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Old 05-03-2015, 07:00   #46
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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Originally Posted by ALAIN97133 View Post
Singlehandler... Of course, for even when we sailed towards the sunset with our better half, we try not to wake him/her up for such a routine manoeuver
Under normal circumstances. But "in a blow" it's always helpful to have extra help. Even if on the margin you're confident you can do what needs to be done alone, there's no shame in recognizing it can be done more safely by two souls rather than one.

We 'singlehanders' don't have the luxury of calling another for help. Which is why I favour having a smaller more easily managed boat at the expense of space and creature comforts.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:12   #47
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
[/COLOR]

What you wrote in your original post was that it was "impossible" without use of engine. This may be so for you, but it is not so for others, and to write that it is impossible misleads others, and discourages them from trying a technique they may not yet have tried.

What I highlighted above is merely one explanation for the difference in our experience, but does not in any negate the option for a newbie in whatever vessel and with whatever variables he or she may have and encounter.

Ann
Ann,

I'm quite comfortable being Wrong, but what you say I said is:

"What you wrote in your original post was that it was "impossible" without use of engine. This may be so for you, but it is not so for others, and to write that it is impossible misleads others, and discourages them from trying a technique they may not yet have tried."

What I said:

"Once your main is down, getting it back up without an engine in strong wind is "nigh impossible". Especially if the sea state is such that waves are also affecting the orientation of your boat in relation to the wind."

Adverb

nigh: Almost, nearly.

Achieving the summit in a single day is, well, nigh impossible.

So, I didn't say it is impossible. I said it is "...nigh impossible", or according to the definition "almost, nearly" impossible.

'Tis alright though. I'm thick skinned...
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:13   #48
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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Under normal circumstances. But "in a blow" it's always helpful to have extra help. Even if on the margin you're confident you can do what needs to be done alone, there's no shame in recognizing it can be done more safely by two souls rather than one. We 'singlehanders' don't have the luxury of calling another for help. Which is why I favour having a smaller more easily managed boat at the expense of space and creature comforts.
I agree, & given my age (68) & strength (143 pounds) I like my 13,000# 34 footer. I can handle all the sails by myself which is also a safety factor... With a lady-sailor with some experience, I wouldn't mind going up to a 40 footer, cutter rigged with both furling genoa & forestaysail, slab reefing main, mast stowed spinnaker poles, electric windlass controled from both the bow OR the cockpit etc... On Sundance, all the lines (Including reef lines 2 & 3) come back to the cockpit
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:37   #49
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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I agree, & given my age (68) & strength (143 pounds) I like my 13,000# 34 footer. I can handle all the sails by myself which is also a safety factor... With a lady-sailor with some experience, I wouldn't mind going up to a 40 footer, cutter rigged with both furling genoa & forestaysail, slab reefing main, mast stowed spinnaker poles, electric windlass controled from both the bow OR the cockpit etc... On Sundance, all the lines (Including reef lines 2 & 3) come back to the cockpit
You must have a gazillion $ invested in all those winches!

I wouldn't mind having a 32'-34' cutter rig, for the extra w.l.l, interior space and ability to douse the working jib in favour of a smaller foresail without having to physically swap sails. But, more space means I'm tempted to bring more stuff aboard. The extra length translates into higher costs in more ways than you can shake a stick at.

I'd resist the urge to move up to a 40 footer for the same reasons. The last reason I'd have a bigger boat is to attract crew. They can be awful fickle and a source of problems I prefer to avoid. In my view 32-34 feet is the sweet spot for solo sailing. I'm sure there are lots of single handers on bigger boats who will swear by them. But, 40+? Not for me by a stretch.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:49   #50
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

Why, Wrong, thank you so very much for the grammar lesson.

I apologize for mis-interpreting "nigh impossible". I hope it did not cause you too much distress.

I do not retract anything I wrote about sail handling.

Ann
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Old 06-03-2015, 14:13   #51
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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Why, Wrong, thank you so very much for the grammar lesson.

I apologize for mis-interpreting "nigh impossible". I hope it did not cause you too much distress.
You're welcome. Even though I'm always Wrong, I'm still pretty good at grabbing words out of thin air. Close is good enough...

Apology accepted. Like I said, I'm thick skinned and suffered absolutely zero distress. That would take more than anything you can throw my way.

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I do not retract anything I wrote about sail handling.

Ann
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:19   #52
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

Throw a bucket off the bow with a line tied to your bow.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:09   #53
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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Throw a bucket off the bow with a line tied to your bow.
Brilliant! You're not in the business of selling buckets now, are you?
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Old 08-03-2015, 13:18   #54
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

Using the engine can be an adverse factor on a blow since on a blow some waves and some adverse sea condition are to be expected and using the engine means going directly into the wind and into the waves with and increased boat motion that can complicate the maneuver.

The OP does not talk if he has a frontal sail on and I see some that prefer to go on hard heather without any piece of frontal sail and only with a reefed main. I don't think that is a good idea precisely because without some frontal sail area it would be difficult to take out the main without engine.

If some furled frontal sail is maintained then taking the main out is easy: just tight the frontal sail and point the boat hard into the wind while letting go the main. Keep the boat sailing at small speed (too much pointed to the wind to have a decent speed) but completely under control, tension the boom lift line to prevent it to coming down when you put all the sail down, open the boom till no wind comes on the main (main into the wind) and let it come down.

Some use a line rigged to the top of the sail to be able to pull it down easily from the cockpit but if you have reefs that you can pull from the cockpit and a third small one that should not be necessary since the remaining sail are (3rd reef) would be small.
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Old 08-03-2015, 14:09   #55
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Re: Lowering Main in a Blow w/o Engine

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Using the engine can be an adverse factor on a blow since on a blow some waves and some adverse sea condition are to be expected and using the engine means going directly into the wind and into the waves with and increased boat motion that can complicate the maneuver.

The OP does not talk if he has a frontal sail on and I see some that prefer to go on hard heather without any piece of frontal sail and only with a reefed main. I don't think that is a good idea precisely because without some frontal sail area it would be difficult to take out the main without engine.

If some furled frontal sail is maintained then taking the main out is easy: just tight the frontal sail and point the boat hard into the wind while letting go the main. Keep the boat sailing at small speed (too much pointed to the wind to have a decent speed) but completely under control, tension the boom lift line to prevent it to coming down when you put all the sail down, open the boom till no wind comes on the main (main into the wind) and let it come down.

Some use a line rigged to the top of the sail to be able to pull it down easily from the cockpit but if you have reefs that you can pull from the cockpit and a third small one that should not be necessary since the remaining sail are (3rd reef) would be small.
Every boat does not have roller furling. Your suggestion closely parallels Ann T. Cate's post and doesn't take into account factors such as hank on foresail, wave height, keel configuration, boat length/displacement, and other possible variables that affect a boat's ability to point high enough to perform the maneuver you recommend. So, many of us - myself included - are faced with a less elegant scenario that depending on boat size and sail area will be more or less challenged at reefing "in a blow". Heaving to until conditions improve or trying to reef while hove to or for-reaching may be our only choice...
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