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Old 04-03-2016, 09:47   #1
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Trouble dropping regular mainsail

Didn't want to hijack the sq headed mainsail thread....

I have only sailed my boat 4x, just got in the fall last year.

Standard Main, but has block on the head of the mainsail for 2:1 purchase.

Each time when I drop it, it doesn't fall all the way into the stack pack. It raises easy enough , doesn't seem to hang up at all. I need to go on deck and try to pull the last 6 -8 ' of the sail down, not an easy thing to do.

My procedure to drop the sail is to head into the wind, make sure halyard is all out of pouch , put it right by spinlock, and just open spinlock and let it drop.

I am not sure if the block on the head of the main is adding too much friction, in fact not sure I need the extra purchase on a 380 main.

Shouldn't this just fall right in? Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:03   #2
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

Pretty common to have to pull down the last bit of sail.... even with a single purchase. I didn't have 2:1 on my Lagoon 42. It was full batten with roller cars and very heavy though, probably should have had 2:1.!
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:21   #3
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

"Each time when I drop it, it doesn't fall all the way into the stack pack. It raises easy enough , doesn't seem to hang up at all. I need to go on deck and try to pull the last 6 -8 ' of the sail down"

So your halyard leads to the cockpit or you'd be on deck already?

If so maybe you could rig a downhaul to the cockpit - light line should be fine and maybe could be laced through the sail hanks to keep things tidy.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:52   #4
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

Buy a can of McLube and spray the slugs and as much of the track as you can reach. if you send someone up the mast, have them spray the whole track. Repeat every 4-6 months.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:58   #5
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

A down haul to the top of the sail is by far the easiest way to solve this and would absolutely be my recommendation. Try 1.75mm dyneema run from the headboard down the slugs, and thru the same organizers and clutches as the halyard, it should run fine.

The issue you are running into is that there isn't enough gravity to overcome the friction in the system, and the 2:1 cuts what little load is left in half. There are other solutions, but frankly they would be far more expensive and trouble than a downhaul. The 'best' solution is a switching batt car system from Harken but that will run a few thousand bucks. Then increasing all the block efficiencies in the halyard, not just the 2:1. So turning blocks, sheaves, deck organizer, as well as the 2:1. Do all this and it will fix the problem, but it would also cost a fortune.
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Old 04-03-2016, 13:01   #6
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

TheOffice nailed it.

I have to do the same thing on my Dragonfly with full battens, 2:1 halyard and recirculating ball bearing cars. I use silicon spray, and keeping the track clean helps a lot.
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Old 04-03-2016, 13:19   #7
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

We've got well lubricated Harken BattCars. Yes, gravity and friction is your issue, but that's true of all boats. Think: the top part of the sail is the smallest because it's the top of a triangle. Weight alone won't do it. Either plan to go up or rig a downhaul. Greg explained why it's the simplest. Never rig a downhaul to the very top, always to the first or second connection down to avoid the top cocking off and making things worse.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:55   #8
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

J-122 has the same setup. For one you need to make sure that some one is hand easing the line while pulling the main down. If you have a winch I would get rid of the 2:1 completely. In 2018 we are doing Pacific Cup and I have told the owner we need to get rid of the 2:1 on the main, so the it can be taken down easily if we get caught in a blow.

You are better off taking time in putting it up, then having the ability to quickly shorten sail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Didn't want to hijack the sq headed mainsail thread....

I have only sailed my boat 4x, just got in the fall last year.

Standard Main, but has block on the head of the mainsail for 2:1 purchase.

Each time when I drop it, it doesn't fall all the way into the stack pack. It raises easy enough , doesn't seem to hang up at all. I need to go on deck and try to pull the last 6 -8 ' of the sail down, not an easy thing to do.

My procedure to drop the sail is to head into the wind, make sure halyard is all out of pouch , put it right by spinlock, and just open spinlock and let it drop.

I am not sure if the block on the head of the main is adding too much friction, in fact not sure I need the extra purchase on a 380 main.

Shouldn't this just fall right in? Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:19   #9
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Didn't want to hijack the sq headed mainsail thread....



I have only sailed my boat 4x, just got in the fall last year.



Standard Main, but has block on the head of the mainsail for 2:1 purchase.



Each time when I drop it, it doesn't fall all the way into the stack pack. It raises easy enough , doesn't seem to hang up at all. I need to go on deck and try to pull the last 6 -8 ' of the sail down, not an easy thing to do.



My procedure to drop the sail is to head into the wind, make sure halyard is all out of pouch , put it right by spinlock, and just open spinlock and let it drop.



I am not sure if the block on the head of the main is adding too much friction, in fact not sure I need the extra purchase on a 380 main.



Shouldn't this just fall right in? Thanks for the help.


Sounds pretty much normal to me, just get used to it. Really don't think it has anything to do with the 2:1 halyard. I have to keep my halyard on a winch while dropping my main, or it drops like a brick! Yeah, still about 6' I have to pull down by hand, no big deal. Don't know why a 2:1 would make it slower to reef. I've got a 2:1 and it works fine. My main is bigger than yours, but I would not go to a single purchase halyard. With the 2:1 I can pull the sail all the way up by hand, and then harden it up with the winch. I would have to winch it up if it was 1:1. Also, you'll have to winch twice as hard to get the same luff tension. Not to mention having twice the mast compression and twice the load on your turning block at the base of the mast. Maybe have to go to a larger diameter halyard, too.

Check and lube all your turning blocks, halyard sheave, and batten cars and go sailing.


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Old 05-03-2016, 10:19   #10
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

Training wheels, the compression on the mast is the same as the tension on the luff. It doesn't matter how many blocks you have at the top of the sail, the compression on the mast is the same as the tension on the luff.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:29   #11
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

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Originally Posted by AZ-Oldguy View Post
Training wheels, the compression on the mast is the same as the tension on the luff. It doesn't matter how many blocks you have at the top of the sail, the compression on the mast is the same as the tension on the luff.
Are you sure... If the halyard is led through an extra block on the sail making the halyard easier to pull surely the tension on the halyard would be less and thus the compression. If I'm wrong it wouldn't be the first time...
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:51   #12
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

Rig a downhaul is the easy answer. Ours is single purchase and we simply have the tail of the halyard tied to a car above all the sail cars so we can drop sail on any point of sail and reef the fully loaded sail even when running by putting the downhaul on the halyard winch and cranking it down as needed.

Best of luck.


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Old 05-03-2016, 11:10   #13
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

You should disconnect your halyard anyway. Just go up and get 'er done!
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:35   #14
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
You should disconnect your halyard anyway. Just go up and get 'er done!

Really? We never do so. In our case we run it down to the fife rail (out the bottom of the sail cover) and then lead the halyard and downhaul out to the pin rack to keep it way from the mast.


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Old 05-03-2016, 12:52   #15
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Re: Trouble dropping regular mainsail

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
Really? We never do so. In our case we run it down to the fife rail (out the bottom of the sail cover) and then lead the halyard and downhaul out to the pin rack to keep it way from the mast.


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Either way, but don't you have to go forward to do that anyway? My point is "pull the last 6 ft of the sail down"!
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