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Old 10-08-2018, 23:59   #1
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Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

Hi all... sorry if this isn't the correct forum for this question, I am totally new to this site and am looking for experienced advice.
I have just purchased a 1994 Catalina 36. It is equipped with the old, original sail and Dutchman system, which we are going to change because we are getting a new mainsail. My question is this... We are weighing just getting lazy jacks installed vs. a "stack pack", "mack pack", "lazy cradle", etc option. We have a good sail cover for the Dutchman, which we could use for a lazy jack system, although with not exactly the correct coverage or we could just go the whole stack pack install all at the same time. We are planning to do California/Baja "coastal" for now, and we are two smaller, and 60-ish people. We aren't planning on racing this boat, so the cover hanging on the boom isn't all that important for tweaking the sail shape for time. However, being a purist (and a racer on other boats), I am having a hard time being okay with the extra canvas being on the boom full time while sailing. Would love to hear any experience you all have had with this type of system, pro and con. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:32   #2
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

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Originally Posted by Endlessummer56 View Post
Would love to hear any experience you all have had with this type of system, pro and con. Thanks!
Ditto -- we're non-racers a few steps north of 70, and also thinking of ways to inexpensively keep the drama out taming the canvas (after poo-hooing roller furling for 30 years, we finally have one -- now what to do about the main...). Hope for advice...

-- Thanks
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:49   #3
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

Well, I like lazy jacks, but they do cause some problems raising the main with battens getting caught etc. Not a huge deal and avoidable I guess if you leave the lazy jacks forward.
The only thing the stack pack really does for you is eliminate having to carry your cover up and installing it right? Which I admit after a day sailing can be tedious.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:57   #4
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

Lazy jacks is probably a good option for your boat. There are likely standard designs and packages for Cat 36. You might also ask about boom roller furling. We have Genoa, cutter roller furling and in-mast roller furling for both main and mizzen. We need not leave the safety of the cockpit for any sail change. Especially nice in rough conditions.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:13   #5
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

I have a 1986 Catalina 36 and got a fully battened main 2 years ago and went through similar decisions. My results:
* when upgrading to full battens, the original cover would not fit so I had to buy new cover
* I went with the medium size (2 supporting lines on each side of sail) Harken lazy Jack's. 2 supports was not enough so I modified to as dr as third line. I should have bought the large size even though the medium was the proper size according to Harken
* I did not modify the cover for lazy jacks. I simply th luck cover under lines as ne it works fine.
* end result is I am very happy and have no regrets. Once the lazy Jack's are adjusted properly (leaving a little loose) I have had no issues. No chafing and do not move whether sail is up or down- I do not move forward after raising sail
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:40   #6
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

I have a sort-of similar boat (38' yawl) and I am convinced that I would have sailed more, and enjoyed the boat more, if I had a StackPack main on the boat. The way the boat was rigged (two jacklines per side) did not support the main on the boom sufficiently, and I never got around to adding more verticals (requiring a pretty big mod to the mainsail cover) or going to a Doyle StackPack.

I became convinced about the effectiveness of such a system after chartering a Moorings 4600 for two weeks in Croatia. I made a pact to always drop the main neatly in the sail cover and to zip it closed so that it looked seamanlike every afternoon. It was easy, and we looked clean and organized as we entered the many harbors in the Split area. There's no way, with a mainsail that heavy and stiff, that we could have done this with lazyjacks alone.

On Surprise, it's far less effort, but I think the mainsail will last longer (less crunching against the boom and sail ties) and have better UV protection. It would have cost me $1600 or so to do this five years ago, and I should have done it then.

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Old 11-08-2018, 08:52   #7
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post


1. Well, I like lazy jacks, but they do cause some problems raising the main with battens getting caught etc. Not a huge deal and avoidable I guess if you leave the lazy jacks forward.




2. The only thing the stack pack really does for you is eliminate having to carry your cover up and installing it right? Which I admit after a day sailing can be tedious.



1.



Lazy Jack Trick
Many folks complain about full battens getting caught up when raising the mainsail. They then spend a lot of time moving BOTH sides of the lazy jacks to the mast.

