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Old 02-03-2016, 09:06   #1
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Square headed mainsail

Seeking some pearls of wisdom on square heads on mainsails....

I'm in the process of purchasing a L39 catamaran. Surveyor 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 the boat.

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
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:17   #2
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Sounds like you had some fun with someone that has no knowledge with the rigging of the 39
I will qualify that I also have never sailed a 39 but for this post lets just say that my 400S2 is rigged in a similar way, albeit my mast is in a different location and my mainsail is somewhat larger and heavier.
That said the square top system work just fine, there are links to the rigging of the release and I found it in this Forum.
If there is a fault it would be that the connection to the mast while under sail is not really tight.
The trade off is that it releases from the mast when the sail is lowered.
With the smaller main hoisting and lowering and stowage is very easy.
The boat is solid and you will love your Lagoon if you go that way.
I love mine and would buy the same boat all over again if I were to do it today
Check out my YouTube Channel. " Off the Starboard Hull " and check out my voyage around the world, getting the boat ready, and day to day life onboard.
Subscribe and comment, may be we will meet up out on the big blue.
Cheers Scott
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:34   #3
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Ihaveno idea what gear is installed on this specific boat so I can't comment to that. But there absolutely is hardware that allows the use of a square top main with a stack pack without monkeying around at the mast every time. There are a couple of ways of doing it but basically as the halyard is tensions it also pulls the headboard into the sail car. And when the halyard releases it allows the top batten to rotate backwards and fall along the boom.

Just as an example see Anomaly Headboard | Doyle Sailmakers

I don't have much experience with these, but everything I have heard is positive.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:49   #4
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Stumble,

Thanks for the response. While I was waiting for folks to weigh in, I did some "goggling" and found the site you reference. It seems it addresses all the nasty issues the broker was having in hoisting and lowering the sail.

I 'm now left wondering if it performs as promised? Sounds almost to good to be true. But then seeing what they want for their headboard $900-$3,500 it had better!

Their site describes the dangers of hoisting this type sail, and it comports to what I saw and experienced. At 6' 6" and approaching 300lbs my days in a bosom chair are faint memories.

Glad the Admiral wasn't onboard, or my sailing days may just have gotten a whole lot shorter.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:02   #5
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Re: Square headed mainsail

They certainly aren't cheap. But every square top cruising sail I have ever heard about made some provision to deal with this issue besides pulling the #1 batten out. And the headboards are reusable if you buy a new sail, so it's just a one time purchase.

I would bet that the boat has the right hardware it was just being used incorrectly. But it may be worth finding out to be sure.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:31   #6
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Re: Square headed mainsail

I heard back from the listing broker this afternoon. He contacted Lagoon factory about these square top sail issues. Broker shared that his research indicates that the original owner detached Lagoon's system preventing it to work as designed.

His plan now is to reattach original system equipment and assures me that no more climbing is required. Seems that another sea trial is in order to prove these issues are resolved.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:41   #7
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Re: Square headed mainsail

I did some research, and there is a 3:1 system lagoon came up with that is supposed to work well. Not as well as the Anamoly system, but at far lower cost. If the PO disconnected it, well PO's do some weird stuff some times.

Square top main? - Multihull Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums This is the sailing anarchy thread where the designer of the Anomaly system answers some questions about it, and a full description of the Lagoon system is.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:48   #8
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Here is the set upClick image for larger version

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Hope that helps
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Old 02-03-2016, 14:02   #9
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Re: Square headed mainsail

This is a Diagram for L400 same as my L450 works very well.

On the L450 wee have a 8mm Dynemma line attached to the head car at "A" and led back down thru the center of each Bat Car. This allows sail to be hauled down if sticking also to pull last bit down into stack pack from helm position.


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Old 02-03-2016, 14:24   #10
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Thanks to everyone for their inputs. This has given me much to think about and some great solutions, some less expensive than others which is always a good thing! Diagrams and pictures are big help. Eager to try out.
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Old 02-03-2016, 14:29   #11
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Re: Square headed mainsail

faa50 the diagram I posted should cost nothing.
Is the standard setup with The Lagoon supplied square top on L400 and L450 and I would have thought on the L39 as well.
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Old 02-03-2016, 14:57   #12
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Re: Square headed mainsail

From what I've learned from a variety of sources today, I believe you are correct. The listing broker wrote me earlier today saying Lagoon has a solution which the boat came with as the owner opted for the square-top mainsail. However at some point in time, the owner removed the system. The broker is currently in the process of reinstalling the system.

My guess is he is using a similar diagram as you provided. The original line is probably still on the boat as the first owner used the boat only six months before putting it on the market for sale. Apparently the broker forgot about this piece of equipment even though he is a Lagoon dealer and sold this boat new to the owner. The sun can work strange things to the human brain, or maybe it was the alcohol not sure which, more importantly, he is a nice guy who is making the effort....
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Old 10-03-2016, 00:24   #13
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Our 380 has the same system as PaulinOz has on his , and it is working fine, since may 2011. this is how it has to be rigged to work fine. Mine always comes down when i drop the main sail.
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:03   #14
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Re: Square headed mainsail

Note the WARNING on the diagram. If the tackle line becomes too taught then the attachment on the sail at Point D will start to pull out of the sail. This happened to me.


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Old 29-05-2016, 22:05   #15
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Re: Square headed mainsail

What length and size line do you use in setting up the 3:1 tackle. I have a 450 that is missing this as well. thanks
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