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Old 14-06-2014, 18:48   #1
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Need help with Mainsail.....

Brand new sailer here.

Went out on the boat for my first sail EVER today, and I believe there is something amiss with the attachment of the mainsail to the mast, and I don't know how to fix it.

I have an '83 Oday 22' sailboat. The mainsail is attached to the mast utilizing slugs that slip into a groove in the mast. These slugs are attached to the sail via "slug clip" thingies.. ( c'mon.. I'm trying my best here!!) that loop through grommets in the luft side of the sail. Nothing fancy.

The problem is.. the first 18-24" of the sail (the head) is not attached in anyway to the mast. it does have a grommet on the very top of the head that the halyard is attached to, but there is no grommet or slug clip for attachment to the mast anywhere near the top. It seems to do ok whilst under sail. But when I lowered the sail, as I was bringing it in.. the head of the sail (and halyard) was flopping and blowing all over the place. And once the sail was completely down, the head of the sail was not secured in any way. I had to partially raise the mainsail (about 2-3') in order to tighten the sail and halyard enough so that things didn't flop about.

Does this sound normal?

Why wouldn't there be a grommet near the top for a "slug clip"?

Could a top "slug clip" have been attached differently there than elsewhere on the sail, and have come off somehow?

Any idea what I should do about it?

I appreciate any help.. as I've said.. I'm a fledgling here... and really not sure if I even have a problem..
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Old 14-06-2014, 19:00   #2
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Put a slug clip thingie near the top of the sail-mine has one.
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Old 14-06-2014, 19:13   #3
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Sometimes the top slug is webbed or can be lashed though the same eyelet as used to hoist the sail at the head.
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Old 14-06-2014, 19:46   #4
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

A pic is always handy but let's assume your sail and mast are correct.

The slugs are there to support the sail load. Near the middle and the bottom there is a lot of sail aft of the lug. Near the top there is not much sail and not much load so a slug may not be needed there to support the load.

A good reason not to have a slug is actually in storing a sail. Many people unclip the halyard from the sail when they are done and clip it to the side of the baot or somewhere because halyard slap (halyard banging on mast because of rolling or wind) annoys some people.

The top of your sail can now take a turn around the boom and a line (commonly termed a sailtie can be used to stop the main from flopping around. The main can also be secured by sailbags and many other kinds of arrangements.

If you choose not to remove the halyard - I don't. You still tie the sail to the boom to stop the floppin' around.

having said all that, when the main is hoisted and full have a look at the top. If there is a bag gap between the mast and the luff you need to add a sail sluggie thingie - Kestral's got it right.

As long as the sail track goes to the top - and no reason it shouldn't the top lug is lashed into the head kringle.
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Old 15-06-2014, 09:16   #5
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Ok, so those are good helpful answers. I think I need to check something out. I couldn't get the sail head all the way to the top of the mast yesterday. I wonder if there is a slug broken off stuck up in there. I need to check that out. I have NO idea how I would get out there to check it out.

I also noticed that when the previous owner put the slugs in.. he got one of them twisted... so, I'm going to have to remove the entire mainsail, and re hang it.

I'll let you know how it goes..
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Old 15-06-2014, 09:43   #6
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

The main questions are "Is the shape good when you're sailing?, and Can you raise and lower it effectively?"

If the answers to those is yes, you can find a way to secure it when it's down.

It should be fairly obvious if you're missing a slug.
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Old 15-06-2014, 09:57   #7
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Ok, so those are good helpful answers. I think I need to check something out. I couldn't get the sail head all the way to the top of the mast yesterday. I wonder if there is a slug broken off stuck up in there. I need to check that out. I have NO idea how I would get out there to check it out.

I also noticed that when the previous owner put the slugs in.. he got one of them twisted... so, I'm going to have to remove the entire mainsail, and re hang it.

I'll let you know how it goes..
Are you in a marina or lake?

You may need help but with a 22 footer - near a shore - you might be able to use the main halyard to lay the boat way over on its side.

Abeam the shore, secure the halyard, take the halyard ashore and pull the boat over on it.s side. Might be quicker and easier than unstepping (removing) the mast.
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Old 25-06-2014, 13:02   #8
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Just wanted to close out this topic and let everyone know the outcome. After further investigation.. i decided that this was the correct design for the sail, and I'm leaving it as is.

I did find a few other problems with the sail, though... one of the slugs was put in upside down (which was causing the sail not to go up the whole way).. .there was a tear in the mainsail.. (now repaired) and I'm missing a batten.. which will be replaced today...

I also took Ex-Calif's advice, and I detach the Halyard as he suggested to secure the sail when putting it away...

So.. thank you everyone!
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Old 25-06-2014, 16:55   #9
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Just wanted to close out this topic and let everyone know the outcome. After further investigation.. i decided that this was the correct design for the sail, and I'm leaving it as is.

I did find a few other problems with the sail, though... one of the slugs was put in upside down (which was causing the sail not to go up the whole way).. .there was a tear in the mainsail.. (now repaired) and I'm missing a batten.. which will be replaced today...

I also took Ex-Calif's advice, and I detach the Halyard as he suggested to secure the sail when putting it away...

So.. thank you everyone!
You can but fancy "sail track lube" for too many boat bucks.

We keep a squeeze bottle of liquid dish soap on board - like Joy or Palmolive (easy on your hands!)

With the sail ready to hoist we squirt dish soap on the lugs and in the slot.

It helps a bunch. The lugs can tilt and jam a bit especially if they wear and the slot is dirty.
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Old 25-06-2014, 18:05   #10
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Re: Need help with Mainsail.....

Some sail battens and pockets have a bad happen of working and then spitting the batten out when the sail flogs. Tape or sewing the end of the batten pocket can help.
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