We developed an easier way with our lazy jacks.

We have a small cleat on the forward starboard side of the boom. When we put the halyard on the headboard, we move ONLY the starboard side of the lazy jacks forward and snug them under the forward side of the horn of this cleat.

Then, when we raise the mainsail, instead of going exactly head to wind, we bear off a tad to starboard so the wind is coming from the port side of the bow.

We then raise the mainsail and it doesn't get hooked on the lazy jacks even though the port side jacks are still there.

Been working for 20 years.

Yes, we have to go forward again to unhook the starboard lazy jack for dousing the sail if I forget to do it right when the main is raised, but there's never any hurry. The drill is: after the main is raised, I unhook that starboard lazy jack, so they're both ready to go when we drop the sails at the end of the day.

So, for those of you with lazy jacks, consider doing only one side.

Your boat, your choice.


2. The only "work" left on our boat is the mainsail cover. I'd like a stack pack, but $$, you know... Now you get to investigate the different stack packs, they are different.


3. For the OP: www.c36ia.org Don't reinvent the wheel with your new boat.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:56   #8
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

Hate it all .
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:15   #9
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

My experience with stack packs is with charter boats.... almost all have some form of lack jacks and stacking. I've never had a problem with raising the sails. Just steer directly into the wind and your battens will clear. Works every time.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:43   #10
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

We had lazy jacks on our 1993 Catalina 36. They worked fine for coastal passages and cruising inside waters in the Northwest.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:21   #11
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

Lazy jacks for sure.

After 2 I will never get another stack pack type again. Zippers water getting in...rags flying...ugh.

A plain mainsail cover for me with cutouts for lazy jack lines. Rigid vang.

6 cruising or racing boats.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:53   #12
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

I recently installed the Schaefer Lazy Jacks on my Gulfstar 37 aft cockpit sloop.

The mainsail cover required no modifications in order to accommodate the install.

After researching everything available I settled on Schaefer because theirs seemed to be the most heavy duty and all inclusive package. Plus they answer the phone when you call and always happily provide any assistance they can.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:30   #13
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

My sail cover finally gave up during a recent storm. Since I was replacing, I decided to upgrade to "stack pac" style. I ordered the kit from sailrite and bought a used sewing machine(pretty crappy one actually)
I haven't sewn anything for over 20 years, but it went smooth. Even with the machine, it was cheaper than buying a premade cover.
It works well, easy to raise and way better for dropping and closing.
I doubt I would ever be happy with just a sail cover again.
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Old 11-08-2018, 14:01   #14
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
My sail cover finally gave up during a recent storm. Since I was replacing, I decided to upgrade to "stack pac" style. I ordered the kit from sailrite and bought a used sewing machine(pretty crappy one actually)
I haven't sewn anything for over 20 years, but it went smooth. Even with the machine, it was cheaper than buying a premade cover.
It works well, easy to raise and way better for dropping and closing.
I doubt I would ever be happy with just a sail cover again.
Ours is a larger main than the Catalina 36, and Jim and I, like chris mac, sewed our boom bag that incorporates lazy jacks. In that one job, my used SailRite paid for itself.

I think what you guys would like about a boom bag sort of arrangement is that when you reef, the bunt of the sail is held up out of the way, so vision fwd is not impaired, without having to tie the reef in. We tie our lazy jack halyards well out on the spreader, so the "mouth" opens wide, and, still sometimes the battens get caught, really must be head to wind.

We had started out with lazy jacks by themselves, because that's what the boat came with, but it really got to be a drag, bringing them fwd every time, then getting them set up properly in time to drop the sail. Now, they stay rigged all the time, and we can drop or reef whenever we choose.
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Old 11-08-2018, 15:24   #15
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Re: Catalina 36 lazy jacks vs. "stack pack" options

Why not stick with the Dutchman, I have been very pleased with the Dutchman on some of the many boats I have delivered. Sail goes up easily and comes back down and folds itself up nicely, then you put on the cover and all done. The Key is for the sailmaker to install the sail grommets close enough together to flake the sail narrow enough to fit comfortably over the boom. A new sail must be trained to flake properly.
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