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Old 20-04-2016, 17:11   #1
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Alternatives to Lazyjacks

Hello I am looking to purchase lazy jacks for my boat so I can single-hand her in strong wind or just lowering the main in general without it blowing around all over. Most of the time I have to sail alone or with my wife who doesn't have the physical strength to do anything more than pilot.

I have searched here for pro's and cons to lazy jacks and realised they might not be the panacea I would like them to be.

Does anyone have suggestions that do not require buying new sails (dutchman solution)?

Cheers!
-Caolan.
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Old 20-04-2016, 18:38   #2
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

I have lazy jacks on my 50' mono-hull. They work fine and have a few good and bad points.

On the good side they do exactly what you want, constrain the sail as it is lowered. In addition, they can be integrated into a sail bag such that all you have to do is douse the sail and zip the bag. Without that design, the sail cover has to accommodate the lines.

On the bad side, they can be a pain unless you are pointed directly into the wind in relatively calm seas (assuming that you have fully a battened main), especially on hoisting as the battens can get caught up in lines.

If you do them, design them so that you have enough extra line to enable you to pull them all forward (to the mast) when you are on a long passage and don't want them flopping around. I used Spectra line and added a bock at the bottom of the mast to enable me to "adjust" them easily. Because the Spectra is so strong, I passed the top of each side through a spreader and secured same to the mast.

Good luck

Dave
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Old 20-04-2016, 18:47   #3
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

I see no problem with hoisting and dropping while head to wind. It makes the halyard loads lighter when hoisting.

That said, where are the top of you LJs fitted? It may be worth attaching them further outboard if they are getting "catchy". Then you will create a bit more of a V shape for the main to travel through.
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Old 20-04-2016, 19:09   #4
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caolan View Post

I have searched here for pro's and cons to lazy jacks and realised they might not be the panacea I would like them to be.
Could you be more specific about the cons you've read about?
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Old 20-04-2016, 19:29   #5
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

Put the boat head to wind on auto, drop the main into your jacks, (I go topside). And never mind the deck fluff, they're not there to sail your boat. Rock on bloke, let the girls do what they do best. LOL Float yer boat or buy a walker.
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Old 20-04-2016, 19:34   #6
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

There are a couple of other options, albeit they're not good solutions for high winds. In terms of taming the main under such circumstances, there are no free lunches. Albeit, some of dealing with the main, is simply a matter of technique. Because, while it's neither fun, nor easy; done right, one can handle the main on a mid-sized/big boat, which has a bolt rope luff & no lazy jacks, solo.

BTW, what are the issues which you have against lazy jacks? As, properly executed, their only real down side is that you have to plan a solution for getting them out of the way, when it's time to switch from the Main to a Trysail.
As proven by tens of thousands of boats out there sailing now. Including those which circle the globe with but one person aboard. That routinely turn in 300nm+ runs per day.
Though, that said, it's easy enough to design lazy jacks which can be detached from things, so that they're not in the way of hoisting a Trysail.

Anyway, as to other ideas: You can go with any of these, some of them even being paired together if you so choose (or even paired with lazy jacks, or other mainsail taming systems):
- A Park Avenue style boom. One which has "wings" which are exaggerated in width, & that are angled more vertically than is the norm. So that they catch/capture the sail.

- Boom "wings", made from tubing. Typically aluminum. Which look like handrails, that have over-length "legs". And that run the length of the boom; again, angled upwards, in order to cradle the sail.

- Attach fiberglass wands to your boom, on both sides. With them being angled upwards, so as to cradle the sail.

Though, to my thinking, none of these will control any significant amount of sail area, in high winds, when used without lazy jacks. But they can be a huge aid to the efficacy of lazy jacks, when properly designed.

Also, all of them, but for the Park Avenue setup, can be added to your boat/boom, whenever you like. And don't require buying new sails.
Nor for that matter, do lazy jacks, in the vast majority of their forms. Though some of them are semi-integral to certain sail cover designs. Which, actually,seem to be great sail control & stowage solutions... but for the Trysail part of the equation, again. If, in fact, you plan to have one onboard/plan to use one.

