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Old 10-10-2011, 17:56   #16
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You'll have to be quick, but you need some headway to get the boat to stay head to wind. I have done this with my boat successfully:

While you are beam to wind, pull up as much mainsail as you can- probably about 1/4-1/3 up is possible. Then turn the boat downwind for a few hundred meters and get some headway. Then turn back up head to wind, and engage autopilot, crew, or tiller lock to keep the boat head to wind. Depending on displacement and momentum, this should buy you about 60 seconds to get the rest of sail up. You'll gain extra time if your mainsheet is uncleated.
obviously in wild, choppy conditions, this will not work. Then you will need to bring some sail up, fall away and get some speed, head to wind for a little more mainsail, then fall away onto beam reach, then up into wind for more hoist, and so on until sail is up.

Just be careful you don't fall away too much with too much sail up as you run the risk of snapping battens on the shrouds.
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Old 10-10-2011, 17:57   #17
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Just read other replies. On my boat, or others, I don't like hoisting job first as it flogs the living daylights out of itself, the mast, and sometimes humans.
My halyard is at the mast and I hate being whipped by the jib.
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Old 10-10-2011, 18:47   #18
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
i think the poster asked how to do it with out the aid of an engine......

unless you have some way on,or your head sail in tight any boat will naturally stay beam on to the wind and sea.

That is what the OP asked, but presumably other information is useful as well. I think the suggestion of doing it while anchored (if anchored) was very sensible.
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Old 10-10-2011, 18:49   #19
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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Yes, I'm talking about a situation where the engine is off, and there is no way on the boat whatsoever. Assume that there are no sails up whatsoever.

My spreaders aren't swept back.

I typically like to raise the main before the jib, as my boat heaves to nicely under main alone. But from what I'm hearing... I should experiment with raising the jib first to put a little way on the boat, at which point maybe I can get the head a little into the wind? Is that the accepted strategy?

Thanks for the replies!
My boat really takes off with the headsail up. You experiment, but I'll be surprised if you find that works well for you. If your engine has died, i would try doing it abeam first. There will be very little load on the sail. If that doesn't work, do you have a "lunch hook" anchor, like a small Danforth? You wouldn't be anchoring to ride out a hurricane, after all ...
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Old 10-10-2011, 19:03   #20
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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That is what the OP asked, but presumably other information is useful as well. I think the suggestion of doing it while anchored (if anchored) was very sensible.
Is useless for the OPs question.

It is pretty boat specific in some ways.

We went out on a 25 knot day to try it. Could not do it without what seemed sure damage to the main.

Maybe we will try it another day..........

Meanwhile - will mother the diesel a little.
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Old 10-10-2011, 19:27   #21
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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So... what's the secret here? Any tricks that I'm missing?
The dirty little secret here is that most of us hoist the main with the engine in idle forward and the autopilot engaged, head to wind. If you're missing any tricks, it's that many of us have discovered how wonderful it is to lead all lines aft to the cockpit, so that we don't have to head up to the mast just to raise sails.

Purists may scoff at this admission, but the reality is that the easier it is to make sail, the more often you'll probably sail. And that's a good thing.
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Old 10-10-2011, 19:58   #22
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Since I singlehand and don't have an autopilot (yet) to keep me into the wind. I usually pull out the roller furling jib, heave-to, then go forward and raise the main. Fall off and sail away... I do the opposite for taking it down as well.

Or just sail off anchor, or occasionally raise the main in the slip and motor-sail out to the bay.
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Old 10-10-2011, 20:00   #23
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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The dirty little secret here is that most of us hoist the main with the engine in idle forward and the autopilot engaged, head to wind.
As do I! Minus the autopilot as I don't have one. I only recently encountered this situation, for the first time since buying the boat 5 years ago. I was single handing, with no autopilot, so I turned off the engine and went forward to the mast. Dropping a lunch hook was no good as I was in deep water. I also dislike raising the jib first due to the flogging issue.

In lighter winds I can probably get the main up while sitting abeam. In stronger winds I usually have help, but if not, throwing a bucket or something off the bow is an interesting idea to buy a few degrees of head to wind.

This must be a common situation for the engineless single-hander. But maybe the englineless single-hander is not that common of a person

Thanks again for the replies - interesting stuff to consider.
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Old 10-10-2011, 20:04   #24
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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Since I singlehand and don't have an autopilot (yet) to keep me into the wind. I usually pull out the roller furling jib, heave-to, then go forward and raise the main. Fall off and sail away... I do the opposite for taking it down as well.

Or just sail off anchor, or occasionally raise the main in the slip and motor-sail out to the bay.
Thanks Callmecrazy - that makes sense. A roller furler would make a big difference. I think that's the next big ticket item I'll add to our gear. We've just had kids, so one person tends to have to take on more sailing tasks alone these days. Roller furler would be a nice addition.
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Old 10-10-2011, 20:23   #25
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

While I have the halyard ran back to the cockpit, I do find it much easier to go to the mast,grab where the halyard exits the mast and pull down in one big motion. I can pull it up most of the way in a much shorter amount of time than I can on any of my winches (lewmar 43s). I can then get it pulled up most of the way before the boat falls back off course.
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Old 10-10-2011, 21:25   #26
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

I don't understand the problem with raising the jib first for this situation. If you have the main up before raising the jib, the jib flogs until it's up and then sheeted in. Why are you going to let it flog any longer just because the main isn't up?

As the others have said, get the jib up, sheet in, sail close hauled or hove to and then raise the main.

John
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Old 10-10-2011, 21:29   #27
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Simply get some speed on by sailing off the wind. Raise the main partially if necessary. Back down if necessary to get out of irons. When she has a bit of speed turn head to weather, center the tiller and briskly hoist the main. Trim for a close reach then tidy up. Easy!

May need to tie tiller in center.

Lines led to cockpit are unnecessary. Autopilot is nice but unnecessary. Works on any maneuverable engineless sailboat from 16 feet to over 50.
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Old 10-10-2011, 21:34   #28
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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Lines led to cockpit are unnecessary. Autopilot is nice but unnecessary. Works on any maneuverable engineless sailboat from 16 feet to over 50.
Be wary of anyone with a Santa Cruz 50 who tells you such things.

The fact is, even winches are unnecessary. Sailors made do without them for more than 3,000 years.

But why do it the hard way?
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Old 10-10-2011, 21:36   #29
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Not sure about the OP's boat, but with mine, the boat doesn't balance well enough with only 1 sail up. The bow will catch the wind and fall off immediately even with the a little way on and the wheel locked.

She tracks perfectly when the sails are balanced... But for raising one or the other sails, hove-to is easiest for me. I can raise the main pretty quickly, but if I didn't heave-to (and I've done it this way many times) she'll fall off the wind and start sailing without me while I'm raising the main. if I have the searoom, its no big deal. But I like to heave-to anyway, so I can take my time and get nice and comfy before setting off.

If you heave-to with jib only (roller jib, since it's nothing to raise), you'll be pointed far enough into the wind to just let the mainsheet out, raise the main, without any flogging or inadvertently sailing away.
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Old 10-10-2011, 21:42   #30
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Hoist the foresail, head as close as possible into the wind, cross the wind, back the foresail and heave too, hoist the main with the sheet as free as you need it to be. Same process for reefing the main.
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