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Old 08-06-2020, 10:37   #1
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Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Well, the Admiral and I made a stupid mistake this past weekend... while unfurling the main sail (in-mast furling), we lazily used the electric winch, started to pull the sail out, it jammed and we didn't get off the winch fast enough. So, we tore the sail vertically just on the sail side of the UV protected triangle near the clew. The tear is about 2 feet in length. grrrr.


Didn't get a pic, but the problem for me that I need advice on is how to get the sail out and off the mast. This is new territory for me. Never done it and have never seen anyone else do it.


It is a Catalina 470 with a Charleston Spar in-mast furling, standard rig. I haven't had much luck finding Youtube videos etc. that show enough detail... all just talk about the gewneral considerations. I am looking for a "how-to step-by-step" kind of thing.


Help!
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Old 08-06-2020, 15:19   #2
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Sorry to hear of your problems.

Hire your rigger to teach you how to approach getting it working again. It is a skill you will be glad to acquire, and he can use the employment. How hard it will be will depend on how badly the innards of the in mast furling have been affected. Nothing is forever, the furlers do require maintenance.

The sailmaker will be able to make a good repair, it will involve additional webbing, as well as sailcloth....assuming the sail is worth repairing. If he condemns the sail, you may want to fix it yourself, and use it for a while.



Ann
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Old 08-06-2020, 15:54   #3
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Have you contacted Charleston Spar for some tips?
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Old 08-06-2020, 16:00   #4
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

You might find the Catalina 470 mast manual of use. It doesn't have much of a procedure (none for removal, a short one for installing). The basic installation procedure is:
  • Attach halyard to swivel
  • Attach sail head to swivel
  • Hoist sail while feeding bolt rope into slot
  • When nearly hoisted attach tack.
  • Finish hoist
  • Attach outhaul
  • Furl sail.
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Old 08-06-2020, 16:49   #5
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

If you are tempted to use an electric winch to unfurl the sail, I would suggest that there is something wrong with the system. That really shouldn’t be necessary, or even adv
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Old 08-06-2020, 17:43   #6
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

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Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
If you are tempted to use an electric winch to unfurl the sail, I would suggest that there is something wrong with the system. That really shouldn’t be necessary, or even adv

Additionally, I'm guessing the OP had the rope in the self tailer jaws. An electric winch (or winch powered by energetic crew) is much more controllable if you tail it by hand. But that requiers more than pushing a button....
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Old 08-06-2020, 17:46   #7
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
You might find the Catalina 470 mast manual of use. It doesn't have much of a procedure (none for removal, a short one for installing). The basic installation procedure is:
  • Attach halyard to swivel
  • Attach sail head to swivel
  • Hoist sail while feeding bolt rope into slot
  • When nearly hoisted attach tack.
  • Finish hoist
  • Attach outhaul
  • Furl sail.
Yep I have this and agree it is light on tips in this case. Will call them as suggested by another post. As with all boat projects we usually figure it out, right?
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:54   #8
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Also you may want to arrange the repair with a sailmaker prior to removing the sail so you can get it done quickly and back in. Without the sail in the mast, the alloy foil inside the mast can bang around and keep the whole marina awake at night.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:06   #9
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

No advise about removing your sail, but if you do get it out have several lengths of plumbers foam pipe insulation ready to put on the foil to keep the foil from banging around inside the mast.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:26   #10
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Ouch.


The tear is a significant complication. Couldn't say how the tear will affect the operation without seeing where it is.


I've only had one jam in my in-mast furling in almost 11 years, so I don't have much experience, but for what it's worth --



Assiduously, patiently work out the jam, from both sides. Try to furl in, and keep working the furler to try to pull the loose folds out. Counterituitively, you do not want outhaul tension during this. Keep doing it over and over again and the folds will gradually come out.



Then, try to work out from the other side. When I had my jam, I was advised to pull DOWN, not out, using the vang and/or mainsheet. A combination of this, and working the sail in from the other side, finally resolved my jam.


