Originally Posted by lockie
In each case, I run a temporary "sheet" from the clew, inside the shrouds to the main sheet winch
. Then as the sail is dropped, I can flake it roughly and then roll it up. It's not the neatest job, but at least it will fit through the hatch
You've basically already discovered the best way to do it, especially the part about a temporary sheet holding the sail steady.
I think you're better off flaking a headsail offwind because you've got a better chance of keeping the sail dry, and because the apparent wind
decreases on deck
. If you've got three people, having someone on the halyard
lowering the sail to crew on the tack and clew is a sweet arrangement. Then, once the sail is flaked, roll it from the tack so that next time you use it the sheets
can be tied to the clew before you unroll the sail.
Is this an operation you're likely to perform often? If so, you may want to look into a long-roll sail bag. Any sailmaker
who deals with racers will know about these. It will allow you to flake the sail directly into the bag, which you then zip up prior to folding the sail. The bag is basically the same dimension as the boat's J, and has a full-length zipper.