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Old 16-09-2016, 20:19   #16
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Re: Raising the main

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Your reefing lines need to be completely slack when you raise the sail. Sheaves for reefing are needed to lower/reef the sail. Of course they need to work properly. When you drop the main DO NOT "tighten" the reefing lines. Leave them in the full extended length of the full hoist sail. When you "clean up" roll the reefing lines around the sail and boom... like a sail tie essentially.

Main sheet must be slack. Vang loose... head to wind, reefing lines loose. Wind helps jiggle the slides and mitigate friction.

If it's a 90# sail... you probably need to be pretty strong or get help from a winch at the end.. or use a power assisted winch.

You're no longer the young stud you once were... so don't expect to have the strength of one.
Excellent advise. I'd add - tighten the topping lift so that the weight of the boom isn't dragging the leech down.
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Old 17-09-2016, 04:36   #17
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Re: Raising the main

Very recently we had to replace the rigging on our Hunter 356.

The roller at the top of the mast for the main halyard had to be replaced as it was badly worn and the sides were cracking off (I don't have a photo to hand, however it was in a mess).

Our rigger also changed the main halyard as he advised us it was oversized for the roller and expediting the breakdown of the roller.

Hoisting last meter still requires effort, however there's a marked improvement and can be 'girl powered' rather than reverting to 'man power' and no longer needs to be bounced.
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Old 17-09-2016, 05:59   #18
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Re: Raising the main

I sail a Hunter 340 and have had similar issues until I learned how to manage that big main.
StuM suggested you raise and lower the main halyard to be sure it runs freely. If it runs freely,... then check your mainsheet, reefing lines and vang. All must be loose!
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Old 17-09-2016, 06:09   #19
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Re: Raising the main

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How do you know I'm not a stud?


S/V B'Shert
You're wife....
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Old 17-09-2016, 06:11   #20
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Re: Raising the main

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Excellent advise. I'd add - tighten the topping lift so that the weight of the boom isn't dragging the leech down.
Actually I forgot to mention this... when I douse the main the topping list it tight and lifts the boom... don't want to whacked in the head... then tighten the main to keep the boom on CL... But yeah... the boom weighs a lot...
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Old 17-09-2016, 06:27   #21
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Re: Raising the main

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Same issue here ... and it gets worse as I get older. I have a Dutchman and mid weight cruising Dacron main with three reefs, two full battens and three partial battens. The main's shipping weight was close to 90 lbs. There are Harkin Bat cars on a T track and no problem there. I replaced the block at the mast head and that helped a good bit. Now I'm looking at the slab reefing as a source of resistance. The sheaves at the aft end of the boom may need replacement. And I'm thinking something thinner and more slippery than stay-set for the reef lines?
Next time just get a rig that does not make use of a mainsail
Sail Propulsion - Revisiting a Mast-Aft Sailing Rig

I think there was another long subject thread on this forum titled something like 'don't use the main'. Ah ha here it is:
Don't use the Main?
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Old 17-09-2016, 06:54   #22
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Re: Raising the main

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You're wife....

Ouch!
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Old 17-09-2016, 07:46   #23
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Re: Raising the main

This is probably a really stupid question but are you easing the mainsheet before you hoist the main (or least when it gets to the trouble spot)?
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Old 17-09-2016, 09:41   #24
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Raising the main

Thanks for the advice particularly from StuM and Sandero. My boat has a boom gallows so I do raise the topping lift before raising the main but I could lift it further. That may help. Also, I'll try leaving the reefing lines at full length when I drop the sail to see how much resistance they are causing, but I fear that they will create difficulty with long loops of reefing lines getting tangled on various bits of bar-b-q, outboard, Bimini, etc.

Now, as to my reputation as a stud, I must protest! I can provide photographic evidence of my athletic physique... though they may be 40 year old photos.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 26-09-2016, 12:36   #25
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Re: Raising the main

Great ideas and concepts. You guys are always worth your weight in gold. I'll some of those a try and see if I can't determine the cause.
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Old 26-09-2016, 13:45   #26
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Re: Raising the main

I think my sails get heavier every year. But do check the sheaves. I had my jib halyard jump its sheave once and it ended up laying across the main. I couldn't raise or lower the main with the jib halyard tensioned. And this year I was lifting the dinghy with the spinnaker halyard when it's sheave broke, dropping pieces on the deck. They don't last forever.
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Old 26-09-2016, 13:53   #27
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Re: Raising the main

Take the sliders of the main out of the track. Hoist the main on a quit day. If still a problem, look at top of mast. If all OK, improve slider/track friction.
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Old 26-09-2016, 14:12   #28
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Re: Raising the main

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Also, I'll try leaving the reefing lines at full length when I drop the sail to see how much resistance they are causing, but I fear that they will create difficulty with long loops of reefing lines getting tangled on various bits of bar-b-q, outboard, Bimini, etc.
My guess would be on the reefing lines though I have had great relief from changing the slugs and track. Try making a change with each suggestion in some order but not all at once so you can figure out exactly which one is causing the problem, similar to isolating the halyard from the sail to determine whether it might be a sheave override or a slug issue.

Reefing lines can be very ornery when they are tight. I always leave mine loose after the sail is dropped, which creates these horrific loops of line all over the place so you do need to manage that as the next order of business before someone's neck or BBQ gets entangled, but it would be better than ripping the cringles out of your sail because of the pull from the reefing lines.
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Old 26-09-2016, 14:19   #29
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Re: Raising the main

I think you need to lead all your lines back to the mast to reduce friction...
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Old 26-09-2016, 14:28   #30
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Re: Raising the main

Geek Guy,

All good advice, so far. I'd like, timidly, to suggest that you start getting used to climbing your own mast. You can either copy whatever gear the rigger uses when he comes, thereby learning how to do it alone, or you can enlist the help of a friend to crank you up, using either a winch handle in a winch or a Milwaukee tool. [Jim got one and I use it to hoist him up our 60 ft. mast. It is a heavy duty right angle cordless 1/2" drive drill, with a special bit to fit the hole in the winch.]

Before you go up, put yourself in puzzle solving mode, and look for whatever you might see that does not look as it should. Look at all the bits, awareness for meat hooks (a broken wire strand), tiny cracks in swages, rust stain, inner side of T-balls if you have them, frayed line at the halyard sheaves, and so on. Other people will help you evaluate, and you can take pictures, too. If heights bother you, what helps me is to either look far away towards the horizon, or directly at the job at hand, and NOT down.
Teaching yourself to do it will build your confidence and give you satisfaction. You do not have to feel that you are a geek...at some point that is a choice, not a fate. Confronting one's fears helps build self confidence, and pride. You can be brilliantly intelligent, and do not have to give up physical satisfactions, like mast ascension.

Ann
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