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Old 10-09-2013, 07:36   #1
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Helia Mainsail

Hi A friend chartered a new Helia this summer and insists it took 2 strong crewmen to connect the halyard to the main sail. [it has a squared off top] I am planning to charter the same boat in October for some shorthanded sailing. Any thoughts on problems I might have and possible fixes would be much appreciated..
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Old 11-09-2013, 14:36   #2
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Re: Helia Mainsail

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Originally Posted by benson1 View Post
Hi A friend chartered a new Helia this summer and insists it took 2 strong crewmen to connect the halyard to the main sail. [it has a squared off top] I am planning to charter the same boat in October for some shorthanded sailing. Any thoughts on problems I might have and possible fixes would be much appreciated..
I haven't sailed the Helia w/ square top main. But I have sailed the Orana w/ "regular" main and a Lipari 41 with the square top. The latter should be pretty much the same as on the Helia, perhaps a bit smaller.

It wasn't that bad. I did it single handed on the Lipari and I'm not in the greatest shape these days.

Just make sure your lines are slack enough so that you can in fact pull the (squared off) head of the main sail up to the halyard and have them meet easily. IE., if you already hoist up the main halyard even just a few feet, then you have that much farther you'll need to manually hoist the main sail to attach it. So make sure your main halyard is all-the-way loose before hopping up there.

Of course, it's also possible the Helia in question (where your friend needed two people) has some mucked up rigging which will no doubt make it a chore. The Lipari I was on was virtually new, as was its rigging. So things moved nice and smoothly.

So YMMV.
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Old 11-09-2013, 15:07   #3
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Re: Helia Mainsail

I must be missing something due to ignorance about square top sails. Why is it harder to hook up the halyard than a conventional main? Seems like you drag the halyard and it's shackle down to the headboard (or whatever the squaretop sail has) and snap it on.

Hoisting it is a different matter, and I can see that it might generate more friction going up the track.

Can you enlighten me, please?

Jim
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Old 11-09-2013, 18:31   #4
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Re: Helia Mainsail

Hooking up the halyard is easy. I think what the OP was referring to was the hooking of the main to the first runner, which is damn difficult, and I would question if it is even really necessary.

There is a thread on this in the FP forum. Basically you can rig up a system whereby a leveraged line is connected to the ring on the main and back to the first runner and then down to the second. As the main is hoisted the line tightens and pulls the ring towards the first runner so that by the time it is hoisted it is effectively in place. The reality is that once the main is hoisted then the halyard takes the backward pressure of the head so I am dubious if this is really necessary. As I understand it the argument for doing it is not for the hoisting of the main but rather to facilitate it coming down in an orderly fashion.

So far I have made this connection myself. One man can do it but it is a struggle. I have a mental note to equip the suggested setup at the next possible opportunity.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:13   #5
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Re: Helia Mainsail

Thanks I think you have nailed it. I will speak to the charter company for their thoughts. I think they have similar issues with the Lagoon 450 but work round this with an additional line which connects to the main halyard.
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:57   #6
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Re: Helia Mainsail

Yes, the mechanism on the Lipari is plain vanilla, nothing like the Lagoon and Doyle systems referenced in the FP forum thread.

I should have been more accurate. I would describe it as a "sweet spot" with respect to the halyard length. If you have it too low, it will be very hard to move the head to meet the halyard / track. If you have it too high, same thing, but for more obvious reasons.
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