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Old 10-10-2011, 16:06   #1
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How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

I'm almost embarrassed to ask, but...

I recently tried to raise my main sail with the engine off, and it was difficult.

I tied the tiller to one side, cast off the main sheet, and went to the mast where my halyards are. The boat lies pretty much beam to wind in this configuration. I was able to get the main up, but it was tricky. It caught up in the lower stays a few times and I had to go up and down a couple of times.

In stronger winds I'm not sure I could have got it up at all.

So... what's the secret here? Any tricks that I'm missing?
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:09   #2
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Re: How to raise the main without the engine?

If you do it while still anchored, the boat swings to the wind and raising the main is pretty easy.

George
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:12   #3
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Re: How to raise the main without the engine?

try sheeting in the jib tight and letting the tiller go free,should make the boat point up enough so there is some wind behind the main to keep it off the stays.

good practise for reefing whilst underway.
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:13   #4
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Re: How to raise the main without the engine?

sonrisa--point into wind for raising sail--is much easier than trying to raise a sail while it is trying to fill. also wont have the stays and shrouds catching your battens.
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:17   #5
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Re: How to raise the main without the engine?

Sonrisa, thanks for asking. I wanted to know too.
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:35   #6
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Re: How to raise the main without the engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonrisa View Post
I'm almost embarrassed to ask, but...

I recently tried to raise my main sail with the engine off, and it was difficult.

I tied the tiller to one side, cast off the main sheet, and went to the mast where my halyards are. The boat lies pretty much beam to wind in this configuration. I was able to get the main up, but it was tricky. It caught up in the lower stays a few times and I had to go up and down a couple of times.

In stronger winds I'm not sure I could have got it up at all.

So... what's the secret here? Any tricks that I'm missing?

If you don't have swept back spreaders, you can raise the main by letting the boom completely out if you have wind on the beam. The wind will still be off the beam, but the edge of the mainsail will be pointing into the wind. Why not have the engine on very slow to keep her pointed up? Also, if you turn the tiller, you've turned the boat. She's going to circle, not stay pointed up.
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:35   #7
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Re: How to raise the main without the engine?

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sonrisa--point into wind for raising sail--is much easier than trying to raise a sail while it is trying to fill. also wont have the stays and shrouds catching your battens.
Also, if you have a lazy jack system, be sure to slack it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:36   #8
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

The trick is to keep the boat head to wind.With no way on the wind will just keep blowing you to where the boat likes to lie. You might be better off with the engine on to try to keep you in irons long enough to get the sail up or buy a tiller pilot.
Better yet run the main halyard to the cockpit.
Of course if the engine is dead all bets are off
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:49   #9
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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.
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Old 10-10-2011, 17:03   #10
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonrisa View Post
I'm almost embarrassed to ask, but...

I recently tried to raise my main sail with the engine off, and it was difficult.

I tied the tiller to one side, cast off the main sheet, and went to the mast where my halyards are. The boat lies pretty much beam to wind in this configuration. I was able to get the main up, but it was tricky. It caught up in the lower stays a few times and I had to go up and down a couple of times.

In stronger winds I'm not sure I could have got it up at all.

So... what's the secret here? Any tricks that I'm missing?
For single handing, if you have a drogue, you can let it off the bow just enough to point up. Then retrieve it once the main is up. Or, a bucket, tire or anything else that will cause a drag on the bow.
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Old 10-10-2011, 17:08   #11
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

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!
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Old 10-10-2011, 17:43   #12
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

for sailing off an anchor or mooring pull up the main first with the mainsheet all the way out, before pulling the anchor then pull up the genoa.
for reefing under way pull in the genoa tight and let out the main sheet all the way,the genoa will keep a bit of way on and weathefcock the boat so the wind stays forward of the beam.
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Old 10-10-2011, 17:47   #13
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Sonrisa,

If anybody else actually answers your question I am now subscribed to see the answer.
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Old 10-10-2011, 17:52   #14
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Hoist the jib, get going on the wind, hoist the main.

On a small boat with no jib - hoist some main, get her going, luff, hoist.

If engine available no issues in any case.

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Old 10-10-2011, 17:54   #15
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Re: How to Raise the Main without the Engine ?

Atoll's answer is the way I do it too. If the genoa isn't out, the boat goes beam to and the main cannot be raised. I need to point about 65 degrees or closer to be able to raise the main without too much trouble.
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