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Old 28-10-2013, 07:56   #1
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flaking the mainsail?

Assuming the boat doesn't have lazy jack's, a dutch flaking system, or auto pilot to keep the boat head to wind, what is fastest and most efficient way to flake the main when single handing?

I muddle through but it's a PITA. Is there a secret I don't know?
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:01   #2
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

Get it down, temporarily secure it, make it nice when you get to the dock or mooring.
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:06   #3
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

Heave to. There was a video posted here a while ago of the poster reefing his main while hove to. Simple, great idea.
Goat

(or do like I do and just roll it in)
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:13   #4
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain465 View Post
Get it down, temporarily secure it, make it nice when you get to the dock or mooring.
That's what I'm thinking. Just thought maybe there was something better than holding the halyard in one hand and trying to flake with the other while securing with sail ties as I go; all while hoping the boat stays close to head-to-wind. Don't have nearly enough hands...or so it seems.
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:17   #5
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

Here it is
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:01   #6
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

dont flake until you are securely anchored.
roll sail onto boom and secure rapidly while sailing into the cove. looks dont mean squat until after safety is attained
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Old 28-10-2013, 16:49   #7
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

While I don't always use the same method one that works for me on boats up to 44 ft is a close hauled tack on auto pilot. I have the boom in tight and with my halyard run to cockpit I stand at the aft end of the boom with halyard in my hand I slowly lower main pull it out sail from leach and do a rough flake over the boom. I have the ties ready looped in my belt and as I move forward on boom flaking I tie down. some time halyard ends up between my teeth. It works best on smaller boats where the height of boom is not so great. I am now using this method often with my 33 ft high performance sloop. The other method is jib furled first slow power into wind helm auto pilot or lashed down using the same technique as above. If the boom is too high the best bet is some kind of stacking system. In an emergency head to wind drop it and rough tie until safe at dock or mooring.
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Old 20-11-2013, 09:23   #8
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

Powering into the wind under autopilot makes dropping and handling the sail easier. Just get it down and tied off. Save flaking it for the dock. Sure do love the lazy jacks, however. A couple hundred feet of 1/4" line, 2 small cheek blocks, a few brass rings, and couple of plastic cleats and dropping the main is just a matter of relearning the halyard. All done while staying at the tiller conning the boat.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:49   #9
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

Heaving to sounds like a great idea, but I guess it depends on the size of the boat and whether the jib is roller furled or hanked, as well as on the wind conditions. On my (former) boat, there is no way you're getting that jib furled (cleanly) in anything above light air unless you blanket it with the main (which is pretty tough if your main is doused, flaked or not!). Hanked jib should be much better I would guess. No question, though, that doing anything to the main is easier when hove to. Pete
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Old 21-11-2013, 07:36   #10
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Re: flaking the mainsail?

If conditions are boisterous ,then just drop main and secure all with a single line around main near mast to keep mess from blowing about .Make a quick retreat o cockpit to attend to your next preparations.(see Zee and others as above).
I use the technique Roverhi suggests most often ,with or without crew and with a reliable engine and autopilot ,easy peasy.
But in most conditions once boat is head to wind with just the main up,I harden the main sheet enough that boom will not swing about too much if and when I need it for support while furling sail. It is important to leave some slack in main sheet however to buy some time if winds are shifty or boat falls off too quickly thereby allowing main to fill with resultant difficulty in dropping. Now nip forward to front of mast with back to bow , left hand removes halyard and coil is dropped near left foot and halyard is in left hand ( or secured under left armpit(!) with both arms embracing mast ( very secure).
OK now lift left foot and pull luff to alternating sides as sail comes down, use foot to control decent by stomping on coil if sail drops too quickly to flake evenly.
I have bungees permanently secured along boom so all I need do reach under and grab and secure them as I make my retreat to the cockpit while tugging the leach aft and throwing the rest of the flaked sail on the boom. Takes less time than for me to type this.
It helps to have some way on so that the boat stays in irons as long as possible and of course the jib is already stowed.

Regarding the use of the armpit, best to be wearing a shirt and to let off some tension off the halyard before securing under the arm. I once tried this technique with a spinnaker halyard when alone and almost set my armpit on fire.

..........................................love you all..................mike......................... ........
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