. Furthermore, although I saw numerous Lagoons in the area, none appeared to have their mains "stowed" in a similar fashion. Hence, it makes me wonder if the broker is accurate.
Appreciate hearing from those of you who have first-hand experience using similar mainsail rigging. We really like the boat, but this is a deal breaker if the broker is accurate....Personally, I think he is just too embarrassed to admit his lack of experience. And there is nothing to be gained by pointing this fact out to him as he demonstrates a short-fuse when it comes to his knowledge and opinion, tends to be the bully type, in that he misconstrues American manners and respect for others as weakness, but that is a subject for another day