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Old 13-04-2016, 16:49   #16
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Theoddyssy, no you don't NEED them but some methods to contain your sail when you lower it makes life easier, specially for a solo or short handed sailor. It is so nice not to have acres of loose sail drop in your cockpit when you need to go forward in a hurry or maneuver in a tight place. I use a Dutchman System because it was on the boat when I bought it. I like it well enough that I specified it for my new mainsail too. Dutchman or Lazy Jacks 👍.


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Old 13-04-2016, 17:00   #17
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

They are a no-brainer to me. It's not a money issue - just some line and a couple of pulleys up the mast if you want to create it yourself. The only negative I have had is when raising the main, often the lazy jack line will get on the wrong side of the main and the sail has to be dropped. Still, in windy conditions they are a real help.
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Old 13-04-2016, 19:12   #18
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Lazy Jacks make single/short handing the main a breeze. Just deploy the LJ's, and drop the sail. Keep the LJ's pulled forward against the mast unless I'm going to use them. Then it's less than a minute to unhook them and pull them into position. Have sailed on a couple of boats with the LJ's permanently deployed and they are a PITA almost always catching a batten when hoisting the sail. Haven't needed any other time. The bunt of the reefed sail takes care of itself so haven't had a need to try and contain it with lines or the LJ's.

Mine consist about 200' of 1/4" line, two small cheek blocks on the mast, four brass rings on the lazy jacks themselves, 3 pad eyes on the boom and a couple of cheap nylon cleats on the mast. Biggest cost was the 1/4" line by far.
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Old 13-04-2016, 19:15   #19
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
-----
Most useful if you are single or short handed, have to drop the main and then run to drop anchor or some other urgent job and don't have time to tie the main to the boom. Keeps the main from flopping all over the deck or cockpit where it can get damaged or worse, you step on it, fall and bust your posterior.
-----
Precisely.
I became enamored of lazy jacks when I was single handing a gaff rigger. You REALLY want to control a gaff when lowering the main by yourself.
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Old 13-04-2016, 20:42   #20
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Your size of boat flip a coin, they are cheap if you want them but as you already know you can get along just fine without them. I first installed them when we moved from a 29 ft boat to a 36 ft boat.
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Old 13-04-2016, 23:12   #21
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Ditto on them being useful if you single-hand for more easily dousing and tidying up the main sail. It's not easy to release the main and handle the flaking at the same time without something keeping the sail on the boom. Just make sure they're designed right to capture all of the sail along the full length of the boom. Mine stop short of the end and it's maddening. Right now, the sails are off the boat while I'm doing some upgrades to the mast so the lazy jacks will be installed right when the boom goes back on.
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Old 14-04-2016, 01:01   #22
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

All you guys are discussing booms longer than the OP's.

Really, we had a system (if you want to call it that) of bungee cords, with hooks on one side, and just a straight run on the other side, easy--peasy to snick them on, even with this 19 ft. long boom, with the sail contained in the lazy jacks it came with. But, for a less than 12 foot long boom, i still don't think he NEEDS them. If he wants them, a whole different ball park. And, like I wrote before, then I would go with a boom bag, as well, but it is another expense at a time when the OP doesn't want more expenses.

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Old 14-04-2016, 05:23   #23
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Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Precisely.
I became enamored of lazy jacks when I was single handing a gaff rigger. You REALLY want to control a gaff when lowering the main by yourself.

On our schooner we have a tall narrow gaff foresail with 16' gaff boom. That gaff boom is not controlled at all by the lazy jacks. Only the SAIL is controlled by the lj. The gaff is controlled when lowering it by using the gaff vang. The sail itself isn't all that bad on our gaff foresail either because it's all midships instead of in the cockpit but the Bermuda rigged main is just enough bigger with a 23 ft boom and directly over the cockpit so that we appreciate the lazy jacks.


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Old 14-04-2016, 05:59   #24
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

if you think you will ever need to reef or drop the main in challenging weather yes they are a very very good idea. so yes... really anything that makes sailing more simple, that does not cost anything, requiring minimal upkeep, the answer is always yes.
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Old 14-04-2016, 08:44   #25
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

We have had lazy jacks on our 39-foot O'day for more than 20 years of Great Lakes' sailing. Wouldn't do without them, even if full crew. Good idea about pulling the jacks forward to ease raising the full-batten mailsail.
Now, if I had gobs of money, I would re-fit my mailsail with a Dutchman or Dutchman-like system.
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Old 14-04-2016, 08:57   #26
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

After 50 years of single handed sailing with and without lazy jacks I prefer not having them.
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:12   #27
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

I installed lazy jacks on our Newport and they were most useful when dowsing coming in to the marina. Battens would hang when they were out and hoisting so needed to keep them stowed on the mast until main was up. Never thought of just stowing one side.
Next set yet to install on our Cape Dory I'm running up to the spreaders instead of the mast which will open them up more alleviation both hanging and chafe.
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:28   #28
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Great question and good answers. I face the same decision. With 600 SF main I think I should get them, but what type? What maker? Mack Pack? There is also the Dutchman type, but I don't like the idea of putting holes in the sail. Comments? Photos? Thanks.
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:50   #29
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

I've been thinking of getting something for our Catalina 30. I saw a few posts here and there about a Dutchman Flaking System. In theory it will not only keep your sail on the boom, but will automatically flake it into a nice neat bundle. (After some setup and tweaking).

More expensive, but it seem like the issues of catching and chaffing are reduced/eliminated.

Currently my wife takes the helm while I grab and stuff the main with bungee cords until we get to the slip. Then I undo it and manually flake the sail and put on the sail cover.
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Old 14-04-2016, 10:04   #30
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Re: Lazy Jacks - do I REALLY need them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
On our schooner we have a tall narrow gaff foresail with 16' gaff boom. That gaff boom is not controlled at all by the lazy jacks. Only the SAIL is controlled by the lj. The gaff is controlled when lowering it by using the gaff vang. -----
Interesting. The lazy jacks on my gaffer were instaiied on the mast a bit above the the mainsail, and ran almost to the end of the boom. When I had them tightened to lower the main they did a good job of controlling the gaff by the time it got down to head level.

Not familiar with a "gaff vang" - got a picture?
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