In future -- I don't think there's anything wrong with using an electric winch. But you have to be really careful furling OUT. Make sure the boom is vertical, and make sure the sail is rolled up tight in the mast before you start. See AND FEEL it coming out smoothly and stop instantly if a fold starts to develop. The problem occurs when a fold of the NEXT roll sticks to the part of the sail which is coming out, and tries to come out of the slot along with it. Coating the mainsail with SailKote helps a lot, as does keeping the furler maintained and the foil correctly tensioned.



A blown-out Dacron mainsail will never furl well. Laminate sails are AWESOME in in-mast furling. Good excuse for an upgrade if your sail is BER.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:43   #11
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

we have a furling main which we tore a while ago. getting it off the mast is simple

unfurl the sail (obviously you need a quiet day and / or head to wind

drop the halyard and the sail will slide (perhaps with a little help) down the foil

there is a swivel between the sail and the halyard...disconnect

fold sail and hand to sailmaker along with your credit card

couldn't be easier

echo earlier post about putting stuff up the mast to stop the foil rattling. without a sail on it, it will wake the dead in the next state. one way is to put a downhaul on the swivel, and a line to say the end of the boom...hoist the swivel to half way, and then tension this line. this helps to stop the flop of the foil

cheers,
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:47   #12
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Ouch.

Make sure the boom is vertical
Dockhead, I think you meant to say horizontal... (we all get confused some times)

Winching out an in-mast furling main is often going to magnify any problem...

If an in-mast main jams the problem started when you put it away...

Hauling it out manually you can detect the problem and (hopefully) sort it out without damage.. ("In out , In out, shake it all about")

Always make sure that your boom is horizontal and out to port (assuming that your sail furls anti-clockwise) so that you aren't pulling against the edge of the lip on the mast.

With a winch you often only know there is a problem when the sail gives up and tears...

I had one last year when the "skipper" always insisted on using a winch it get it out and the sail tore just after the UV strip at the clew, OK it was an old sail but a manual pull would have detected the problem before we tore it...

Doing it with an electric winch and you get a jam then if you are lucky the sail tears, if not then you can actually MOVE THE MAST!

I hope you can get it sorted.
Going up the mast in a bosun's chair may let you manipulate it enough to work around the jam.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:58   #13
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

I have the same boat, and almost identical rig (except I have the tall rig version). I’d suggested releasing the furling line, and turn the furler screw by hand until the torn edge of the sail lines up with the slot in the mast. Get a grip on the sail, and continue to turn the furler screw while carefully extracting the sail. Probably a two person job, on a very calm day, but it shouldn’t be too hard. And the suggestion by someone else to have some foam tubing handy is very good. The furler extrusion floats freely in the mast cavity, and bangs around like you wouldn’t believe without the sail there to keep it straight. Sliding sone foam tubes up the extrusion will save your sanity, and that if your dock/anchorage neighbors.

While you have the sail in for repair, do some maintenance on the furler screw. I recently had to replace all the needle bearings in mine, but I’m glad that I did as it spins much smoother now.

Regards,
David
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Old 09-06-2020, 13:16   #14
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

Quote:
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Dockhead, I think you meant to say horizontal... (we all get confused some times). . .

Of course! Freudian slip, I guess!
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Old 09-06-2020, 14:27   #15
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Re: Now I'm in a pickle... Main Sail Tear/ Need help getting the sail off

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...............So, we tore the sail vertically just on the sail side of the UV protected triangle near the clew...............problem for me that I need advice on is how to get the sail out and off the mast...............
Lots of good advice above!!!.........to get the main sail, which I assume is fluffed up in the mast, out of the mast pull the sail out of the mast sufficiently by to allow you to sew the sail back onto the sun cover. Then with tension on the outhaul operate the furl-in and furl-out lines back and forth to tighten the sail in the mast. Then slowly unfurl the main sail by pulling on the furl-out line while keeping tension on the furl-in line AND manually pulling or winching (without an electric winch) the outhaul.

If that does not work suggest having a rigger OR your sail guy who is familiar with in-mast furling mainsails to get it out of the mast. Once out I am sure you know what to don with it.

https://www.usspars.com/wp-content/u...manual2016.pdf
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