So I have watched this thread with interest, as my L400 definitely has problems dropping the main, and I always have to go to the mast
to pull most of it down.
Based upon suggestions here and elsewhere, I jury-rigged a test downhaul, and I have to tell you it is fantastic
! Standing at the helm
I could just work the one line and drop the sail directly with no fuss at all.
I had also worked to lubricate the mast
cars, but I really think the problem was just the friction in the main halyard
-- it is 2:1, and goes through a number of sheaves before ending up at the helm
. It really does required a good tug, whether that be on the luff of the mainsail
or, now, on the downhaul.
So I will be rigging
the downhaul permanently, it seems like a no-brainer now. And it can be used in an emergency
situation if I need to reef and wish to do it without turning upwind and without leaving the helm.
My plan is to rig 8mm dyneema
line from the top car (which already has an unused shackle attached -- the halyard
attaches to the sail due to the square top design), down the side of the cars, through the reefing metal loop, then down to the bottom of the mast and through the sheaves and turning blocks like all the other lines. I think I'll attach a simple rope
cam cleat to keep it reasonably taught when the sail is up to avoid it flopping around. I planning on routing it to the starboard side, where there are free slots in the turning blocks, and to avoid it messing with the halyard on the port side, as the two lines will be used at the same time.
I welcome any comments.
Finally, does anyone know where to source the bent metal brackets and bolt/nuts to attach a new sheave to the bottom of the mast? Everything else, including the new sheave and cam cleat, seem straightforward to obtain.