Why, BTW, do you convey the idea that one must buy a new sail in order to fit lazy jacks? As, if your basing your thinking on this premise, it is incorrect. Ergo, is creating a problem where there is none.

Also, you'd likely be much wiser to include your wife in these discussions/decisions. Including having her searching for answers/educating herself on this topic (& others of boathandling, period).
For I wouldn't want to sail on a boat with a partner who wasn't able to handle all, or 90% of the tasks onboard. As such is a safety issue, as much as anything else. Even if it means adding more powered systems, like winches & windlasses. Or 2:1 halyards, etc.

And a good bit of this is covered on both Beth Leonard/Evans Starzinger's site www.bethandevans.com as well as Steve & Linda Dashew's site www.setsail.com Which, at the latter (site), you can download their Excellent books for free. And therein, are lots of relavent info & ideas on the topic.
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Old 20-04-2016, 20:10   #7
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

You don't have to buy a new sail with the Dutchman... but you do have to have your sail maker install the grommets in the proper location...

D'man works great. I've had it for 25 yrs... off shore coastal... you name it. You need to have it set up correctly and then it's easy peasy...

If you don't like it you have a sail with a bunch of grommets in it with no impact on performance.
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Old 20-04-2016, 20:44   #8
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

Don't need new sails.
Don't need a Dutchman
Don't need a Stackpack.
I used soft 6mm three strand nylon, attached around spreader base, with the falls looping under the foot of the sail.
If you have slugs on the foot of the sail, that's it.
If you have a loose footed main, you need saddles to stop the falls going forward.
Keep the falls loose, no chafe with nylon, put a normal mainsail cover over the furled sail. Tie it between the sail and the boom.
I actually have an old Dutchman main, don't use it much but lazy jacks are much easier than rigging the thing as Dutchman.
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Old 20-04-2016, 21:18   #9
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

IMHO - The best solution.

Lazy jacks that stow against the mast once the sail is down and tied to the boom. You can use a regular sail cover was well.

I cannot think of any downsides. Well maybe the lines slapping the mast - easily solved.
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Old 20-04-2016, 21:39   #10
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
IMHO - The best solution.

Lazy jacks that stow against the mast once the sail is down and tied to the boom. You can use a regular sail cover was well.

I cannot think of any downsides. Well maybe the lines slapping the mast - easily solved.
Agreed, I was just spelling out the simplest solution.
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Old 21-04-2016, 00:21   #11
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Re: Alternatives to Lazyjacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
Don't need new sails.
Don't need a Dutchman
Don't need a Stackpack.
I used soft 6mm three strand nylon, attached around spreader base, with the falls looping under the foot of the sail.
If you have slugs on the foot of the sail, that's it.
If you have a loose footed main, you need saddles to stop the falls going forward.
Keep the falls loose, no chafe with nylon, put a normal mainsail cover over the furled sail. Tie it between the sail and the boom.
I actually have an old Dutchman main, don't use it much but lazy jacks are much easier than rigging the thing as Dutchman.
This is all I've ever done with mine (on various boats, over 2 decades). Except that I put a block on the spreaders about 11/2' away from the mast. And led the lines to tighten or loosen the lazy jacks down to cleats at waist level, on the spar.
Though they only got adjusted twice during ANY sailing session, regardless of length;
- loosened when removing the sail's cover at the dock.
- tightened after the cover got put back on after a sail.

Total cost, $20, including a 6-pack to drink, as I installed the eyestraps on the boom's underside, & when splicing together the various legs (falls) of the lazy jacks themselves. Which wound up being spaced about 2' apart on the boom, & led up to the spreaders in a crescent shape (concave) arc.

Total snags to date, Zero. Cost savings over a West Marine, Pre-Fab kit ~$150. Watching my neighbors fight with 'fancy' store bought version; at the dock, & when sailing; Priceless.
Funny what you learn @22
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